Composite models

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by Oskar_van_Deventer, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Oskar_van_Deventer
    Oskar_van_Deventer Well-Known Member
    Hi Shapeways,

    Could you support composite models, please?

    My 3D puzzles have many identical pieces. Now I have to include many identical copies in the STL, which significantly increases the triangle count. In order to stay below the 500.000 triangle limit, I have to reduce resolution. Unfortunately, even a slight reduction in the number of triangles means a significant deterioration of resolution.

    My Slice Kilominx design (see below) illustrates the optimization problem.
    Res: 0.02 mm --> 1.185000 triangles
    Res: 0.05 mm --> 736000 triangles
    Res: 0.10 mm --> 629000 triangles
    Ideally, my puzzles require a 0.02 mm resolution. I had to revert to 0.15 mm resolution to make the design fit within the 500.000 triangle limit.
    I am afraid that the design doesn't work with this poor resolution.

    I could try and move the problem to my customers and scatter the pieces around my shop page. It would then be up to my customers to collect and order the right types and numbers of pieces. This is not something that my customers would appreciate, which is why I always collect composite designs in a single STL.

    So can you help me solve this problem, and add the option of offering composite models, please?

    Thank you!


    Slice Kilominx v2 - view 2.jpg
  2. TomZ
    TomZ New Member
    Oh yes, working in pretty much the same field as you do I am also constantly struggling with the 500k limit. A way to compose different files into an assembly would be great.

    By the way Oskar, I just discovered the function ReduceMesh in Rhino, which allows you to enter a number of triangles to reduce the mesh to. That way you can easily hit the 500k limit spot on.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  3. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I've been thinking about, for the future, to sell my products on a separate site, have them shipped to me, I'll perform post processing, then ship them off to the final customer. Always an idea. If you can, have a supply of product on hand to ship out when ordered.
  4. Jettuh
    Jettuh Well-Known Member

    i've been thinking about it too,
    but the other side of the story is that you order some models, but you won't be really sure everything is going to be sold!
  5. Whystler
    Whystler New Member
    The problem with that is you pay twice for shipping .. once embedded into the shapeways price, and second when you ship. Not to mention that you will also have to process payments yourself.

  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Yes, double the shipping. But you also make sure when your customer gets your product, it is as you intended it to be. And as far as having an at home inventory. That's why you wait till you know you are moving product. I would wait till I was selling 5 of something a month before I'd do that.
  7. randomblink
    randomblink New Member
    Offering a means of packaging several models into one ITEM to sell would be wonderful. Having Web DB Programming in my background, I can say that it isn't that hard.

    You create an item to sell that doesn't have a model attached.
    Then add each model that is a part of it TO that item.
    Then add your profit on top.
  8. TheoGeerinck
    TheoGeerinck New Member
    I have the same problem. I use the description to communicate to potential buyers that, in order to get one complete puzzle, they need so many parts of type A and so many parts of type B. But this proves hard. I would be very sorry if people spend money on incomplete, so worthless, puzzles! I fear it happened already.
    So please develop a tool to combine different parts in predefined amounts, so puzzles can only be ordered in complete packages!
  9. TomZ
    TomZ New Member
    I'm bumping this post because I would really like to see this implemented.

    There is one thing that worries me: what about the $1.50 fixed cost for WSF? Putting many solid bodies into one file sort of bypasses this. If you were allowed to compose many models into one, how would the pricing work out. Most puzzles have many pieces, having to pay an extra $1.50 per piece would make it very unattractive for me. That would most likely make me ignore the feature altogether and do it the old fashioned way.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  10. dadrummond
    dadrummond Member
    I don't think it's $1.50 per piece. It's $1.50 per print, however many pieces there might be. SW folks -- correct?
  11. TomZ
    TomZ New Member
    Definitely not. If you order two separate WSF models you pay the $1.50 fee twice. However if the contents of the two models are combined into one model (containing two solid bodies) you only pay the fee once.
    With these puzzles there are often hundreds of pieces and I'm concerned that even if an assembly function is made within Shapeways it won't be used because it will force the $1.50 fee for every part, making it too expensive compared to the time it takes to make a composite model.
  12. steryne
    steryne New Member
    I usually offer my 3d puzzles as composite and it does reduce quality a whole lot. I have to agree with Oskar.
  13. PuzzleForge
    PuzzleForge New Member
    I have to HEARTILY second the request for composite models. I have many puzzles that take 8 or 9 different uploads put together.

    My shop is a complete cluttered mess because of this.

    It would be so wonderful to have a way to group models into a composite for ordering and sales!

    Please? :)
  14. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Bump on this. What they said.
  15. pete
    pete Shapeways Employee CEO & Co-Founder
    HI guys,

    we are working on this. Please be a little more patient!

  16. PuzzleForge
    PuzzleForge New Member
    THANK YOU! This is fantastic news. I wish there were some way I could help out. Aside from being patient, of course. :)

  17. rawkstar320
    rawkstar320 New Member
    I am patiently bumping this post too.


    Setting up models in "groups" would be pretty sweet. Especially cus I have some ideas for parts that would have something made in Sandstone, something in W Detail and/or something in WSF.

    yup yup

    SW Just keeps getting better doesnt it?
  18. wwwmwww
    wwwmwww Member
    A "little" more patient means waiting 2 years? Please add this ability. Everyone that wants it PLEASE vote for it here:

    Support Composite Models


  19. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    I've raised the idea to create a simple form of item coupling.

    I've learned from my discussions that:
    - it's important for shapeways to have a connected set of items
    (that reduces the handling costs)

    Therefore we discussed also sprues very intensively.

    My idea is to have an item connected to a sprue with an anchor on one side.
    Thus placing two items on the left or right anchor position would make it easy to connect (when placed in the printing area but could also be done automatically)

    Here's a picture how that may look like.

    This feature could be set during upload. Afterwards shapeway's can enable:
    - storing the anchor position for internal usage
    - reduce the handling costs for items using this feature

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  20. mo_design
    mo_design New Member
    Hi Woody,

    looks like a interesting idea. Would be glad, if the can realize something similar.