Design Support

3D design support

3D data is a prerequisite for fabricating with 3D printers, and a 3D data creation service is available as an option for clients who can not provide their own 3D data.

Even customers with “only 2D CAD data” and “simple shapes without specs or design plans” should feel free to contact us. Ricoh 3D experts suggest data corrections and design revisions that are most ideal for the item being manufactured by the 3D printer.

Minimum Feature Size
This is the minimum size that we can guarantee the printer will be able to print. Any features under this size may not be reproduced by the printer.
Minimum Offset
This is the minimum distance required between multi body parts to achieve a clearance fit allowing the free movement of parts. Any features under this value may end up being produced as one part or feature, and may not function as intended.
Minimum Hole Size
This is the minimum size required for the printer to reproduce a clean hole.
Tolerance
This is the expectied deviation in size that is likely to occur during the printing process.
Support Considerations
All 3D printing technologies require a support material during the manufacturing process. In SLS and HSS/MJF the unsintered powder supports the part as it is being constructed.
In FDM a secondary material is built with the part to support it, which is often water soluble and can be simply washed away. However some materials have break away support only.
All files sent to Ricoh are analsyed prior to the printing process. We will advise of any issues with the geometry that may lead to problems during the printing or post processing stage.
SLS 0.8mm 0.3mm 1.5mm ±0.3% per 100mm (lower limit 0.3mm) If the part is to be free from unsintered powder then any hollow sections without an opening (in the design) will need to have a drain hole added and bonded into place after the manufacturing process. Without the drain hole the unsintered powder is impossible to remove and will remain contained within the part.
It is recommended that any sections greater than 6mm in thickness are hollowed in order to maintain part geometry. This will be done by the RICOH Rapid Fab team prior to printing and does not need to be considered during the design stage.
Drain holes and hollowing of thick sections will be added by our engineers prior to printing. We will always seek approval from the customer prior before printing.
All files sent to us are analysed prior to the printing process. We will advise of any issues with the geometry that may lead to problems during the printing or post processing stage.
HSS/MJF 1.0mm 0.3mm 1.5mm ±0.3% per 100mm (lower limit 0.3mm) If the part is to be free from unsintered powder then any hollow sections without an opening (in the design) will need to have a drain hole added and bonded into place after the manufacturing process. Without the drain hole the unsintered powder is impossible to remove and will remain contained within the part.
Drain holes and hollowing of thick sections will be added by our engineers prior to printing. We will always seek approval from the customer prior before printing.
All files sent to us are analysed prior to the printing process. We will advise of any issues with the geometry that may lead to problems during the printing or post processing stage.
FDM 1.0mm 0.5mm 2.0mm ±0.3% per 100mm (lower limit 0.3mm) The majority of FDM materials have soluble support material. So as long as water can enter the supported areas, this material is simply washed away.
Materials such a ULTEM and PC do not have a soluble support material option so ‘break away’ support material is used,  meaning it has to be removed by hand with tools. If the support material is not accessible or simple to remove then it may be difficult to achieve the desired design, which limits the complexity of design for these materials. A ball-within-a-ball structure for instance (pictured) would not be possible with ULTEM or PC.
All files sent to us are analysed prior to the printing process. We will advise of any issues with the geometry that may lead to problems during the printing or post processing stage.

Six simple steps

  • Documentation upload Ex.) 3D/2D data Specifications, blueprints
  • Interviews
  • Documentation check & price quote
  • 3D modelling & client approval
  • 3D printing & dispatch
  • Delivery

Common Issues

We will address any concerns regarding 3D modelling, which is a key element of 3D printing.

We have 3D data but…

  • 3D printing is possible the shape can’t be fixed.
  • The original size comes out too big or too small

We have 2-dimensional drawings but…

  • There is no 3D compatible CAD.
  • We can’t do 3D modelling

There are no drawing plans…

  • 3D modelling for simple forms is preferred.
  • If there are blueprints, data can be written.

Trust Ricoh engineers who are experts in solving these 3D printer issues.

 

Description of implementation (one case)

We’ll provide samples to explain the detail that can be supported by the 3D data creation service.
This is basically a paid service. Please contact us directly for details as it is not possible to respond to certain requests.

3D modelling

Clients who can only prepare data as 2D diagrams.

Please forward 2-D CAD data, e.g. DXF and DWG, if available.
Models can be created based on linear forms, as long as there are specifications for the dimensional allowances.
Please prepare 2-D drawing lines as target median values for print fabrication.

Clients who can not use computer aided design tools.

Clients with only image data from old drawings (JPEG, PDF, etc.), blueprints and specifications, should forward these.
Ricoh designers will hold interviews after checking the data, and are capable of handling everything from model design (3D data creation) to form fabrication.
We can easily reproduce simple forms composed of straight and curved lines.
It may not be possible to reproduce complex structures or free-form surfaces.

3D data magnification


We offer 3D data magnification. Expansion at the same magnification in all directions or in only one axis direction is possible.
We will also correct thickness and cavity processing for sections that develop unnecessary thickness with the magnification process.

3D data reduction


We offer 3D data reduction. We can cater to cases where forms are miniaturized in all directions or only in one axis direction is expanded.
We will also increase the thickness of sections that become too thin from the miniaturization process.

Hollow cavities


Hollowing procedures can be performed according to the client’s request, to reduce weight material costs arising from unnecessarily thick sections.
Printing techniques other than FDM require a hole for removing the support material. 3D modelling of any lid, shaping, or adhesion fill processing will be performed after consultation.

Surface thickness data

We will design the surface thickness for clients who can only provide surface data (surface data without thickness).