F.A.Q.

 

Q: Why should I use 3D printing or Rapid Prototyping?

A: You want to get the idea in your mind into the hands of people and businesses, but the only way to do that is to make a physical object to show them.  3D printing is a method of making a physical object from a computer file.  You think it up, someone draws it up with a CAD program, we print it for you, and then you show your idea to people.

Q: How much will 3D printing cost me?

A: 3D printing is formed by liquid resin being cured in super thin layers of material (16-30 micron). The cost of each 3D printed part is based on the volume (grams) of the build and support material necessary for the build. We do not charge for the time used on the printer. 

Q: How does the cost compare with standard manufacturing methods?

A: Generally speaking, manufacturing even a very small part using the standard "mold making" method will cost you thousands of dollars.  Think of a pen cap, a breath mint container, or a remote control battery cover - all of these would cost several thousand... just to make one part.  3D printing the same part would cost less than a $100.

Q: How does your 3D printing differ from a desktop 3D printer?

A: It all comes down to surface resolution and accuracy. When your project requires a smooth surface, accurate features, and a sold build, we can print your part far superior to standard (desktop) printing.

Q: What file format do I need for 3D printing?

A: .STL files are the only acceptable file format that our 3D printers will accept. .STL is a standard 'save-as' option on most CAD softwares. 

Q: What is the separation needed to overmold rubber or fuse two or more materials in the same part?

A: .025 mm (.001 inch). A gap (line to line) any smaller will not allow separation of materials, and any larger will cause it to separate after printing. 

Q: What are the heat and chemical resistant properties for 3D printed parts?

A: Each material has its own specifications. Please see the "Spec" page for more information or contact us directly if you are looking for a specific quality.

Q: What is your turn-around time?

A: Most parts can be delivered within 1-3 days. For large prints or small production runs, turn-around time can be estimated upon quoting. We strive for the fastest turn-around in the industry. 

Q: Can 3D printed parts be finished?

A: Yes. 3D printed parts can be sanded, tooled, polished, painted, UV-coated, along with a variety of other finishes. 

Q: What is the maximum build size for your printers?

A: We have several printers, each with their own perimeters, but we can print parts up to 12" x 12" x 8".

Q: Does Solid Prototype offer CAD drafting and Product Development services?

A: Yes. We work with several affiliated CAD drafters and Product Development specialists and we would be happy to work with you on getting your idea from your head to your hand. Contact us for more information. 

Q: What sets Solid Prototype apart from the rest of the industry?

A: We were the very first stand alone 3D printing service bureau in the United States, established in 2011.  When everyone else in the world was focusing on rapid prototyping, we were the only service bureau that focused solely on 3D printing.  Two years after we opened, the term "rapid prototyping" became a thing of the past.  We know that customer service is key in getting any job done.  We take pride in our great service, fast turn-around, and competitive prices.