Our tips on how to choose between 3D printing services
Choosing between 3D printing services is not always an easy decision to make. With many companies offering additive manufacturing services, you might actually be quite confused. In this article, we want to help you understand better which criteria are the most important ones to decide which 3D printing service you want to work with.
Let’s start from the beginning, what is 3D printing? The 3D printing technology, also called additive manufacturing, is a manufacturing process that enables the creation of physical objects printed from CAD files. To start the printing process, 3D printers follow building programs based on topographical data compiled into a 3D file. The object is then built by adding continuously thin layers of material until it forms the shape that you want. Different technologies and materials are used in 3D printing, which implies that different printing processes exist. There are so many possibilities to turn your ideas into physical objects through 3D printing!
So, what are 3D printing services? When you wish to 3D print, you can either purchase a 3D printer to do it yourself, or you can decide to work with another company that will 3D print your objects on your behalf. The advantages of this choice are numerous. First, you don’t always have to make the 3D model yourself, since the company can help you with this part. Some will even accept to work with drawings or physical objects. Second, it’s usually better in terms of convenience: logistics are handled by 3D printing professionals.
You decided to work with 3D printing services? The main thing you need to do now is to choose which additive manufacturing partner you will work with. Here are the main criteria that you have to take into account in order to make such a decision.
Which 3D printing materials are available?
Each 3D printing material has its own properties. While some of them are perfect for mechanical uses, others are better for design. Having a wide range of choice will help you 3D print objects that really match your needs. Choosing the right material will help you reduce the cost of your 3D print.
Moreover, you might want to use specific 3D printing materials. For instance, if you’re a jeweler, choose one of the 3D printing services that have a large range of precious metals. As a result, you need to check if they’re available.
Is the 3D printing service offering design assistance?
If you don’t have experience in 3D printing, you might need some help when it comes to designing your 3D model. Thus, a company offering design assistance with good 3D designers would be better for you. Which one of the 3D printing services offers tutorials? Or has a blog with tips about CAD design? These are good signs that a company has an expertise in CAD design and can help you with that.
Also, check if the 3D printing service offers you some tools to optimize your design without the help of professional 3D designers. Doing so, you will reduce your additive manufacturing costs.
Are 3D prints of good quality?
According to our study the State of 3D Printing 2017, 36% of the respondents consider quality is their top priority when it comes to their 3D printed parts. Check the different reviews and ask for pieces of advice around you to learn more about the quality offered by the different 3D printing services. You can also sometimes ask for samples in order to check the quality level.
Is the 3D printing price matching your budget?
Of course, printing prices are important criteria when choosing between 3D printing services. Some additive manufacturing services are just more expensive than others. This printing price difference can be justified, due to better customer support or higher quality for instance. You just need to find which printing prices match your needs and your budget.
What about shipping conditions?
Where is the company located? And where does it ship? Don’t forget to check the shipping info! The reason why this criteria is essential is obvious. If a 3D printing service doesn’t ship where you are, you can not work with this company. Moreover, don’t forget to check the shipping costs. If the company is 3D printing really far from where you are, shipping costs might be quite expensive.
Does the 3D printing service provide satisfying customer support?
Finally, the quality of customer support is essential when choosing between 3D printing services. Working with a trustable 3D printing service, helping you with each step, will help you make the most of additive manufacturing. Also, it will help you deal with potential issues.
So, are you ready to look for a 3D Printing service? But wait a minute! Before you start your research, take a look at the closest service…
Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service!
Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service for professional and individuals who are looking to use additive manufacturing for one or a thousand 3D printed products, either for rapid prototyping or to create a finished product. Our main mission as a digital manufacturing service is not only to provide the best 3D printing experience but also to make the 3D printing technology accessible to everyone and everywhere in the world.
Here’s the reason why Sculpteo may be the best choice to 3D print your project:
1. A wide range of 3D printing materials
With Sculpteo, your 3D printing experience will be more interesting since we provide various 3D printing materials. We offer a wide range of Plastics (Flexible Plastic, Alumide, Glass-Filled Nylon, and Carbonmide, all made with the Selective Laser Sintering technology or even plastics made with the new Multi Jet Fusion technology), Resins (Polyjet and CLIP), Metal (like Stainless Steel, SLM, DMLS, Metal Casting and Metal Binder Jetting), Multicolor and many other 3D printing materials for your projects, functional prototypes or 3D printed finished products.
2. An online interface with complete tools for 3D printing
3D printing can be a complex process, especially with the design of your object. To help you deal with that issue, our team of experts created a wide range of tools such as Optimization Tools, Repairing Tools and Reviewing Tools. Therefore, you can edit, fix and improve your CAD files directly without returning to the 3D modeling software by simply uploading your 3D model here.
3. Agile Manufacturing Technology – Business Case
This is one of Sculpteo’s best 3D printing tools: Business Case, the first 3D printing software designed as a self-learning Artificial Intelligence engine. It allows you to audit and evaluate your project by providing advice about 3D printing materials and helps you optimize cost and time needed for your 3D printing project.
In addition to AMT, according to the Sculpteo’s annual report the State of 3D Printing, each day, more than 2,000 users are taking advice from Business Case to audit their 3D printing projects. A proof that you can trust Business Case to evaluate your project!
4. Customer experience is important to us
At Sculpteo, customer satisfaction is fundamental. We are trying our best to be there when customers need us and guide them throughout the process of 3D printing. You can read some of our customer stories about what they have printed and how was their 3D printing experience with Sculpteo:
- Spine Vision “3D printing, the strength of medical sector”
- “UVify Racing Drones”
- “Holo-Z on how 3D printing helps starting businesses”
Moreover, most of our customers like their orders to be done fast and thankfully our online 3D printing service is very intuitive and quick. The process is easy, step by step: you upload your 3D models, we manufacture them and you receive them!
There you go, are you still looking for a 3D printing service that really matches your needs? You may want to check out the Sculpteo website to discover more about our 3D printing services. Or you can already upload 3D models on our website to get your 3D printed products!