I have a bunch of smallish pieces that would be best 3d printed. I tried uploading to shapeways, but the price is a bit more than I'd like. Is there a cheaper service out there? Is there anyone on this site that provides the service?
Shapeways is the cheeps and most reliable I have found. Try ganging all the models together in 1 file and then submitting them to b printed all at once. Right now, you're paying setup fees for each file you submit. If you keep them all fairly close together, it should work just fine, especially in their WSF option.
There are a few members on this site (location dependent of course, I'm in the UK) that would probably assist once they knew what was to be printed etc. Is it basic pieces that you dont mind post processing, or are you looking to print it and that be the end of it?
I have to admit that I'm looking for the same thing-- I have a number of models I've made that I like to get 3D printed but some of them are a bit expensive... Especially a hollow box I have that's about 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1"... Shapeways wanted $95 just for that.
You could try checking a FedEx store... There's one here in Oregon that has a 3D printer, though I have no idea how big it prints or how much they charge. You could also check public libraries... Here in Oregon there are two libraries that have 3D printers for the public to use (though one only prints very small things).
Also bare in mind that most of the printers you may have access too are what are called "Fused Filament Fabrication" and their resolution is considerably less than what a high end printers such as those at Shapeways or iMaterialise or any other service bureau will have. The "stepping" produces in these low end type of printers may or may not be ok if your model is small and as stated above, will likely need some moderate post processing like sanding and filling.
How big/ small are you talking? Care to show a pic?
I have a filament extrusion 3D printer. I print using ABS plastic. It is a commercially available printer. Not the same as what Shapeways uses. As stated earlier the Shapeways printers are capable of higher resolution than what I can do, but if you are willing to put the time in and do the post processing, the parts come out really nice. Shapeways has printers capable of printing in full color too. I have only one color capability.
I just thought I would try to help out if someone needed it.
I'm not a business, just a guy with a lot of fun toys, one of which is a 3D printer.
What Lazerjock said is quite true. I did not intend to dissuade you from using that type of printer. I have seen some very nice pieces come off of them and if you are willing to put in the post work, its a very economical solution. I have been using shapeways and others like them since before the home printer was " a thing" so its hard for me to step down in resolution from what I know I can get elsewhere.
As I mentioned before, if you want, I can take a look at your pieces and see where they may be able to get hollowed out or have some wall thicknesses thinned out. This can save you on material cost. Your call. Best of luck and I hope you show off your handiwork when all is said and done.