Understanding Accuracy, Tolerance, and Precision in 3D Printing Prototype
In the 3D printing industry, just because a printer has high resolution among its specifications, it does not necessarily mean that the printed parts will be precise or accurate. At Creatingway, we like to educate our clients that may not be privy to this fact. By understanding the true meaning of accuracy, tolerance, and precision, we believe they may be capable of identifying a top-notch 3D print. Here is further insight into the description of these terms and how they relate in the context of 3D printing.
Defining Accuracy, Tolerance, and Precision
Accuracy refers to how close a measurement is to the true value. In terms of 3D printing, true value refers to a dimension that we design in the CAD. We evaluate it by assessing how closely the 3D print lines up with the digital design.
Precision essentially measures the repeatability of a measurement which is key when evaluating the consistency of a manufacturer. This is the ultimate test of reliability as the reliability of a machine determines its ability to produce expected results. In terms of 3D printing, carrying out a comparison of 3D printing materials involves identifying materials that are able to print highly intricate geometries. For example, Rigid Resin or Grey Pro Resin has a high stiffness or green modulus and are thus capable of printing thin and intricate components.
You may be wondering how precise you have to be when carrying out 3D printing. We define this to be tolerant. You can also define it to be how much wiggle allowance you have in your application or to the level of acceptable variation to the closeness to which the measurement is hitting. It is normally dependent on the project. For instance, apart from a dynamic mechanical assembly often requires a much higher tolerance than a simple plastic enclosure. To achieve or hold a tighter tolerance often translates to meeting higher quality assurance and manufacturing costs.
How Do You Understand Precision and Accuracy in 3D Printing Prototype?
An array of factors is put into consideration when delving into the precision and accuracy of a 3D printing prototype. It is advisable that you first identify your specific needs. For instance, in some applications, a precise yet inaccurate 3D printer may be the best option for the job. A low costing fused deposition modeling normally produces parts less accurately though it might be what you can afford when starting up in the 3D print manufacturing industry. The following are the key factors that determine the precision and accuracy when 3D printing.
3D Printing Technology
3D printing is essentially an additive process as we develop parts layer by layer. With each part, the possibility of an inaccuracy occurring increases since the process by which we form the layers affect the level of repeatability of the accuracy of each layer. In SLA 3D printing, for instance, we cure or harden the liquid resin material using a highly precise layer to enable us to form each layer. This enables us to obtain much finer details and is, therefore, more reliable when desiring to high-quality outcomes. Likewise, selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing involves depending on a laser to fuse nylon powder into solid components. A 3D printer’s specs are not the only determinants of the accuracy of the final dimensions. A common misrepresentation for a variety of 3D printing technologies is the description of XY resolution in terms of dimensional accuracy.
The material that we utilize during 3D printing is another important determinant of the process’s accuracy. The materials’ mechanical characteristics determine how the printed part will warp. This again is totally dependent on your application. In 3D dental printing, for instance, accuracy is critical. However, when printing a prototype or concept model, you only intend to obtain a general physical sense thus accuracy is not as critical.
3D printed components normally require post-curing which often causes shrinkage. This is absolutely normal when 3D printing through resin-based SLA. It is, therefore, an important factor to consider when coming up with the component’s dimensions. At Creatingway, the print file preparation software normally compensates for the shrinkage of the par automatically so that we are able to achieve dimensionally accurate components after curing them.
Tolerancing in 3D printing prototype
3D printing is a singular automated manufacturing process, unlike machining where we can progressively refine the part to tighter tolerances. While complex surfacing in the process like CNC milling adds to the costs, complexity in 3D printing is free. 3D printing is an awesome choice if your design has gross complexities such as complex surfaces and undercuts and does not necessarily require a higher surface precision that greater or lesser than 0.005 in standard machining. We identify SLA to have the highest tolerance for commercially available 3D printing tech.
For any further inquiries regarding precision, accuracy, and tolerance of 3D printing simply contact us now at Creatingway.
Creatingway is concentrated on CNC machining manufacturing, prototype machining, low-volume manufacturing, metal fabrication, and parts finishing services, provide you the best support and services. ask us one inquire now.
Any questions or RFQ for metal& plastic technology and custom machining, welcome to contact us below
Call +86-0(755)-89492523 or send an inquiry to us
Welcome visit us, any metal and plastic design and machining questions, we are here to support you. Our services email address: