Nesting For 3D Printing

Space is valuable , especially if it happens to be a piece of land in Auckland . A 3D Printer has only a limited amount of space with which to build parts in , so most Printing companies have a pricing structure either based on or incorporating machine space as a cost .

Making The Most Of Your Space


We aim to make our pricing structure very easy to understand – it’s based on the volumetric capacity of your parts bounding box (max. X Y Z dimensions) in centimetres cubed (cm3) . What this means is that you pay for a box of machine space and this presents an opportunity to you that you may not of realised – you can fit in a surprising amount of parts into a small space by nesting them well .

It’s basically like playing Tetris , interlock parts amongst each other keeping in mind their unique geometries . Below are some visual instructions to help you , but before you dive in keep in mind a few constraints :

– Leave a minimum of 2mm between ANY surfaces , remember your parts will be scaled up to account for shrinkage when they’re printed so having parts 0.2mm apart means they will be fused together when printed .

– Keep in mind a parts orientation and which way it will need to be printed (See our guide on Orientation HERE)

– The smaller your bounding box the cheaper it will be , so try fill as much space as possible!

pricing -comparison 2

Tetris 1

Tetris 2

Tetris 3

Parts Before

Here are the individual parts I want to print .

Look at where the space in parts is , for example the pipe is hollow so all those smaller parts will soon be calling it home .

Then start sub-nesting the smaller parts together . Remember to keep at least a 2mm gap between surfaces to avoid them fusing together and/or affecting surface quality during printing .

Nest 1 Merged

Nest 2 Merged

Final Nest

Now nest them all into the pipe . Keep them as close to the middle of the pipe as possible to minimise localised heat and increase the pipes surface quality .

Done !

Now you can get the ball rolling and upload it HERE , knowing that you’ve made an efficient use of space and in the process reduced your cost .