General Guidelines

Wall thickness

Wall Thickness

In 3D printing, wall thickness refers to the distance between one surface of your part and the opposite sheer surface. For PA6 MF, we recommend a minimum wall thickness of 1 mm. 

Hollowing

Hollowing

If possible, try to hollow out your part. This avoids deformation during the printing process. You can either hollow out your part without a surface hole, which means that unsintered powder will remain trapped inside, or you can design a strategically placed hole (two would be even better) so that the unsintered powder can be easily removed after printing. If the part needs to be reclosed, design a lid with a diameter allowing for 0.5 mm play between the part and the lid. 

If your part has walls thicker than 9 mm, our production team may hollow out the part to prevent deformation. For parts with wall thickness higher than 20 mm wall thickness, this is done by default. In that case, the powder will stay trapped inside. 

Warpage and Deformities

Warpage and Deformities

We strongly recommend that you do not design large, flat plains in dimensions like an A4 page. In most cases, your model will deform. This process is called “warping”. Even if you create support ribs under your plane, it doesn’t solve the problem. The key here is to avoid big flat planes. 

Interlocking parts

Interlocking or Moving Parts

Due to the nature of the material, we do not recommend interlocking or moving parts. 

Assembly

Assembly

When designing parts that need to be assembled, it’s important to maintain enough distance between the parts. A perfect fit in your CAD software does not necessarily ensure a perfect fit after printing because your software ignores the friction present in the real world. Therefore, always leave at least 0.6 mm between the different parts. For parts with large surfaces and wall thicknesses, you will need to maintain even more distance between the parts. In cases like these, please contact your local Customer Support Officer to check printability. 

In order to help us print your parts with the best possible dimensions for assembly, please design your files with an orientation equal to the relative orientation of your parts in the final assembly. 

Embossed and engraved details

Embossed and Engraved Details

For engraved text or surface details, we recommend letters with a minimum line thickness of 1 mm, a depth of 1.5 mm, and an overall height of at least 4.5 mm. Embossed text or surface details should be thick enough that they will not break during production or transport. We recommend letters that have a line thickness of at least 0.8 mm, an overall height of at least 3 mm, and a depth of at least 0.8 mm. 

Holes

Holes and Channels

Holes with a small diameter are exposed to a lot of heat during the sintering process. This can cause the powder inside the holes to become fused. To make sure that holes in your parts remain clear, design a diameter of at least 1 mm. 

Longer internal channels can be difficult to clear out, especially if the powder is partially sintered together. We recommend a diameter of at least 3 mm for internal channels. In the case of complex channel geometries with several turns, please contact your local Customer Support Officer to check printability. 

Hinges and Springs

PA6 MF is a harder material than PA 12, but it is also more brittle. These characteristics make PA6 MF unsuitable for flexible parts, hinges, and springs; these applications are better served by PA 12, PP, or TPU. 

Milling 

PA6 MF parts can be easily milled, unlike parts printed with PA 12.

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File requirements

We accept file formats STL, 3DS, 3DM, OBJ, WRL, MATPART, STP, SKP, SLDPRT, STEP, CATPART, IGES, MODEL, MXP, and MGX on Materialise OnSite.

Next to file formats we also have constraints related to the content of those files. To deliver the best possible quality and ensure traceability, we only allow 1 model per part to be ordered via our online platform OnSite. This means per file, there can only be one shell. If there are multiple shells in one file, we will only process it as it is recognized as one model or part meaning that the shells are intersecting or interlocking each other (if applicable see the technical specifications below). Otherwise your part will not be processed correctly.

Technical Specifications

Standard lead time Minimum of 10 working days (online & offline orders) 
Standard accuracy ±0.3% (with lower limit on ±0.3 mm)
Layer thickness 0.1 mm
Minimum wall thickness 1 mm
Maximum part dimensions  340 x 340 x 360 mm (offline orders) 
200 x 200 x 200 (online orders)
Interlocking or enclosed parts? No
Surface structure Unfinished parts typically have a grainy surface and local surface defects can occur.