3D Printing Design Tips

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Updated January 16, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may want to learn some good old-fashioned 3D printing design tips. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers and these models require materials like filament to operate, and these materials are expensive, so bad designs cost money. So why make sure you use standout designs for the best 3D printers, and what are some tips to get you there? Keep reading to find out.


  • A 3D-printed object is only as good as its initial design or blueprint, so it is important to use the right one when engaging with 3D printing technologies.
  • There are plenty of aggregate sites out there that collate models for 3D printing from renowned makers, so read reviews and get going.
  • You can also make 3D model design schematics yourself using a CAD building software suite, though it takes practice to make a successful print.

Why Focus on 3D Print Designs?

3D printers make physical objects, which is something you learn when conducting that Ultimaker 2 Extended review. These objects are sourced via blueprints from third-party vendors or messageboards, or they are created whole-cloth by the user in a CAD program, and using one of these programs to create blueprints is considered a fantastic 3D printer tip.

Insider Tip

Start small, especially when making your own design blueprints. Keep the object tiny and simple for the best results.

Building from bad blueprints ends up wasting money on materials and time to complete print jobs, which is something you understand when learning how fast 3D printers are. In other words, source the best blueprints or make them yourself to achieve the best results, even when conducting a simple XYZ Da Vinci Nano review.

3D Printer Design Tips

Some common-sense guidelines are worth considering to ensure your design blueprints are of the highest standard.

Find Reliable Makers

There are dozens upon dozens of blueprint aggregates out there, and many of the best designs are found on message boards. There is no easy way to do this, but you need to do some research to find the most reliable and esteemed blueprint designers out there. Luckily, the Internet does the heavy lifting here, as each blueprint should feature reviews, download counts, comment boards, and more information to help you make an informed decision. When you find a few makers you trust, you should be able to use any of their design blueprints.

STAT: Try to include a flat edge in your design whenever possible. Then, in the slicing software, lay the part so that the flat edge sits on the printer’s manufacturing area. Using a flat edge makes it easier for the printer to put down the first few layers, which are crucial for successful prints. (source)

Make Them Yourself

This is easier said than done, but instead of outsourcing the blueprint designs to a third party, try to make something yourself. This all falls down to blueprint-making software, otherwise known as CAD software. CAD software is 2D and 3D computer-aided design programs often used by architects, mechanics, inventors, engineers, and designers. There is a steep learning curve, but the results may well be worth it, as you will have complete control over the design.

Design Tips FAQs

How do you design parts for 3D printing?

Take a look at the minimum feature size and minimum wall thickness of your 3D design. Change up the blueprint accordingly to complete a smooth 3D printing process.

What is warping, and how can you avoid it?

Warping is when the object slightly shifts shape during or immediately after the print bed process. Check the nozzle diameter to ensure it is the right size for your models for 3D printing, and pay special attention to stress concentrations and rounded corners.

How do you choose an infill for your 3D prints?

This entirely depends on personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to focus on stability. Hollow 3D models may use the least filament, but adding some infill on the print bed helps keep objects standing of their own accord.
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