3D Printing is the rapid creation of physical scale models from digital 3D models. It is a two step process involving 1) the 3D modelling and 2) the 3D Printing. 3D Printed models can be produced from a variety of materials such as resin, plastic, clear perspex, paper and even concrete! Models can be printed in mono or full colour. Colour printing allows for the inclusion of textures on a model. The majority of models can be printed in a matter of hours. There are numerous types of 3D printer on the market which vary in cost and ability.
Services and Deliverables
3D Design Bureau provide a stand alone 3D modelling service for 3D printing. 3D modelling for 3D printing is a different process than it is for 3D visualisation or BIM purposes. It is important that your model is constructed correctly for it to be fit for printing. Customers use this service when it makes sense to have their model printed locally.
We also offer the full 3D printing package. We 3D print models that we have created and also 3D print models that have been supplied to us. It should be noted that models supplied to us generally require some work in order to make them print ready.
Model Analysis and Fix
If you wish to get your model printed elsewhere but need it checked before doing so, then we can help. We can quickly determine if a model is print ready. If it is not, then we can offer to fix it for you.
Scan and Print
Through our experience with laser scanning we can now offer a scan and print service. From laser scan to 3D model to 3D print.
3D Printing Deliverables:
View Our Extended 3D Printing Portfolio
Want To Know More?
Scale models of proposed developments for communication.
Scale models of engineering structures and devices.
3D printing has been used to print organs from a patient’s own cells. It is also revolutionising the prosthetics industry.
The first ever fully working car has been 3D printed. Other car manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford are actively using the technology.
Scale models of proposed new developments for marketing.
Product Designers & Manufacturers
Scale models for better design and cost saving purposes.
Marketing and presentation purposes for new product designs.
New brand and product designs. Promotional and marketing purposes.
Yes, NASA use 3D printing. They have one in the space station and send digital files to it for repairs. We kid you not.
What is the cost of 3D Printing?
Costs for 3D printing depend on a number of factors like, detail, scale, colour. There are two main costs associated with 3D printing. The cost for the production of the digital 3D model and the actual printing costs. Modelling costs are based on the amount of time it will take to create the digital 3D which in turn is dictated by the scale and detail required. 3D printing costs are based on the volume of material used and whether it is to be mono colour or multi colour.
Do you provide 3D modelling for 3D printing?
Yes. We provide both services. In fact, we advise that we carry out the 3D modelling phase to ensure that the model will print correctly. There are specific modelling techniques and know how needed to ensure your 3D model will be ‘print ready’.
I have a 3D model already. Can this be printed?
Yes, however it is likely that the model may require some ‘fixing’ to make it print ready. This is extremely common. The 3D printer can only print models that have been modelled specifically for 3D printing.
Why won’t my 3D model print?
From experience when we take in a 3D model it is generally the case that it will not print first time. The majority of models require a certain amount of optimisation work. This is because 3D modelling for 3D printing involves a different methodology than 3D modelling for visualisation purposes. 3D modelling for 3D printing requires knowledge of the 3D printing process. Don’t be surprised if your model requires work to make it print ready. Its not that the model is ‘bad’ it just means that it has to be ‘fixed’ to accommodate the limitations of the 3D Printer.
What material do you use for 3D Printing?
There are a whole range of printers on the market using all different types of materials. For example, the Chinese have just developed 3D printing using concrete. We use a resin/powder material that is very robust and durable.
What other materials can be used for 3D Printing?
There are a wide range of materials being used for 3D printing. They include Resin/Powder, plastics, paper, clear perspex, wood, concrete.
Can you print in colour?
Yes. We can actually apply textures to our digital 3D models and the 3D printed model will have them on it. Take a look at our 3D printing portfolio.
Are there any limitations to 3D Printing?
Yes. Just like traditional physical model making there are limitations when you scale a digital model down to be printed. Certain details may need to be omitted as they may be too small to print. You will find that you may need to increase the scale of certain parts of the model at 1:1 in order for it to print correctly at your required scale.
Can you 3D print anything?
In theory you can 3D print any 3D digital model. 3D printing is revolutionising certain industries. It has major benefits in product design and they are also beginning to use it in the medical profession. Time will tell.
What if my 3D model is too large to print?
No model is too large. It can be 3D printed in parts which can be ‘put’ together, kind of like a jigsaw. Recently a fully working 3D printed car was made. Also the Chinese have custom built a concrete 3D printer and have successfully 3D printed a number of full scale houses. They are a little crude and rough around the edges but it demonstrates the possibilities of 3D printing.