Friday, May 24, 2013

Dimensional accuracy - Part 1 - Small parts and features

All part were printed with PLA  (I will repeat the same once I get my ABS)
All Dimensions are in mm.  (0.1 mm = 0.004 inch) (1mm =0.04 inch)
Parts were measured as they come of the printer.
No cleanup done on the parts.
If there was a little bump on the corner or so, I ignored that for the measurements

See summary at the bottom.

Picture of printed test parts:

Some of the walls did not close on top. I have seen that on some other parts too.

Download excel file:  Excel file with measurements
Holes printed with part laying flat, gives best holes size results.
Holes printed with part on its side. Holes turn out slightly oval

Summary for PLA prints:
Overall the dimensions are very close to the designed dimension and are repeatable. - Quite nice for a plastic printed part.
  • The minimum wall thickness it prints seems to be 1mm. (I think that is a double pass. Would be nice if it would let you do single pass for even thinner features).
  • 1mm small hole did not print in the vertical direction, but somewhat on the part in the horizontal position.
  • 1mm small cylinder did not print. Seems to be too small.
  • Holes print a tad smaller. (Better smaller than larger so you can drill out to exact dimension for critial fit).
  • Horizontal holes print slighly oval.
These are all small dimension parts, I will follow up with a larger part dimension accuracy post.


  1. My compliments, very nice work!

    I look forward to more of your insights and experiences.

    Have a terrific weekend!
    3D Accuracy

  2. Very interesting, what if one would want to print along the longest axis, i.e. 265mm (Cube X Duo). According to 3D Systems the part is supposed to be in a tolerance of
    +/- 1% of the length. This would result in a tolerance for that length of +/-2.65mm. Is this possible? It simply seems too much to me. Can you confirm that?

  3. Very good work here, very useful and provides me with a reference to check my machine too. Thank you

  4. Thank you for your work. It's really helpful to me.


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