What if I'm not happy with the resolution of a model?

Discussion in 'Customer Service' started by mburkey, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. mburkey
    mburkey New Member
    I expect WSF material to be rough. But I don't expect smooth contours to be "stepped" so badly that a smooth subject looks positively...reptilian. It didn't look that way in the designer's images. Is that a resolution issue with the design program used?
  2. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Could be a print orientation problem. Due to the nature of the printing process, there will be visible steps *somewhere",
    and when the printing crew makes a bad choice of orientation (as they pack lots of models together in one print run), they
    can end up on a more important part of your model.
    Other possibilities to keep in mind if it is not one of your own designs - the picture in the designer's shop might show an
    idealized software render and not a photograph, the model may be available in different material choices (polished vs
    non-polished, or one of the high-detail resins), or the picture showed a post-processed (polished/primed/painted) model.
    Can you post a photo, so that people can decide whether this is the normal aspect of WSF straight out of the printer or
    really a misprint ?
  3. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    @mkroeker is correct.. It would help to know which model you're talking about. Is it one you designed, or one from someone's shop?
  4. mburkey
    mburkey New Member
    Thanks. i learned something new. This is the link: http://www.shapeways.com/model/639494/uss-odyssey-stf-federa tion.html?li=productBox-search&materialId=6.

    It's the USS Odyssey STF Federation in WSF material. I expect the low-end material to be sandpaper rough but not to see the layered contours that are present across the whole bottom of the image.I'm not trying to implicate anyone. I don't know if it's a less capable design program, the material, the manufacturing process or just one of those things buyers just accept. Hope I've successfully uploaded the file. At this point, it's been hit with 2-3 coats of paint and sanded. FWIW, this wasn't an issue on the topside of the model, just the bottom. I have several models now, and none of them show this problem. If it appeared like this in the CAD image, I'd understand.

    Attached Files:

  5. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I will leave thefinal verdict to stonysmith (of course), but to me it does indeed look like print lines. (Not sure if these
    could be mitigated by rotating the model to e.g. stand on end in the printer, but normally the people who assemble
    the print jobs will know best. You might want to watch one of the shapeways production videos on youtube to see how
    the printing process works, if you have not done so already).
    I also notice that the shop page does not provide a photo of the printed model, also one would probably need to use the
    somewhat more expensive "frosted detail" material to get all the fine details.
  6. mburkey
    mburkey New Member
    Thanks much. This medium and business is all new to me. A photo of the actual printed piece accompanying the item would seem a good idea, but my experience is it's hard to see what you've got until there's a coat of paint on it, which requires extra work by the designer. Certainly frosted or WSF Polished would get rid of some of the roughness. I don't mind sanding and filling myself, but I'm learning if there are lots of interior surfaces and detail that it WSF isn't the best choice. But if fidelity/printer lines is determined by orientation in the printer, then I'm buying a pig in a poke anyway, and that's an iffy business model. I've attached some of the other models I've bought, (sanded) and painted recently. They all turned out pretty decent. Is there some process by which I might send back this model or request a re-print?

    Attached Files:

  7. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Maybe it got printed in the worst possible orientation, maybe it comes from a bad batch. Contact customer service, show them the photos.
  8. mburkey
    mburkey New Member
    Thanks. I'll do that. I contacted the designer and he was kind enough to reply. He thinks I need to go with Frosted Detail at a minimum. I may try that if customer service doesnt' think there's a production issue.
  9. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Another option would be spliting the model in half (or more parts, the nacelles could be a problem) and then orient all the parts so all useful surfaces point towards the same direction (forced by sprue), that way you would get a consistent look. This would also let the model fit in small-parts batches if they still have two work modes (the info about big models being less detailed seems to have vanished). It could also help with FUD support issues, as it would touch the surface that would end inside the model.

    Sadly, neither orientation nor type of matchine/batch is customer selectable so far. After the change you would still depend on how the staff decides to load the machine.
  10. bartv
    bartv New Member
  11. mburkey
    mburkey New Member
    Thanks. Kevin replied to my query, so I sent the photo to him. With my photo skills, that's about the best I can do. When I think about it, it's odd that the top is typical WSF and only the bottom is stepped. I could fill it with water-based filler putty, but then it's just like any other model.
  12. mburkey
    mburkey New Member
    Just to follow up, I did get credit for this model and plan to re-order in Frosted Detail soon. Kudos to Shapeways customer service.
  13. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Glad to hear it!