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When designing parts that should either fit with external objects or other printed parts, what measures can one take to ensure that the dimensions of the final print are accurate and fit the other object?

To my knowledge, you at least have two options to account for printer inaccuracy and shrinkage:

  • Adjust the space around joints in your CAD model
  • Adjust dimensional offsets in your slicer software

Are there any good workflows one can use to design and print 3D-models accurately without resorting to trial and error?

1 Answer 1

I print several pats that use 2.5mm "Pogo pins" which are spring-loaded electric contacts. I've found that many variables will influence the size of the holes I have in my design. Flow, temperature even different brands of filament will change the final size.

I create a profile for each part and specific filament. That way I can make changes without changing other parts/projects. Then I print a test piece with some 2.5mm holes and a few that are a few tenths of a millimeter larger and smaller. I also make holes in the test piece that are vertical and some that are horizontal as I've found that orientation to the layers makes a difference.

I then fit the pins in my test piece and note which orientation and diameter fit best.

After that, I lock down every variable I can think of! I added some desiccant beads to my filament storage bins and found even that increased the diameter of the printed holes.