1. Trim or unify intersecting and overlapping triangles
A common problem that novices in 3D Printing may come across is triangles cutting each other. When triangles intersect, you will have to cut off the sharp edge and trim the triangles to obtain a unified design. If you forget to do this, the 3D printer will get confused again about the inside and outside of your model and will not know what part of the bounding box to fill up, resulting in a failed print.
Triangles can also overlap. When this happens an edge of a triangle is shared by more than two faces. In this case the printer will have a hard time calculating the production path. It’s not clear to the machine what it needs to do, so it can slice your model in a way that the laser or nozzle simply continues to print your model with two identical edges on top of one another. Materialise Magics software removes the duplicates that are part of the overlapping triangles, thereby getting rid of the calculation problem and ensuring that you have a unified solid model.
2. Check wall thickness
Fun fact: 1 in 5 orders received in 3D printing bureaus have to be cancelled due to incorrect wall thickness. It’s exceedingly common, and it’s a very important part of your design that you need to get right. When using 3D modeling software, it is possible to design a surface without implementing wall thickness. However, the 3D printer will need information about how thick you intend the wall of your object to be.
It’s a bit of a balancing act: the proper wall thickness means that you need surfaces which are thick enough to be 3D printed successfully and contribute to a strong, printed part on the one hand, and on the other hand thin enough to save as much material as possible. With Materialise Magics, you can analyze wall thickness and fortify the walls where needed.