STL and DAE design files with ‘normals’ pointing the wrong way are automatically found and corrected by our making system. But just for the moment, you’ll need to take care with your VRML 97 designs.
So before uploading your designs, ensure your ‘normals’ are pointing in the right direction. If they are not, they need to be reversed before you upload your designs. Here’s how to fix bad normals in your specific design software.
The thickness of the walls in your 3D designs must meet a minimum wall thickness setting. If your design has walls which are too thin, we will send it back to you to change your design before it is made.
The size of the design details/features in your 3D designs must meet a minimum detail size setting. If your design has details which are too small, we will send it back to you to change your design before it is made.
The minimum bounding box size for objects is 10mm x 10mm x 10mm. If the dimension of any axis is less than 10mm then you will get a warning message notifying you of this. The system will not automatically reject your design, but it may be rejected after purchase if the overall size is too small. For example, a part 3mm x 3mm x 3mm is too small, but a part 50mm x 40mm x 2mm is OK.
You also need to make sure your product has a volume of greater than 0.25cc.
Objects will be printed in the orientation that you design them. The outcome of your printed object may be different depending on the orientation of the object in your 3D design file. Some things to consider include:
Terrain lines - these will appear on the surface and show the layering that is inherent to 3D printing. You may wish to orient your model in order to minimize the impact of these or maybe use them to accentuate the shape of your form.
Cylindrical shapes printed on their side may be less round than a cylinder that is printed in a vertical orientation.
Strength - Long, thin and straight products will be stronger if printed horizontal than if printed vertically. ie the bond between layers is slightly weaker than the bond between particles on each layer.
Where possible you need to avoid designing products that entrap support material. For example, if you print a hollow ball the support material inside the ball cannot be easily removed. This may require you to add holes in your design in order to remove support material.
Sometimes a 3D design that we think is make-able, turns out not to be. If this happens, we’ll show you how to fix your design. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll refund your money in full. Some examples of this include:
Fragile features may be over the minimum detail size, but can still not support themselves in any direction.
Parts with uneven part density, like a dense head on a thin neck, can cause problems due to heat distribution through the product.
It is possible to shape features in a way where post-processing can’t reach - such as polishing the inner features of a particularly complex part.