3D Printing Industry

Smooth vs Standard Nylon 3D Printing

We introduced Polished White Strong & Flexible Nylon 3D Printing back in May 2011 and have seen your prints coming out looking much more smooth and professional feeling.  Those making twisty puzzles now assemble their designs without the need for sanding prior to assembly and those painting their 3D Prints can do so with less preparation time and effort.

One downside is the size of 3D Print that can currently be polished is limited to 150x150x150mm so not all Nylon 3D Prints can be post-processed in this way. To polish your 3D Prints we place them in a giant vibratory tumbler with an abrasive medium that smooths the surface.  The tumbling process can be a little rough on really fine 3D Printed wires so the minimum thickness for these kind of features in your design must be at least 0.9mm, over 1mm is preferred.

We do not currently offer smooth color 3D Printing but it is something we may offer in the near future.  The current dying process does not react well to polishing but if we were to introduce polished colors we may need to limit the size from the current 230x180x130mm to 150x150x150mm.  The result is there may be a few models that cannot be printed in color, but all color models would be nice and smooth, less stepping, less rough edges. 

Let us know what you think? would you like ALL of your 3D prints to one day arrive at your doorstep silky smooth, is there any other post processing you would like to see? Let us know your thoughts… 

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Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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