Designing for DLS Process

Ready to start designing for the Carbon DLS process? Use these design guidelines to begin creating products for DLS production. When you’re ready to get parts made, work with a Carbon Production Network partner or contact our team to learn about bringing Carbon capabilities in-house. If you’re already a customer, learn how to make the most of the DLS with the Carbon Design Program.

Designing For Dls Feature Image.jpg

Find the Right Application

The Carbon DLS process is ideal for a wide range of applications, from high-value athletic equipment that delivers performance and protection to rugged automotive components that meet stringent engineering requirements.

Looking for inspiration? Check out “Ask an Additive Expert,” our video series featuring answers to common design and engineering questions presented by Carbon’s experts.

Speak to an Additive Expert

DLS Design Quick Guide

Carbon DLS lets you design the best parts for your product, without worrying about moldability or machinability. Like every 3D printing process, DLS has its own best practices; follow these principles to get the best results in your applications.

This design quick guide offers a multi-step workflow to help you design and evaluate parts quickly. Follow the steps below to determine whether your part is a good fit for the DLS process and identify aspects of your design that might need revision.


Begin by using these basic guidelines to determine whether your part is a good fit for Carbon DLS.

Build envelope

Will your part fit in Carbon’s 3D printers? For efficient production, consider how you’ll fit multiple parts in the build volume.

M1 M2 M3 M3 Max L1
X 141 mm
(5.6 in)
189 mm
(7.4 in)
189 mm
(7.4 in)
307 mm
(12.1 in)
410 mm
(16.1 in)
Y 79 mm
(3.1 in)
118 mm
(4.6 in)
118 mm
(4.6 in)
163 mm
(6.4 in)
256 mm
(10.1 in)
Z 326 mm
(12.8 in)
326 mm
(12.8 in)
326 mm
(12.8 in)
305 mm
(12.0 in)
460 mm
(18.1 in)
Build platform example

Material properties

What mechanical characteristics do you require for your parts? What traditional thermoplastics would you usually specify?
See all Carbon Technical Datasheets
Download the Material Comparison Chart

Resin Ultimate tensile strength Elongation at break Tensile modulus Shore hardness Impact strength Heat deflection temp Biocompatibility: cytotoxicity
2 Part Resins CE 221 85 MPa 3% 3900 MPa 92D 15 J/m 230° C
EPU 40 9 MPa 300% N/A 68A N/A N/A
EPU 41 15 MPa 250% N/A 73A N/A N/A
EPU 43 17 MPa 380% 10 MPa 76A N/A N/A -
EPU 44 24 MPa 275% 16 MPa 78A N/A N/A -
EPU 45 24 MPa 290% 17 MPa 77A N/A N/A -
EPU 46 / Soft / Extra Soft 26 / 21 / 15 MPa 330 / 300 / 250 % 15 / 11 / 4.5 MPa 78 / 71 / 56 A N/A N/A
EPX 82 80 MPa 5% 2800 MPa 89D 45 J/m 130° C
EPX 86FR 90 MPa 5% 3300 MPa 88D 30 J/m 135° C -
EPX 150 76 MPa 5% 2700 MPa 87D 36 J/m 155° C
FPU 50 29 MPa 200% 700 MPa 71D 40 J/m 70° C
MPU 100 35 MPa 15% 1300 MPa 81D 30 J/m 50° C
RPU 70 40 MPa 100% 1700 MPa 80D 15 J/m 60° C
RPU 130 35 MPa >50% 920 MPa 100D 76 J/m 119°C -
SIL 30 3.4 MPa 350% 1 MPa 35A N/A N/A
1 Part Resins DPR 10 45 MPa 4% 1800 MPa N/A 20 J/m 61° C
Loctite 3843 51 MPa 43% 1800 MPa 75D 53 J/m 63° C -
Loctite IND147 67 MPa 2.4% 3190 MPa 94D 14.6 J/m 291° C -
Loctite IND405 42 MPa 120% 1500 MPa 78D 50 J/m 53° C -
UMA 90 30 MPa 30% 1400 MPa 86D 30 J/m 45° C

Chemical compatibility

Does your part need to perform well when used with any of these common chemicals?

Class Chemical Rigid Resins Elastomeric Resins
CE 221 EPX 82 EPX 86FR EPX 150 RPU 70 RPU 130 EPU 40 EPU 41 EPU 43 EPU 44 EPU 45 EPU 46 SIL 30
Household Chemicals Bleach (NaClO, 5%) E E E E E - E E E E E E E
Sanitizer (NH4Cl, 10%) E E E E E - E E E G G G G
Distilled Water E E E E E - E E E G E G G
Sunscreen (Banana Boat, SPF 50) E E E E E G G P E G G G G
Detergent (Tide, Original) E E E E E - E G E G G G G
Windex Powerized Formula E E E E E - G G E F G F G
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2, 30%) E E E E E - F F F P P P F
Ethanol (EtOH, 95%) E G E E F - P P P P P P P
Industrial Fluids Engine Oil (Havoline SAE 5W-30) E E E E E E E E - - - - E
Brake Fluid (Castrol DOT-4) E E E E E - F F - - - - P
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type I Ethylene Glycol) E - - - E - E - - - - - E
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type I Propylene Glycol) E - - - E - E - - - - - G
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type IV Ethylene Glycol) E - - - E - E - - - - - E
Airplane Deicing Fluid (Type IV Propylene Glycol) E - - - E - E - - - - - G
Transmission Fluid (Havoline Synthetic ATF) E E E E E E E E - - - - E
Engine Coolant (Havoline XLC, 50%/50% Premixed) E E E E E - E - - - - - E
Diesel (Chevron #2) E E E E E F P P G E E E F
Gasoline (Chevron #91) E - - - P - P - - - - - P
Skydrol 500B-4 E E E E G - P P - - - - P
Strong Acid/Base Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4, 30%) E E E E E - P F E G P G P
Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH, 10%) E E E E E - E - F E E E E
Note: Due to variability in part geometry and level of exposure in actual use, it is required that adequate validation is done for production applications.
E Excellent < 5% The solvent is unlikely to degrade the material during prolonged exposure
G Good 5% - 15% The solvent is unlikely to degrade the material during short-term exposure
F Fair 15% - 30% The solvent will likely degrade the material during short-term exposure
P Poor > 30% The solvent will likely attack and aggressively degrade the material when exposed
* Percentages are percent weight lost after a 1 week submersion per ASTM D543. This is only a value of weight lost and not representative of changes in dimension or mechanical properties.


Once you have determined that your part is a good fit for the Carbon DLS process, the next step is to review your part’s features. Refer to the recommended feature sizes below to ensure your part’s printability.

Overhangs, unsupported angles, and unsupported wall thickness will inform the print orientation and support strategy for your part.


To compensate for overcure, horizontal holes should be oversized ~0.04 mm.

Hole measurement example

Unsupported angles

Measured relative to the platform (XY). Unsupported angles over 40 degrees are safe for all materials.

Unsupported angle measurement example


Bridges should span no more than twice the recommended overhang distance.

Bridge size example


Interior corners: ~0.5 mm minimum

Exterior corners: ~0.5 mm + wall thickness

Fillets measurement example

Mating parts

Print mating parts in the same orientation.

Mating parts example

Wall thickness

Walls at minimum thickness should be kept short.

Wall thickness example


Refine your design using these guidelines to ensure dimensional accuracy, excellent surface quality, and overall performance that meets your requirements.

Issues to address before adding supports

Consider these recommendations as you design your part.

Low resolution model

Adjust export settings in your CAD software to make a smooth model.

Low resolution model example

Sharp corners

Add fillets or chamfers

Sharp corners example

Unvented volumes and blind holes

Add 2-3 mm vents or re-orient part.

Unvented volumes and blind holes example

Slice islands

Islands must be supported or connected to part in order to prevent print defects.

Slice islands example

Non-uniform, rapidly changing or stepped wall thickness

Make wall thickness uniform, or keep changes in thickness as gradual as possible in order to minimize print defects and prevent warping during baking.

Non uniform wall thickness example

Tall, thin parts

Change orientation, or redesign to reduce part height and/or create stability.

Tall, thin parts example


Use Carbon’s print preparation software to add supports to your part design.

  • Check overhangs and unsupported angles using the Overhang Detection feature
  • Place supports no closer than the recommended overhang distances from part walls and other supports
  • Ensure that slice islands are supported
  • Use the Advanced Supports feature to ensure first-print success
  • Reinforce supports that are longer than 76 mm. Fences can use bar supports as reinforcement.

First-print accuracy

The accuracy of every 3D printing process depends on several factors, including material characteristics, part geometry, operator practices, and post-processing techniques. The Carbon DLS process offers excellent accuracy and repeatability, within tolerances as tight as +/-40 μm, but this depends on the factors listed above and may require some optimization to achieve consistent results in serial production. To learn more about DLS accuracy, check out our general and production repeatability accuracy guidelines for engineering materials.