Why design for 3d printing?
3d printing is capable of producing objects that, because of their complex geometry, cannot be produced by any other manufacturing method. 3d printing can also make many other objects more accessible to a wider audience because the only other way to make them is to have them hand made by an artisan. 3d printing can significantly reduce the cost and delivery time of these types of items as well as provide a wider choice of materials.
How can I purchase your products?
What is Shapeways?
Shapeways is the leading 3d printing marketplace and community. Shapeways has production facilities in New York and Eindhoven with the best industrial 3d printing technology, thus enabling the production of complex designs in a wide range of materials. Shapeways hosts designers' online stores and handles the full order fulfilment and customer service process.
What payment options are available?
Through Shapeways, orders shipping to the United States or Canada can be paid for by using American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, or VISA. Orders shipping to all other countries can be paid for by using American Express, MasterCard, or VISA.
Orders may be paid for via PayPal as long as PayPal is available in your country. You may pay via PayPal in either USD or EUR, depending on the destination country of your order.
How are the Steel products made?
To build steel models, special 3d-printers deposit small drops of glue onto layers of stainless steel powder, one layer at a time, until the print is complete. The models then go through an infusion process that replaces the glue with bronze, creating a full metal product. Models are then processed to achieve your desired finish and finally sprayed with a sealant.
How are the Brass products made?
Brass models are fabricated using a complex five-step process. First, the model is printed in wax using a specialized high-resolution 3d-printer. It is then put in a container where liquid plaster is poured in around it. Once the plaster sets, the wax is melted out in a furnace, and the remaining plaster becomes the mold. Molten brass is poured into this mold and set to harden. The plaster is broken away, revealing your new product. Polished Brass is carefully cleaned and hand polished.
How are the Precious Plated Metal products made?
Precious Plated Metal models are fabricated using a complex seven-step process. First, the model is printed in wax using a specialized high-resolution 3d-printer. It is then put in a container where liquid plaster is poured in around it. Once the plaster sets, the wax is melted out in a furnace, and the remaining plaster becomes the mold.
Molten brass is poured into this mold and set to harden. The plaster is broken away, and your product is carefully cleaned and hand polished. Each product goes through two plating steps - first a layer of palladium is applied to provide strength and durability. Then your selected precious metal plating provides the finishing touch.
How are the Precious Metal products made?
3d printed Sterling Silver or Gold products are made using a three-step process. The products are created with a lost-wax casting process using a high-resolution 3d wax printer. The 3d printed wax model is put in a container and liquid plaster is poured around it to create a mold. After the plaster sets, the wax is melted out and molten silver or gold is poured into the plaster mold. The plaster is then pulled away to reveal the product which is then polished for a smooth surface - or it may be left in the unpolished raw state in silver if desired.
Can I have a design customised?
Maybe ... please contact us with your request and we will cre8it if we can.
Can I buy wholesale from you for resale?
Maybe. It will depend a lot on where you are located and if we can supply you with product at a price that makes sense. Unlike with traditional manufacturing, since each product is individually 3d-printed there is very little opportunity for economies of scale. Contact us and if we can find a win-win we will cre8it.
Can I 3d-print my own copies of your designs?
Our current designs are intended to be printed in metal - which tends to put them beyond the scope of DIY and consumer level 3d printers. We do, however, want to share our designs with the world and know for ourselves the feeling that comes with 3d printing objects for yourself. We are working on some designs that we can make available for free for anyone to print - though they will be lower resolution than our for-sale products. Stay tuned!
Can I do this too - design for 3d printing and have my own shop?
The answer to that is a qualified "of course!". dreamit : cre8it
The most important thing is for you to make the decision and to have the commitment to make it happen. For us, it is also important to design around something that you are passionate about – in our case that is steelpan and Trini culture.
There are many high quality open source software applications that can be used during the design process and loads of very helpful online tutorials, communities and forums. Owning a 3d printer is not necessary but can help. If you are not ready to design for yourself yet, there are many designers who are able to take your idea and work with you to turn it into a physical product.
Once you have your designs the process of setting up an online store is pretty easy!
Frequently Asked Questions
In this FAQ section we try to answer questions related to 3dfabric8, our products and how to get them. Please check our Links page for links to sites with information about Trinidad & Tobago, steelpan, 3d printing and more.
If your question is not answered below then please drop us a line.