Keys to a Cost effective 3D Printed Project

Often we receive models that are bulky and rather large. Take the Sioux Falls Cathedral for instance, a great architectural piece.

Sioux Falls Cathedral
Sioux Falls Cathedral

The bounding box is 141mm x 183mm x 189mm tall, with a solid volume of 1283 cubic centimeters. As is, this will not be a cost effective 3D printed project as a solid, given the volume of powder that is Selective Laser Sintered to make the part.

SFCathedral Solid
SFCathedral Solid

 

Upon receiving this model, the question was asked; can this be Hollow?

At Ultimate 3D we have CAD software that allows us to hollow a part and create holes to remove the loose Nylon powder from inside the shell.

Once hollowed…………………………………………………….

SFCathedral Hollow
SFCathedral Hollow

 

The bounding box measurements remain the same, but the volume is now 299 cubic centimeters. This is ¼ the volumetric value of the 3D printed solid part.

What does this mean for price?

At Ultimate 3D we quote a part based on the volume of actual Sintered material because we can recycle the unused powder. Meaning the price of the hollow model is ~1/3 the price of the solid model. Volume and price are not on a linear scale.

The walls of the hollowed model are 2mm thick. For our materials, (Nylon 12, Glass Filled Nylon, Carbon Filled Nylon), and process (SLS) the walls are very strong at this thickness.

This principal applies to a variety of product from figurines to fighter jets. If you are uncertain about the possibility of your design being hollowed, send us the file and ask us to price it solid and hollow. Chances are when we look at the model, even if you don’t ask, we will know if it can be hollow or not and ask you if you want a price for both.

Some items however are better solid for the added weight and or added strength (i.e. Trophy Bases, hydroforming dies, etc.).

Ultimate 3D wants you to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to 3D printing so send your CAD files to quotes@ult3d.com knowing that we will look out for your best interest when quoting and printing your parts.