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AdvancedTek AE Pro Tips: Controlling Spacing on FDM Trays with GrabCAD Print

July 14, 2020 News

Stratasys is committed to continually making improvements to their software. With their May 2020 update of GrabCAD Print (v 1.42), the highly requested feature of Controlled Spacing for FDM Trays was added. This new feature, found in the “Arrange” tab on the right hand toolbar, allows users to easily adjust the spacing between their FDM parts. 

GrabCAD Print’s “Arrange” tab for FDM now includes Model Spacing.

Controlling your FDM Part Spacing is highly useful in at least two scenarios:

  1. When you have many small FDM parts and wish to decrease the default spacing to fit more parts in a single print job, or
  2. When airflow is a concern for your parts (thin walls, flat cross sections, bulky, etc.) and you want to create a more uniform airflow by evenly increasing spacing.

Prior to this new feature, GrabCAD Print users had to manually move each part and estimate spacing visually, often resulting in a “parts too close” error. There was (and still is) the alternative solution of using Insight and Control Center to control spacing, but the newly added “Model Spacing” tool spacing for those who prefer to use GrabCAD Print.

You simply type in the distance you’d like between your FDM Models (0.25”- 2”) or move the slider bar to indicate your selection. If you’d like to slice the models prior to arranging, then be sure to check the “Optimize” box. This will take longer to process, but because of how GrabCAD Print reads 3D Models vs. Sliced Models, you’ll achieve a more efficiently-packed tray.

Non-optimized spacing of FDM parts tray.

Optimized spacing of FDM parts tray.

    At AdvancedTek, we like the option of being able to set part spacing in Insight and Control Center for the jobs that require Insight processing, but are really enjoying the flexibility of being able to set it right in GrabCAD Print for all CAD formats.  Stratasys is continually adding more functionality to GrabCAD Print each month with updates. To download GrabCAD Print free for you Stratasys FDM or PolyJet System click here

    Written by David Kadlec, AdvancedTek Application Engineer

    Posted by Heather Adams