Discussion in 'Technologies and Hardware' started by Silverbeam, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Silverbeam
    Silverbeam Well-Known Member
    Sometimes print orientation isn't important, and sometimes it is vital. Please voice and discuss here, show pictures on why we all need this as an option. Also shapeways please let us know if this is being worked on and any updates as they come along!

    For me It can really make and break the items I create for my customers.

    I create dolls, and due to the size of the item I can afford to reprint whenever SW chooses the wrong print orientation. It can totally ruin the aesthetic of my creations, and to have a product that varies so much per print makes business difficult.

    Here is a good print with the proper orientation:


    Here is a bad example where they choose the wrong print orientation for my model...


    I of course needed to order two of them and both dolls were like this. :(

    Feel free to show your own pictures and add your voice to encourage shapeways to get this option available ASAP!
  2. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Does the other doll have any issue like this, anywhere? Even if not in vital parts (top of head, for example), it would be interesting to know if orientation, or orientation + something else, bit you.
  3. Silverbeam
    Silverbeam Well-Known Member
    The suckers on the tentacles are a bit rough. I find white strong and flexible is "smooth" except for one side where it is heavier layered.
  4. lyneux
    lyneux New Member
    I need to generate masters for casting and have resorted to having to do this to get 4 good parts (I'll try and upload photos of the actual prints, but there are big differences between the quality of the three orientations):

  5. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    In past, sometimes the blame went to too much nylon recycling or getting into the big machines. That was the reason for asking if the "correct" doll had same or better layering in a different place. Of course, even if the issue doesn't happen but the orientation puts layers in a such important area like the face, the impact is catastrophic anyway.

    If you need to resort to tricks like tripling the model, maybe time to look for a different master source.
  6. HarrisSilverForge
    HarrisSilverForge New Member
    I have a model I want to print in colored plastic, and was thus very careful to model it within a 15cm x 15cm x 15cm box, but my model would lay along the diagonal of the box and so it's oriented longest dimension is 17 cm. If I could choose my own orientation I could print in the material I want.
  7. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Harris, can you make the model public and share it with us? Are you saying it's not printable in the material you want because of the oriented bounding box?
  8. HarrisSilverForge
    HarrisSilverForge New Member
    The model is here. I want to print it in red plastic.
  9. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    It's dimensions appear to fit in the requirements for Red Nylon, is it not letting you pick Red Nylon as your material?
  10. HarrisSilverForge
    HarrisSilverForge New Member
    No, I cannot choose any of colored plastics, presumably because oriented it's largest dimension is 17 cm, and the maximum is 15 cm. The model can be oriented so that no dimension is greater than 15cm, though.
  11. Silverbeam
    Silverbeam Well-Known Member
    well got another round of my dolls this past week, and I am less than thrilled..... I have already emailed service about it...

    image uploaded below....

    If we can't have the choice of what axis an item is printed in, it would be nice to at least have the technicians use a little common sense when they choose the direction etc.

    Attached Files:

  12. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    HarrisSilverForge - Have you emailed service? I may be mistaken, but the material selection should be based on original orientation.

    SilverBeam - I'm sorry about your poor results. I'm sure service will get you order straightened out.
  13. I'd like to vote for being able to specify print orientation. I'd also be willing to pay a nominal premium for it. Some models are inherently suited to having a specific orientation to maintain the quality of the print. (The aforementioned doll would be a prime example, but I have a few of my own.)
  14. GWMT
    GWMT New Member
    FreeRangeBrain wrote:

    "I'd like to vote for being able to specify print orientation. I'd also be willing to pay a nominal premium for it."

    I think the problem is Shapeway's figured the price necessary for them to offer print orientation and it's a LOT more than a nominal premium over current prices. I've been asking for this option too for quite a while.

    Unfortunately right now if you absolutely require one specific orientation you'll have to go to a commercial printer and pay 4-5 times what Shapeways charges (not to mention meet a minimum part order). Don't give up hope; Shapeways will offer print orientation when it's financially possible.
  15. GWMT wrote:

    "Unfortunately right now if you absolutely require one specific orientation you'll have to go to a commercial printer and pay 4-5 times what Shapeways charges (not to mention meet a minimum part order). Don't give up hope; Shapeways will offer print orientation when it's financially possible."

    There's a way around that, but you probably won't like it, and it'd make you somewhat unpopular with the technician loading models into the print space in the software: make a sprue that forces an orientation in the print volume.
  16. Silverbeam
    Silverbeam Well-Known Member
    Someone explain to me why it would be any sort of expensive to choose which axis the item is printed on. If they can flip or switch the axis around from the original upload, why would it "cost" more to do so, besides the few minutes to do rotate it etc. Does it have something to do with fitting more items in? Something to do with slicing the layers?
  17. Silverbeam wrote:

    "Does it have something to do with fitting more items in? Something to do with slicing the layers?"

    Yes, rather exactly. It's much like packing your knick-knacks into a moving box - you can get more of them in if you don't mind changing the orientation.
  18. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Most probably about fitting more items. They seem pretty quiet about everything, other than saying "soon". Remember the issues (or look them up if you missed them) about upload vs optimized bounding box. It caused lots of confusion. Nearly flat items are rotated even if that means all the model surface gets full of steps making it useless (flat pendants with a loop) and not really making packing much easier. Other times a "symetrical" item (head) gets the main feature ugly (face) with the zone that will be not seen being pretty good (back of skull). Sometimes the new system even rejects items because they fit the maximum box as uploaded, but the optimized version is bigger in one of the axis.

    It can also be about support material or even the part not breaking, but then the right path is also giving the option and providing detailed information about how to arrange parts to guarantee printability and quality. In any case, the modeller will have to learn the problems of the new media to achieve better results, but that depends in learning, and not luck and of course not being hold out of the loop.

    But after seeing that "it has printed before" problem still happens and there is not even an obvious push to report problematic models every time they are printed (iterative improvement), cancelling new orders later instead, making the modeller and Shapeways look like total clowns... well, hard to have hope anything will be fixed, at least soon. It doesn't play along the idea of a direct sales business, specially for impulse buys and products that get famous by social media and have small spikes of sales. Or maybe modellers will just have to accept to only offer products that are fine even in the worst orientation.

    Too much red tape, uncontrollable growth or chaos going on behind the scenes. Hey, a forum icon is still wrong, even after multiple reports and a fix being offered for free at least once (from someone that loses 5% with every markup reinvestment in SW). And that's a low hanging fruit that would give the idea that at least someone can paddle around the rough waters.
  19. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
  20. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member

    Your picture is most helpful in explaining how the items are packed. Who creates this packing a human or software?

    In either case why can designers not be offered the option (at a premium, of course) to have their item oriented? These premium items could be the first item(s) in the build volume and then the ordinary items packed around them, using the same method as at present.


    I agree with much of what you say: I have reported several times that the community has an incorrect link (Latest Shapeways Forum Posts points to the blog) and it has yet to be fixed. Pedantic, yes, but as you say indicative.

    Also, I initially had high hopes of the Shop, but since my prototypes have had so many issues I haven't really pursued it. There are several reasons, but among them is the lack of predictability of the output of the printers and the consequent effect on any (at this point hypothetical!) customers. I use (and am still grateful for the presence of) Shapeways for items for me and for my friends where I can control and fix the problems.

    I hope that the 30 million USD investment will help in some way, and wonder if issues associated with that are why the 'powers that be' at SW have been so quiet recently. In any case I hope that SW don't 'pivot' (from the Lean Startup) and do a TinkerCad....
    Last edited: May 1, 2013