The best 3D File format for your 3D printing job
How to send 3D files to a printing service. best on my experience with over 1 million 3D files as a CAD expert, designer and service provider.
The underlying assumption is that 3D printing is done only according to a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) file. At UCT Additive manufacturing center, the largest service bureau in south east Asia, We get thousands of 3D files every month so, if there is further action or complementary activities such as paint, coating, machining,adding inserts, assembly, etc. it should be noted with the RFQ and in the purchase order follow with detail drawings and in most cases, we can refer to a 2D drawing only with explicit reference.
We have to use STL file type for the production process but, for best results, we prefer to receive yours file at a natural format and to do the file conversion to STL with our CAD system that provide as to have a better control on specifics parameters that can lead to a better printing results.
When we convert files to STL, we will use the parameters that will fit best the printing technology. For example, for SLS, in most cases the setup for deviation will be less than 0.2 mm and for angel less than 5 deg.
When exporting 3D CAD file please avoid multi body and open surfaces. It is most recommended to save the file to a neutral format (see table below) and then open it again and check for multibody, open surface, sketch, suppress parts and so.
Please note that for dimensions quality control, a 2D details drawing is must.