Design Guides

Read our design guides for expert, process-specific design and manufacturing tips.

Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Machining Design Guide

When it comes to producing precision metal and plastic parts, CNC Machining offers unparalleled results. By subtracting from raw materials, rather than printing in layers, CNC Machining enables you to build market-testing prototypes and production parts with the material you need and the finish you want.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Design Guide

Sheet metal fabrication is a process by which metal parts are cut and bent from a roll of stock material. It has many commercial applications as a cost-effective way to make metal parts. When manufacturing with sheet metal it’s important to be aware of the limitations associated with the process. Large items that can be manufactured using sheet metal are often much less expensive when compared to similar parts designed for CNC machining or 3D printing.

Urethane Casting Design Guide

Urethane casting produces end-use, rigid or flexible plastic parts with high durability, fast lead times, and production-level quality for your parts. We’ve created this guide to give you tips on creating highly accurate parts with a wide variety of cosmetic finish options.

Injection Molding Design Guide

Plastic injection molding is one of the most cost effective ways to build functional prototypes and end use parts. Learn how to design your parts for Plastic Injection Molding to ensure high quality and cost-effective results.

Stereolithography (SLA) Design Guide

SLA is an additive manufacturing process that focuses an ultraviolet (UV) light on a vat of photopolymer resin. It offers higher resolution printing than many other 3D printing technologies, allowing customers to print parts with fine details and surface finishes. SLA 3D printing is a highly-versatile platform for making custom parts in prototype and production settings; often acting as a stand-in for injection molded plastic parts.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) Design Guide

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printing is a revolutionary technology that is changing the way manufacturers create prototypes and end-use parts. Unlike traditional machining techniques, DMLS allows you to create parts in a matter of days with reduced cost and little waste.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Design Guide

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technology that builds a part layer by layer by depositing heated thermoplastic along an extrusion path. We’ve put together this guide to help inspire and inform your decisions when designing for FDM 3D printing.

PolyJet 3D (PJ3D) Mini-Guide

PolyJet 3D is a 3D printing technology known for its customizable material properties, including rubber-like materials, excellent surface finish, and the ability to print with multiple materials. Due to a short set up time, PolyJet is on of the fastest processes available. Parts can be manufactured in as little as one business day!

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Design Guide

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing process that can efficiently produce durable nylon end-use parts and prototypes. Utilizing SLS has a number of benefits, including the ability to manufacture high precision and complex parts without the need for tooling or molds. It also enables the production of parts that would be difficult or impossible to create any other way.

Preparing a File for 3D Printing

When designing models for 3D printing, they must be saved with specific properties to ensure high-quality results. In this guide you will learn about the most common design mistakes that lead to unsatisfactory 3D models, and several tips you can use to avoid them.

List of All Available Materials

Xometry is proud to offer over 200 materials across all of our additive and subtractive manufacturing processes. From high-performance plastics and nylon to aluminum and stainless steel, Xometry has you covered with the right materials to make your custom parts efficiently and cost-effectively.