3D Printing recommendations

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  07 July 2013
3D Printing recommendations

First off, I apologize if this is a recurring subject. I did some searching and was not able to find any definitive answers.

What kind of resources are out there for 3D printing? A simple Google search brings up a reasonable of services, but I have not heard of any of these places. Many of the ones I have scouted are out of country (I live in New York, FYI). Some give vague pricing, and others require you to ask for a quote. Just wondering what shops people are using and if there are any places I should steer clear of.

I suppose it would be helpful if you knew what I am printing :-) I am creating a model for my nephew who is a figure painter. I don't know for sure what size the figures he paints are, but from the bit of research I've done so far, these pieces are typically less than 5 cubic centimeters in size.

Any input at all would be helpful. And if I this is a common question, if you could let me know what I should be searching for to find more information, that would be helpful. Thank you!
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  07 July 2013
Just started the 3D printing thing myself.
I model in Solidworks, and have used http://www.3daddfab.com/ with results that I have so far been happy with.

Another popular place is Shapeways.com

Both take .stl format.

Hope this helps.
 
  07 July 2013
Originally Posted by redbellpeppers: Just started the 3D printing thing myself.
I model in Solidworks, and have used http://www.3daddfab.com/ with results that I have so far been happy with.

Another popular place is Shapeways.com

Both take .stl format.

Hope this helps.


I have heard of Shapeways before, but didn't realize that's what they did. Thank you for the suggestions, I'll check them out.

Something I forgot to mention, I work in Blender. If that makes any difference. A choice of material would be beneficial as well, since this will need to be painted on.
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  07 July 2013
A lot of us hobbyists use Blender, and Meshlab (free) is used to make sure the geometry is good.
Shapeways gives you many finishes to choose from, in different colors, at different prices.

I went with the other based upon turn around time, and on a recommendation from someone.
 
  07 July 2013
I had good results with Shapeways, just be sure to check in advance if their turnaround timeframe meets your needs (with a relatively short distance between them and my postal address it took about 3 weeks including shipping).
 
  07 July 2013
Thanks folks! Shapeways looks like the way I'll be going. I might check out their samples first. I have until Christmas, so I'm not (yet) concerned about turnaround. But I'll keep that in mind before I order.
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Destruction is a variant of done.

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  07 July 2013
Another one that looks decent is Sculpteo - http://www.sculpteo.com/en/ imaterialise looks good as well, but I think they're out of the US - http://i.materialise.com/
 
  07 July 2013
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