# I have a question about what is possible with 3D printing.

I have a question about what is possible with 3D printing. I want to do a science optics experiment in which I 3D print different types of plastic window screens. For example, I would like to make several different window screens, each having open squares of 1 mm by 1 mm, but each screen would have a different spacing between the open squares - the first would be just like ordinary window screen, the next would have a thicker/wider “spacer” between the open squares, and so on. I would like the mesh to be 1/4 to 1/3 mm in thickness. For testing purposes each sample need to be only a few inches by a few inches. I don’t care if it’s rigid or flexible.
Is this possible with 3D printing? Would I need a certain type or model of 3D printer? Thanks.

@Dav_Les could you possibly draw a picture of what you’re talking about with some dimensions? You could produce a mesh that’s .25mm thick with a standard printer if you wanted to but a picture would be a lot easier to visualize because a 1mm gap between each line is pretty small. Plus you have to consider the diameter of the nozzel as well. If you used a .2mm nozzle at .1mm layer height, you could probably so it.

you can achive great detail with a sla printer . with a fdm it will leave all sorts of artifacts to be of any good use. so yes to answer your question it is 3d printable

Any reason you couldn’t use a normal laser printer to print the pattern on acetate transparency?

Imagine that you have a punch that makes a 1 X 1 mm size hole. I want to make “sheets” with holes punched every 2 or 3 mm (center-to-center) apart. Then make more sheets. but using a punch that makes a 0.5X0.5 mm or 2X2 mm holes, spaced 1 to 1.5 mm apart for the 0.5 mm holes and 4 to 6 mm apart for the 2 mm holes. One can easily calculate the gap between holes (between 0.5 and 4.5 mm). These are the samples that I most want to make (I had originally thought to also make the holes closer together, but later realized that I could skip making samples that looked like a meshed window screen).

Cameron, I will look into using a laser printer and a transparency. That’s an excellent idea for an initial series of experiments. Eventually though I do want to vary the thickness of the sheet, which it seems like I can achieve with 3D printing.