Customs: Questions about 3D Printing/Shapeways.com

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by catch22, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I've been working on a project I'd like to have printed at Shapeways, and I'm looking for some general advice as I know some people here have had parts printed there.

    The parts in question are replacement arms for Tidal Wave. I'm just looking to get one arm printed for now to test how it fits together.

    Some questions I have:
    - Would 1mm walls be too thin and prone to breakage?
    - Which material should I choose? Shapeways | Materials
    - Would, for example, a 1mm OD peg be overly tight inside a 1mm ID peg? Would it be better to have a 0.9mm OD peg for a 1mm ID peg?
    - Any tips to knock the price down?

    - Any guess on a ballpark price of the attached model? It's about the same size as Tidal Wave's arms, and the walls are 2mm thick.
     

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  2. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Hmm... let's see:

    • 1mm walls are going to be too thin. They will print, but are highly likely to snap during shipping.
    • I would say try WSF. I supposed Alumide might also be good, but i haven't used it personally.
    • To lower the price, make sure all you'r parts are hollow, and that generally means also putting a 2mm hole so that they can get rid of the support material inside. You'll have to fill that hole yourself afterwards.
    • Not sure what you mean with OD and ID pegs, but i have printed pegs and sockets of the same diameter, and they won't fit together smoothly. If it's permanent, and there doesn't need to be a swivel of some sort, then one could hammer the parts together, but i would say the pegs would be better if it were 1mm less in diameter than the socket.
    • Price? Just upload the model to Shapeways, and there's a price for you there.
    Good luck with Broadside. :) 
     
  3. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    WSF sounds good, being cheap, strong and flexible. Does it retain fine surface details well? (I know the model in the pic is lacking fine details, I just haven't added them yet)

    I don't think Alumide is offered anymore :-/

    Doesn't seem like any sections I could hollow out on this model, but I'll keep it in mind for future ones.

    Outside Diameter, Inside Diameter.

    Misread their site, didn't realize it was free just to get a price


    Thanks, and thanks for answering my questions :) 
     
  4. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    If you want the surface finish to look like the actual toy's, White Detail will be easier to sand to a nice and smooth finish. The WSF material is very grainy. Even spending hours sanding, my earlier prototypes retain an uneven finish. WSF is great for testing parts, due to its price. But if your making a one off part, WD is not a bad choice. It will just come down to the price.

    For the wall thickness, 1.5mm or more should be fine. 1mm is way to thin, and as Treadshot said, it will probably break during shipping.

    As for pegs, thats a hard one. One thing I've tried lately is to give enough space so that their just barely touching. You will have to zoom into the area and ensure this. I've tried the 0.1mm space, which Sledgehammer has tried for his parts. I personally found it too much of a gap even then.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  5. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I've spent the last two hours or so trying to get a workable uploaded file. I think I've gotten every possible error message at least once. Too big, too small, manifold problems, this that the other thing HOLY SHIT :banghead: 

    I've downloaded a sketchup plugin, AccuTran, and Meshlab, tried cleaning things up...I don't even know how many times I tried uploading files to them.

    Sorry this post is a rant, it's me venting over how much time I just wasted tonight.
     
  6. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ahh, reminds me my first time trying to upload the Hotspot model for Delta Star. I spent over 2 hours cleaning the model up, trying to figure out what the manifold issue was.

    On one model, I think for one of the Jumpstarters, I went through each point on the model, trying to find the issue. Once I found it, it was just a little error, I had over looked.
     
  7. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Yeah, it's very annoying. I know on my first attempts, i was getting manifold error messages four or five times for one model. Generally i just erase a face in sketchup, check the inside to make sure there'e nothign there that shouldn't be there, and redraw the face.

    Alumide isn't offered anymore? Aww. Would've wanted to try it out.
     
  8. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not sure if this helps... I had a couple people show me models they made in Sketchup, which they were trying to upload on shapeways. I had noticed, after bringing it into XSI, that the model was duplicated once or twice, on top of each other, or the faces/polygon would be doubled up on top.
     
  9. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting the impression that Sketchup isn't the best program for making printable 3D models.

    Trying to upload all the parts (six individual pieces) in one file was probably a bad idea. I made a new file that's just the top upper arm piece, and according to AccuTran it's a watertight mesh. I get told that the part is too big however when I upload to shapeways.
     

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  10. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    Scale is tricky. Best way is to think of the default scale in Sketchup as MM, CM, or Inches when modeling. So lets say you scale the part, you showed above, so that its about 7 units long, in Sketchup. And you want that 7 to be MM. When you upload on Shapeways, select MM as the unit of measurement, so that they recognize each unit in MM, instead of something else.
     
  11. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    When I've uploaded .stl files, I've chosen MM on shapeways but still got the size issue problem. It's strange. v :)  v

    I did, however, get a part uploaded successfully today! I simply saved the file as a .dae through Sketchup after cleaning up my manifold problems.

    I did like treadshot said and erased large walls, and lo and behold, a mess for me to clean up.

    Shapeways | broadside
     
  12. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    In terms of Scale, what template Sketchup are you using? I always make sur emine's set on "Product Desing and Woodworking - Millimeters". Makes it a lot easier.

    Though, uploading as a Collada (.dae) is generally better than stl.

    Hope you got your tolerances right, though. Don't end up like me and print out a model only to find out the peg won't fit in the damned hole. :D 
     
  13. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    That's the one I use. I haven't had any size problems with the ones I've saved as .dae files directly from sketchup. Though if I open those .dae files that I got from sketchup in a different program and save them as .stl files, I get problems.


    I've gotten two .dae files uploaded so far, but another two I've tried both give me the error The fileformat of your object cannot be processed by our software. Please investigate the problem and try again. *sigh*

    As for the pegs, I certainly hope that doesn't happen--as you know, those parts ain't cheap!


    edit: Is 0.5mm too small for surface details if I use White Detail?
     
  14. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    [​IMG][​IMG]Well, given the high detail rating on Shapeways' Material page (click on the more details button, there's a very handy chart on the right), i wouldn't be surprised if it worked.

    BUT, i'd would recommend going 1mm at least, as given that 1mm is prone to snapping (even with WSF!), 0.5mm iis very, very, very risky. And also, when you get the parts, there will likely be some residue, so you will need to sand all your parts down first. 0.5mm generally doesn't work after you sand it. It'll be gone before you even know it.

    I honestly don't know what's wrong with your .dae files, though. I've never had that problem myself. Maybe Venksta will know. He's much more experienced in 3D modelling than i am.
     
  15. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I had no trouble uploading my files to Shapeways. One thing I worry about, is the scale. I modeled it all in standard. Mainly because my calipers are in standard. Every dimension was in the thousanths of inches. When I uploaded the first time, I selected inches and it said it was too big. I then selected mm. Will it end up being much smaller than I wanted? Every other place I've uploaded the files, it was automatically the right size. I guess I'll find out when my parts get here.

    I measured all my pegs and holes on actual Transformers, and the hole was always .002 smaller than the peg. Like classics Starscream for example. His gun post is just slightly larger than the hole. So I modeled to those specs. We'll see if it works out.
     
  16. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see any images...I don't know if it's my settings on this site or what.

    The details would be recessed in the surface, so no worries about snapping. Sanding off residue could be an issue though...what materials have you gotten from shapeways? Just WSF?

    As I understand that ones pretty grainy, would White/Black Detail also need sanding? Also, have you tried Black Detail vs White Detail? The data sheet says Black is stronger, and it's only a penny more per cm^3
     
  17. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    After you upload your model to shapeways, it will list the size in the model page for it. You can confirm there if it uploaded in the correct scale.


    WSF and WD both need sanding if you plan to paint them up. WD is easier to get a smooth finish, in my experience with both materials.
     
  18. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    WTF? I didn't put any images there... :confused: 

    Personally i've got WSF and Transparent Detail, and both will need sanding when they get here. BTW, Transparent Detail is a bit of a misnomer. It's hardly transparent, only slightly see-through.

    Never actually went and compared White Detail and Black Detail, but i highly doubt that Black will be more durable. I thought both were the same material, just different colours?

    Not only is it easier to get smooth with WD, i gave up on WSF. It really wasn't worth it to spend that much time sanding it. :lol 
     
  19. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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  20. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    Its not really printed in black. They print it off as WSF, then dye it black. The material itself is useless if your planning to paint it, as you need to prep the surface anyways. If your not planning to paint the material, then its worth getting, in my opinion.
     

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