Materials from Shapeways

Homepage Forums General Discussions Product Tech Materials from Shapeways

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #161
    MicroTraxx
    Keymaster

    Shapeways’ Materials Page allows you to see everything they can print in. Clicking one of the icons will take you to that specific material’s page which will give everything you need to know (or close to it). This will be a lot of design guidelines with things like Max Building Box (printer area), Minimums for Supported and Unsupported wall thicknesses, Supported and Unsupported wires (and what a ‘wire’ is), Embossed and Engraved minimums, Clearance hole sizes and other things.

    Costs are listed. Depending on the material you may be charged a ‘Handling Fee’ – or a fee per part, Material Cost per cm3, Machine Volume Cost per cm3.

    The two materials I have had products printed in are White Strong & Flexible and Frosted Detail plastics.


    stainedWhite Strong & Flexible: This is a Sintered Nylon. They lay a bed of Nylon powder and sinter (melt) the powder with a laser layer by layer. This results in a grainy texture. The reason I use this sometimes is that it is a strong, tough material. The downside being that rough finish. That means I use this for making jigs and for some models that a grain will actually help.

    The bridge shoes shown are a good example. The one on the left is as it came from Shapeways ..you can see powder in the mounting lug and scattered close by. The one in the center has been cleaned (compressed air and brush) .. and the one on the right has been stained with an AI Wash (Alcohol India Ink). WS&F is porous and accepts stain easily. You can see that for the larger scales – say O scale .. it does a good job of replicating heavy cast iron. Not so much perhaps in the smaller scales.

    Some Info (applicable when designing): (you can get more details from the Materials Page)

    • Cost: For Strong & Flexible you are charged per part. This means that if two parts are NOT connected by a sprue then you are charged for two parts. The cheapest is White Strong & Flexible with colored versions going up from there. It makes no sense for me to have a part printed in anything other than white (for my uses). WS&F is $1.50/part. Then you are charged $0.28/material cm3 (this being the actual cost of the nylon) and finally $0.21/machine cm3 (this being the volume the model takes up in the printer).
    • Min bounding box: This is how small the part can be to print. X + Y + Z ≥ 7.5 mm
    • Min supported/Unsupported wall thickness: – 0.7 mm thick
    • Min supported wires: (A wire is a feature whose length is greater than five times its width. A supported wire is connected to walls on both sides) – 0.8 mm thick
    • Min unsupported wires: An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides) – 1.0 mm thick
    • Min embossed/engraved detail: 0.2 mm high & wide / 0.5 mm for readable text
    • Min escape holes: (Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.) – 4.0 mm dia for one escape hole; 2.0 mm dia where there are two are more escape holes

    Frosted Detail Plastic: Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) and Frosted Extreme Detail (FXD) are very similar materials, both printed using the same base resin and printer, but with different resolution settings. With 29 micron layers, Frosted Ultra Detail offers very high detail and is ideal for miniatures and figurines which will be finished and painted. With 16 micron layers, Frosted Extreme Detail offers the highest detail of any of the materials we offer and can be used for the most detailed miniatures, and models like molds and mold masters where very smooth surface finish is critical.

    Both materials utilize a waxy support material that is dissolved after printing is completed. Because the support material slightly changes the texture of the product, and isn’t applied to the entire product, you will see slight variability in texture over the surface of the model.

    FUD and FXD are my preferred materials for models. The finish on these prints are often indistinguishable from injected plastic parts. The downside is that the materials are fragile. I tell people that the best way I can describe FUD is to think of a material that is a combination of clear styrene and week old cake frosting.

    Some Info (applicable when designing): (you can get more details from the Materials Page)

    • Cost: FUD – $5.00 handling fee and $3.49 cm3. | FXD – $5.00 handling fee and $5.99 cm3
    • Min bounding box: This is how small the part can be to print. X + Y + Z ≥ 12 mm
    • Min supported wall thickness: (A supported wall is one connected to other walls on two or more sides) – 0.3 mm thick
    • Min unsupported wall thickness: (An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides) – 0.6 mm thick
    • Min supported wires: (A wire is a feature whose length is greater than five times its width. A supported wire is connected to walls on both sides) – 0.3 mm thick
    • Min unsupported wires: An unsupported wall is one connected to other walls on less than two sides) – 0.8 mm thick
    • Min embossed/engraved detail: 0.1 mm high & wide / 0.5 mm for readable text
    • >Min escape holes: (Escape holes allow unbuilt material inside hollow products to be removed.) – 4.0 mm dia for one escape hole; 2.0 mm dia where there are two are more escape holes

    Things to consider

    • For the purpose of this discussion a “Mesh” is all the parts uploaded to Shapeways in one file
    • If printing in WS&F then you will be charged per part for each separate part not connected via a sprue within the mesh. The downside to that is the sprues take up material/machine space so you get charged for that.
    • If printing in Frosted Detail Plastic you are charged that $5 handling charge per mesh – which means this: If the mesh contains one model and you want 10 ea and you place an order for 10x .. then you would be charged that $5 handling charge for EACH mesh .. or you would get a $50 handling charge. That is a BAD THING .. JMO. The answer to that is to ask me to put 10 of the models into one mesh .. that way you will be charged for ONE $5 handling fee. In any case, the shipping is a flat rate $5 (I suppose if you ordered vast quantities that would change!).
    • If you order multiple models from Shapeways you will be charged that single $5 flat rate for shipping
    • If you see “Out of Stock” in the store that simply means that I don’t have these products sitting in a box at my house. You can then order directly from Shapeways. The downside to this vrs ordering directly from me (when I have stock) is I can ship you the quantity needed with a $3 flat rate)
    • Looking back over that you can see that ordering from Shapeways can be more expensive than when ordering directly from me. In order to bring down the overall cost to you, the customer, I need to order in quantity. That way, the $5 handling and $5 shipping is spread over the entire order. If an order for a model that has a material cost of $0.50 is ordered .. by itself .. it would be $10.50 .. which is just plain silly. If instead I ordered 100 ea then the cost to me would be $50 + $10 handling and shipping or $60. That drops the cost per part to $0.60 each – so I could ship the part to you for $3.60 .. which is more reasonable. The downside for me is simply buying in quantity only works if I actually sell something!
    • Finally .. I add a 10% markup. That isn’t much but the cost is already so high for 3d printing that excessive greed would be like shooting myself in the foot. Besides .. I am doing this mostly for fun.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.