3d Printing Services?

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Sandman0077

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have seen multiple people around here using 3d Printing as a method to make accurate props and parts, so I was wondering what services you use and what is the cost and quality of this option ?
 

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buhatkj

New Member
I just got some parts in from Ponoko, little plastic clips that are part of my replica of R2-D2's periscope. The quality was good, and they came out exactly as I had designed them. Cheap too! The most costly bit was the UPS shipping, and the total including that was <$20
 

aron42486

Well-Known Member
Shapeways' website has details for what you need to use their services. They take most all of the popular 3D modeling file types. I know most programs even let you export to different file types if a native one doesn't work.

I feel that their services are invaluable for smaller details and pieces. Doing something large gets really pricey, as the larger you go, the thicker you need to make your model in order to support it. They say to design as much hollow as you can since you pay by volume of material you use.

It can be a pain to design something hollow and you will use a good chunk of material. I was trying to estimate how much it would be to print an 12"-18" Normandy model from Mass Effect. My cost estimate came about between $600-$1,000. This was my estimate of course not theirs.

You can submit your model and they will give you accurate pricing for it. Again, I think it's great to use for detail pieces and parts. But for larger things you gotta have the cash flow for it.
 

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exoray

Master Member
Cost was my biggest concern. Is there much work needed to clean the final piece up?

That depends on the material you select... Most of the higher detail ones will only need a light sanding or mild surface smoothing to remove the micro build lines...

I was trying to estimate how much it would be to print an 12"-18" Normandy model from Mass Effect. My cost estimate came about between $600-$1,000. This was my estimate of course not theirs.

Well that is a big model, but when you consider how much labor and materials it would cost you to scratch build the same model, that is really a hell of a bargain unless your time is free...
 

aron42486

Well-Known Member
I guess it depends on what material you use. Shapeways has a number of different materials you can select from when you upload and/or order your piece. They have a complete list on their site but I remember ceramic, sandstone, plastics/nylons, even silver and steel.

It seems that the cheaper the material, the rougher the finish. I ordered Bimmer's Ironman details package from them. I believe the material was "White, Strong, and Flexible" which is a nylon selling for $1.50 per sq cm. It has the surface texture of an Altoids mint, but I believe they have upgrades to finish the material smoother for an additional 10-20% of the cost.

Check out their site and click "Upload and 3D Print" on the left side for details. Shapeways | Passionate about creating
 
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aron42486

Well-Known Member
Well that is a big model, but when you consider how much labor and materials it would cost you to scratch build the same model, that is really a hell of a bargain unless your time is free...

Yea, and the detail captured in the 3D print would be very difficult to produce by hand. I am not a skilled enough craftsman for that.

Still might do it someday if I ever get a Christmas bonus or something.
 

exoray

Master Member
Here is an extreme close up of a direct casting pulled from the white detail, no clean up at all was done to the a part before molding and casting in black ignore the few air bubbles in the casting, it was only a proof on concept casting... It's a domed bubble cover, so even though it appears flat in the picture it's not, the center is about 1/8" higher than the edges, with the raised extrusion following the same domed profile...

The surface is pretty much like a textured desktop or like many injected plastic parts with a haircell or pebble texture, it could be knocked down easily with some sand paper or filed smooth with a quick and dirty surface putty...

They have even much higher definition materials now, I might print the part again and compare...

I linked to the picture so it's doesn't whack the thread due to size...

http://rpf.exoray.com/cover_closeup.jpg
 

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cboath

Master Member
No. It's automated.

You may want to check and make sure they're printing using the same material. Different materials can equal different (sometimes WAY different) prices.

Plus, you know, two companies, two different prices per cubic mm or whatever can play a part as well.

If you're going to do a model, make sure to hollow out the pieces first, they charge by the volume of material they have to use. for example, I sent up a solid lightsaber and it cambe back nearly 300. Hollowed it out and it's about 135.
 

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zenix

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
you need to connect the inside to the outside. any internal meshes will be deleted.


say you have a sphere 10mm in diameter, create another sphere, 8mm in diameter, and subtract that inner one from the outer one.

then connect the inner sphere to the outer sphere with a tube, say .05 mm diameter. subtract that tube from the hollow sphere, and you'll and up with one solid shape with no holes, that isn't hollow technically, but effectively is a hollow sphere.

The pic below shows what I'm talking about. I used those dimensions I explained above in the example, and sliced the sphere in half, for clarity

hollowexplained.jpg
 
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Sandman0077

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm using google sketchup and I read that sketchup won't do hollow because it's a surface modeller? And the walls are like .07mm thick, so I guess I have to use another program. I downloaded Blender today, but it's got a huge learning curve that I'm not looking forward to.
 

epilepticsquirl

Sr Member
What zenix was talking about should look similar to this.
View attachment 65752
It's two surfaces, connected to each other. In this instance, the software recognizes that there is a thickness to the object; instead of just being one surface inside of another. Any 3D software program worth its salt can do this.
 

zenix

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
sketchup vanilla is crippled. to do proper boolean operations in sketchup, you need the $495 upgrade...

yes blender's awesome, but has a bunch you have to learn up front.


what are you making?
 

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