3D Printing FAQ

What is 3D Printing?
3D Printing can also be referred to as Additive Manufacturing and is a prototyping process where a real object is created directly from a computer 3D model by laying down the build material one layer at a time until the object is fully formed.
What kind of things can I 3D Print?
Well there’s a saying that goes, “If you can think it, you can 3D print it” and this is true. So, with 3D printing, you are only limited by your imagination and skill level.
Can I print any 3D model I find on the Internet?
Unfortunately, No. Not all 3D models are printable. Some models are designed for animation, showcase, graphics, etc. These models were designed without any consideration for 3D printing and therefore will not be printable.
Know your CAD file
If you have picked up your CAD file in an online library, or if you had it created by an external designer, please remember that the better you know your file, the better you’ll know how to update it to reduce your 3D printing price. A CAD model designed for 3D printing is very different from CAD models for animation or rendering.
As it will become a physical object, every aspect from the surface to the internal structure of your model has to be imagined and some design aspects (the inner structure for example) can change the 3D printing cost considerably, without necessarily being useful for your application.
Knowing your CAD file also allows you to avoid mistakes and unpleasant surprises when your package will be delivered. Even if our online checking tools are already very efficient and can correct some of the usual 3D design mistakes (that is, if we incorporated the 3D printing calculator and 3D printing online checking tools), it’s always good to have extra safety and control.
However, send us the model and we will let you know if it is 3D printable or what the steps needed to be made to make it printable.
What kind of materials do you print with?
The parts are made from ABS and PLA plastic. These are the two most widely used materials in FDM 3D Printing although more materials options are being produced like rubber, bronze, wood, etc.
How strong are 3D printed parts?
3D Printed parts are strong and can withstand a lot of abuse, however, they are not indestructible. The design of the part will also impact on its overall strength, as is the case with any engineering or architectural design.
What colours are available?
We can print in any color that the 3D printing material comes in. Colours typically include: black, white, green, red, yellow, blue, silver, pink, orange, gold, semi-translucent, etc. For need for a specific colour, do include it in your project description.
Any printed part can however be painted (using Acrylic paint) afterwards to the colour of your choice.

Can parts be printed in multiple colours/materials?
Unfortunately, not. Prints are generally done in one colour and then painted afterwards. However, in some cases, it is possible to print with 2 different colours and/or materials for the same part but this is more complicated, a lot more expensive and largely depends on the design of the part.
Can 3D Printed parts be painted?
Yes, parts can be painted. This is done with Acrylic Paints which give the best results.
What is the largest part I can print? (size)
The maximum print volume of the printer is 215mm x 135mm x 140mm
Can a design be printed in multiple parts and assembled?
Yes, and this is widely done in the industry. For large or complex parts, it is advisable to design it in multiple parts and then assemble it later after 3D Printing.
How much will my 3D Print cost?
The pricing is based on a series of factors, including; volume of the object, amount and type of raw material used, added human work (mostly for our finishes) and other factors. Once you upload your file here, we will get back to you in 48 hours or less with a price estimate.
What is your standard lead time for printing
The standard lead time is 3 – 7 business days depending on the size and complexity of your part.
What file format does my part need to be in?
The 3D file you send to us for printing must either be in STL, OBJ, STEP, or IGES format. Most 3D design applications can export to any of the formats or have free online plugins that allow exporting to the listed formats.
How can I send my file in?
The quickest way is to submit your file is by completing the form here.
My file is confidential. Can you sign an NDA?
Yes, we’ll be happy to sign a mutual NDA agreement. Send over the NDA and we’ll send back the signed copy as soon as possible.
How much will you charge to design my part?
This varies largely and depends on what you have in mind and the complexity of the part. Typically, the quicker we can understand what you want to design, the faster we can complete the design which usually means the cheaper it will be.

Please book a 10-minute FREE consultation with one of our designers to discuss your project.

What software applications do you use to design your parts
We use AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Fusion 360, and others.
How can I design parts that fit together after being 3D Printed?
When designing parts that clip together, allow a tolerance of 0.15 to 0.25mm in your design.
What other things should I keep in mind when designing for 3D Printing?
When designing for 3D Printing, there are a few factors to keep in mind that ensures you have a good quality print. You should try and have a flat bottom on your part. This will form a good foundation for your print as it builds up. You should minimize or even try to avoid overhangs. Having steep overhanging angles (anything greater than 60 degrees from the vertical plane) will require the use of support structures which could further affect the surface finish of the part, increase material of print, time of print and increase pricing too.
Furthermore, you should have a minimum wall thickness of 1mm. Anything less than this could result in a fragile part.