1/700 & 1/350 scale BH Cygnus builds

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by PrimitiveDave, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Hi! My name is Dave -- I'm still kind of new around here.

    I began discussing this topic on a thread in the Studio Scale forum. I had made some pieces for a model of the Cygnus from "The Black Hole" through a rapid-prototyping website called Shapeways. One of the other members offered me very generous assistance with reference materials, etc. The upshot is we both now plan to build our own models utilizing this technology, he in 1/350 and I in 1/700 scale. We agreed we should start a separate thread in this forum as we continue with our builds.

    I have some pictures of my first new pieces that I'd like to share. My first set were lacking detail and not proportionally correct. These are much better! Please let me know what you think...
     
  2. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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  3. blindmansworld

    blindmansworld New Member

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    Really great work on the pieces for this Cygnus replica. I ended up having to cut all the girders by hand. I look forward to seeing some more of your work on this project.
     
  4. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    I think you and Martyn are gonna set a new benchmark with these builds.
     
  5. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Dave, you've again knocked it out of the park, man! :)

    Simon - gah, Dave will, but me, I'm only gonna get there if I can start getting my sums correct! Got everything wrong on what I uploaded to Shapeways; 13% oversized somehow. Rebuilding the power centre module now. Arrrgh, wotta WOFTAM.

    Looks like I'm recovering faster than I feared though; I'm going to live with the smaller size for the main girders as they're still well above the minimum printable size. Focusing on just the end faces and replacing the X-bracing meant I got my rebuild about 50% done last night, hope to finish up that section tonight and upload tomorrow, so the delay shouldn't be too bad.

    Once that's all done I'll take an evening to review my assets and see what else I can send you in good conscience.
     
  6. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Welp, spent the weekend trying to recover from that mistake. Here's the current Power Centre module CG, hope to have a hardcopy to show soon...
     
  7. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Thanks for the compliments everyone!

    Martyn, those renders will come in handy -- my goal for this week is to get the power center module done.

    New parts arrived -- here are the antennas and antenna mast bases. Let me know what you think...
     
  8. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Daaaaaaaaaaamn, dude. You really nailed those!
     
  9. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    Those parts look great Dave. Looking forward to both builds. This is going to be a first me thinks as far as accurate Cygnus models. There are so many new fresh subjects out there like Jasons Blimp etc. Tiz a good year for modeling.
     
  10. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Yerright, Simon. I can't believe the results Dave is getting. I'm blown away the tech has come this far. Can't wait to see what my parts look like, first test bits supposed to be arriving tomorrow.

    I've rejigged my outboard module to 1/350 with printable materials, so that's next up for test printing. Looks like this in rendered form. Still need to give it a lower deck, landing gear and a control module.
     
  11. Hotshot

    Hotshot Sr Member

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    Just recorded this film in HD and am watching now. What fun to see this thread up!! AMAZING work!!
     
  12. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Hoo, just got my bits, as promised. Top of the Power Centre tank and the main body of same. More bits are pending. There are some visible grow lines and it will benefit from light sanding but it's pretty decent as-is. Pics soon. STOKED.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  13. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Wow Martyn! Those are cool! And huge! I feel humbled. ;-)

    I'll have some more parts to show in a few days...
     
  14. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    These are the botched, overscale versions, Dave, so they're actually bigger than they should be. I finally fixed the bug that was preventing my "integrated" top and drum from working properly, so the next version will be 13% smaller and a single part where this is two.

    Even given that, it is alarmingly huge. :lol Right now I am struggling to get my outboard module below the filesize limit. Almost there, it's ready to go other than that, a bit frustrating. I've included a lot of extra detail; stuff which was on the drawings but which Disney cheated via silkscreening or paint. I might have to de-include some of that. :(

    Don't talk daft! :) Full credit to you, if it wasn't for your project I'd almost certainly never have dared to try this. Wouldn't have believed the frameworks could possibly work. As always, I can't wait to see your next set of pieces!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  15. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Did it! Finally. Right, Shapeways...let's see you print THIS, lol.

    I'm not really very optimistic. Fingers crossed!!

    [​IMG]
     
    Chaank likes this.
  16. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Wow, I think I broke Shapeways. :lol No rejection email yet, and they've posted two smaller models I sent later, but this one still hasn't made it through the autochecking.

    More than three hours now...any experienced Shapeways users on here, would that mean likely rejection?
     
  17. Orbital Drydock

    Orbital Drydock Active Member

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    WoW, thats friggin' awesome! I've always wanted to see someone do the Cygnus proper.

    How has your experience with shapeways been? Based on what I've seen them produce for you, I'm thinking about having then prototype some things for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  18. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    If anyone can do it Martyn... You can......break shapeway's I mean.
     
  19. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Meh. New power module frame got passed, but the big module was knocked back. Filesize was okay but it was at 1.3 million polys. I reduced it to 980K but have now struck non-manifold issues.

    Orbital Drydock, Dave will have more to say than me I am sure, but so far so good. They are not cheap but their service is great - IF they can print your model. Getting rid of errors and issues requires some farting about at your end.
     
  20. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Great work Martyn! Cant wait to see the outboard modules at twice the size of mine!

    ^orbital dry dock: I've generally had very good service from Shapeways. There have been a few glitches. Some have been caused by problems on my end, a couple on theirs. They have been very helpful with the main problem on their end and helped me find a way around it. The others were basically times when I wasn't notified that orders had been shipped or similar. I've been really happy with the pieces I've received. There are limitations to the process, but if you read the information they have posted on the website, you can get a realistic idea of what to expect.
     
  21. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    I realized that l should be more clear. The main problem I had was that sometimes they would reject certain obj files I tried to upload, no matter what I did. Customer service told me it was a bug in their system, and converted the file to stl for me. I've output subsequent parts in stl format and so far they have all worked fine.
     
  22. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Simon, I will find a way! :D

    Dave, me too, I badly want to hold one of these suckers up to a light and see how it looks.

    .stl files seem to work well. The only problems I have had so far have been sheer size (difficult), manifold issues and carelessness. When I get it right they upload nicely.

    BTW, I hope posting so many renders isn't a problem? I'm finding this CG-to-reality transition really fascinating - BTW I'd be really interested to see your renders hint hint. :D

    Just ordered a bunch of stuff. I shouldn't have included this one, it's a proto/test mule only, not really ready for print...couldn't resist. :)
     
  23. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Dave, a bit of transport pipe ref for ya.

    Ha! I'm served for crowing about that main module. I just realized there's an entire category of bracing framing I left out.

    We're gonna need to go to decals.
     
  24. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Okay Martyn -- you asked! Here are some screen caps of the center top framework I'm working on now. There are main sections and connector sections. The tubes on the main section will lock over the pegs on the connector section. The meshes look kind of sloppy, because I'm building for rapid prototyping, not for render. Also, they look large in the pictures, but the entire structure is less than 5 inches wide and just over 4 inches long. If anyone has any critiques, please feel free. I plan to order the pieces on Friday.
     
  25. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Nice, Dave, thanks! I have a fraction of that work done myself. I will actually end up with a part that looks very similar to yours, I think. For now I have left the uprights on the outer sections as freestanding pillars because the horizontals for those are a part of the power centre module framing. I should probably address that. Nobody will spot a tiny bit of doubled framing at these sizes. Anyway, no critiques, looks great to me.
     
  26. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Just got my main engine delivered. Again, an experimental piece, and I managed to leave four block details out of the nozzle area. :facepalm Easily fixed with some styrene but I have some changes in mind.

    Wanted to see how something this large would print out, what the surface would be like etc. It's definitely not perfect, you'd sand it if you were making a pristine ship. Fortunately I'm not, so I think I may include more detail with this piece, like the three mounting trusses and the catwalk.

    Since the entire ship is so heavily weathered the slight growth rings may not be a problem. I'll paint it and we'll see.
     
  27. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Niiiiiiiiiice! I keep being tempted to make tacky references to how much bigger yours is than mine! ;-)

    I completely agree with you about the texture of the parts. I would hate it if I was making say, a Naboo cruiser, but for this, the rough finish and slight stair-stepping just add to the effect. You'd expect a little weathering from all the particles being pulled into the BH. When painted up, the pieces really look like pitted old metal.

    Oh yeah, as for the uprights on the center section, I know the horizontal bar I've added is extra, but no one will be able to see it tucked in there, and I really want something to hold the uprights in alignment. Sometimes thin pieces seem to bend, and I think that would be more noticeable than the extra bar. I've also added a support piece on the connector section to hold up the cross tube. Again, it's not going to be tha noticeable, and I'd prefer the extra stability.
     
  28. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    LOL. I came up with three different snappy responses to that, none of them printable. :)

    I will sand the front cap; it's a circular step pyramid, hehe. For the main engine I don't think it's enough of a minus to bother, which is good since I really want to produce them integrally with their trusses if possible.

    Coming to the same conclusions re the horizontal bar. I'll only need to do it on the power centre section for mine. I spotted your support piece - likely do something similar myself, maybe a truss will work at my scale. :)
     
  29. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    New parts -- a mixed bag.

    First, Fuel Module A. The part came out really well at first glance, but I forgot to anchor the middle section of tanks to the frame and they all fell out. :facepalm Easy enough to glue back in place, but it made me rethink the part. I think I will make most of the tanks a separate section for ease of painting. Other than my mistake, the piece looks really cool, IMHO.

    I jumped ahead and made parts for the observatories. I really shouldn't have, because I haven't done any work on the structure that they will attach to, but I just wanted to see something different. The transparent dome was rejected at production for being too thin for the size. The replacement part is on order. The tower and base came out really nice. So did the antennas. The leg and cap piece, not so much. The legs bent, which is fixable, but the antenna supports twisted and broke. I've made a sturdier replacement piece and will order this week. In the meantime, you get the idea.

    Let me know what you think!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  30. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Dave, spectacular!

    The fuel module tanks are best kept separate IMO - some of them are painted red and ochre and so on, so much easier to deal with separately. How thin was your dome? I've just ordered a tower dome, I made it fairly thin too. Uh oh.

    I shouldn't have challenged the gods the way I did above. My outboard module got rejected at the point of printing - parts too thin for a large part. I hoped this might just be a customer service precaution against warping - which would be fine, since it slips over a lightbox - but no, apparently the part could break in the tray and ruin an entire batch of other parts in the process.

    I wasn't willing to compromise the materials any further (also, it'd be my fifth rebuild of this section, nnnnarrrgh!) so I added some beefier sacrificial framing inside the part instead and re-upped. Fingers crossed!

    Whoo - anyone who might think that this method of obtaining a model is some kind of an easy shortcut...think again. This is a grind. Unless you can get a completed CG model from somewhere up front, be prepared for hundreds of hours in front of the keyboard. My butt is numb!!!
     
  31. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    I think the dome was 1 mm thick, and they wanted 1.5. Or was it 1.5 and 2? I think the former, but I'll check tomorrow.

    Good luck with the module - fifth times a charm! I know how frustrating it is when things get rejected.

    It's a lot of work for sure, but exciting!
     
  32. daverep

    daverep Active Member

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    Hey guys....I can't begin to tell you how cool it is to watch this take shape. The parts you're getting are amazing! I'm assuming they are as delicate as they look? Good luck with this and I can't wait to see your final products!
     
  33. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Thanks P/Dave. Mine's about 1.67...I can't find a tute or table for 'clear detail' plastic giving minimum dims, so fingers crossed.

    I'm very bummed right now. Just browsing the tutes again and came across one I'd missed. The minimum size given for for White Strong Flexible plastic is 0.7 mm and I'd adhered to that; my bracing parts are .85mm and my main beams are 1.1mm. (Reduced from what I had intended - 1.25mm - because of that stuffup a couple of weeks back.)

    Now it seems none of this is likely to be any good. I won't hear back on my latest revisions for a week or more, but I think maybe I'd better get started on a version using 2mm longerons. I just came across this:

    "Even though you could use a minimum wall thickness of 1mm when using White, Strong & Flexible we recommend that you stick to 2mm. We would also never recommend making large portions of your model this thin because this would make it excessively delicate."

    - arrrrghh! Why couldn't I have found that FIRST?!??

    Hoping this is older info and that 1mm isn't the real minimum. What's the cross-section on your longerons, btw?
     
  34. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Thank you, daverep! I still have yet to get a successful print of a fretwork part, so I can't say myself. At the rate I'm going I never will. :lol
     
  35. daverep

    daverep Active Member

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    I'm sure you will! :lol It's cool that technology has advanced so much that it allows you two to do this. I've always thought the Cygnus was an outstanding model with all of it's layers. What 3D program are you using? You may have said in this or the other thread, but it's escaping me now.
     
  36. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    I've been using 1 mm for the major elements (lengthwise and cross beams) and .75 mm for most of the diagonals. It's way out of scale and looks very fat and clunky on the screen, but the actual parts look fine. I don't think anyone will pull out their pocket micrometer and measure the frame cross section of your model. Okay, a couple of guys here would, but most people will just be impressed regardless. ;-) I think the human eye really doesn't resolve the difference between 1.1 and 2 mm that well anyway. I've received a couple of parts where straight beams rendered as curly ribbons because they were too thin, so I'd go ahead and make the changes.
     
  37. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Auuugh...don't say that...I'm *slow*!!! It'll take forever. :lol

    Thanks for the info. It's annoying that Shapeways appear to have some contradictions here - their online calculator suggests I should be able to get away with 1.25mm, which was my intent in the first place. So do other parts of the site. But there are two tutes which suggest I'm an idiot. (Well, there are many more things in life which suggest this, but...) :)

    Oh well...1.1mm is what I have, I've added 3mm internal braces...maybe it'll pass muster, but it's frustrating having to wait another ten days to find out, since I have another order pending. Especially thinking it most likely won't. On with the engines in the meantime, I guess...

    I do agree regarding resolution, scale etc. The results you're getting are way way more impressive than the old MPC kit, to the point that being overscale is just lost in the wow factor. Even at 1/350 and 1.1mm my parts are overscale too - they should be about .85mm max, and .425mm for the bracing.

    REALLY don't want to go to 2mm. Think I'll probably bawww about it for a while longer. :lol
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  38. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    daverep, I'm using Rhino v3 and MeshLab.
     
  39. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Oh, daverep -- the parts are not as delicate as you'd think. Fine, unsupported sections can tend to warp a bit, but even the small observatory antennas have some resilience. I had to push against them with a drill to open the hole for the brass rod and they held up fine. I could crush most of the pieces in my hand if I tried, but the same would go for styrene at that size as well. A little care is needed, but they're not going to crumble in your hands if you're not careful.
     
  40. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    No, not an idiot. :) It's a learning process! I said that it was expensive on the other forum I'm posting on. One of the guys commented that as a model it was expensive, but as a independent study college course in advanced fabrication techniques it was cheap. I'm trying to keep that in mind. ;-)

    Meanwhile, after having a string of parts rejected myself, I know what you're going through!
     
  41. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    That's a really good way of looking at it, you know. I'm definitely learning a lot right now. This does wonders for your ability to think in 3d and parts fit/engineering terms.

    I did get my outboard module into production eventually, and I have two power centre units coming too; in fact I have three orders in production right now, the wait is murder, I'm gagging to see these bits. Unfortunately, as is always the way, I've found some problems - there were sections I'd meant to Boolean out of existence which made it into my uploads, but worse...I've been wrestling with the height of the 'railings' on top and bottom of these modules. I've tried to convince myself they were built as drawn...but look at this pic.

    [​IMG]


    They weren't, were they? Somewhere between a third and a half as tall, in reality.

    Oh well, consoling myself with more fuel module bits, these tanks are up next.

    [​IMG]
     
  42. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    ...admittedly that pic is a bit squashed, I think...it's not as bad as half...if the pic needs vertical stretching by about 7.3% (judging from the pipe junction sphere) then the railings are about....uhhhh...

    ...two scale feet out. Or 2mm in my scale. Thus:
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  43. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Waiting for the parts to arrive is like when I was a kid waiting for Christmas! Santa's coming today -- power center modules are supposed to be here this afternoon!

    Hmmm -- I trust you when you say the difference is there. If it is a difference of 2mm at your scale, it's 1mm at mine. I can see it in direct comparison between your renders, but I'm already so out of scale in my cross section dimensions I don't think it really affects me that much. I don't think I'll start over -- I think I'll just stick to the blueprint dimensions...
     
  44. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Yay! The power modules arrived! They look really good, even if the racks are a millimeter too high. ;-)

    Also received my revised observatory dome. The first version was rejected because the walls were too thin at 1mm. I revised it to 1.5mm, and they produced it. However, I think I may need to up it to 2mm. It has some weird artifacts along one side.

    I'll try and have pics tomorrow...
     
  45. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Awesome. Cannot wait to see! I'd agree that a 1mm difference won't be very perceptible. Crap, I'm the only person who's going to notice even 2mm, I'm sure. :lol

    Shame about the dome. I've been trying to get away with thin domes too, so am not very optimistic right now regarding those.
     
  46. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    First thing I'm gonna notice when I see it.
     
  47. PrimitiveDave

    PrimitiveDave Active Member

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    Here are pics of the parts that arrived yesterday. You can definitely see stair-stepping on the bottom of the power module. The artifacts on the observatory dome are facing away from the camera so you can't see them. I will try a thicker version to see if that corrects the problem. Otherwise, I'm really happy with how they came out!

    I've made some paper mockups of the substructures these parts fit on. Hopefully you can see how I'm planning to put all this together. Next parts on order span the center section between the outboard modules on top. They should really make things start to take shape.

    As always, feel free to make any comments or critiques!
     
  48. daverep

    daverep Active Member

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    Seeing those pieces on the paper mock-up...this is going to be even cooler than I thought! I'm totally jealous!! Nice work! :cool
     
  49. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Jaw-dropping work, Dave, seriously. Wow.

    daverep, don't be jealous...you can buy Dave's pieces on Shapeways and start a model yourself! :lol

    They're actually really inexpensive, relatively speaking at least - great value for money IMO!

    By comparison, my parts, um, ain't. They're costing four or five times as much due to the volumetric pricing. If Shapeways didn't give a discount on volume above 20cm3, I'd be completely sunk.

    Dave, an order which should have shipped yesterday is still in production. What does it meaaaaannn?!? Jonesing for a fix here! :lol
     
  50. daverep

    daverep Active Member

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    Really? I've been meaning to take a look at the Shapeways site but simply haven't. However... :lol

    Thanks for the info! Will have to do that when I get a few minutes here at work. Thanks!! Keep up the work guys!
     

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