Prints one day... Errors the next?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by benaiah, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. benaiah
    benaiah New Member
    So i make spaceships. Some of them are detailed and others are not. one of my problems is they print one day but the next time someone tries to order them they find errors and refuse to print them. Its extremely irritating and has cost me a lot of $$$. Am i the only one going through this?

    it seems to me, if it prints ONCE it should print ALWAYS.

    Attached Files:

  2. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Hi benaiah,

    we're aware of this and are working hard on making it a thing from the past. What happens is that each object is manually checked before we send it to the printer. For complex models (for example with hidden or mechanical parts), we may sometimes miss problem areas.

    Even though our printers may have printed such parts successfully before, that unfortunately does not guarantee printability in the future. Upon re-ordering of such models, it can happen that another operator spots the problem and has to reject the model.

    In order to offer you our low prices, we have to operate at optimal efficiency, and we cannot afford too many misprints.

    Having said that, we do try to have a more lenient attitude towards models that have been printed before many times.

    Can you give me an order number or model ID that was rejected?


  3. benaiah
    benaiah New Member
    Long story short i have ordered dozens of my models myself, then let them be available for sale only to have half of them be rejected on their second order. The ones that were rejected do have thing spots, but they still look awesome. i can NEVER complain about shapeways quality. everything they do is awesome and looks great. i am just worn down by the policy of "Print today: Deny Tomorrow"

    I have discussed this AT LENGTH with CSRs and unfortunately the best response i get is "sorry, try fixing it again.... ok now fix it again... ok now fix it again... ok now fix it again... ok now fix it again... ok now fix it again... ok now fix it again... ok now fix it again... "

    Garry and Michon have been very helpful, i will say that, and have offered advice on file outputs and ways to fix and avoid.

    i just think, internally, you NEED to have a "Gold Star" notation or SOMETHING. if an item prints once.... it passes ALL compliance going forward.
  4. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member

    I cannot agree about quality (see 61594 ) but agree entirely with responsiveness of support.

    Perhaps two different categories of model are required:

    1. For the designer, print if possible;
    2. For sale - print if it can be reprinted at max quality and repeatably.

    Extra work at the checking stage, but maybe worth it in the long run to prevent exasperation setting in?
  5. benaiah
    benaiah New Member
    I suppose. but it just makes me look like a fool. It makes me want to close my store altogether. Order what i can for my own nerdiness and just not make them available to the public.
  6. benaiah
    benaiah New Member
    i really do love the quality of what i have ordered. without exception everything looks great. I order in white flexi polished. that might help some of the issues you have...?
  7. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Thanks for the advice. The prints I have problems with are in polished strong and flexible, and I have had problems in white and coral. So far the Royal Blue was good, but that is just a sample size of one.

    I just had another response from customer support, and apparently stepping is entirely possible on a totally flat surface, i.e. one that should be either horizontal or vertical in the printer (except that in writing this I realise that they must be tilting the print for some inexplicable reason). And I never, ever get a response as to the cause of the different surface on the 2 sides.

    It is very hard to be enthusiastic about promoting a shop when you cannot control or even influence the quality that your customers will get. I am not fortunate enough yet to be disappointing many customers yet ;) but I sympathise with your situation.
  8. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    benaiah: Where the orders in the same material? As Bart said, we're working to improve the process of checking models so the results are uniform.

    AmLachDesigns: I'm looking into whats going on with your model.
  9. benaiah
    benaiah New Member
    I always order in White Flexi Polished
  10. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    There are a few more factors involved..
    Not only can the print fail during printing, but it can also fail during cleaning, and it can break during polishing.
    Worse yet, it can be that the item "never" survives shipping.

    There is a possiblilty that the team figures out that some model just never makes it to the customer in one peice.

    Almost to a fault, the production teams will try as hard as they can to produce a model the first time. I had one model in particular that took them six reprints to get a working copy before they ever shipped it. I just received the model and thought "oh, cool.. let's open it for sale"

    The production team had to tell me effectively "we got this to work once, but we can't risk doing it 6 times for one shippable print"

    I am a major proponent of the "printed before" flag (which actually sortof exists), but I think we also need to be told by the production team(s) when a model is particularly troublesome AFTER printing. We need to add some communication here.. the production team(s) need to know that we plan to offer a particular model for sale over and over again. There's a major difference between TEST prints, and "I want to sell 1000 of these".
  11. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Those are good suggestions Stony!

    I've had good communications with Mitchell Jetten. Sometimes I feel like I'm in 3D printing school here! HAHAHA! :laughing: Mitchell has taken the time a few times now to show me where and how I went wrong. I can fix anything if I just know what to fix so good communications is important to me.

    One suggestion I have in regard to good communications is better software for doing markups. Netfabb is ok, but it's not really designed for markup very well. A software I use for markup that is also free for STL format is This is the world's best software for markup! In addition to markup it does wall thickness and clearance checks on the fly just by hovering your cursor over any spot you want to check. It will also do a complete wall thickness analysis of the entire model and display it as a spectrum rendering. It does cross sections and part explosions too for better viewing. Maybe I'll make a thread about it.

    Yeah Benaiah, I can sympathize with you here. Especially the losing money part! :( Hopefully as the technology and methods progress we can have less failures in the future. It's a pioneering effort for each of us right now unfortunately.