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Learn 3D Printing Design Fundamentals

This guide will help you prepare your designed parts for 3D printing.

1. Why is manufacturability important?

Design for manufacturing, known as DFM, ensures that the components you design can be manufactured, which is crucial for outsourcing. It helps reduce the revisions and turnarounds.

Advanced 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing

2. Overview

Process and material selection: Material choice is crucial for a product's functionality and aspect. At Norck, we offer three 3D printing processes. Each process uses a different technology with specific materials, advantages, and inconvenience.

a) Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM): FDM 3D printing offers a low-cost component with average accuracy and uses thermoplastics for 3D printing. It is mainly used for small parts with average details and specialized manufacturing tools like fixtures and jigs. A post-process is required to remove any excess material or burrs and to smooth surfaces.

b) Stereolithography (SLA): SLA 3D printing is known for good precision, uniform strength (due to resin polymerization), finer details, and smooth surfaces. The printed models are less rigid than FDM printed models. The cost is higher than FDM as it requires a significant amount of post-processing. It is mainly used for mold prototypes, conceptual models, and jewelry.

c) Selective laser sintering (SLS): SLS 3D printing offers rigid models. Materials used in SLS are more fragile than those used in FDM or SLA. Printed models can be finished using sanding, polishing, or spray coating. It is used for jigs, fixtures, as a replacement for metallic parts, and prostheses.
Norck offers a large selection of 3D printing materials :

Family of material


















Stainless steel





Finishes: We offer the finishes below for your 3D printing components :

- Painting
- Clear part finishing
- Texturing
- Masking
- Thermal curing
- Polishing

3. How is manufacturability achieved?

To ensure that your designed parts can be manufactured, you must keep the best practices to improve the manufacturability and get high-quality products.

4. What are those best practices?

1. Maximum size: We can print parts as big as :

Learn 3D Printing Design Fundamentals

2. Tolerances: It is the deviation of the fabrication from the design. A fabricated part can not be identical to the 3D model. the designer must add tolerances for acceptance called tolerance interval.

For example, a height of a wall is 10mm, called the nominal dimension. Adding tolerance interval to the nominal dimension of ±0.1mm means that any part with thickness from 9.9 to 10.1mm isconsidered acceptable.

Tolerances Intervals

3. Wall thickness and height: Depending on the 3D printing technique, the thickness of walls should be thicker than the minimum wall thickness shown below, and the height shouldn't exceed the maximum height

Wall thickness and height

4. Overhangs: In 3D printing,layers are laid upon existing material. The layers laying over no existing material are called overhangs. Depending on the 3D printing method, overhangs greater than certain degrees will need support.

Tolerances - Best Practice

5. Bridges: Bridges connect walls without needing support when they are under the maximum length. For longer bridges, it is necessary to add bridges.

Bridges connect walls without needing support

6. Clearances: In 3D printing, it is possible to print whole functional assemblies or several parts. We recommend leaving 0.4mm between components.

7. Embossed & engraved details: Embossedand engraved onesshould not exceed maximum depth and width.

Embossed & engraved details

8. Pin diameter: Pin features should not be thinner than the dimensions below.

Pin diameter

9. Holes: The minimumdiameters of holesare below.

The minimumdiameters of holesare

10. File resolution: When saving a 3D model as STL, we recommend increasing the detail level, usingthe fine option instead of the coarse. Fine STL files have smoother surfaces.

 File resolution

11. Threads: Avoid rectangular threads to minimize stress. We recommend using trapezoidal section threads and screws. The minimal thread size is 1mm

Rectangular threads




Access to Huge Production Capacity - Norck

Get Access to Huge Production Capacity

Besides Norck's own production capacity, Norck has access to hundreds of top quality CNC machining, sheet metal, 3D printing, injection molding, and urethane casting providers across the United States, Germany, and Europe.

 Creating Supply Chain

Creating Supply Chain Resilience

Working with Norck effectively reduces your risks against supply chain shocks, unforeseen delays, price fluctuations, and quality issues, thus increasing your company’s resilience in its outsourcing and supply chain.

Innovation at Work - Norck

Innovation at Work

Besides being an artificial intelligence augmented digital manufacturing company, we also develop extremely innovative manufacturing tools, fixtures and of course software applications such as RapidCAD, a highly intuitive and innovative web based CAD application.

Art artificial intelligent system

Artificial Intelligence Augmented

Norck gathers and uses thousands of data points to augment its engineers with a state of the art artificial intelligent system for better design and manufacturability.

Green Driven - Norck

Green Driven

Norck encourages its partners to be carbon-neutral, and gives carbon neutral compliant suppliers priority over non-compliants.