Frequently Asked Questions

Students may ask the IAM3D Challenge Administrator clarifying questions about the rules or procedures. All questions and their associated answers will be posted on the ASME IAM3D group page and will be available for anyone to review, member or not. Please review the Q&A pages before posting a new question to make sure your question is not already answered. Collected Questions and Answers will be posted on the internet periodically, every 5-7 business days. To avoid unanticipated changes in the competition prompted by last-minute questions, all questions must be submitted on or before March 1

What file format do I need to process a part for my Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) system? The Short Answer — FDM requires the use of an STL file.
The Extended Version — The process of 3D printing begins with a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) model. After the 3D model is created, it is exported as an STL file. The STL file is then imported into one of two Stratasys software program, Insight or Catalyst, depending on the intended printer. Within the Stratasys software, the user will determine the tool path for the 3D printer to create the model made from durable thermoplastics.

What is the minimum thickness Stratasys FDM machines can print? (also known as resolution)
The Short Answer — The minimum thickness is 0.005 inches (0.127mm).
The Extended Version — The minimum layer thickness varies between material and machine. The layer thickness can vary between 0.005 inches (0.127mm) and 0.013 inches (0.330mm). The user has the ability to choose a desired thickness based on the printer, the application, part intent, and material capabilities. To learn more about your material capabilities please refer to the FDM Material Comparison matrix on the Stratasys website.

What tolerances are Stratasys FDM 3D Printers capable of holding?
The Short Answer — Tolerances are a function of the system producing the part and the overall size of the part.
The Extended Version — For the Mojo, Dimension, and uPrint systems there is no standard tolerance. Dimensional accuracy will vary based upon part size, geometry, and orientation. These systems are designed to produce concept 3D models which do not typically require accuracy down to a few thousandths of an inch. Todd Grimm & Associates has performed a benchmark study of 3D printer accuracy that is available at tagrimm.com .

The Fortus 360mc and 400mc large and small systems deliver an accuracy of ± 0.005 inch or ± 0.0015 in./ in. (± 0.127 mm or ± 0.0015 mm/ mm), whichever is greater.*

The Fortus 900mc parts are produced within an accuracy of ± 0.0035 inch or ± 0.0015 in./in. (± 0.089 mm or ± 0.0015 mm/ mm), whichever is greater.*

*Note: Accuracy is geometry dependent. Achievable accuracy specification is derived from statistical data at 95% dimensional yield. -See the Fortus 360/400/900mc accuracy white papers for more information. Learn more.

What materials are offered when using a Stratasys FDM 3D Printer?
The Short Answer — FDM technology uses ten different thermoplastics.
The Extended Version — Stratasys offers ten different types of thermoplastics, which are dependent on the 3D printer. Each material has unique properties to fit the need of a variety of applications. For a complete list of materials please see the FDM Materials section of the Stratasys website.

- See more at: http://www.stratasys.com/3d-printers/technology/fdm-technology/faqs#sthash.pCiBlF02.dpuf