How Best To Arrange Multiple Objects In Same File?

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by thirteenera, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. thirteenera
    thirteenera Member
    So, my model consists of multiple "parts" that i will join together after its printed. What is the best way to arrange said parts in the file? I would rather not have to overpay for incorrectly or inefficiently prepared submission file :/

    Option 1: Unchanged, just upload it with all the pieces in roughly same position (meaning arms are near arm sockets, etc)

    Option 2: Minimize bounding box - try to squeeze things together as much as possible, with just small gaps between objects, to minimize "empty space"

    Option 3: Lay it flat - try to minimize vertical area by arranging everything on a x/z plane

    Option 4: ???

    Also, if using option 2, are there any automated tools that would do that, or should i just move things around manually by eye?

    Many thanks!
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    It partly depends upon the material. It's usually cheapest to minimize the bounding box.

    Some materials will have fewer rough surfaces if you lay them flat, but for most, if you minimize the bounding box, you'll save some money.

    Note: if your parts are loose (not actually connected), some materials incur a bit of an upcharge for having to chase down the separate items.

    Also, if they are loose, Shapeways may well change the positions to make the various parts fit within the overall build volume. There is a "rule" that large objects are cheaper if they have a 40mm hole somewhere in them.. the idea is to place smaller parts within that otherwise unused space. Your separate parts might actually end up scattered throughout the build volume.. tucked inside of other larger items.

    The big thing you need to deal with is that SMALL parts may get lost during cleaning. There are also MINIMUM bounding boxes that apply to individual parts. You may need to add sprues to keep all the parts together.
  3. thirteenera
    thirteenera Member
    How small would you say a part need to be for me to be scared about it getting lost? In my current model i think my smallest part is roughly 1-2cm long, a small pipe. Would that cause any issues if left loose?
  4. lawrencekramer2014
    lawrencekramer2014 Well-Known Member
    have you considered joining the parts with rectangular sprue-like connections like those from the old plastic model kits we built as a kid? It cut the cost per piece for me (above minimum charges), and I arranged it so it was easy to trim away. Twelve identical pieces cast as 1 piece.