3D printing in few words...
3D printing, additive manufacturing, is a process of creating three-dimensional object from digital file by adding thin layers of molten plastic one on of top the other until the object is made. It’s a process opposite to commonly known subtractive manufacturing which involves milling or drilling machines.
It has got long history, back to 1984 when the first 3D printer was invented by Chuck Hull, American engineer. Stereolithography, the technology used by that printer, was patented in 1986. Since then technology made big step forward allowing us to have access to different types of printing technologies.
3D printing has mainly been used for prototyping by giving cost-saving opportunities for big companies or individuals with great ideas. However, with time the idea of 3D printing also reached households. Many people start using printers to make “everyday use” things, board games elements, figures/sculptures, lithophanes and cosplays.
Which method is right?
...of course it's all depends...
As you perhaps know we offer two different type of 3d printing. Each has got its pros and cons and can be used for different applications.
Digital Light Processing, is quite new, however it’s evolved from 1980s SLA, and it uses a projected image to cure the surface of a liquid photopolymer. It's very precise and can produce parts in similar surface quality to injection moulded products.
With a range of materials to choose from, DLP is a 3D printing technology suited to many different applications, like engineering, dental, jewellery, art, commercial products and board game elements. This method enables us to produce parts with resolutions under 50 microns and provide a smooth surface finish. Unfortunately, printing capacity is limited and running costs are much higher. Comparing to other methods it's much easier to handle.
Filament Fabrication, is a process of creating three-dimensional objects from
digital files by adding thin layers of molten plastic one on top of the other
until the object is made. Anything printed with FFF, are not like injection
moulded parts. The surface may show rings, blemishes and other signs of plastic
extrusion; however, this is no way deters from the parts functionality.
FFF is good for large volume prints, internal parts, base products where post-processing work is the must and cosmetic imperfections are not the issue. Very common and "cheap" production/prototyping method, however requires more skills than SLA/DLP/UV-LCD. It's also time consuming. and the parts are not solid fill. It supports wide range of different materials
How to proceed?
It's pretty straight forward.
We use Treatstock.com to proceed our orders. "GET QUOTE", button below, will take you directly to their website where you can begin the process. If you want to find out more about our services, pricing and materials we use, please carry on reading (there will be one more quote button at the end). If you have any questions feel free to contact us.
We set our standard order processing time to 3 working days for small orders, 5 working days for medium. Large items or bulk orders will be considered individually. For "Miniature Printing Service" click here.
By having our customers satisfaction, and service transparency as a priority, we've standardized some of our Main and Additional Services rates for both printing methods:
- SETUP FEE - £ 8 and includes preparation, maintenance, fail prints, tools, basic post-processing (IPA bath, supports removal, UV curing), labour
- POST-PROCESSING - £ 12 per hour and includes supports leftovers removal,
filling holes, crack etc, sanding, priming (base coat of paint -
usually yellow or grey) and painting.
Bear in mind we will only charge for hours of work, not for whole process.
- PRINTING FILE REPAIR - price will vary. £5 for cosmetic repairs up to £99 for more time-consuming jobs which may require manual mesh adjustments. Price for each file.
We will do our best to repair any file
within 24h. If we are unable to do so we will refund you in full.
Time frame fee for high importance prints will be set individually with most accurate and realistic figures. We cannot print quicker than printer allows us, however we can reorganize work schedule and add your job to top of our list.
Material fee depends of supplier’s commission and stock availability. We will calculate these fees on daily basis.
This table can be modified without any further notice. You're obligated to make yourself familiar with its content. Your continued use of service will constitute your acknowledgment of the modifications.
To avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, please make yourself familiar with our Terms & Conditions.
Well known Zortrax Inkspire can produce reasonably big objects and offers great quality of printed parts, high precision and reliability. Zortrax line offers a range of materials suiting different applications:
- FLEXIBLE - is an elastic resin with an elongation at break of 19%. It not only offers smooth edges, high details and sharp contours, but also a high impact resistance. The unique properties of the resin make it perfect for precise, flexible parts, protective covers and models with softer surfaces. Applications: Flexible parts, Soft surfaces, Impact-resistant models, Moulding, Covers. Shore hardness: 60D. Colour: Yellow (Transparent).
- PRO - short curing times and high details with the added benefit of high resistance to bending. The resin has a very low shrinkage and contains no harmful organic compounds. It is designed for the production of functional parts or tools. Applications: Functional parts, Function tools, heavy prototypes, mechanical parts. Shore hardness: 76D. Colour: Black (Opaque).
- BASIC - 3D-printing photopolymer that achieves high levels of detail and precision thanks to its low shrinkage. Once cured, it can easily be painted in different colours. The resin is safe for both human health and the environment. Applications: Housing for the electronics, Functional prototypes, Display models, End use parts. Shore hardness: 82D. Colour: White, Grey, Translucent/Pigment-free.
Other brands: Elegoo & PrimaCreator, two very good low-shelf brands with similar purpose as Zortrax Basic:
- Elegoo Standard - Shore hardness 84D, low shrinkage, Applications: Art, Decor, Board game elements, Display models. Colour: White, Grey, Black.
- PrimaCreator - Shore hardness 85-88D, low shrinkage. Applications: Art, Decor, Board game elements, Display models. Colour: Skin (Beige).
Still have some questions or can't see material you need? Find out more
who has got a bit 3d printing experience knows Original Prusa MK3S.Yes, it is a
desktop printer, but very reliable and a real workhorse! So do not
underestimate it! It offers mid print volume capacity, but it's versatile and
can handle wide range of materials. Over the years we were able to select
several suppliers to keep customers satisfied.
- ApolloX by Formfutura- industrial-grade modified ASA is a professional high-performance engineering filament. Main features: UV resistance, heat resistance, colour stability. Great engineering filament for outdoor and automotive applications. Available in several colours.
- Crystal Flex by Formfutura - high-performance engineering material. Main features: strength, resilience, semi-flexibility. Transparent with high-gloss surface. Shore hardness: 63D and bendable up to 230% without white stress marks. Meets UL 94HB flame retardant standards criteria.
- FlexiFill White by Formfutura - TPC with unique property allowing objects return back to their original position or shape after being bent. Features: flexibility, long term heat resistance, UV resistance, strength and good chemical resistance. Shore hardness: 45D. IEC 60695-11-10 Flammability classification: HB
- TPU Black - shore hardness: 93A. Good shock absorbing qualities. useful for many different applications like mobile phone covers, keyboard protectors, insoles, gaskets, tyres, seals, and ice trays.
- PLA - a thermoplastic made from renewable resources, Easy to print and can produce fairy good details in reasonably short time. Most popular choice for quick prints. Downside would be it low temperature resistance, so it's not best choice for outdoor or mechanical equipment with loads of friction. Available in several colours.
- PETG - very tough material with good thermal resistance. Suitable for mechanical parts and both indoor and outdoor use, but it general it's very universal. Its best feature is no warping, so printing large objects can be very easy and stress-less. Available in several colours.
Still have some questions or can't see material you need? Find out more
Now, when you know everything you need, why not get a quote.
It's really simple and stress-less procedure.