- How do you I get started?
- Should I buy my own 3D printer?
Navigate to the Contact Info page and either email or give us a call with details about your 3D printing or engineering request and we will respond back within a few hours with a detailed cost estimate. Please attach any 3D models, drawings, or pictures that will help illustrate your needs.
Over the past few years the 3D printing market has grown significantly. There have been numerous startup companies that have been created with similar goals of providing personal access to 3D printers. A vast majority of these companies have decided to accomplish this goal by simply offering low cost printers so that more consumers can afford them. However, as the saying goes, you often get what you pay for. 3D printing is ultimately technology that combines several complex engineering disciplines (computer aided design, mechanical engineering, dynamics, thermodynamics, etc). Even with advanced features to improve ease of use owning and maintaining a 3D printer often requires a lot of patience, knowledge, skill, and artistry - for many casual designers and hobbyists it is simply more economical and enjoyable to utilize professional 3D printing services.
We take pride in our reputation as one of the largest and highest rated "hubs" on the most poular 3D consumer printing platform - take a look at some of our reviews. There are a lot of companies that provide services that will create and ship 3D prints. These services generally come at an elevated cost and\or sacrificed quality due to high operating overhead. At i-SOLIDS we reduce this major expense by optimizing printer utilization and efficiency.
We currently operate several different types of 3D printer based on FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), SLA (Stereolithography), and MJF (Mult-Jet Fusion) technologies. There are definitely pros and cons to all 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies and so if you have any questions or concerns about which printer, material, or print settings are best for your project we would be happy to help.
- What software can I use to create 3D models?
There are several free 3D CAD software options that are available for various skill levels and functional requirements. For beginners, Tinkercad is an easy to use option that can help you get started immediately and run entirely within a web browser. For more advanced users, SketchUp is another great option that operates more like traditional CAD. At i-SOLIDS we utilize the complete SolidWorks engineering suite for our models, drawings, animations, and analysis.
- What type of 3D model files will work?
We generally recommend the standard tessellation language file format (.stl) due to its precision and wide acceptance by the most common 3d printers. However, we can also convert many other file formats (.stl, .obj, .step, .thing, .gcode, .sldprt, .amf) free of charge - simply attach the file and leave us a note on the print reservation page or contact us by email.