3D print services for Z

markm Dec 10, 2017

  1. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    All the 3D print projects I read about here seem to use Shapeways. While I have no criticism of them, their technology seems to be at the limit of accuracy and resolution for Z scale. I was wondering if anyone has tried an alternate provider? I'm frequently receiving email from several U.S. services that seem to have equipment that can provide better spec's and features such as color and I'm wondering if they are worth investigating.

    Mark
     
  2. wcfn100

    wcfn100 TrainBoard Member

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    Any investigation you do should start with cost. Then you'll see why Shapeways is so popular.

    Jason
     
  3. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jason,
    Regarding costs, I've been considering that the selection would be much like brass vs. injection mold locomotives. The better the detail the higher the price. But have you specifically looked at other providers? What were the specific cost differences?

    Mark
     
  4. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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  5. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Since I live close to Shapeways, I csn pick ip
     
  6. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Sine I live close to shapeways I can pickup my printed parts and save on shipping cost. Have just sent another gondola body to print in hda without cleaning off suspension prues. I' ll let you know how in comes out. Since it is almost a year ago I used this material. Hopefully it has improved.
     
  7. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I mentioned earlier, I have no issues with Shapeways and they seem to work well for many people. I regularly received emails from companies who offer services, at least on paper, with superior accuracy and resolution or color and multimedia printing at Shapeways similar spec's. I was wondering if anyone has tried these services.

    Mark
     
  8. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The guy you want to talk to is Jon Pope. He is the guy who designs heavy crane in z scale. He used a different company to print his stuff. It’s more expensive, but he gets to chose how they are printed. You don’t with shapeways.
     
  9. wcfn100

    wcfn100 TrainBoard Member

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    What do you mean by that?

    Shapeway does allow you to set the print orientation with FUD/FXD.

    Jason
     
  10. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You can choose the orientation. If you print it up instead of laying on the side. It has effect on how smooth the surface is.
     
  11. Heay Equipment Designer

    Heay Equipment Designer TrainBoard Member

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    Correct! This has been in the works for a while now. Not sure when they finally got the option in but its there (still did not have the option the last time I ordered in July). I've been waiting for this since I first tried FUD at shapeways back in 2012.

    This changes everything for FUD parts. You can now design your parts to print with minimum or no support material (crystallized crap on the surface that does not "wash off") showing up where you don't want it. You can also get much better detail with less step over marks if you design your parts right and break up your model into multiple pieces.


    -Jon
     
  12. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    All,

    Black Hi-Def acrylate with supports printed by Shapeways. This one has been printed almost 1 year later then the first HDA Berwick gon. This time the print looks much better. HDA works for this body style, but for my dropbottom gons FUD is still preferred.

    Now one can choose to have HDA shipped with the supports still attached to the model.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    mdvholland and Kurt Moose like this.
  13. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Frank, what is the reason behind having your model printed under this angle?

    Matt
     
  14. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Matt,

    I don't know, Shapways just prints high definition acrylate angled. Maybe someone can chime in why it is printed like this? could be that it has to do with the curing of the material...
     
    mdvholland likes this.
  15. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    From the DFM details I've read, many printing processes have different X,Y,Z accuracy and resolutions. Printing at an angle would produce the same characteristics in all directions.

    Looking at the images, I don't see any rivets. Have you ever tried printing them?

    Mark
     
  16. RobertAllbritton

    RobertAllbritton TrainBoard Member

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    mdvholland and markm like this.
  17. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Mark, rivets are not possible in Z for Shapeways HDA. Resolution is still too rough.There you need to use FUD or FXD. But even than rivits need to be designed oversized for Z scale.
     

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