Question from a complete newbie: price for complex designs

Discussion in 'Customer Service' started by Northen69er, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Northen69er
    Northen69er New Member
    Hello all,

    just came here and opened an account. I have a question that might be frustratingly simple for any old user here, but I tried to first google for an answer and didn't really find the answer I was looking for.

    So then, here comes. I am mostly interested in printing metal parts. Small metal parts. I just don't yet understand the pricing.

    So the price is determined by cubic centimeters. But how is the volume calculated? Suppose we have a design that looks something like a credit card. Suppose it has lots of holes in it.

    Now if it is, say, two millimeters thick, is the volume calculated simply as 2mm X length X width? OR is every single internal hole deducted also, thus reducing the price of the design?

    I guess that sums up my first query pretty well. So, if we continue with the idea... if we make the design fatter, but keep all the holes... what if it looks something like a cooling element of a computer... if the size becomes, let's say, one hundred millimeters thickness X credit card width X credit card length... of course it will be much cheaper if all the holes inside are NOT counted in the material price.

    I hope I made myself clear. This must all be very obvious to designers with a little bit of experience, but since I have none I do not have insight into the matter.

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  2. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    You assumed correctly, price is per volume of material actually used, so creating holes will make an object cheaper.(*)
    Note that for this to work, any internal voids must be accessible from the outside by what the design guidelines call an "escape hole" (through which the support material can be removed for reuse).

    (*) Though note that the pricing scheme for the strong&flexible nylon material includes a volume discount for larger parts that only applies above a certain minimum density)
  3. Northen69er
    Northen69er New Member
    OK thank you very much for a good answer. I learned another thing too from your answer, I had not realized the thing about escape holes and removed material.
  4. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Sorry for being later on this.

    Or if you are using Frosted/ Frosted Ultra Detail (FD & FUD) you can make the excape hole so small that the wax stays trapped. This is accepted practice by Shapeways for these two material only and can result in some interesting designs. e.g. within your 1mm thick credit card size model you could have voids to make an internal design whilst the outside is flush. As long as there is a very small (sub 0.2mm) hole the cost of the model will be just the actual FD or FUD that is used, and doesn't include the wax support material.