Should I Take Shrinkage into Account When Designing for 3D Printing?

Fortunately, not for most of our materials. When we prepare models for printing, the necessary shrinkage is already taken into account.

However, for steel, you should take shrinkage into account. As the production of your steel model involves a thermal step, shrinkage is something you should take into account. We advise you to scale up the desired design by 2% for designs where X, Y or Z is below 70 mm and 3% for models which are larger. This upscale will compensate the shrinkage and as result, the dimensional accuracy will be ±1%. 

Dimensional accuracy does not relate to the detail of your model but to the deviation from the nominal size of your original design without the upscale. 

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this dimensional accuracy. As a result, fine mechanical applications such as threads cannot be made of this material. Small adjustments to the final printed model can be made using mechanical methods


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