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DFAM or Design for Additive Manufacturing is different from designing for milling, sheet metal or molding. The rules in the field are still being written. The Additive Manufacturing designer needs to have a good understanding of the technology that will be used to manufacture the part, achievable tolerances, impact of shrinkage and warpage…etc. Additive manufacturing offers design freedom and more opportunities for innovation.

Print Orientation

Orienting a part for SLA is important specially the z-axis cross-sectional area. The forces that determine if a print sticks to the tank are directly proportional to the print’s 2D cross-sectional area. Orienting parts at an angle as below for the success of the print.


SLA prints are isotropic because the layers chemically bond to one another, resulting to almost identical physical properties in the X, Y and Z directions. Isotropy does not change if the part is printed parallel or perpendicular to the build plate.

Feature Design specifications
Minimum Feature size 0.2mm thick
Unsupported walls Minimum 0.4mm-0.6mm thick
Embossed features Minimum 0.1mm in height
Engraved details Minimum 0.4mm wide and 0.4mm thick
Clearances for tight fit or interlocking parts 0.1 mm 0.2mm for assembly connections and tight fit
Holes Minimum diameter of 0.5mm