Our 3D printing Bureau Service is getting asked lots of questions about the different slice height options on our Dimension Elite 3D printer that uses FDM. Fused Deposition Modelling uses a bead of molten thermoplastic (like a very fine glue gun) to build strong functional 3D printed parts. Our Dimension Elite 3D printer has two slice heights; .254mm (.010″) and .178mm (.007″). The .254mm is used for general 3D prints where fine feature detail is not required. We use the .178mm slice height when a customer asks our Bureau Service to 3D print parts that require good feature detail capture.
One thing you must also remember is that the bead width of the molten deposit is twice the slice height. For example when using the .254mm slice height the bead width is .50 mm and this slice height and bead width combination is perfect for when you want to design parts with a 1.0, 1.5 or 2mm wall thickness.
Our Bureau Service has recently completed a job that required 50 off a small component only 3mm tall with fine walls. Because of the thin walls and tiny height we decided to use the .178mm slice height. As you can see from the pictures the .178mm slice height gave us a couple of issues. because the slice height was .178mm the bead width was .356mm. We’ve since learnt that the wall thickness is 1.0mm but if you zoom in on the picture the 2 x .356mm beads has left us with an air gap of approx 0.3mm. This anomaly is common with fine wall up to 2.0mm with the Dimension 3D printers as you can not adjust the bead width.
On reflection, our Bureau Service team should of used the .254mm slice height giving us 2 beads of .50mm width and a perfect 1.0mm wall thickness.