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The Benefits of Stack Up 3D Printing

The Benefits of Stack Up 3D Printing

In general, regardless of traditional manufacturing or 3D printing, the cost to produce the part depends on volume of material used, machine cost, production cost, cycle time and so on.

The more the number of parts produce at one time cost lesser than producing one part at one time. The shorter the cycle time also means the more parts produce. This is also another reason why many people are still using injection molding for plastic injection and the unit price is so much cheaper compare to 3D printing but without considering the initial costs invested on the tooling. With 3D printing, no investment on tooling is required because you can engage service bureau for low volume production.

With the advancement in 3D printing technology and slicing software, we can print multiple parts by using stacking the parts up and send for 3D printing.


3D Systems’ 3D Sprint – Auto-Stacking Feature

3D Systems Figure 4 3D printer allows user to slack multiple parts easily using the auto-stacking feature within 3D Systems’ 3D Sprint software. The feature automatically prepares and place models on the build plate with a ingle click, including smart nesting and proprietary support structure that are meant to result in less material use and easy-to-remove supports while ensuring high precision and high quality of the 3D printed parts.

Figure 4 carries a wide range of engineering materials ranging from general to functional with mechanical properties, biocompatible, heat resistance, chemical resistance and many more.

Stacked manufacturing enabled us to build 120 plastic components in a single build at an average speed of ~63 mm/hr

2 splitters can be printed in 90 minutes on Figure 4 with MED-AMB material

High volume production of ventilator splitter flow limiter produced using stacked manufacturing method on Figure 4

Ultimaker’s Cura and PVA Support

Ultimaker PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) is a leading water-soluble support material for multi-extrusion 3D printing. It offers you freedom and convenience to design complex modeling geometries that require supports that dissolve away in tap water.

Making use of its water-soluble support material, you can stack your model in the z-height by leaving a gap in between the parts and fill with PVA support.

Ultimaker PVA Support Material video credits to Ultimaker

In the below example, using Ultimaker Cura to stack simple part without support material.

How to stack 3D prints in Ultimaker Cura credits to 3D Printing Nerd

Carbon 3D’s CLIP technology

CLIP is the only additive technology to truly offer continuous resin flow during the printing process, an unmatched benefit in both speed and strength.

Oracle used Carbon 3D’s CLIP technology for production run of 10,000 board alignment brackets in days. 

Oracle had initially designed the board alignment bracket as a snap-in injection molded part, but traditional injection molding techniques would have been ineffective, as they could not produce the small parts in a timely manner, nor were they able to support functional design iterations. Conventional 3D printing had also proved a poor fit – while the technologies used may have been sufficient for prototyping, the material qualities were subpar. Oracle needed a 3D printed solution with material properties that could stand up to the test of real use in a high-density server.

Read More on Oracle Case Study

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