Self-Service 3D Printing – Shapeways

The chances are limitless with 3D printing–granting entry to speedy prototyping and limitless alternatives for iteration. On-demand manufacturing and decreased half meeting as items are nested collectively in additive manufacturing supply super benefits for producers scaling enterprise. These processes are additional enhanced by pace in manufacturing for robust and light-weight elements; nonetheless, essentially the most important, persisting profit, is the flexibility to make complicated geometries not doable earlier than through typical manufacturing.

Shapeways prospects have produced numerous sensible designs, innovations, and high-performance practical elements over time. Shapeways Buyer Service is conscious of the time, effort, and challenges that go into perfecting 3D fashions and assembly stringent undertaking necessities. Because of this they try so onerous to make the method seamless for designers as they attain the purpose of self-service importing for 3D fashions, whether or not sharing designs for 3D printed drone frames, medical fashions, effective jewellery, or an infinite variety of different merchandise. 

Self-Service 3D Printing: Buyer Service is There for You

Buyer Service dedicates quite a few sources to make sure designers obtain success in importing fashions, ordering 3D prints, and scaling their additive manufacturing. This contains an intensive Pre-Print Guidelines masking every part from getting ready 3D fashions with transferring and interlocking elements to compensating for smoothing. 

Designers have entry to informative tutorials on subjects like:

  • 3D modeling software program
  • Speedy prototyping
  • Additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing instruments
  • 3D scanning
  • Orientation and different settings
  • Put up-processing 

For data relating to 3D printing orders, Shapeways Buyer Service addresses the next:

  • Pricing data for 3D printing supplies and different merchandise
  • Reductions for 3D prints
  • Expedited and worldwide transport for 3D prints
  • Import duties, taxes, and brokerage charges
  • Rejection of 3D fashions
  • Particulars concerning the “Print It Anyway” (PITA) possibility

“Shapeways desires to assist carry your concepts to life, whether or not you want to create a substitute half to your favourite equipment, or need to develop your online business with the multitude of 3D printing supplies that Shapeways gives,” says Steve Weart, Director of Buyer Success at Shapeways.

“We make these concepts a actuality through the use of our 14 years of experience that can assist you get your mannequin to the proper degree of printability–inside the materials pointers which are greatest to your explicit end-use utility. With an industry-best staff of technical consultants, we offer this seamless course of to a whole bunch of shoppers per day.”

Buyer Service can be obtainable to reply questions that can’t be answered on the Assist Middle, whether or not you want extra details about pointers for importing your 3D mannequin or help with a 3D printing order. In case you have extra complicated questions relating to printability or customizing elements, the Person Software Workforce is offered too. 

Getting Began: Primary Self Serve Importing Directions

Are you able to add a 3D print design? Shapeways permits designers and engineers to take part in a self-serve add course of, permitting for fast quotes and a right away printability evaluation. Add your 3D print design by following these steps:

  1. Log into your Shapeways account and choose My 3D Fashions
  2. Discover the ‘select a 3D file or drag it right here’ space. Choose your models, holding in thoughts that your mannequin might be re-scaled later.
  3. Drag and drop your file, or click on and a dialogue field will seem, permitting you to pick out the file.
  4. The mannequin web page will load. Proceed from there.

Automated Printability Evaluation

After importing your 3D mannequin, a collection of automated processes are activated to test for printability. This begins with assessing the file format, ensuring it’s a supported file, with an appropriate polygon depend. The printer bounding field necessities, discovered on every Shapeways 3D printing supplies web page, have to be inside limits, guaranteeing the 3D mannequin will match into the designated 3D printer. 3D fashions have to be watertight and closed, with the fitting normals and manifold. 


File Kind Compatibility and Measurement

Whereas importing STL recordsdata for 3D printing is most typical, there are numerous different choices:

  • Acceptable 3D printing file sorts embrace: DAE, OBJ, STL, X3D, X3DB, X3DV, WRL, 3MF, STP, STEP
  • Full shade 3D printing file sorts: DAE, WRL, X3D, X3DB, X3DV, OBJ
  • Textures recordsdata: GIF, JPG, PNG–add as a ZIP folder containing the mannequin file and textures (and MTL for OBJ)

In some circumstances, 3D printing recordsdata could also be too massive, which prohibits the self-serve add course of. The utmost file measurement for all 3D printing file sorts is 64MB and/or 1 million polygons. In case your file exceeds that capability, take into account lowering the scale by zipping the recordsdata, as compression will cut back the scale with out compromising your design. 

Another choice is to separate the elements by breaking the 3D mannequin down into small particular person elements that may be assembled after printing. This workaround permits prospects to take care of effective particulars with out the added step of compressing recordsdata or lowering the polygon depend.

Keep away from Printability Issues from the Begin

Customers pushing the boundaries of 3D printing and specializing in innovation could encounter file-fixing points throughout the 3D file creation course of. Making the fitting decisions forward of time usually saves complications down the road, whether or not prototyping or 3D printing high-performance elements.

Whereas design specialists at Shapeways can usually regenerate many 3D fashions deemed unprintable at first, it’s simpler to pay attention to–and keep away from–typical points from the beginning. Turning into educated about 3D printing supplies and know-how is essential:

“Completely different supplies have totally different pointers, and typically we run into issues when a mannequin is about for a cloth that isn’t suitable with a extra sophisticated sort of geometry,” says Angeliki Sioliou, Person Software Design Specialist.

3D fashions are sometimes rejected for points like weak geometries, a wide range of particulars in Forged Metallic merchandise like jewellery, and naturally–wall thickness and texture. 

Orientation is a quite common setting which can be personalized in superior settings by following these steps:

  1. Go to My 3D Fashions, and click on the three vertical dots to the fitting of the mannequin.
  2. Choose Open in 3D Instruments.
  3. Click on on Set 3D Printed Orientation.
  4. A popup window seems, with a navigational button within the backside left nook. Use this to set the 3D printing orientation, and click on Save Orientation when completed.

In some circumstances, Shapeways designers could obtain personalized suggestions from Person Software Design Specialists like Angeliki:

“I make sure that the fashions are printable if doable,” she says, declaring that from her finish, suggestions despatched to prospects isn’t coming from a pc system or a bot, however immediately from her.

“For some fashions, we add a customized message originally of a printability rejection.”

Groen and Boothman's Creatures bracelets

Seek the advice of with the Person Software Workforce for Any 3D Printing Order

Every manufacturing job is exclusive, starting its journey as quickly because the buyer uploads a 3D mannequin. From there, proprietary software program prompts the additive manufacturing course of. Companies with larger-volume orders could profit from working with the Person Software (UA) Workforce immediately although.

The UA Workforce controls manufacturing of high quality elements made to buyer specs, whether or not for large-scale 3D printed architectural assertion items, full-color miniatures for gaming corporations, or industrial digital measuring gadgets for home-brewing craft beer. 

In some uncommon circumstances, 3D fashions are merely unprintable as a result of they aren’t designed with the right pointers. For purchasers working with a particular set of necessities for bigger initiatives requiring intensive customization, a one-on-one session with the UA Workforce will assist them cross the ultimate hurdle.

“Our objective is to make the shopper expertise as seamless as doable,” says Matthew Nadler, Person Software Supplies Specialist at Shapeways. “We unlock all that Shapeways has to supply for our prospects, and allow them to leverage our full capabilities.”

About Shapeways

Get pleasure from the advantages of this superior know-how and a variety of supplies from Shapeways for 3D printing your creations with accuracy, complicated element, and no minimal or limits when it comes to mass customization or single half orders. Shapeways has labored with over 1 million prospects in 160 nations to 3D print over 21 million elements! Examine case research, discover out extra about Shapeways additive manufacturing options, and get immediate quotes right here.


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