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Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

(OP)
Hello, Are you using prototypes online ordering website ? such as Protolabs or Xometry ?
which would you recommend to order plastic and metal 3D printed prototypes ?
Thanks a lot

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

There are so many suppliers out there. We print most things in-house, but for higher performance materials that we cannot print we use Advanced Tek in St Paul MN. For very large parts that are simply too expensive to have done in the States, we use HLH Prototypes in Shenzhen China. Fantastic accuracy, quality, price, and turn-around time. I have never been to either of these companies, things go seamlessly and smoothly via email and file transfer.

I have no association (other than being a customer) or financial interest in either of these companies.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

It depends,will be my response. I am doing plastics 3D printing using different materials like PLA, PETG,etc with or without fillers.
For metal casting industry, 3D sand printing and wax printing is getting popular and affordable. I read papers and articles that predict in next 5 years metal 3D printing will replace investment casting!! Manufacturing is getting disruptive and changes are happening rapidly.

"Even,if you are a minority of one, truth is the truth."

Mahatma Gandhi.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Good thing you're already heading that way Arunmrao!


ornerynorsk; What exactly do you send these companies for them to print your parts?

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Almost all of the printing companies accept .STL format files.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Yes, what Brian said. Almost exclusively STL's. Once in awhile they'll request a STEP or IGES if there are closely fitting or telescoping parts involved where the models require some finishing to smooth out layer and resolution inconsistencies in order to obtain a functional part.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

I've had good service from Shapeways and Stratasys.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

I agree with SparWeb's recommendation. Their prints are smooth and accurate from the pictures that I see.

"Even,if you are a minority of one, truth is the truth."

Mahatma Gandhi.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Thanks to all for sharing the details. This is a thread for my archive.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

ornerynorsk,
Curious, which printers do you have in-house?
I'm looking into purchasing one. I'm not sure which one yet.

Chris, CSWP
SolidWorks '17
ctophers home
SolidWorks Legion

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Hey Chris, we have a Stratsys Dimension 1200 es that uses soluble support material. I would classify it as a basic commercial entry level machine. It is a little workhorse, and has a fair sized envelope, 10 x 10 x 12 inches. This is our second machine of the same series. The first one, new in 2003 had a few more glitches and idiosynchrosies. This one has been a trooper at just over 7 years old, very few issues or downtime.


Pros: relatively trouble free, incredibly easy to use (has a very good interface app for the desktop, controlled/enclosed environment - there is no fiddling with the control parameters such as is common with other machines. Stratsys has the parameters really nailed as far as temperature, melt flow, applicating tips, platen adhesion, etc.

Cons: A little pricey at +30,000. Only 1 material choice (ABS), material must be purchased in proprietary cassettes of 56 cubic inches (eprom verification chip), although there is at least one alternate supplier that guarantees their refill kit and eprom replacement. Build platens are also proprietary and are not re-usable for the most part. No control over layer application or multi-directional filament orientation other than a few basic "checkbox" selections. Best layer resolution is 0.010", which is not horrible for an FDM machine but not great either.

There are really a lot of choices out there. When we are ready for a new one, it's going to be a fair bit of research again.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

Thank you for the info. I'm looking for one that has multiple materials use. There are alot of choices these days.
My son is starting to help me research (he's a material science professor), he's very experienced with the new technologies.
I hope to pick one up soon.

Chris, CSWP
SolidWorks '17
ctophers home
SolidWorks Legion

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

PLA, ABS and PETG are common plastic filaments used for 3D printing. These days the filaments with different fillers and colors are available for 3D printing. You might also want to look at printers capable of printing 2 or 3 colors simultaneously. This will avoid need to paint them later.
Also, look for post processing operations. This is time taking and tedious.

Hope it helps.

"Even,if you are a minority of one, truth is the truth."

Mahatma Gandhi.

RE: Prototypes (3DPrinting) parts ordering ?

I have used Protolabs for years with excellent results over hundreds of parts. They have a cnc service, 3d printing service, rapid injection molding and more. CNC parts can be gotten overnight for a premium. 3D printed parts usually have a few days lead time. It's a great company to work with.

Richard Lee, PE
Lee Engineering Inc
www.leeengineeringinc.com

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