You may be wondering to know ‘How to make 3D prints more durable?’
We did too!
This article is all about the tips of 3D printing for strength. We will broadly cover how to harden PLA, how to make ABS plastic stronger, and many more ways of adding weight to 3D prints.
Surely, the strength of the 3D prints depends on the quality of the 3D printer. But, there are a lot more issues to consider.
What stops you from making a strong 3D print?
To make a strong 3D print, you need good filaments along with the best 3D printer.
However, a filament with moisture stops you from making a strong 3D print. Often, heating filament at a very high temperature creates bubbles that observe moisture. Such moisture absorption causes poor extrusion.
To solve this, we recommend you follow these tips.
- Dry your filament in a microwave oven for a few seconds to remove the moisture already in. Be careful of the inaccurate oven temperature.
- Use a specialized filament dryer. There are a lot more options on Amazon. You can check those out.
- You can also try using strong isolation while the heating and extrusion are in progress. This will restrict the outdoor moisture getting into your 3D print.
How to make ABS plastic stronger with wall thickness?
This is very important to know how to make ABS plastic stronger. We suggest you maximize your 3D printing wall thickness first.
In easy words, you need to make the exterior wall thicker so that you can strengthen the ABS or PLA prints.
Many people prefer 1.2 mm of wall thickness. However, We suggest you try something between 1.5 mm to 1.8 mm.
Here’s an example of a 3D print with a 1.6 mm wall thickness.
Use strong material
You should use the filament with lots of positive reviews in marketplaces. Stronger filament directly contributes to strengthening 3D prints. So, do not always buy the filament recommended by your 3D printer manufacturer.
There might be someone else, offering something good.
The printer works with any filament within its range. That’s it.
Look at the infill density
In other words, infill density is the strength inside of your 3D prints. Surely, the inner density depends on the structure you are making but, you should fill at least 20% to 25% to ensure a better strength.
Here’s an example of a 3d print with a 25% infill density.
However, to get the 3d print, even more, stronger, you can increase the inner density to 40%.
Be careful about the too much infill density. Always focus on the outer strength. It works great.
Work with the extrusion direction
We have seen most of the time that switching the print bed’s dimension helps to make the 3 prints more durable. If you can choose the accurate build direction, the extruder can make the job even better.
We have made a shelf bracket from the side instead of using the flat orientation.
The result was very good.
Make sure to ensure the flow rate accuracy
Flow rate accuracy is very important in the 3D printing process. To get a good 3D printing strength, you must ensure that the 3d printer is not under or over extrusion.
In many 3d printers, you will get the option to adjust the inner and outer flow.
However, some low-budget 3D printers may lack flexibility.
In that case, you should always focus on strengthening the outer wall.
Print speed & line width
If the extruder speed is too high, there might be some unfilled bubbles.
Also, a lower speed will result in infill density. So, decreasing the temperature and print speed will help to make 3d prints more durable.
Do not adjust the line width too much. try to adjust it with the print speed for a better 3d printing result.
Cooling too early directly affects the durability of a 3d print.
A quick cooling will destroy the adhesiveness of the PLA and will make it less durable.
Most of the cooling fans come with a pre-set RPM. We suggest you to reduce the cooling fan rate to get a durable 3D print without any hassle.
The size of the nozzle is so important. We have seen that a larger nozzle has a diameter of 0.7 mm increases the strength of a 3d print.
Here’s a quick comparison of the 3D printer nozzle.
Try Annealing 3D prints
Annealing 3 printer parts often help increase the 3d print’s durability.
This is a heat treatment that improves the ductility of the 3d prints.
You can easily do this by heating the 3d plastic parts and naturally cooling them down.
This process will reduce the internal stress of plastics.
Research showed that the strength of the 3d print increases by up to 20% additionally by this heat-treatment process.
But, the problem is – that you need to know the appropriate temperature depending on the plastic material.
Here’s a quick guide that shows what temperature movement happens in different plastic elements in the 3d printing process.
The above comparison shows that the ABS holds maximum heat absorption capacity. However, PLA cannot take more than 20 degrees Celcius for annealing.
Here’s another graphical comparison that illustrates the temperature of 3d print plastic differently. It clearly shows the break-even heat resistance and the impact strength of PLA and ABS.
Electroplating 3d prints increase durability
This is one of the affordable practices of making the 3d prints durable.
You can do it with water and metal salt solution. The process involves passing the electric current for a thin coating outside. Here’s a quick guide for electroplating 3d prints at home.
Try epoxy solution
Epoxy, also known as polyepoxide is a chemical hardener that makes your 3d prints durable.
You can buy and apply the epoxy solution with a brush to get an extended life of your 3d prints.