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Adding GrabCAD Print Wall Stabilizer for Better Builds

By Dennis Barnum on July 2, 2021

GrabCAD Print version 1.54 now gives all FDM users access to the Wall Stabilizer tool so they can apply this tool to a 3D print that is tall and thin for better builds. Let’s dive in and take a quick test drive through the interface and check out the options that are available.

Additive manufacturing files are imported into a slicing software that generates support structures and tool paths for the 3D printer to follow to create the build. Due to the nature in which the filament is deposited, some geometric overhangs between 45 and 90 degrees can be printed without support. These are known as self-supporting angles.

Bike Shield STL in GrabCAD PrintIn Figure 1, the base of the object is very thin and narrow which does not provide a very strong base for the print job. Additionally, the vibration and motion of the print head could knock the model over causing the print to fail. One way to tackle this issue would be to change the orientation and print this part laying flat. However, this method will not yield the desired surface finish so we must approach things from a different angle. Until recently, the only way to remedy this situation would be to import the file into the Insight software and add stabilizing walls. This is a powerful solution to printing parts that are rather tall in the Z-axis with a comparably small cross-section with respect to the build plate. The only problem is that this was available only on the F370, Fortus 360/400, Fortus 380/450, and F900 printers. Until now.

Stabilizer IconWith the release of GrabCAD Print 1.54.6.7969 on May 18, 2021, came the addition of wall stabilizers. Located on the main toolbar, you can simply select the model on the tray and click the Wall Stabilize feature icon and GrabCAD Print will automatically begin analyzing the model and generate stabilizers that it considers to be optimal for the print.

Toolbar Flyout

 

Once the software-generated stabilizer is visible, you can customize the height of the tower by adjusting the sliders or entering the desired value in the box. Several other characteristics can be edited such as the number of contact points, the depth of the stabilizers, and even the depth at which the stabilizer pierces the wall of the model. If necessary, multiple stabilizers can be created on one part for large complex geometries.

 

Wall Stabilizers are built into the program using model material and do not lead to a significant increase in build time. This means gaining the additional benefits by applying these to geometries that require them and incurring low material and time cost, while providing every FDM GrabCAD Print user the ability to print tall thin geometries with even more confidence in printability, strength, and surface quality than ever before.

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