Design - printed more than once at the same time

Discussion in 'My Work In Progress' started by popmarter, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. popmarter
    popmarter New Member
    Hi, not sure if my title says it all, but i am new :blush:

    Just got my second design printed and it's great! Just as I needed.

    But, now I would like to have, say 10 of this design in one print (hope that is cheaper). I would like to have them printed and be able to cut the pieces loose /apart myself using a scissor or knife. How do i make this design? Any clues on what works best?

    thanks in advance
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  2. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    It depends how big the objects are and what material you want to print in is.

    Look at the material specs to see if multiple parts can be printed per file and also search the forums (do NOT use the general search which is worthless, more of a random result generator) for the topic "sprues".

    Good luck!
  3. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    What's the intended material? It makes it easier on the operators if you join them together with what we commonly call a sprue. Larger pieces aren't as necessary. Check the material detail pages for if multiple pieces are allowed, and if so how many.
  4. popmarter
    popmarter New Member
    It was made in White Strong & Flexible.

    I found this on the design-page:
    Multiple Part per STL: Yes

    Does this mean i can have them printed more than once (and save money)?

    Sprue was the word i am looking for, thanks! that will open some possiblities.

    Edit: seems to work. I just copied the item 5 times in a row and uploaded it to Shapeways to see if it works. And yes, I can print them for small price. Excellent! Thanks for the tip!!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  5. Tresob
    Tresob New Member
    Word of caution: if you decide to upgrade to a polished plastic, you might need to make sure your sprues are thicker than 1mm in diameter. I sometimes have files rejected because the polishing process will make the sprues too thin (and sometimes not...I think it depends on how adventurous the technicians are feeling on any given day).

    Also, make sure that you remove any internal faces where the sprues connect to your pieces. Otherwise, the sprue might just fall off.
  6. StefanoAlberti
    StefanoAlberti New Member
  7. Tresob
    Tresob New Member
    I've had pieces printed in one set that were not connected by sprues, but I try to do this very rarely. And I always make sure the parts are close together in the render.

    There's another thread that covers this issue, and it explains how our designs get printed in a giant block of powder. Technicians have to rummage through that powder to find our parts...sprues make sure nothing gets lost and that parts can be identified efficiently.

    Whatever you do though, always sprue small parts. Word is that very small parts can fall down vents and get lost in machinery.
  8. StefanoAlberti
    StefanoAlberti New Member
  9. Tresob
    Tresob New Member
    I'm pretty sure I was thinking of this thread. At the very least, it has an image of the aforementioned block o' powder.

    Thanks for the compliment on my shop! If you look at the 3D rotation on a lot of my combined sets, you'll see that I try to sprue as much as possible.

    I figure the cost/benefit is something like this:
    1) Sprue -- Benefit: You don't have to deal with the hassle of lost parts + save $1.50 Cost: You have to clean up the parts once you get them.
    2) Don't sprue -- Benefit: Clean piece + save $1.50. Cost: Risk your model being incomplete, annoying a potential customer, and causing a technician anxiety.

    I think the cost of annoying a customer by losing a piece far outweighs the cost of annoying a customer because they have to clean the piece up a little...or pay another $1.50 to buy it separately.
  10. StefanoAlberti
    StefanoAlberti New Member
  11. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    It's not a formal rule (yet), but what you should try to do is make sure that every piece can easily be picked up with human fingers.
    If the pieces of your model are so small they must be picked up with tweezers.. they are within their rights to reject the model.
  12. StefanoAlberti
    StefanoAlberti New Member