Talking Quality Expectations with Your 3D Printing Partner

Posted by RE3DTECH Team on 9/8/21 8:50 AM

Before getting a part 3D printed, it’s important to have a conversation with your additive manufacturing partner about quality expectations. 

This discussion is especially necessary if you’re transitioning to industrial 3D printing from another manufacturing process like injection molding or CNC machining. Chances are you’ve come to expect a certain level of quality from the prior process, and you’ll want the 3D printed part to meet your pre-established expectations. 

At RE3DTECH, we want you to be 100% satisfied with your parts. We like to understand the full context of your project in advance so we can print your part to exact specifications. 

3 Quality Expectations to Call Out in Advance 

When you request a quote for 3D printing services, be sure to call out these quality expectations for your additive manufacturing partner: 

1. Customer facing part vs. internal component 

Each 3D printed part consists of thousands of layers of material. Occasionally there may be one tiny imperfection in one of the layers. The part will function perfectly, but the customer may consider the layer line unacceptable from an aesthetic standpoint. 

It all depends on the type of part we’re making—and the range of “acceptability” varies considerably from one project to another. If we’re making an internal component, a minor defect likely won’t matter. But if we’re making a customer facing part, obtaining a flawless appearance may be a critical requirement. 

Call out this distinction on your 2D drawing so we know what kind of part we’re working with.

2. Color matching 
IMG-1030-1Color matching standards are common for injection molding. But when we receive a 2Ddrawing for a 3D printed part, these expectations aren’t always clear.

Many 3D printing suppliers struggle with color matching. But at RE3DTECH, we pride ourselves on our color matching capabilities. We have processes in place to ensure that you get the same exact color from one batch to the next. 

If you have specific color matching requirements, let us know in advance and we’ll implement special quality inspection processes for your part.

3. Orientation and critical surfaces 

The orientation of a part during 3D printing directly impacts factors like speed, quality, and surface finish. 

If quality is more important to you than speed, we’ll take our time orienting a part to minimize thermal buildup and reduce the risk of warping. If turnaround time is your top priority, we can orient the part to maximize build volume and speed up the process. We can also orient a part strategically to prioritize a superior finish for customer facing surfaces compared to internal surfaces.

Clarifying expectations in advance allows us to accommodate your preferences and deliver exactly the part you’re looking for.

Ready to use 3D printing services for your next part? Request a quote and we’ll respond within 24 hours! 


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