We need that the Initial Printability Check must be definitive and other suggestions

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by TonyRR, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. TonyRR
    TonyRR Well-Known Member
    Hello friends at Shapeways.

    I'm very angry because some of my models are been rejected when I order them, despite of they have passed the initial printability check.

    It's very annoying for 3 things:

    1. You think that your model is OK and it isn't.
    2. If you want to sell a model the only way to check that is printable is buying it, compulsory. If you don't buy it you wouldn't know it.
    3. You've made a big order with lots of parts, and you receive only half of them, loosing time, the 15% off bonus -as example- and part of the shipping cost.

    I suggest 2 things:

    A. When you upload a model the printability check has to be the same as when the model enters on the printer.

    B. We must have the possibility to repair a model quickly and to reenter it on the same shipping basket, to not loose time and money.

    I hope that someone at Shapeways can hear my suggestions/complaints.

    Many thanks
  2. MrNib
    MrNib Well-Known Member
    These issues have been brought up innumerable times in the suggestion threads. You'd think that technology and software checking would be able to easily solve these problems but apparently 3D printing is in a complex class of its own and not yet fully seated in the 21st century.

    Preliminary checks are very basic checks that look at things like sizes to broadly classify in what materials items may print. Complicated and thorough design rule checking are standard for things like integrated circuits but it would seem that such computer checks are not developed to the extent that they work well for 3D models or they would require huge amounts of computing resources to do well.

    The other issues such as cancellations, order fixes, etc. are Shapeways policies that could be changed, although they have likely been established to permit workflows that maximize throughput.

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  3. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    No offense meant, but I suspect the answer to this can be summarized as "if you want the full service level (and price point) of a traditional rapid prototyping service, use one of those in your area".
  4. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    The real printability inspection is done by persons. The initial printability check is just "transfer OK, looks like a 3D model of some kind".

    You are going to be pissed when you learn "stainless steel" has a lot of bronze on it. ^_^
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  5. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Yes, printability checking is not really an automated thing.

    3DP isn't a magic way to make anything you can do with the software pop into existence. Physical materials and manufacturing processes are difficult, they have their own constraints, and designers must learn to use them just as painters learn to use watercolors and oils. Making things is like that.
  6. GarySG
    GarySG New Member
    I do agree with his point about being able to update a model within a reasonable amount of time, if it doesn't pass inspection, so that your whole order isn't thrown off.

    Just the other day, I put in an order of a dozen different models, and one of them was denied (for a rather silly reason), but it was before any of the other items had been moved to production. So, hoping to keep everything together in the order, I canceled the entire shipment and re-ordered when I had corrected the model in question.

    I realize that it might lead to all new complications and complaints, as well as more work for Shapeways, but having the ability to communicate with the team and update the model mid-order could have saved a lot of trouble, I was only lucky that I caught it before the others were sent into production.

    Just my thoughts :D
  7. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    A. When you upload a model the printability check has to be the same as when the model enters on the printer.

    We have so many uploads that are never printed, this would be a huge waste of man power. And man power isn't cheap. We are working on improving the automated software, but software and human checks, sometimes it still fails in the printer.

    B. We must have the possibility to repair a model quickly and to reenter it on the same shipping basket, to not loose time and money.

    This has been suggested many times but brings up a issues. To name a few.
    1. Some models may require a complete redo.
    2. What if a user just lets it sit in limbo? Have a time limit? How long?
    3. Back to more man power and man power not being cheap

    Current solutions are to cancel the order and reorder. If the order already has pieces in production, and only part of the order is canceled. Email service and ask for the shipping as well. I'm not sure what they can do about expired discounts, but our service department is awesome.
  8. orion24601
    orion24601 New Member
    On a related topic I have had several cases where I order a model to make sure it prints ok, and it does, but then someone else will order it and it will be rejected. Can something be done about the consistency of the pass/fail process? Such as, once a model has successfully printed in a specific material can't it be assumed it will print again? This could save a bit on the manpower issue as well because you won't need someone to check the same models over and over...
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  9. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Several threads already running on this topic, in particular see the (long and winding) "Preventing Rejections" thread in the "Suggestions" forum.

    In short, sometimes problems get overlooked the first time as it is humans that do the checking, but on repeated orders of the same part they look at the success rate of the previous prints to decide if it should pass anyway. (Receiving a perfect model from shapeways does not always mean that it was printed without problems, they may have had to do a reprint without telling you).

    Now if the designer makes some small and seemingly innocuous change to the model after printing, even just makes it a bit bigger or smaller, it is treated as a "new model" with no previous printing history by shapeways - that change might not have been so harmless after all, introducing new thin areas or sharp edges etc. Same goes for printing one model and then putting five copies of it in the same model file - no way can shapeways "know" that it is the same object as printed before under a different model number, so again it will get the full initial check without any regard for previous success rate.