New Materials

Discussion in 'Miniatures and Scale Models' started by ricjori, May 22, 2019.

  1. ricjori
    ricjori Member
    Hello Everyone

    Has anyone tried the White Premium Versatile Plastic yet? What can you say about the detail level?

    I have had some bad experiences with the white natural versatile plastic, and excelente experiences with the smoothest fine detail plastic.

    However, the price increase doesn't allow me to buy some of the models I wanted (with this last level of detail).

    So, is the White Premium Versatile Plastic anygood? Or is it just a waste of Money?

    Best Regards

    Ricardo - Portugal
    southernnscale likes this.
  2. EricaC
    EricaC Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Hi @ricjori!
    Versatile Plastic in any finish can be a bit tough on details. The premium finish especially, since we'll put the parts through a longer, more intensive polishing process. The surface will be smoother, but you'll also be likely to lose fine details along the way. If you'd like, the service team can take a look at the models you're interested in trying out premium VP for, just let us know which ones and we'll see if they're a good fit for the material.
    ricjori likes this.
  3. adbinc
    adbinc Well-Known Member
    My customers split on the two materials. I think it depends on the purpose you have. If you want to paint something to show it off, then the Fine Detail Plastic is the way to go. If you want to play games and use minis, then many people like the Versatile Plastic. That way you aren't in mourning when someone drops your mini or handles it roughly. If details matter to you (phaser bumps are important to our customers), then you don' want it polished. If you aren't the best painter and want to see your factions in different colors (and you don't mind if some of the smaller details are missing), then the colored Versatile Plastics might do for you.

    We are adding the Multi Jet Fusion Plastics where the pricing falls between the Versatile Plastics and the Fine Detail Plastics. Reports are that it isn't as grainy as Versatile Plastic, but not as smooth as the Fine Detail Plastics. If you see a mini offered in both of the original materials and the Fine Detail Plastic is too pricy, you might check with the shop to see if the MJFP option is a good one.

    Hope this helps!

    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    EricaC likes this.
  4. ricjori
    ricjori Member
  5. EricaC
    EricaC Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Hi @ricjori I'm so sorry for the late reply! Thanks for sending these products, I took a look and also asked for a second opinion from one of my coworkers to make sure we could make a good recommendation for you. We believe that most of the details should be preserved on both models if you ordered in premium VP. You might see some smoothing of sharp edges but the details are profound enough that they would survive polishing.

    If you get these and they aren't what you expect, shoot us an email at, you can use "Attn: Erica" in the subject and reference this note and I'll be glad to work together to find a solution with you.
  6. reducedAircraftFactory
    reducedAircraftFactory Well-Known Member
    I, too, like the properties of the Multijet Fusion (PA12) materials. The models are very strong without being brittle; they seem immune to deformation under their own weight; and the surface properties are a good compromise (as Jean mentions above).

    But I find that the Shapeways print-engineers seem to be a lot more..uh.. picky when inspecting designs in that material. Features that are treated as surface detail in other materials are treated as "too-thin walls" in PA12. A ridge that is ignored in other materials is flagged as "detail too small" in PA12. Surfaces that meet at a more-or-less 90 degree angle have their thickness measured at an angle right at the edge and are judged too thin. (Well of course you can measure any thickness you want right near the edge if you measure at an angle.)

    I would say that 50% of the first-time orders of my models in PA12 are rejected, whereas the rate is more like 1%-5% in other materials, even though they are the same STL file.

    I don't like it when customers get rejections -- it's a lost sale and leaves a bad taste in the customer's mouth. Given that Shapeways almost seems to be going out of their way to find reasons not to print models in PA12, and given that it is highly priced compared to competitors, I am thinking of removing the material completely from my Shapeways catalog.