Exploring the Fascinating World of 3D Printing Stacks


Building one or a hundred of an item presents a distinctive difference, so it stands to reason that 3D printing in bulk versus printing single items should vary too. The concept isn’t new – filling your build plate has always been an option. However, [Keep Making] promotes the idea that you should also think in three dimensions and use space on the Z-axis as well.

Printing in X and Y axes makes it is easy to separate parts. However, when it comes to stack printing, you need to differentiate parts from different layers. This method leaves a single-layer gap between each part and ironing top surfaces results in a smoother finish. Sometimes, prints may stick, in which case the video provides a useful hack using a screw to ease off stubborn prints. Although this type of printing leaves one side less polished than the other, the results are satisfactory for most applications.

If you’re considering trying this out with your designs, you might want to start with a test file to fine-tune your print settings. If you’re planning to print two or three copies of a small object, it’s more efficient to distribute them across the build surface. This method becomes more valuable when you need to increase your throughput or print numerous copies of larger objects.

This methodology certainly catches the eye for its simplicity and doesn’t demand any unusual actions such as waterproofing your printer or using strings.

The STL files for face screens that were widely printed during the pandemic were structured in bundles of 3, 5, or 10 as far as I can recall. Although there was a bit of effort needed to separate them, the result was pretty clean. The areas between them were slightly bumpy, similar to the result of removing supports, but overall, they looked fine. I found that printing them one at a time made the cleaning process with a cold water sterilizer easier and resulted in a smoother texture.

Having two or more printing heads allows printing multiple items. You will just need a Y cable for the extruder and hot end, and you are good to go.

The main challenge I’ve encountered is that many designs, including those that could benefit from this approach, have extensive flat areas. These could better be handled with flat stock and a suitable cutting method such as a stamp, CNC router, laser, water jet, or plasma cutter. It’s interesting how my brain tends to think in terms of flat stock as well. Seeing a design that will take 20 hours to print makes me consider replacing about 10-20% of the volume with Aluminum, Balsa, ABS, Acrylic, Wire, Zip-Ties, All-Thread. This way, I end up using only half the material and spending three quarters or less of the time.

This may seem like a great idea, but it’s not that effective in practicality. You’re significantly increasing the points where the design can fail. All it takes is one sticking point that isn’t correct, and the whole thing is spoiled.

Observing content from an individual who operates a 3D printing enterprise, it’s evident that they do not lump parts together. Rather, they allocate a single part per build plate as a strategy to reduce any potential losses if a component fails. They also utilize a unique system for detaching these parts from the build plate.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


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