Printing Multiple Items

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mudel, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Mudel
    Mudel Member

    What is the best option if i need to print 10 pieces of the same item. Do i model one piece and order them 10 ? Or its better model 10 of them and connect them. Or model the cage and stick them all with clearance in the cage. All suggestion welcome. Printing in Strong and Flexible.
    Its going to be bridge for connecting two piece of wood together.

    Thank you
  2. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Depends on several factors - how big are the parts, is cheapest price important (single pieces have handling fee for each, cage will probably be more expensive than connecting with a sprue), is quality important (sprue may leave mark on part where you cut it off). With sprue you will also face the risk of it breaking in production, leading to rejection of the order (unless you order for yourself only, where you can checkmark "print it anyway" to get around this).
  3. Mudel
    Mudel Member
    I thought also that sprus leaves the mark. Think ill try gage or order 10 pieces separetly. Or there are some best solution ? The dimension of the detail is aproxx 30 x 30 x 50.
  4. DoctorOctoroc
    DoctorOctoroc Well-Known Member
    To add to what mkroeker said, depending on the geometry, you can run a closed loop through the parts if there are any holes, cutouts, etc in them. This is essentially like 'contact free' sprues. When you do this, it considers all parts as one even though they're not fully connected. Basically, if a part is enclosed (like the cage mentioned earlier in this thread) or looped in a manner that prevents parts from separating after printing, it'll be treated as a single part. For loops, a 2mm wire should suffice - any thinner and you risk breakage like with sprues. As long as the loop has more than .5mm of clearance between it and the parts (any less and you risk it fusing with the part), you should be good. I usually go with a 1mm clearance just to play it safe.

    If you don't have geometry that allows looping, consider the material you want to print in. Frosted Ultra Detail, Frosted Extreme Detail and Full Color Sandstone don't charge a per-part fee like other materials so you can put multiples of a part in the same file and print them all at once without added labor costs (for these materials, there is only one 'setup' fee for a single file). I do this often to be able to offer sets of products that I also sell separately for a discount to customers. I've found that sometimes, it costs less to print a file with multiple parts in FUD or FED than it does in strong and flexible plastics because S&F adds $1.50 per extra part so if your file has 10 parts in it, you're paying $13.50 in labor costs! For small parts, this added labor cost will easily be more than the additional cost to print in FUD/FED, and as a bonus, you get higher quality prints and kinder tolerances!

    As a quick example, I have two models in one file here that costs $3 less to print in Full Color Sandstone than the individual ones combined.

    Just remember to consider machine space when spruing or looping parts together. You want to position them as close to each other as possible when doing so lest you incur additional machine space costs (the space between geometry in your model) that offset the labor costs you save. Spruing two large parts together, for example, can add a lot to machine space costs but only subtract $1.50 of labor costs. If you can fit one part inside another and loop/sprue them together, that's the best way to cut back on both labor and machine space costs, because not only are you connecting them so they count as one part but you're replacing machine space with material volume, both of which you would be paying for on their own but now that machine space being taken up by material volume is only charged as material volume.
  5. DoctorOctoroc
    DoctorOctoroc Well-Known Member
    Correction: I stumbled upon material information in another thread on the forum with the breakdown for FUD/FXD and discovered that they do charge $1 per part in those materials - however, you're still saving the $2.50 startup fee for each additional part you include in the same file.

    But as you can see from the chart below, the support material costs about half of what the material itself does, so cutting back on the amount of support material needed as I mentioned before will drastically lower the costs to print parts in the FUD/FXD materials.

    Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 5.20.00 PM.png

    However, the full color sandstone does in fact NOT charge per part fees for multi-part files.