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Anyone suggest a decent 3d printing company?
show user profile  npcph
I am going to make a custom Christmas ornament for a family member as a Christmas gift and figured it might be fun to create in max and have printed. anyone know of a good quality company with decent prices in the U.S.

it is going to be 2" tall with a small scene in the middle of it. I'll actually post a pic of what i am thinking in a little while.


read 821 times
12/10/2013 3:47:03 AM (last edit: 12/10/2013 3:47:03 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss
Cool project. I am actually attempting something similar for my mum. Got the idea from this tutorial.

It seems it's quite difficult to get exact requirements for printing from different companies and varies a lot depending on the machines they use. Sadly I can't help recommend a printer as I'm over here in the UK but I'll be following closely to see how you get on. :)

read 801 times
12/10/2013 1:17:21 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 1:17:21 PM)
show user profile  ccampbell
Hey Guys, I'm pretty surprised nobody has stepped up to help with this one. I've got tons of experience in 3D Printing so I'll give it a shot.

Are you thinking a single color or are you wanting to print in full color? I own a 3D Printing company so I could help with Full color or White strong plastic if your interested. As for a few other companies check these guys out they can both do tons of materials. I have many more but pricing will begin to be an issue no doubt.
- in us and reasonable pricing
- These guys are in france but will "next day" your prints free.

@ BishBashRoss:
Most 3D printers will print out anything you give them. The important thing to ask is will the details show up? The answer... Mostly probably not haha....

Consumer level 3D Printers have a very low "feature detail" capability meaning that they can only produce parts at a given resolution. This means you see what is called stepping(just like stairs) between the layers of the print. Home machines like the maker bots and cubes of the world have a minimum "feature detail" measurement of about 1 mm or .03 in. which seems very small but is HUGE in the 3D Printing world. it only gets better and smaller from there.

The biggest factor in a 3D Print really comes down to... Is the mesh closed or not? This is what will cause a 3D Print to catastrophically fail meaning you probably wont recognize what has come out the other end.

Example: create a sphere primitive.... Now you have a closed mesh(manifold) that will print solid!! if you delete one face now you don't. this is when the prints start to get wacky. You can not "fake" a part with 3D Printing like you can with VFX or animation.

The second issue is, that with all of the 3d printing machines out there, comes literally HUNDREDS of materials you can print in... metals, glass, plastics, rubbers etc... each with there own minimum "feature detail" independent of the printers ability to print a given "feature detail"

3 Keys to 3D Printing in order of importance
1) Make sure your mesh is manifold - this means shell it if it's planer object and leave no open edges or holes.

2) Know what printer you want to use or at the very least, what material you want to print in. Once you know that you will easily find the printing specifications of the printer and material you will be using.

3) Make sure your smallest bumps, features(eyes fingernails etc...) are larger than 0.1mm at any point of measure(you can optimize the mesh to reduce details)

I hope this was helpful and if you knew some of it already then PASS IT ON! 3D Printing is here to stay! So love and embrace it!

$Entrepreneur = if((Designer + Engineer)*Programmer){Problem Solver};

read 788 times
12/10/2013 6:34:02 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 6:38:31 PM)
show user profile  Mr.Burns
Shapeways are US-based, I think.
i.materialise are in Belgium, but they also ship to the US. You may not get your print in time though, at the moment they only have priority production for one material.
read 776 times
12/10/2013 8:30:46 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 8:30:46 PM)
show user profile  ccampbell
I'm pretty sure he said good 3D printers - Shape ways is shit


$Entrepreneur = if((Designer + Engineer)*Programmer){Problem Solver};

read 774 times
12/10/2013 8:36:02 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 8:36:02 PM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss
Thanks Chris. That is some solid info. :)

I was looking at these guys.

But will take a look at the French company as well. Colour would be great but it seems harder to find and I guess more expensive. I was considering going with white and painting it, See if I can recall some of my old games workshop miniature paining skills from my youth. :)

thanks mate.

read 772 times
12/10/2013 8:40:30 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 8:40:30 PM)
show user profile  npcph
thanks for the info. I plan to get it in plain white or clear and i will paint it.

read 770 times
12/10/2013 8:54:27 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 8:54:27 PM)
show user profile  npcph
i have another question. I am going to make an entire room only 1" in size. I am concerned about the scale. I am making it to size so the floor is 1" x1". The problem is, that max tends to act a little funny when everything is so small. It gets real jumpy and the zoom gets funky. if i were to make it 10"x10" and then scale it down, will this be a problem for printing? I will collapse all of the items and reset the xform but i wasn't sure if it would mess anything else.


read 762 times
12/10/2013 9:45:19 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 9:45:19 PM)
show user profile  Mr.Burns
ccampbell: So they're no good?

npcph: I've only tried i.materialise so far. When uploading a model for printing you can first select your original scale (mm or inches) and then at what scale you would like your model to be printed (probably ranging from 1 to 1000 %, not entirely sure)
read 757 times
12/10/2013 10:23:14 PM (last edit: 12/10/2013 10:23:14 PM)
show user profile  ccampbell
@ npcph:
If you made everything 10"x"10 to scale then scaled it down the thinnest piece could be 0.1" or 1mm x 1mm before scaling. the thinnest part should be no less than 0.12mm to have enough structure to print. That stands true for just about any commercial grade SLA/SLS Printer(resin / plastic / color). use the measure tool a lot while you model and change your grid size so you can keep track of object scale easier.

As for working in very small units go to Customize > units setup > system unit set up and slide the bar closer to "origin". this will increase your resulting accuracy and allow you to work in smaller units

@ Mr. Burns:
There print quality is god awful just about every time but they do offer tons of materials.
Print at your own risk with shape ways.

$Entrepreneur = if((Designer + Engineer)*Programmer){Problem Solver};

read 748 times
12/11/2013 12:47:15 AM (last edit: 12/11/2013 12:56:18 AM)
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