Printing the first time, what to be aware of?

Discussion in 'Technologies and Hardware' started by Durahl, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Durahl
    Durahl New Member
    So I've stumbled upon Shapeways and I was totally in love with the idea of beeing able to print things I spent so much time on when I made them in 3D.

    Reading through some topics and the FAQ I already got quite an idea for what to do in 3DS Max but I'm still wondering about some things related to the Printing process in Stainless Steel...

    Below you'll see a ( not really posed ) model I worked on for quite a while which I would really like to get printed but I'm wondering about a few things...
    Most of the parts are designed in a way to actually work if I'd have them done in single pieces ( you can see the different shades of green each resembling a moving part with a joint )

    Question 1: Would it even be possible to have the model cast in a single piece like a sculpture?
    Question 2: How will the bounding box of a single piece version affect the production cost compared to a model made of multiple pieces which then could be rearranged to a third the size of the single piece bounding box version?
    Question 3: Lets assume Question 1 is an option. Will I have to turn the model in as one continuous mesh or can I leave it in parts just touching ( maybe intersecting ) each other?
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  2. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Hi Durahl,

    Welcome to Shapeways! :)

    Your model looks great!

    It should be printable in stainless steel as one piece, the bounding box size makes no difference to the price in any of the materials except a density discount for WSF.

    You can either make the model one continuous mesh or with individual parts. I'd recommend intercsecting individual parts as Shapeways Mesh Medic checking software has a habbit of removing parts with shares vertices or faces. A good piece of software to use for error checking, measurement and repair before uploading is NetFabb Basic (free).

    Some of the smaller pipes etc might need beefing out a little depending upon the overall size as there is a minimum wall thickness of 3mm - see;Stainless Steel Design Rules. Parts can be smaller though - see; Stainless Steel - Advanced Rules- under 3mm. And some of the smaller detail might not come out too well.