My first impressions

Discussion in 'Bug Reporting' started by KoalaCreek, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. KoalaCreek
    KoalaCreek New Member
    First of all, thank you for allowing me to join the beta version of you printing service.
    As beta versions tend to move forward with feedback from it's users, I have opened this topick to supply feedback:

    A. File upload
    Over the weekend I tried to upload an STL file. Seems to work fine, however as a user I do not receive any feedback. Al I see is a message, telling me that I will receive feedback in about 10 mins. So I would like to note the following:
    - ensure that the user gets correct feedback. If so, it would be usefull to note that models are only being evaluated during weekdays.
    - I do understand the need for the evaluation of the models, however as a user I do not know if the upload went well. Presume it would be usefull to list the files that for which the upload succeeded and are being evaluated.
    - It would also be usefull to allow the user to delete files from the evaluation list, before the actual evaluation takes place. One tends to make mistakes ... see B.

    B. File restrictions
    Only after the upload, I happened to read the blog post with regards to the scaling of the STL file (meters instead of milimeters).
    - would it be a possible to allow a user to select the scale and settings (meters, inches, etc.)

    Hope this helps ... and I will add more if I encounter something else ... :D


  2. jochem
    jochem New Member
    Hi Jeroen,

    Thanks for the positive & very detailed feedback! Bring it on!

    We'll take a serious look at your findings as we're trying to build a great service that suits your needs.

    You'll be happy to know that we expect to solve the scaling issue shortly. Just keep a close eye on the blog...


  3. KoalaCreek
    KoalaCreek New Member
    I have been trying to get my models uploaded, but seem to be running in to problems. The models have been craeted in Alibre and exported tos STL format.
    Checked the STL files with sveral STL viewers, but they no issues with the model.
    Bothe models were previously uploaded and printed at a similar service, without any issues

    I know Bart has been working the issue, without any luck.
    Curious to know if there is anything that I can do from my side.


  4. sid
    sid New Member
    Hi Spoors,

    I ran into some similar problems with my models the other day.

    It seems like (at least in my case) the problem were due to having duplicated points for different subobjects.

    duplicated points are mostly deleted while importing to the printers tool. that's why open shell or nonmanifold edges do appear that there are not while checking with accutrans.

    So, keep in mind to check with accutrans with both options (remove duplicated vertices and duplicated faces) selected. that's most likely the same as the printer importer does handle the file.
    (that's as far as I understand)

    It's best to have no subobjects in your printed model, but if you need to have one or more subobjects, don't make the objects touching but intersecting each other.

    That's how it worked for me, it may work for you too

  5. KoalaCreek
    KoalaCreek New Member
    Thanks Sid!

    Had a look at the model with Meshlab and removed the Duplicated Vertices. Seems to be OK know, although they look a bit strange in the viewer.

    Checked them with my STL viewer and they seem to be OK.

    Let's see what the printer returns ...


  6. KoalaCreek
    KoalaCreek New Member
    As mentioned previously, I would be updating this tread with feedback ... so here we go:

    1. File uploads
    [list type=disc]
    [*] Error messages:
    I know that it has also been mentioned in other threads that the error messages are not clear enough, but as it is quite important, it's worth mentioning again. Also had some weird error messages with a couple of files which are OK, like:
    [*] E-mails:
    The e-mails with messages (error or OK) can become quite annoying when you are experiencing problems or when you are uploading several models. Are they really necessary ... wouldn't it be possible to show these messages in the "My designs” area
    [*] Files being evaluated:
    Just to mention again, it would be useful to have an overview of the files that are being evaluated, with an option to delete them. One could even add the error messages for the files that failed the evaluation
    [*] Manifoldness and double vertices:
    I upload my models in STL format and received quite some error messages regarding the manifoldness of the models. resolved it by removing double vertices with Meshlab. Weird thing however is that I uploaded the same files to a similar service ( and their they showed no issues and were printed without any problems.
    [*] Projects and batch uploads:
    My models tend to consist of several parts ... or one could call it a project with several models. Would it be an option to be able to define a project in "My Designs" and to upload several models to the project. A batch upload option would be useful in this case. The advantage would be that buyers just could order the whole project ... otherwise you would need to tell them which separate models he needs to ordered.

    2. Ordering process[list type=disc]
    [*] Price: I would like to sell our models through the Shapeways service. However there is no way for me to make money on them. Would it be an option to add a margin per model, which for example could be saved to print new models or could be reverted back to a Paypal account. The book publish and print-on-demand service has this option. Probably it would be worthwhile to take a look at it.

    3. Production & Delivery process[list type=disc]
    [*] Delivery vs.order:
    On the 8th of August I ordered 4 prints - 2 models in 2 different materials. On Friday the 15th, the goods came in, but it only contained 2 models in "White Detail". The ones which were orderd in "White Strong & Flexible" have not arrived yet. Nor did the first delivery contain any note about delayed delivery of the other models. A better communication regarding the order staus, either via the website or via the production partner would be helpfull.
    [*] Packaging:
    I must say that the packaging dissapointed me a bit. My models are small and contain fine details ... one of which broke off during the delivery process. The big foam parts which are inside the carboard box, put pressure on the models when the lid of the cardboardbox is closed by your production partner (noticed it, because the lid popped open after removing the tape).
    Would like to suggest to seal the separate models in plastic bags and to place those in the carboard box, surrounded by foam chips.
    The white cardboard boxes should also contain your logo ... the neighbors might think I ordered some adult items ... :D
    [*] Production:
    One of my models contained print errors. Parts were not fully printed. Does your production partner do a quality/sanity check before they ship the models to the customer?

    That's it for now and I hope it helps.


  7. robert
    robert New Member
    Thanks for the excellent feedback!!

    I have asked our Production Manager to contact you regarding the production & shipping problem and to investigate it. This is definitely not the level of quality we strive for.

    We are working on improving our upload service and your suggestions make a lot of sense.

    Best regards,

  8. KoalaCreek
    KoalaCreek New Member
    Thanks for the quick response ... great support!


  9. KoalaCreek
    KoalaCreek New Member
    ... there is one thing I forgot to add, which has to do with the ordering.

    As mentioned I would probably like to be able to sell my models trough your site. The rendering of the models on the site however do not do them justice. Enclosed the render from your site and a render in MiniMagics (same STL file).




    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  10. WetMorgoth
    WetMorgoth New Member
    The difference here is the way we're doing lighting. Originally it was spec'd that we should smooth shade the entire object, which is why you see the visual differences. A lot of users have asked for flat shading, which will make them look like the other modeling tools. Given the amount of feedback that way, it is likely that you'll see some sort of difference in the shading soon.
  11. Hieron
    Hieron New Member
    About that showing of images:

    Isn't it possible to just allow users to switch the first shown image with an uploaded one? Right now it seems your image is always shown first whereas some users have excellent rendered images of the model.

    Regardless of smooth (or not, my pick) shading, it would allow people to show their model from the best point of view leaving the option of your shot open for a second look (incl the 3D one)
  12. Hieron
    Hieron New Member
    I thought the same... right now there isn't a big incentive to keep your models open for others to order.. Some margin may attract better quality models to show on your front page and alot bigger amount of traffic and users...
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  13. robert
    robert New Member
    Hi guys,

    Your request to be able to "sell" your designs is forwarded to Product Management. I think it is an excellent idea!

    Best regards,

  14. Coppersink
    Coppersink New Member
    A way to change the scale of the object after upload would be great (although im not sure how practicle this would be) - errors in upload along the lines of "object to big to print" could also be fixed by allowing the objects to simply be scaled down. However I don't know what the technical details are here and it may be that it is impossible to do after its been uploaded.

    A way to sell them with a margin would be ideal :)

    I am waiting for my first order which i placed yesterday, so i may have more ideas when it arrives.
  15. robert
    robert New Member
    Thanks for your order! :cool:

    Scaling is indeed an interesting idea. I forwarded it to Product Management.

    They are very busy with all the ideas you guys give us so keep them coming!