Whether you’re trying to optimize your anatomical model STL file, or upload your files to be 3D printed, below are some tips to ensure everything goes smoothly and you receive your 3D prints as quickly as possible.
The 3D modeling software that you use to create your design may offer you a way to export it to .stl. STL stands for standard triangle language and means that your anatomical model will be translated into triangles in a 3D space. For example with STL, your sphere will be described as a composition of triangles. The quality of the STL file can vary from software to software.
Currently, you can upload your designs in either millimeters or inches. Please be careful that you select the correct unit and that your anatomical model is sized accordingly. Once your file is uploaded, you will be able to check the global dimensions of your anatomical model in the ‘Scale’ window.
It’s very important that every surface in your anatomical model has been assigned a wall thickness. Virtually, an anatomical model can be without a wall thickness, but in order to have your design physically printed, wall thicknesses are needed. Wall thickness refers to the distance between one surface of your model and its opposite sheer surface. Many printing problems can be traced to surface issues.
Below is an overview of the most important ones:
For every material that we feature on our website, we provide a minimal wall thickness. The wall thickness is related to the printing machine’s resolution, its process, and the strength of the material itself. We suggest that you stick with our recommendation, as while some items can still be printed with smaller thicknesses, these parts will likely break when removed from the machine or during shipment.
As mentioned above, all walls need to have a thickness. It’s impossible for open surfaces to be printed. Make them solid by adding wall thicknesses to your design or closing the gap between the open surfaces.
Gaps between Surfaces
Sometimes your model isn’t entirely closed because the different surfaces are well attached to each other. These so-called gaps between the surfaces prevent your model from being watertight. The term water tightness is referred to because your model would “leak” because of these gaps. Close the gap by welding or stitching the surfaces together in your 3D software program or create a surface in between.