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Design Guidelines for Adding Text onto Plastic AM Parts

The inclusion of text on a 3D printed plastic part means that logos, branding, instructional messages, unique identification codes or batch numbers can be incorporated into the CAD design and generated during the build process. 3D printed text can be embossed or engraved and general design guidelines are as follows:

  • Font: For best results we recommend using ARIAL font. Other fonts can be used, but please talk to our CAD experts for advice on whether they would build well on your part.
  • Size: Font size depends upon the orientation of the build, but a good minimum size recommendation is 14 point. Anything less than 8-10 point and it could become difficult to read. As a general guide, 1pt = approx. 0.25mm. Therefore:
    • 14pt = 3.6mm
    • 18pt = 4.6mm
    • 20pt = 5.0mm
    • 24pt = 6.1mm
  • Depth/Height: Embossed or engraved at 0.5mm is achievable and up to 1mm gives excellent results. Other sizes can be achieved, however this is dependent upon part geometry and build orientation.
  • Orientation: Build orientation is best in vertical side walls, however this is dependent upon part geometry and any other critical features in the design. Talk to our CAD experts for advice on how to achieve the best results.

Here are some examples of 3D printed text we have produced for various customers that illustrate how text and logos have been embossed and engraved as various sizes:

Plastic aerofoil with engraved text at 14pt, 0.5mm

Engraved text at 14pt, 0.5mm

Plastic display stand with embossed text at 60pt, 0.6mm

Embossed text at 60pt, 0.6mm

Plastic mobile communicator with web address embossed at 20pt, 1mm

Embossed text at 20pt, 1mm

Plastic mobile communicator with 3T logo embossed at 0.7mm

3T logo embossed at 0.7mm

Plastic sample parts with embossed text at 20pt, 1.5mm

Embossed text at 20pt, 1.5mm

Plastic lampshade with embossed and engraved text, minimum 12pt

Embossed/engraved text, 12pt min

If you need any help or advice on how to incorporate 3D printed text or logos into your design, contact our CAD experts at

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