3D Printing Resolution

In additive manufacturing, the 3D printing resolution corresponds to the accuracy of the 3D printers along the manufacturing axes (xyz).

3D printers build objects layer after layer. A distinction must be made between the resolution along the manufacturing axis (layer thickness) and the work plane (a single layer).

3D printing Resolution
3D Printed S pinning-top : 3D printing Resolution along the Manufacturing Axis Comparison

3D Printing Resolution along the Manufacturing Axis (z)

The printing resolution along the manufacturing axis relates to layer thickness. With the different technologies, there are many possible resolutions depending on the raw material used. For example, powder-based technologies will have limited resolution based on the raw material’s particle size, while liquid-based technologies will be much more accurate.

3D Printing Resolution in the Manufacturing Plane (XY)

In the manufacturing plane, the resolution depends on both the raw material and the technology used.For example, for laser-based technologies, the laser’s impact diameter has a direct influence on the printing resolution. For agglomeration technology des (Zprinter), the printing resolution will be limited by the infiltration of the adhesive in the powder.

To learn more about the 3D printing resolutions of various materials, please refer to our pages about 3D printing materials and modelling guides.

Print Resolution and CAD Model

The 3D model designed by the user also has a resolution. For STL files for example, the mesh’s thinness is the CAD model‘s level of detail.

The file resolution should be better than the 3D printer resolution in order to avoid seeing any imperfections generated by the 3D design software. It is unnecessary to have a CAD model with very intricate details, since the printer has limited resolution The best way is to adapt the file resolution to the technology chosen for printing.

For more information about your file’s feasibility, check out FinalProof: Upload your 3D file to get access to a personalised folder about your file and the 3D printing technology selected.