Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: How to deliver STL files for manufacture

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    3

    How to deliver STL files for manufacture

    Hello,
    I am planning on starting a CAD design service that will deliver STL files for manufacture to whoever buys the product (a generally standard shape with some variations). The problem will be that these designed parts will have sections whose machinability will depend on the manufacturing process and toolset available to the customer. My question is, should we plan on delivering the designed part as a final shape, and have the customer edit the shape for their manufacturing process, or should we plan on customizing each design for the manufacturing process employed.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bold Springs, GA
    Posts
    2,234
    Why STL? Most folks use step files to exchange 3D cad files for manufacturing, engineering analysis and rapid prototyping.

  3. #3
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    781
    Kelly,
    I think STL files are the preferred format for 3D printing. My understanding is that they redefine the bodies into an array of triangular pyramids.

  4. #4
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bold Springs, GA
    Posts
    2,234
    Quote Originally Posted by jboggs View Post
    Kelly,
    I think STL files are the preferred format for 3D printing. My understanding is that they redefine the bodies into an array of triangular pyramids.
    I agree, however 3D printing organizations usually have and prefer to convert your CAD file into the STL file with the resolution their equipment requires.

    I am wondering if I understand the ops questions(s).

    should we plan on delivering the designed part as a final shape, and have the customer edit the shape for their manufacturing process
    Usually yes, however there are conditions where due to size or other capability limitation the design originator will break the part into section for manufacturing.

    I am planning on starting a CAD design service that will deliver STL files for manufacture to whoever buys the product
    Why deliver STL? Are you in the rapid prototype business?

    should we plan on customizing each design for the manufacturing process employed.
    In good engineering design we always design features, geometries and tolerance structures of our parts to best fit with the target manufacturing process.

  5. #5
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    3
    Hi Kelly and jboggs,
    The reason for STL files is that we plan on having these parts manufactured in a number of different ways depending on customer preference (end mill, printing, laser sintering, etc). I agree that good engineering design would take into account the manufacturing process, but with the number of potential process out there (manufacturing process x specific machine x tool set limitations/resolution x material selection) it does not seem feasible to custom design for each combination. These parts are small enough to work on just about any manufacturing system, and would not be able to break apart regadless.
    Thanks

  6. #6
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bold Springs, GA
    Posts
    2,234
    having these parts manufactured in a number of different ways depending on customer preference
    Are you building in house or outsourcing? Typically , one sends a step or igs file to the manufacturing folks - then they do whatever conversions are required.

    What am I missing here? I'm confused as to why you are doing the conversions for manufacturing...
    Last edited by Kelly Bramble; 01-30-2015 at 03:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    3
    We are taking design parameters from the customer, creating the CAD model, exporting the STL, and sending back to the customer for manufacture of their choice. We could provide other file types if that is more commons, but the more pressing question is should we account for the different manufacturing processes in our design, or is it more common for the manufacturer to make adjustments once they receive the file.

  8. #8
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Bold Springs, GA
    Posts
    2,234
    should we account for the different manufacturing processes in our design

    Yes... It is unlikely that manufacturing is fully aware of the end item engineering and design requirements.

    Consider that manufacturing could make changes that do not account for functional, structural, thermal, mechanical tolerances or other design considerations that they are not aware of.


    Last edited by Kelly Bramble; 01-30-2015 at 10:28 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •