Stainless Steel 316L 3D printing material

Our Stainless Steel 316L is 3D printed using Binder Jetting technology and perfectly suits mechanical applications. Get all information and advice to help you print your 3D model in our Stainless Steel 316L (metal) material and make the most of metal 3D printing.




Surface Look

Stainless Steel 316L Material Guide

What is Stainless Steel 316L?

Our Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316L is a great metal to 3D print your small-size parts. This material is composed of a Stainless Steel 316L alloy and has relatively good mechanical properties

Stainless Steel 316L has a strong resistance against corrosion and a high-temperature resistance. These features make it a great material for tooling, molds and injection molding or to create parts to be used for the consumer goods sector.

Unpolished, the material has a silver color and a granular surface. Thanks to finishing, you can obtain a smooth and shiny surface. 

What can you do with Stainless Steel 316L?

Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316L offers high temperature resistance and can handle complex shapes. This 3D printing metal has a wide range of uses from mechanical applications, tooling, mold creation and injection molding.

The surface of the raw stainless steel is granular and slightly porous. The polished version is smoother but the layers can still be visible on rounded surface.

The Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316L can be painted, welded, powder coated, drilled, tapped, machined.

Pricing and delivery

The printing price of your design is calculated automatically the moment it is uploaded. As you modify your object (changing material, finishing, size, using batch control or hollowing feature, etc.) you will note that the price changes automatically. The pricing is based on a series of factors, including total volume, object size, and bounding box – to name a few.

Keep in mind that adding finishing will extend the processing time. The estimated shipping time is also calculated automatically as the object is uploaded and each time you make a modification on it. Delivery time should be added to processing time.

For more information, check our pricing page

3D printing process of Stainless Steel 316L

Binder Jetting is an additive manufacturing method that creates parts additively with a binding agent. The process uses a liquid binding agent deposited on the metal powder material, layer by layer, according to your 3D model.

Between each layer, the powder is lightly cured for solidification. When the printing process is complete, the build box is removed from the printer and placed into an oven for curing. When the process is over, an operator carefully extracts the parts from the build box and removes the remaining powder thanks to brushes and air blowers.

When the process is done, the parts are separated from the runners, cleaned and bead blasted to remove the remaining powder.

Finishing available for this 3D printing material

There are multiple finishing options available at Sculpteo.

Finishing options:

    • Raw: sandblasted but unpolished, the surface remains somewhat rough, most economical.
    • Polished: polished through mechanical polishing, smoother to touch, layers still somewhat visible on rounded objects.

The polishing introduces a size restriction on your object. To learn more please check out size restrictions. Moreover, not all designs can be polished, and in some cases, you will be informed that the finishing you asked for is not available. In particular: wire-framed parts, fragile parts, thin-walled parts, and large flat parts cannot be polished; and the part containing fluid-holding type cavities cannot be polished. 

Standard layer thickness100 μm


Using Binder Jetting 3D printers results in a 15-20% shrinkage. Our 3D printing experts take that into consideration when preparing your 3D models for 3D printing in hopes of achieving a net near shape part within 5% of the overall dimensions of the part (this would not apply to small feature). If accuracy is a high priority for you, contact our sales department for more information.

Minimum size polished15 x 15 x 15 mm
Maximum size120 x 120 x 70 mm
Minimum wall thickness for object1.1 – 3.2 mm depending on build dimensions
Minimum wall thickness (rigid)2 mm
Minimum wall thickness stemmed elements

0.8 mm with support 
1 mm without support 

Minimum wall thickness particular design aspects2-3 mm

Diagram to show the minimum thicknessof your 3D print model

The walls of your design must adhere to a minimum thickness in order to guarantee the structure will not break. We recommend that you design your model by respecting the minimum thickness that is specific to Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316 and which is variable depending on the size of your part.

  • For dimensions smaller than 76 mm (3 in): 1.1 mm (0.04 in)
  • For dimensions between 76 mm (3 in) and 152 mm (6 in): 1.52 mm (0.6 in)
  • For dimensions between 152 mm (6 in) and 203 mm (8 in) : 2.03 mm (0.08 in)
  • For dimensions between 203 mm (8 in) and 305 mm (12 in) : 3.18 mm (0.125 in)

If the walls of your model are less than 1.1 mm, you can add a support structure to maintain stability.

A stemmed element is a design aspect that is at least twice as long as it is thick. For unsupported and stemmed elements or parts of the design with a particular design constraint, it is also important to respect a minimum thickness of 1 mm in order to guarantee the object will not break.


Icon to show that you can ad a support structure to maintain stability

Add a support structure to maintain stability. For example, if you are modelling a bust of a person, you can attach thin aspects of the design like the ears in more places around the model’s head. Doing that will avoid cantilevered and easily breakable elements in the final print.

Good to know

Thin walls supporting large, heavy stainless steel models can warp under the weight of itself.

Sculpteo offers an online solidity check tool which highlights parts of the print that may be too thin for a print. From there you are able to tweak your design in order to create an object that is an appropriate thickness. To use it, you just need to upload your 3D file , select your material and click on the “Verification” tab.

It is also important to keep in mind that the object is meant to be printed in real life. Thus if a thin aspect is supporting something that is too heavy for it, it may break – even though it is possible within the physics provided by your 3D modeling software. We recommend adding a bit of thickness to the places that will get a lot of handling, or that support the most weight.

Do not forget

Icon to keep in mind that solidity check tool don't detect physical aberrations

Keep in mind that our solidity check tool does not detect physical aberrations such as floating parts, unstable position, parts supporting too much weight relative to their thickness, etc. Particular care must be given to the geometry of your design and the most stressed parts must be thickened.

Overhangs must be designed to support their own weight. Unsupported features over 25.40 mm. (1.00 in.) will not be accepted. Fillets help support overhang structures during furnace processing.


Inside edges and sharp intersections need to have a filleted edge that meets the required wall thickness minimum. Filleted edges help ensure successful part tolerances.

Knife edges/pointed edges will fail during the depowdering process. Fillet all knife edges with a 1.00 mm (0.03 in.) radius to avoid breakage during depowdering.

Edges that come to a point lower than the recommended tolerance are subject to rejection.

Parts will be rounded in polishing.

Pointed edges

Sculpteo will typically add a stilt to your part. Stilts are necessary to allow the bronze to infiltrate the part in post-processing. Stilt placement can be difficult because of part design. Texture and surface areas should be considered in designs.
  • Texture: Stilts need a smooth surface to be placed on 
  • Surface area: Stilts require a surface area of 0.05in x 0.03in/ 1.27mm x 0.762mm 
The part will have slight blemish from stilt removal. We will attempt to keep the blemish minimal. Stilt will appear more prominent depending on the selected finish. 
Minimum size of details0.8 mm
Minimum height and width detailsEmbossed: 0.76 mm 
Engraved: 0.76 mm
Minimum height and width for a readable text0.76 mm
Enlargement ratio1/1

A detail’s minimum precision is mainly determined by the resolution of our 3D printers. However, during the cleaning process, a fine layer of detail can also be lost. In order for detail and text to be visible, we recommend following our recommended sizes at the very least.

It’s possible that particularly fine embossings and engravings will not be visible, as the carving could get filled with an excess of powder that is later unable to be cleaned out. If an embossing or engraving is an essential part of your design we recommend making them as deep as possible. To ensure a better powder removal (thus better detail visibility), the width of your details must be at least as big as depth.

Enclosed parts?Not recommended
Interlocking parts?Not recommended
Minimum clearance between parts0.5 mm


Hollowing?Yes for raw parts 
No for plated parts
Minimum size of the hole2.54 mm

Diagram to optimize the hollowing

Hollowing your stainless steel parts allows you to make them lighter, and reduce the price of printing but it is necessary to respect a minimum diameter. Otherwise, we will not be able to remove the powder completely from the inside cavity.

Our online hollowing optimization tool has the ability to calculate this automatically.

Using the tool requires adding two holes to your model, which will serve as the drain for the excess powder material within the object. The minimum size of these holes is determined by our website. Otherwise it is possible to hollow your object manually in your 3D modeling software. 

Files with Multiple Objects ?No

Icon to show that you can't print a 3D file containing several objects

It is not possible to 3D print a 3D file containing several objects with our 3D Binder Jetting Stainless Steel printers.

It is not possible to print a 3D file containing several objects, that’s why we cannot accept files that contain clusters of multiple objects. Though, if you wish to purchase more than one identical parts, you can select the number of parts you want to order during the checkout. The more parts you order, the lower your price per part gets.

You can also use our online tools and see our tricks and tips on how to reduce your 3D printing price.

To get more information on your metal additive manufacturing service, you can contact our qualified sales team.

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Mechanical PropertiesConditionsUnitValue
HardnessASTM E18HRb71
Tensile ModulusASTM E8GPaX & Y: 220 
Tensile StrengthASTM E8MPaX & Y: 582 
Z: 526 
Elongation at breakASTM E8%X & Y: 55 
Z: 52 
Melting point°C1371
DensityMPIF 42g/cc7.9 

Ready to 3D print with Stainless Steel 316L?

With Sculpteo’s online 3D printing service you’re just a few clicks away from professional Stainless Steel 316L 3D printing. Your 3D model is printed with the highest quality and delivered straight to your door. 

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