Shapeways problem
9th Apr, 2014

My new walls for my prototype modular floor tiles turn up today and I'm not happy. There are some very serious distortion in the prints, and they both seems to have a lace like pattern inside. I've contacted Shapeways about this, and they have asked for photos and are investigating. I know Shapeways doesn't have the highest detail, and they are 'cheap' for what they are, but I at least expect my prints to be straight if they cost 100 euros!

At first I thought the deformity was simply a bend, but if you look at the image the left side is pretty straight, but the right is noticeably bent.

On closer inspection I noticed the surface on the bent side was smooth, and the other sides rough, and then thought it may be due to some over zealous finishing, like one side had been sanded down too much or something.

Examining it further, as I do not want the same error to occur again, I noticed something else that was odd. The bit shown from the side is a 'post' (column), with a square centre section, but when looking from the top the square looks like it has been compressed into a rectangle shape. At a guess it's a printer error, the bottom of the post is nice and square, and it holds the shape about half way up, and then it looks like the printer is changing the cross section from a square to a rectangle.

I wonder what the problem is?

I can't be messing about with this nonsense. I've contacted another 3D Print Service (thanks Stef). It'll be more expensive as they use Envisiontec machine, but the detail is amazing.

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4 Responses

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  1. Stefan says:

    Hi man, don't know if you've already caught this, but Shapeways recently started experimenting printing with wax, which would really make our lives a lot easier:

    • Philip S says:

      I saw your post over on the TFM forum. It looks really interesting, but there may be an issue with shipping it. Shapeways say its not very durable, about the same feel as candle wax, and I'm wondering if a wax print will make it all the way to America in one piece!

      There again: Ed could order direct from Shapeways, or I could ship direct to him, and this may solve the problem. I'll looking into it some more, and see what they details levels are like, at first glance they seem really good.

      • Stefan says:

        I know plenty of companies who deal with wax prints, White Dragon Miniatures for example also use wax prints if I'm not mistaken. I've heard lots of positive stuff about resin prints, regarding their fragility, it's not THAT fragile, still not as sturdy as plastic or anything, but it is known to survive the casting process.

        Regarding the detail levels, they seem to be on the same level as Frosted Ultra Detail but without those nasty print lines. I guess a small experiment might be in order. Print something very small to keep the costs low, just to see what the material looks/feels like, rather than spending tons of money in doing a wax wall piece just for it to fail.

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