HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) has emerged as a groundbreaking 3D printing technology, offering high precision and efficiency. Understanding the best design practices for MJF is crucial for maximizing the technology’s potential, ensuring parts are printed to specification, and leveraging its unique capabilities.
Recommended Wall Thickness:
- General Guidelines: The minimum wall thickness is 0.3 mm for short walls in the XY plane and 0.5 mm for those in the Z direction. This ensures structural integrity and print accuracy.
- Aspect Ratio Considerations: For cantilevers with a width of less than 1 mm, maintain an aspect ratio of less than 1. For higher aspect ratios, increase wall thickness or reinforce features like ribs or fillets.
- Assembly Precision: When designing interconnected parts, maintain a minimum gap of 0.4 mm (±0.2 mm tolerance) between interfaces for correct assembly.
- Clearance Requirements: A minimum spacing of 0.7 mm is recommended for moving parts. For parts with walls thinner than 3 mm, a clearance as low as 0.3 mm may be sufficient, but this depends on the specific design.
Thin and Long Parts:
- Warping Prevention: Long, thin parts are prone to warping due to non-uniform cooling. To minimize this, increase wall thickness, avoid abrupt changes in cross-section, and consider hollowing parts or adding internal lattices.
3D Print Design Optimization Strategies:
- Topology-Optimized Designs: Embrace generative designs or small lattice structures for improved heat dissipation and reduced material usage.
- Hollowing Models: Implementing drain holes in hollow parts removes trapped unfused powder, enhancing strength and reducing weight.
- Lattice Structures: Replace solid mass with a lattice structure for mechanical integrity, mass reduction, and cost efficiency.
- Finite Element Method (FEM) Approach: Utilize FEM for material distribution optimization, focusing on mass reduction and specific mechanical properties. This requires in-depth knowledge of the part’s function and load distribution.
Design for 3D Print Accuracy:
- Dimensional Accuracy: MJF can achieve accuracy values of IT Grade 13, rivaling plastic injection molding.
- Embossed and Engraved Details: For high-resolution embossed or engraved details, ensure a depth or height of at least 1 mm.
3D Print Accuracy Guidelines:
- Feature Placement: Place small features with critical dimensions in the same plane.
- Cross-Section Transition: Design parts with smooth transitions.
- Weight Reduction: Lighten parts by hollowing or adding internal lattices.
- Aspect Ratio Management: Avoid long, thin, flat parts with high aspect ratios to prevent warping.
Adhering to these best MJF design practices is key to harnessing the full potential of HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. By understanding these guidelines, designers and engineers can optimize their designs for this advanced 3D printing process, achieving high-quality, functional, and aesthetically pleasing parts.