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So, how do I get my idea printed?

Here is a quick guide to show how you get an idea from your head into your hand.

So, you have an idea or design in your head that you want made, the first thing to do is to get that idea down on paper, either written or sketched, this way you can’t forget it…Play with that idea in your head, make some improvements/developments to it until you are happy that you have the best possible design you can. Remember not to over complicate your idea, simplicity is often key to a good design.

Once your idea has been developed enough, it will then be time to turn your sketches into 3D virtual data using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.You can either do this yourself, using professional or free CAD packages such as Google SketchUp, 123D or 3DVia.We also offer our CAD modelling service to model your idea for you. All we need is a sketch or a description and we can take over from there.

Remember to save your model as an .stl file once completed.

Once saved as an .stl file, you need to prepare it for print. Often a file will have inverted normals, gaps, or walls that are too thin to print. This often occurs when designs are scaled down to fit in the printer or to reduce cost of the model. We use .stl correction software to eliminate all problems with the models so that a faultless print can be made. There are free .slt basic correction packages available, but these have limited functions. We run our .stl correction service to help you if you require.

The corrected file is then sent to the 3D printer to be made. The printer builds your idea up layer by layer, placing support material below any ‘overhang’ in the product.In a matter of hours, your idea will have been transformed from virtual computer data into a physical model that you hold in your hands, A process that takes week, or even months via other manufacturing processes.

Your idea now exists in the real world, but it is currently covered in a support material.  This material is either sucked, washed or dissolved away by us to reveal your completed model ready for posting to you.

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