New to this forum but need a bit of help as time is somewhat crucial for this project.
I’ve made quite a simple design that I’m supposed to send for printing.
Was wondering if anyone here could have a look at the SketchUp-file to give some input as to how “printable” it is and if I need to change anything before sending it for print?
That link doesn’t really work, or more to the point nobody wants to sign up to some website to look at your file.
Attach it directly here using the upload button at the top of the message box, or simply drag it into the message box.
In practice, I don’t think it will end up looking like it should.
Each 3D print technology has different limitations. That’s why I noted:
You need to determine what type of material you want it to be made from and then work backwards to make sure that any geometry you create can be suitably printed. Most print shops and printer makers provide quite a bit of detail concerning do’s and don’ts.
As Colin noted, the lettering will likely be problematic in many cases.
Some of the thinner parts of the lettering may not be filled completely. I’ve had good luck with 3D printing text by using the Arial Rounded MT Bold font with all capital letters (must be 1/4" or taller). The almost constant stroke width produces consistent results:
Here’s a pretty good video from the University of Texas that shows the laser-sintered nylon process:
I played around a bit with this over the weekend. $119 sounds kind of spendy, so I tried reducing the front-to-rear dimension (assuming that the existing slot dimensions may be needed for signage or some such). I also removed quite a bit of material from the bottom of the holder area. The side walls are already a good thickness, but the walls along the slot could easily be thinned by 25% or so (as well as the cylinder walls and base):
Even with these changes, however, the ShapeWays print cost is upwards of $95. You still need quite a bit of material and machine volume to make this part. The MakerBot example predicts almost 16 hours of print time (or 48 hours for 3 parts). At a nominal $5/hr run charge, this ends up being about $80 plus material per part. 3D printing is economical compared to the many other ways to fabricate this model, but that doesn’t always translate into low-cost.
The lettering is a separate issue. If you’re not opposed to gluing and painting, I would suggest printing the lettering horizontally on a thin substrate and then gluing it to the sides. This would gives reasonably good results with a MakerBot and eliminate the support issues that Colin pointed out.
Even printed sideways, the initial font and sizes will not print properly with a MakerBot:
Stretching the “Black Cab” text almosts solves the problem, but the letters are still borderline thin in places (i.e., on the order of 0.4-0.5mm). The Arial lettering needs to be scaled up as well, even when using all caps:
Even if you don’t have a MakerBot, you can download the software and run test prints in various resolutions and for various models of MakerBots (which is how I generated the screenshots above). If the print file looks good, then the resultant print run should turn out okay. As AlexB notes, you can also choose from a wide variety of web-based print shops to see if one can provide the part and material(s) and (optional) finishing that you need (at a cost you can afford, of course).