3D Printing Guideline & Tips

At Printing Portal we are able to fix a wide range of issues related to the part geometry; we like printing your parts first time without any issues! 


STL Generation

If you have designed your part using Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, Rhinoceros or similar software simply convert the part into an "STL" mesh file. In order to ensure a reliable print try to ensure the mesh is watertight or a "closed mesh". If you are not comfortable meshing the CAD files we can do it for you. Please upload the "STP" or "IGES" files and we can validate and mesh ready for 3D Printing. 


Unflip Normals

Sometime, due to intersection among the polygons, a certain number of faces are not well-oriented.  This type of issue does not allow the 3D printing software to process the printing path properly. You can check the integrity of your STL model using a freeware software like Meshlab. Meshlab contains a series of tools ideal to fix these type of issues. For Rhino users try the "unifymeshnormals" function - it is very handy in a situation like this!


Wall Thickness*

A supported wall is one that is connected to other walls on two or more sides. A thickness smaller than 0.4mm (400 microns) may warp during the 3D printing  process. The recommended minimum thickness regarding unsupported wall is 0.6mm (600 microns). An unsupported wall is one that is connected to other walls on fewer than two sides.

*Guide for SLA printing only, please contact us if you need a guide for FDM or SLS 3D Printing.


Watertight STL

A watertight mesh is one which is "closed" - the polygons are formed in such a way that the part has a solid volume. Think of a balloon - if there is a small hole or gap then the air would release and you would lose your volume, the same principle applies to 3D Printing a STL file. We check all files that come through to us, and we also offer a service to fix files so that your master file is ready to 3D Print 


File Formation

When uploading a file to Printing Portal please send each individual component in it's own file, you can then provide information on the quantity required. If all the parts are in one folder the software is not able to tell one from the other - and we won't get as accurate quote for you. File set-up and good information means we can help you faster!


Dimensions & Scale

Before sending us your 3D file using our up-loader always pay attention to the scale of the part to be printed. The dimensions of your part will impact the overall cost. Currently we are able to 3D print as a single part a volume of 300mm x 300mm x 600mm. If the object is too large to be printed in one piece then we will split the part. Our finishing team will stick the parts together and use their model making skills to finish to a very high standard.

Call us today Today

+44 (0) 1474 550 934

If you would like more information regarding modelling tips we offer a 3D Modelling training service. Contact us for more information

Quick 3D Printing Services in the UK

  • Instant quote on 3D printed parts

  • Lead times of 1-3 working days

  • Professional Consultancy

  • A wide range of materials

Available Materials

Data sheets

  • SLA Material Properties

  • ABS Material Properties

  • PLA Material Properties

  • Material safety data sheets