How Reliable is Material Estimation in 3D Printing?
When it comes to 3D printing, one of the major concerns is the cost of production. This includes not just the design and printing time, but also the amount of materials required. Software can help estimate the amount of materials needed, but how accurate is it? In this post, we will discuss the accuracy of material estimation in 3D printing and provide insights on how to manage it.
Accuracy of Material Estimation:
To understand the accuracy of material estimation, we conducted a study using the Chitubox software and Elegoo Mars 2 printer with Standard Plus Resin of JAMG HE.
|Objects||Calculated Weight (g)||Calculated Volume(ml)||Printing time (hours)||Actual weight (g)||Variance = Calculated – Actual (g)||Variance/ Calculated (%)|
|Hercules x Boar||845.2||768.33||45.00||600||245.2||29.0%|
|Hercules x Cerberus||308.4||280.39||11.80||300||8.4||2.7%|
|Hercules x Nemean Lion||514.4||467.69||21.68||550||-35.6||-6.9%|
Our data showed that the software prediction of material consumption is highly correlated with the actual weight of the printed object. However, there is a variance in the amount of resin used, which can be up to 40% for more complex designs. We observed that the variance is less correlated with the mass of the object, but more with the amount of printing hours. Therefore, the complexity of the design plays a crucial role in material estimation accuracy.
Managing Material Waste:
Given the complexity of designs, it is challenging to accurately predict the amount of materials required. To mitigate this, we recommend reserving 30% of resin waste per object. This means taking into account that there may be errors during the printing process, and some objects may need to be printed multiple times. When materials cost is extremely high, we suggest reducing the software prediction by 10% to provide a better insight into the final pricing.
Material estimation in 3D printing is not always accurate, but software predictions can be a good starting point. To manage material waste, we recommend reserving 30% of resin waste per object, and reducing the software prediction by 10% for high-cost materials. By understanding the accuracy of material estimation and managing material waste, businesses can better manage their inventory and costing for 3D printing projects.