What is an Active 3D Print? Quite Simply…. it is a single 3D print of an assembly a that has number of fully retained parts that can move freely.

3D printing is a quick, cost effective solution to creating prototypes and replacement parts in many industries. However, if you want to 3D print an assembly of moving parts, like this specially designed “Fidget Spinner” you need to put some thought into your design.

If you want parts to move after printing, you must make sure your CAD model has enough clearance (space) between the parts you want to move. But because every 3D printer is different, and every material type has its own requirements it is impossible to say for certain exactly what clearance is required for every possible printer and material combination.

This means the clearance required for each printer and potentially each material will be different. However, there is another factor to add into the mix… layer height…  Printing a part with a layer height of 0.1mm will need a different clearance than a 3D print with a 0.4mm layer height.

How do you quantify the required clearance for each printer, each material, each layer height? There are many ways, but this “Fidget Spinner” is a little different than most, it has 6 separate parts that are designed to move…. Each of the moving parts has a different radial clearance, 0.1mm, 0.15mm 0.2mm 0.3mm 0.4mm and 0.5mm. Printing the test at different layer heights and in different materials will allow you to find the ideal radial clearance for your own printer/material/layer height.

We are giving away our print files to anyone who owns a Zortrax M200 printer, simply Click Here and receive a FREE collection of Z-code files for you to print…. When you print this part on your Zotrax printer you will be able to assess the design clearance requirements for your own printer/material/layer height combination. You can see our results below….


The only piece of additional equipment you will need as a ¼” Square drive tool, a small socket set ratchet will be perfect.

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Categories: 3D Print