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How to get a great 3D print from Instructables!

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Picture of How to get a great 3D print from Instructables!
You may have noticed here at Instructables we have been giving away a lot of 3D prints. It has been a lot of fun processing everyone's models through our printers, but it has become clear that we educate the community on how they can get the best print possible. The following steps will outline the criterion for getting the models of your dreams from Instructables.com's fleet of Objet Connex 500 printers.


***NOTE*** 
This Instructable is intended as a resource for those receiving/winning 3D prints from Instructables.
 
 
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Step 1: Software and Filetypes

Picture of Software and Filetypes
The Objet Connex printers are able to process .stl wireframe files. Many 3D software and CAD programs have an export functionality that will allow you to turn your .dwg file or .obj file into an .stl file.

When it comes to generating models, you have many options in the 3D modeling program you choose to use. Each program has its advantages and disadvantages that are specific to the types of models you may be making.

We have sucessfully processed files from:
Autocad
3DS Max
MeshMixer
123D Sculpt and 123D Catch
Rhino
Blender
Maya
NetFabb

Step 2: Materials available.

Picture of Materials available.
The Objet family of resins is expansive. They are adding new UV-cured resins to their catalog constantly. We are currently printing with Objet's ABS-like material, VeroWhite, VeroClear, and TangoBlack.

The Vero suite of resins produces a very rigid, slightly brittle, solid model. The material is only brittle if the print wall is too thin. To avoid this problem, be sure that your model has walls that are at least 2mm thick. If you are designing objects with thin tendrils, or unsupported corners, the pure VeroWhite or VeroClear materials may not be the right choice.

The Tango suite of resins is incredibly flexible. It is like 3D printing with rubber. This material is very strong and will flex and bend. Even thin-walls and unsupported corners will withstand force. However, the material is not very rigid.


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onitreb1 year ago
Is this service still available? I can't find anything on instructibles.com about requesting print services! wth? Update this thing if it's not available.
audreyobscura (author)  onitreb1 year ago
Hey there, I have made an edit. We often give-away models as prizes, and this is meant to be a go-to resources for people who win models.

Keep an eye out for contests where we offer those as prizes :)

audrey
community manager
can you print from google sketchup?
see my tutorial on exporting from sketchup to blender, once the model is in blender it can be exported as a .stl in only 3 or so clicks.
mkahata1 year ago
hi. i have 6 object stl files on my instructables page. UnitPartsOnly6-NS2.stl contained all 6 object in one file. size is bigger than your limitation, mean i can not make 3D print ?
Minizatic1 year ago
What if I have a few separate models that add up to 3x3x3? Can I get them all printed for one instructable?
juanjomf1 year ago
hello. where I can buy, or get an easy and economical 3D printer?
I am given one free 3-D print today.... :D :D :D
I've entered the shipping details already, but have not sent the files....

So, will I now be given the Instructables Robot or will you people wait for me send in the files..(cause I've already entered the shipping details!)????......
Nope, you have two months to send the files. They won't send anything until you tell them what to make.
Yeah!..audreyobscura told me that!!!... 
But Thanks!!!... :D
Maundy1 year ago
If I am awarded three 3x3x3 inch free 3D prints could I combine this to make one 6x6x3 inch 3D print?
audreyobscura (author)  Maundy1 year ago
We will have to review stuff like this case-by-case.
avatar_i1 year ago
Uh... got confused trying to read through sooo many replies and questions, so here's mine:
What if I already have an STP/STL file of something I designed on paper and had a rocket science take that an make the files for me?
I had no way [my capability] to do the math involved, amnd my computer is fair old and slow to try to run those programs.
Can I still send you the files and get a 3D model made?
Thanks!
009agent1 year ago
Are there any 3D Printer models that are capable of printing with chocolate?
you can print molds that you can pour molten chocolate into.
audreyobscura (author)  009agent1 year ago
Not at our facility.
does anyone offer 3d printing of skp(sketchup) or obj or 3ds files for no cost at all. the model would be quite detailed so as large a print as possible is best and the model is not "watertight" but i could change it if the service is unable to automatically thicken all surfaces to some reasonable volume without disrupting the shape of the model. colour might be nice but is not really important, metal would be a good material as it is hard and will not break easily. thanks.
darman121 year ago
I am not too good with modeling, and I do not have a good enough computer to run the appropriate software efficiently anyway (even Google Sketchup)... I am going to download something from Thingiverse, are you expecting it to be scaled or can you scale it when you receive the .stl?
audreyobscura (author)  darman121 year ago
we will scale all models.
Thanks :)
willq441 year ago
my 3d model is just .2 inch out of the box in length and height but a good with i was wondering if it would be okay or if i had to fix it
audreyobscura (author)  willq441 year ago
we will evaluate that once we receive your .stl file. what are you making with such a tight tolerance?
bwrussell1 year ago
Are multiple, unconnected, pieces allowed as long as they fit in the 3x3 envelope and and the model is reasonably designed (no stacking so it's not just a solid block of support material encasing several parts).
audreyobscura (author)  bwrussell1 year ago
yep!
Follow up, albeit unrelated, when we recieve the message are we supposed to submit our shipping info right away or should we wait until the model is sent?
Thanks for your help.
audreyobscura (author)  bwrussell1 year ago
Any information you can provide to us is helpful, I would send your address information.
1, I'm not too good at 3d modeling software. is there a catalog of prints to choose from, or someone to contact with an idea for a model?

2, how easy is it to paint these?
Check out Thingiverse.
Nirzaree1 year ago
Are the prints shipped for free?

Someone say 'Yes'... Please....
audreyobscura (author)  Nirzaree1 year ago
yep!
<3 :D
___1 year ago
How do we specify what parts of the model we want in what material?
audreyobscura (author)  ___1 year ago
with very detailed email instructions.
___1 year ago
Also are you printing in Tango Full Cure970 or 980/930?
audreyobscura (author)  ___1 year ago
both! depends on the machine, and what we have in stock.
William9301 year ago
Just curious, how detailed can the models be? are there any photos of detailed 3d prints with something to show scale?
audreyobscura (author)  William9301 year ago
each layer of materials is laid down 16 microns from the previous layer of material on the print.
does google sketchup work?
When can we expect to get our 3D prints from past contests? Its been over 2 months since the Make it Real Challenge ended. That was the first contest these 3D prints where offered to those who entered an instructable, it was accepted into the challenge and was featured. When can we expect to see those prints and what is the expected lead time on any print won through this offer?
Two things; What happens regarding postage? can it be posted to the UK?
and; I've just posted an instructable. can I use this to get a print?
Thanks in advance.
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