Author Topic: Shapeways build orientation  (Read 1806 times)

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PJPickard

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Shapeways build orientation
« on: January 21, 2013, 05:03:56 PM »
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I'm wondering about the build orientation with shapeways.

When you upload a model it shows up with an orientation in your "My Models".
Is this the orientation that they will print it?  It is NOT the orientation that my 3D model was built.
From what I have read Shapeways will not orient your model to your specification.
I wonder if you can "fool" the system to ensure it gets built the way you desire, for example adding a part to change the orientation that you would later cut off.

Paul

baztrains

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 08:14:02 AM »
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Paul
Shapeways have talked about the customer having some control over the orientation of a model during manufacture, but I'm not aware this has been done. I tend to orientate my designs so they're the 'right' way up, and I've found this is not the same way as the CAD program I use (SolidWorks). So after creating the model, I import it into an assembly and then re-orientate it so it is the right way up before uploading to Shapeways. But ideally, some of my dry-bulk trailer models would benefit from being oriented 'vertically' to reduce the striations on the cylindrical tanks. For materials that require 'support materials', I assume Shapeways would probably re-orientate models to suit their manufacturing processes. Barry

bbussey

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 05:16:01 PM »
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Shapeways currently has no provision for requesting a specific build orientation.
Bryan Busséy
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wcfn100

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 05:22:18 PM »
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I found a shop here in CO that I think has the same FUD material that Shapeways has and they are willing to work with orientation.  They cost a bit more but nothing out of line.  I was going to wait to talk about them until I had a order made.  I'm going to flatten my NE-5 caboose out into a kit where all the walls are facing up so there's no support material to deal with and see what it looks like.  I just haven't found time yet.  Maybe I can fit it in this weekend and get it on order.

Jason

bbussey

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 06:41:11 PM »
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I found a shop here in CO that I think has the same FUD material that Shapeways has and they are willing to work with orientation.  They cost a bit more but nothing out of line.  I was going to wait to talk about them until I had a order made.  I'm going to flatten my NE-5 caboose out into a kit where all the walls are facing up so there's no support material to deal with and see what it looks like.  I just haven't found time yet.  Maybe I can fit it in this weekend and get it on order.

If it's the same material, then the machine is a ProJet3000 series.  Try to get output in XHD, which is double the resolution of UHD (Shapeways' FUD).  XHD is extreme high definition, UHD is ultra high definition.  Also, orient your parts so that the print arm runs from the top of the sides to the bottom, so any rough areas will be on the bottom and easily sanded.  Orient the roofs perpendicular to the sides, so that the long beveled edges are consistent.
Bryan Busséy
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wcfn100

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 06:54:27 PM »
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If it's the same material, then the machine is a ProJet3000 series.  Try to get output in XHD, which is double the resolution of UHD (Shapeways' FUD).  XHD is extreme high definition, UHD is ultra high definition.  Also, orient your parts so that the print arm runs from the top of the sides to the bottom, so any rough areas will be on the bottom and easily sanded.  Orient the roofs perpendicular to the sides, so that the long beveled edges are consistent.

Thanks for the info.  The guy I talked to seemed really open to working on getting the perfect situation. 

He also said they've done Model Railroad 'stuff' before - but no one ever came back.  :|

When I get the caboose flattened out, I'll take all that up with him and see what we can do about getting at least a serviceable NE-5 on the rails.

Jason

Mark W

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 09:19:06 PM »
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But ideally, some of my dry-bulk trailer models would benefit from being oriented 'vertically' to reduce the striations on the cylindrical tanks.

Unfortunately, no they wont.  They must be printed in their natural orientation otherwise the support material will make funny shapes on the tank sides.  By printing right side up, minimal support material touches the tank and with proper prep and paint, you can get a very wonderful finish.  http://i.imgur.com/oYRKRDM.jpg

Of all the models I've received, I'd have to say a good 85-90% are printed in the orientation of the rendering on Shapeways.  Based on this, I believe they do give preference to the model's natural orientation, however will adjust as necessary to maximize space, prints, and therefore profits. 
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bbussey

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 11:45:27 PM »
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No, Shapeways doesn't give preference to orientation.  It's based on how many models can be fit into the build area, which is how they keep the piece-cost down.  You've merely been fortunate in that you've had your models built in the desired orientation 85% of the time.
Bryan Busséy
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baztrains

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Re: Shapeways build orientation
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 06:02:35 PM »
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A local 3D printers offered to make one of my HO dry-bulks for free, so I supplied only one half of the model (front half) as I didn't want to take advantage of their offer, and oriented this vertically so the round sides of the tanks were self-supporting as it was built-up. I also supplied them an iges or step file (can't recall what type now), which they 'tweaked' to gain resolution (they can't do this with an stl file). I don't know what the material or what machine they printed it on, but it was like an injection moulded part. You could just see some form of 'pixelation', but it was very fine. The downside was the cost.... for a whole model is would have cost £120 + tax (over $200) !!! So it looks like the quality is available and there are manufacturers out there who will orientate your model, but at a price.