Sparse model on the Left and Solid model on the right.
Our software which processes part files has two different ways to create the internal structure of parts. These two modes are called Solid and Sparse. When the software is creating a 3d printing file for the part to be printed. A solid model is exactly what the printer will create when the part is processed in solid mode. The entire part is solid ABS plastic. The solid mode is more expensive due to two reasons. The first one being that it takes longer for a part to print. The second reason is because the part contains more ABS material. If structural integrity and part functionality are important than this mode is best.
The Sparse mode does not create a model that is solid. From the outside of the part the model will look as if it was entirely solid. While the inside has a honeycomb type pattern. This pattern also can be compared to a spider's web. When printing a sparse part all outside surfaces are the same as solid model would appear. The outside walls usually .06" and the internal sparse pattern helps keep the part structurally strong, similar to how trusses support a bridge. The sparse mode can cut build times and model material over 30% in most cases which greatly reduces the part cost. If part appearance and cost is important, this is the mode to use.
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