As you may know we use Objet 3D printers for our White, Transparent and Black Detail materials. These printers have two settings Top Quality and Top Speed. The difference between the two setting is in the layer thickness of the 3D print. Top Speed has a layer thickness of 28 micron and Top Quality has one of 16 micron. We always set them to Top Speed because this is faster and thus cheaper for you. A few weeks back we had a production hiccup. In response we printed a batch with the Top Quality setting and got several very enthusiastic responses. Because of this for the next two weeks, until the 15th, all orders of the Detail materials will be printed at the highest detail. There is no additional charge.
The difference between the two settings is hard to see on photographs. Andy (Sadwargamer) says of the higher detail prints he received, "The new high quality white detail print mode almost completely removes the “stair effect” currently exhibited when using white detail – especially on curved surfaces. For small models even greater detail is now possible – opening up further avenues for modelers. In particular it reduces the amount of post production work needed to take the printed model to a master production model for commercial sale as either a resin or white metal model."
The white detailed material has on the material properties page the minimum detail of 0.2 mm, which I assume is printed using the top speed setting. Can you comment as to whether the top quality setting should decrease the minimum detail?
... Perhaps with a longer specified ship time associated, to give you time to gather full batches of "+Detail" orders?
I'd even use it if the ship time were on the order of a month, for some projects... during which time presumably there'll be a chance to either fill up an order or run an underfull +Detail batch during slower periods (if any!).
One of the things I really love about Shapeways is how this kind of product research is just done right out in the open, available to all customers. Everyone has a chance to try new things out. Everyone has a change to comment on the results.
yes please make the higher quality available as an option. as a designer of wargame moniatures I would realy welcome a higher quality. My last object printed by your company would realy benefit from a reduction of 'stairs'
Just to chime in, on my last order I included a single white detail model along with some WSF to see how it would look. Having read about the the high detail top quality production cycle only after I got the model, I now suspect it was made at that time. I'm so impressed by the output that I intend to print my future models in this material, so I also hope the higher detail output becomes a regular option. In any event, there will be another order going in to take advantage of this trial period.
I have just received a few orders i've made one week ago in transparent detail... THIS IS JUST AWESOME ! Well indeed... it is for me ! My wife had to take the prints out of my hands , so i could get back to work...
Seriously, from my point of view , this option should really stay. The result is impressive. ( i'll try to put photos on the forum before the end of the week.) It is the print quality and detail fidelity i was searching when i first discovered Shapeways.
My only concern : I have tons of work right now and i can't find the time to model and upload all the models i would like to see printed with this quality...
I really hope that Shapeways will make a quick decision about the future of this option as a permanent choice.
I agree with what others here have said. I would absolutely be willing to pay a premium and wait a bit longer for higher detail items. Based on what I have seen here I doubt it would take long to fill a "+Detail" run.
I also saw some comments about market research out in the open. I couldn't agree more what better what to find out what we all like that to let us try it out.