Printing on Thingiverse

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Elminster
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Printing on Thingiverse

Post by Elminster » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:18 am

I was going to print off some gotek cases and possibly a few other bits on Thingiverse (not allowed to buy a 3d printer at the moment), but there seems to be a number of different printing apps/companies available. Has anyone used any of them? Not sure which to pick.

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Re: Printing on Thingiverse

Post by scruss » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:44 am

… and you don't have any access to friends, library, makerspace, etc. who might have a 3D printer?

The print services available from Thingiverse (at least in Canada, which can be its own very special backwater for services sometimes) are pretty much limited to higher-end materials. Sure, you can order prints in PLA from Shapeways, but the markup is ridiculous. If you tot up the cost of a few prints via Thingiverse, it's not many before you come to the cost of a basic 3D printer. I know you say you're not allowed one, but if it makes sound financial sense …

I'd offer to print things for you, but the shipping from here is horrible.

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Elminster
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Re: Printing on Thingiverse

Post by Elminster » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:29 am

scruss wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:44 am
… and you don't have any access to friends, library, makerspace, etc. who might have a 3D printer?
That isn't really the issue. I just want to be able to order stuff online and it turns up. Like PCB boards. It a good 45 min drive to the nearest Makerspace. Only printers in our libraries print paper, not sure if other UK libraries do this but not something our county council offers.
The print services available from Thingiverse (at least in Canada, which can be its own very special backwater for services sometimes) are pretty much limited to higher-end materials. Sure, you can order prints in PLA from Shapeways, but the markup is ridiculous. If you tot up the cost of a few prints via Thingiverse, it's not many before you come to the cost of a basic 3D printer. I know you say you're not allowed one, but if it makes sound financial sense …

I'd offer to print things for you, but the shipping from here is horrible.
Unfortunately, even if someone gave me a printer I don't have space for it. They aren't small things you can just put in the drawer, or stack on or under other things.

Print a Thing, Ninja Prototype and Treatstock are the services available in the UK on Thingiverse. If none are no good then I will just skip the idea.

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davidb
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Re: Printing on Thingiverse

Post by davidb » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:51 am

paulb used Shapeways when prototyping a Plus 1 cartridge case and the quality was reasonable. The cartridge I ordered from them was also OK.

This was some time ago. There may be more vendors that serve the UK now, though a quick search only really uncovered ones that are maybe serving "professional" clients rather than "consumers".

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Re: Printing on Thingiverse

Post by tingo » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:42 pm

Elminster wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:29 am
That isn't really the issue. I just want to be able to order stuff online and it turns up. Like PCB boards. It a good 45 min drive to the nearest Makerspace. Only printers in our libraries print paper, not sure if other UK libraries do this but not something our county council offers.
FWIW, my own experience with printing things from Thingiverse (I'm using the 3D printers at my local makerspace) is that it is very different from ordering a PCB. If I make a PCB, order it made and when I get it there is a fault on it - then it's my fault and I can fix it and order a new board - I can live with that.

Printing someone else's model from Thingiverse is different: the current state of 3D printing (at least for consumers) makes the process much more like prototyping: print one, find out that it doesn't fit correctly, then you need to adjust it and print a new one and try again.
And this is where problems can start to creep up on you:
- some makers only put the .STL files on Thingiverse, not the 3D model itself. STL files can be edited, but adjusting model parameters in those is far from easy.
- the 3D model is provided but it was made with a program you don't know how to use, one you don't have and which costs serious money, or one where it is really hard to change the model
- the 3D model is made in such a way that it is hard (or even impossible) to change parameters (height, width, thickness and so on)

There is also the fact that no matter how good and precise the 3D model is, it might need a fudge factor to print correctly on a 3D printer (if it is two parts that need to fit together just right for example).

So be prepared that ordering something printed from Thingiverse just might need more iterations than ordering a PCB for example. The being said, I haven't tried any commercial 3D printing services (like ShapeWays) so maybe they are better than this.

IMHO, the best approach for 3D printing is having access to a 3D printer yourself and designing your own 3D models (I'm using OpenSCAD and have recently started to learn and use FreeCAD), it shortens the iteration time considerably.
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Elminster
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Re: Printing on Thingiverse

Post by Elminster » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:23 pm

Thanks. Agree that in a world where I had enough time, space and money that would be ideal. Having said that a kindly soul has taken pity on me and offered me a bargain price on a 3rd printer. Just have time and space issue to resolve now.

Still be interested to know peoples third party printing experiences on Other must be in a similar boat.
Last edited by Elminster on Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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