What should I know when designing parts of an assembly?

Assembly clearances

Parts that are to be assembled after printing, need to have sufficient distance (clearance) to adjoining surfaces. 

This is necessary 

  • to enable the removal of powder, resin or support depending on the chosen technology
  • to account for minor deviations caused by the 3D printing tolerances and 
  • to help with the friction between surfaces during the assembly


The following table shows an overview of recommended clearances for the most suitable materials:

Technology Materials Recommended clearance for parts of an assembly
Laser Sintering Alumide, Polyamide, Polypropylene 0.6 mm
Fused Deposition Modeling ABS 0.3 mm
Stereolithography Gray Resin, Mammoth Resin, Standard Resin, Transparent Resin 0.6 mm
PolyJet Printing High-Detail Resin Multicolor+ 0.6 mm

For more information on threads for screw connections of parts, please consult the article: Adding screw threads to your 3D printed model.

Additional clearances for painting and gluing

  • When surfaces are painted, please foresee an additional +/- 0,2 mm of clearance on each painted surface to account for the paint layer.
  • When parts of an assembly are glued, foresee an additional +/- 0,2 mm of clearance between the surfaces to account for the glue connection.

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