Polished Colored WSF questions: yes, unpolished black and white remain...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by alienology, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. alienology
    alienology New Member

    It's great to have polished colored WSF.

    So, I am reading in this new e-mail that:

    "Most excitingly, all Colored Strong & Flexible products will now be polished first. By polishing and then dying, 3D prints look and feel like final products so the quality rivals what you can find in a store. "

    OK - but will you keep an option to still have colored objects that are NOT polished first?
    I would need that option for some of my bracelets. I actually like how non polished feels for that particular purpose.

    Can you keep that option? Just as it was - non polished but colored?


    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2012
  2. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Hi Igor,

    Unfortunately not. We are moving towards more consumer level materials and based on feedback from makers and shoppers alike, most people prefer the polished objects.

    We are doing this to increase the desirability of your products and hopefully make them more appealing for sale!

    You can still do black and white in unpolished for now.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  3. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    My customers would certainly not like polished railway carriage underframes. You seem to be making assumptions based on only part of the market.
  4. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    My guess is that the real message behind the marketing-speak is that shapeways found
    it too much hassle to get the vivid and even dyeing of finely detailed models right.

    The tumble grinder probably has the additional advantage of removing the last few bits of
    loose material that survived the normal cleaning. Based on Murphy's principle, I would expect
    those to normally come off after dyeing, leaving white specks.

    With black dye, one can probably just chuck such a part back into the soup - it can't get
    blacker than black anyway. (Same goes for models where recessed parts got less than
    their share of the dye.) With red and blue, repeated dyeing would probably make them too
    dark, or at least come out uneven. I wonder how such problematic cases are handled now -
    hope the customer accepts it as is, hand-paint over the spots, or even reprint behind the scenes ?
  5. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    Maybe, but this bit :-
    (my italics)

    Suggests that SW wants to limit the use of unpolished SF. If this is true than there will be a knock-on effect on the maximum size they will allow in SF.
  6. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    AFAIK, maximum size of polished models is limited by the size of the polishing tumbler,
    not by the size of the printer. I do not see a viable business model in printing only
    small, simple shapes, so I would hope that the current decision hinges on the dyeing
    process alone.
    If they switch to some less rustic polishing process in the future, one that is also safe
    for fragile details, most customers will probably be content with polished objects.
    (Such a decision would adversely affect only those cases where rough surfaces are
    actually desired for mechanic or artistic purposes (?)
  7. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Hi Everyone,

    Just to clarify some concerns you have raised:

    Bill, not to worry! You will still be able to order black and white in unpolished.

    As mkroeker noticed, we have had consistency issues with the colors in the past so are improving the color palette to be consistent and vibrant.

    Black and White will NOT be affected. You will still be able to order black and white in unpolished. We are investigating ways to add black polished as well in the future.

    We do want to enable you to make bigger polished color models and working hard to make this happen as quickly as possible.

    We really appreciate all your feedback, please keep sharing any questions or concerns you have


    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  8. duann
    duann New Member
    Hey All,

    Just wanted to add that the new dying process is MUCH more sophisticated and gives a much more even coating.

    We are expecting to see greater consistency both in coverage on each model, and across batches.

    The dye itself has two components, one that soaks into the 3D printed nylon structure, and one that coats the surface, giving a much better, even finish.

    The 3D printer we will be using for the new colors has a higher resolution then the current colors.

    This means that tolerances will be tighter, finer layers and better resolution.

    Overall it is a massive improvement to the current colors that I am personally REALLY happy to see.

    Please do keep the feedback coming, especially when you have some new color prints to see and feel..

    We have more on the way...
  9. tomrust
    tomrust New Member
    Black polished would be a big plus. Ok, how do we order the new colors, blue & hot pink? This i gotta see.
    also, when we order red or purple now, will we get the polished?
  10. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Well, the announcement stated "Starting October 17, you and your customers will be able to order..."
    So what you order now will have to be tickled pink, what you order in a week will be pickled in ink.

  11. natalia
    natalia New Member
  12. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Is the new pricing info correct? The price of any dyed polished model is only 25 cents more than a white, polished model? That is a lot cheaper than the extra cost of the old dyeing process (which had a higher per cc cost).
  13. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Yes indeed the pricing is correct

    Because we are moving the process in house, we are able to make it cheaper for you. :)

    (Overall, cheaper. To be precise, very small models under 2cc will be a tiny bit more expensive due to startup cost)
  14. Dragoman
    Dragoman New Member
    Does that mean we could get items at WSF prices with better resolution? Will that printer be available for unpolished items?

  15. duann
    duann New Member
    Dragoman, we are already using this 3D Printer for white nylon, both polished and not. (WSF PWSF)

    It is only the colored nylons that are currently in the lower resolution machine.
  16. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    That is great, I am interested to hear more details on the new dyeing process! Have you experimented with dying the pieces in a pressure cooker? I would think increasing the pressure would help infuse the parts with dye.

    I do most of the dyeing myself, but if the new process is good I may have to switch. The one remaining thing I would find useful is to dye parts of a single model different colors ...
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  17. duann
    duann New Member
    Hi gibell

    It is not with a pressure cooker, that sound interesting though, similar to the way in which our elasto was impregnated.

    multiple colors would be tricky for us at our volume..
  18. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Hey Guys,

    Just to let you know, the next Shapeways Live is scheduled for: Monday October 15th 8pm UTC (4pm EST for those in the US)

    I think we'll go back to UStream for this one, so more people can participate and we're not limited to 10.

    We can chat about the new colors we're introducing and answer any questions.

    Looking forward to seeing you all again!

  19. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    OK, it is October 17th, but I don't see the new colors??? :rolleyes:
  20. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Be patient, let the software guys change color first :D