Services

Training

Consumer level desktop printing is an exciting new frontier.  There are hundreds of different companies out there.  Some are good, some are awful, and some are perfect for some types of people, but awful for others!  The aim of our training program is to help you cut through all of the information out there and figure out what is important for you.  Which printer best fits your needs and what do you need to learn for a strong foundation to be successful with that printer.

We have helped a number of individuals, schools, and small businesses get started with 3D printing and move on to successfully using their printer in daily operations.  Our training program will allow you to take advantage of our combination of decades of industrial and educational institution training experience, strong technical engineering foundations, and hundreds of hours spent directly working with consumer level 3D printers to get a strong program with a greatly reduced learning curve.  

Check out this page for information on our training classes for individual or contact us for training courses for schools and industry.  

Design

If you have something you would like designed, but you do not know how to do it yourself, we can help. With over 15 years of professional experience and a masters degree in mechanical engineering, we have the training and practical experience to help turn your idea into a reality.

We can provide you with several different concept sketches. We will then generate a 3D CAD file in an neutral file (step or iges) and a 2 dimensional drawing.

Printing

3D Printing is a name that has been applied to a manufacturing process where material is deposited on a plate in repeated thin pattern layers to build a three dimensional structure. This name applies to a number of different technologies and materials.

It is a great process for making quick and inexpensive prototypes of an invention.  It is also a great method for making extremely complex parts that would be prohibitively expensive or impossible to make using conventional manufacturing processes.

The process is fairly straightforward.

Obtain a computer model of the part you would like to make.  This can be done by designing it in a CAD or 3D modeling program,  digitally scanning an existing object, or downloading a model you like from a file sharing program like youmagine.com.

At Printed Solid, we use the FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) process.  Our machines can build parts as large as a 9 inch cube.  We can then plastic weld or glue multiple pieces together to build larger parts

We offer a wide variety of material choices.  If you are familiar with the materials, you can request your preference or we will recommend a choice based on your part.

Browse through the shop to see some of the materials we keep in stock regularly.

Accuracy of parts varies by design, but an accuracy of 0.4mm (0.015”) in the XY plane and up to 0.05mm (0.002”) in the Z plane is possible.

Parts can be printed with a wall thickness of the users preference and filled with a grid pattern to give strength at a low weight.  Minimum wall thickness for strength should be 1.6mm.

Pricing will vary somewhat based on the complexity of the design and the need for support material.

As a rule of thumb using PLA/PHA as a material 200 micron resolution prints are $0.37 per cubic centimeter, 100 micron resolution prints are $0.75 per cubic centimeter and 50 micron resolution prints are $1.50 per cubic centimeter. Small jobs may require a $10 setup fee.

Parts may be vapor polished for a smooth surface finish for about $5 per part.

Assembly and finishing work need to be quoted for each job.

 

Molding

We will create a silicone mold based off a 3D printed part of your design.

You can use the silicone mold to cast other plastics that are not 3D printable such as expanding urethane foam.

Or get a mold made from food grade silicone to make some great conversation pieces at your next party.  Custom chocolates, ice cubes, jello pieces, etc.

Casting

We offer services to turn 3D printed parts into metal using the investment casting process.  We offer three different options

-Send us your idea and we design, print, and cast

-Send us your stl file and we print and cast.

-Send us your 3D printed PLA part and we cast.  We call this the ‘Maker’s Special’.

As discussed in the blog, our process involves printing the parts using a FDM process, typically at 100 micron z-axis resolution.  However, we can also have master parts printed in SLA or Nylon depending on customer quality requirements.

Minimum wall thickness is typically around 2mm.  Small Blind features do not cast well.

Pricing calculation is complex and takes into account the relative density of the part as well as the actual volume.  Minimum per job pricing will typically be around $65 for a single part with a lower per piece price for additional parts that can fit in the same pour.

We most commonly work with Brasses, Bronzes, and Aluminum, but offer a wide range of air castable metals with melting temperatures up to about 1300C.  At this time, we are not working with precious metals.