Q. Can you make……………….?
A. Yes. We have never not been able to provide a prototype of a design, whether by 3D printing or a range of other related prototyping processes.
Q. What is 3D printing?
A. 3D printing is a generic term for a range of rapid prototyping processes – we can recommend the best specific processes to suit you application
Q. I have a part can you print me a copy?
A. 3D printing is not like photocopying – it’s more like printing a document in that you need a file containing the original information to be printed. Parts can be 3D scanned for 3D printing but the scanning processes like photocopying will lose detail and accuracy (we do not 3D scan).
Q. I still have that part can you print me a copy – without scanning?
A. Yes – we would 3D model it in a CAD program to accurately define the part to be printed – this would be an additional cost to printing (the same as scanning would), but also allows you to modify the part if required and you now have the file if you need to make more.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. Cost is dependent on material, part volume and the printing / prototyping processes used – different processes provide different structural properties to the part and enable different materials to be used. We need a 3D CAD file defining the part to run through our print simulation to determine print time and material usage.
Generally if you can buy a part off-the-shelf it is almost certainly cheaper than 3D printing it – this is a process intended for making parts which cannot be obtained or do not currently exist. One off custom parts they are inherently more costly then a commercially mass produced part.
Q. What file format do you require?
A. We can use a range of common 3D file formats STL, IGS. iges, STEP, SolidWorks and others.
Q. How long does it take?
A. Generally we provide a free quote next day; parts usually take a few hours to actually print, but it might take a few days to fit your job into our schedule.