There are a lot of options when it comes to 3D printing. Here's some FAQs to help you learn about our process and offerings. Hopefully this ensures there are no surprises when you receive your order. This certainly isn't everything but covers some of the top questions we get from customers.
This section covers frequent questions regarding 3D printing
What types of materials do you use for 3D printing?
Filament (Plastic-based) Types:
PLA - The most commonly 3D printed filament material. Sturdy but considered to be the most brittle option compared to others. Also has the lowest temperature resistance.
ASA - Strong and durable material. High temperature resistance. Similar to ABS (like Lego bricks), but also has great UV resistance properties. Higher cost versus PLA.
Resin (Liquid-based) Types:
4k/ABS-like - Higher toughness versus standard resin. Better visual quality in 4k resolution. Higher cost than a standard resin.
What are layer lines and support marks and why do 3D printed objects have them?
3D printing technology goes about printing material layer by layer, one on top of the other as it prints an object. This naturally causes layer lines to show up on physical prints because of this process. There are ways to lessen the visible effect of layer lines but standard filament printing will always exhibit these features. Even high resolution Resin printing can have some visible layer lines depending on part orientation or resolution chosen to print. This is why post-processing (sanding, gap-filling, Acetone-smoothing, etc.) is almost always required in order to get a completely smooth surface.
Depending on the requirements of printing your model, supports may need to be printed in conjunction with the print to support curves or bridging that is beyond 3D printing's capabilities of a layer by layer process. This presents the challenge of getting the object to print while leaving as little support marks or scarring as possible. Resin printing almost always require some type of supports due to its liquid material. Proper curing times, smart support layout, and print orientation settings will minimize the impact supports have on prints. Seams are an unavoidable part of FDM printing as each layer is laid down, it must come to a stop and then start again. Where these two points meet causes a seam as it moves up to the next layer.
Filament and Resin prints are not perfect and there should be some level of expectation that minor gaps, support marks, layer lines, or other imperfections may be present and would need to be addressed in your model. This process is not like injection molding and not nearly as expensive for that reason. Once sanded and/or primed and painted, a 3D print's lines/marks (if any) should not be visible in our prints.
We constantly tune, calibrate, and perform routine maintenance on our printers to ensure you get the best quality print, with minimal post-processing required, and as little support material used which helps keep cost of models down and produces less waste for the environment.
Do you offer custom 3D printing?
At this time, we DO NOT offer custom 3D printing of your designs or others' designs.
Do you offer rescaling of models in your store?
At this time, we DO NOT offer rescaling of existing models in our store. This helps us keep costs down and also keeps us efficient in delivering your models in a timely manner. Rescaling often requires taking time to create new supports to print the model correctly and test printing that newly supported model to ensure no failures occur.
This section covers frequent questions regarding 3D Design
Where can I get a 3D design made?
While we DO NOT currently offer 3D design services at this time, there are many websites dedicated to 3D design or you can design your own or commission someone to create one for you from services like Fiverr, Shapeways, and others. Popular sites for existing 3D models include Thingiverse, Cults3D, CGTrader, MyMiniFactory, Yeggi, and more!
What software is used to create 3D designs?
There are numerous software options available to create your 3D designs, however, some of the most popular ones are below.
TinkerCAD - Free basic software from Autodesk, browser based, basic tools but good to learn from
Autodesk Fusion 360 - High-end modeling, free(limited)/paid software used primarily for hard surface modeling and design
Blender - High-end modeling, free software used primarily for organic modelling and design but decent tools for hard surface modeling as well
Zbrush - High-end modeling, paid software used primarily for organic modelling and design