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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone familiar with shapeways? I found a jurassic park gate (ya know, the giant one from the first movie..."whatcha got in there, King Kong?" That would fit perfect on my N scale dinosaur layout. The small version is only about $10 (1.5"), but the large version (6") jumps to a whopping $200!! I've bought items that size in there before and were only around$30. I'm just trying to figure out why it's so high. The creator of the file didn't understand the price either.

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I made a model ... Well adapted someone else's train engine model, and made a kind of faux emd diesel engine and had shapeways print them both.
 

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I only recently made a purchase from Shapeways i picked up a Fotomat kiosk, anyhow I was always under the impression that the prices were set by the owner of the file, because I’ve seen locomotive shells that were under $100, and many others that were North of $200, noticed the same with some of the detail items too
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, the owner of the file is willing to give me the file. Free. I think they just upload the file and shapeways does the printing and sets cost. Not sure if the author gets a commission or how that works. Some if the prices seem random. If I get the file I'll try at a few other places and see what the price is. At $200 it would take to long for a 3d printer to pay for itself!

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Generally, the people that are listing things through the Shapeways store are getting a good percent of the price, but Shapeways does set the price based on the amount of material that will be used, and also the equipment utilization. IOW, you pay for the time that their equipment is not available to print anything else because it is printing your job. That's why the bigger jobs, which take much longer to print, cost a lot more.

I still buy things from their store. I think it's a good source. And it's even better if you can buy the STL fi,e (the file used by the printer to actually create the model). I think, though, that you're way off when you think about how long it will take a 3D printer to pay for itself. I have an Anycubic Photon SLA printer and an automated post processing unit (cleans and cures finished prints). The whole setup cost about $850 when I bought it: you can get it for about 2/3 that much now, and you don't need the post processor -- it's easy enough to do it manually, just a lot messier.

Anyway, mine has paid for itself several times over in 3 short years. I also enjoy painting 25mm miniatures. The STL file for these costs about $5-$10, depending on size, while a printed figure costs about $30-45. Two dozen figures at that rate would have paid for the printer, but it's even more efficient than that, because there are thousands of FREE files out there, and if you teach yourself a 3D CAD program (not that hard), you can make anything you desire. I created a mount for my turnout controllers and printed 34 of them, whereas they would have cost $3.25 from a supplier ($110). It's also nice to be able to print a lot of something, like park benches, where you would have to buy several sets to get the numbers you need for true realism. Yes, the resin costs money ($20 worth will print 50-ish figures, depending on size), and you need to replace the plastic film on the resin cat occasionally, but it's still very cost effective if you can swing the price of admission.
 

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I do have a thing there you can buy there -- I set the price a whopping profit of $0.00 -- business man that I am, brilliant! I think I sold either 1 or 2. But it's for O scale. It's a very vague hand made version of a one of the emd engines. Maybe you might say it's "reminiscent" of one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Generally, the people that are listing things through the Shapeways store are getting a good percent of the price, but Shapeways does set the price based on the amount of material that will be used, and also the equipment utilization. IOW, you pay for the time that their equipment is not available to print anything else because it is printing your job. That's why the bigger jobs, which take much longer to print, cost a lot more.

I still buy things from their store. I think it's a good source. And it's even better if you can buy the STL fi,e (the file used by the printer to actually create the model). I think, though, that you're way off when you think about how long it will take a 3D printer to pay for itself. I have an Anycubic Photon SLA printer and an automated post processing unit (cleans and cures finished prints). The whole setup cost about $850 when I bought it: you can get it for about 2/3 that much now, and you don't need the post processor -- it's easy enough to do it manually, just a lot messier.

Anyway, mine has paid for itself several times over in 3 short years. I also enjoy painting 25mm miniatures. The STL file for these costs about $5-$10, depending on size, while a printed figure costs about $30-45. Two dozen figures at that rate would have paid for the printer, but it's even more efficient than that, because there are thousands of FREE files out there, and if you teach yourself a 3D CAD program (not that hard), you can make anything you desire. I created a mount for my turnout controllers and printed 34 of them, whereas they would have cost $3.25 from a supplier ($110). It's also nice to be able to print a lot of something, like park benches, where you would have to buy several sets to get the numbers you need for true realism. Yes, the resin costs money ($20 worth will print 50-ish figures, depending on size), and you need to replace the plastic film on the resin cat occasionally, but it's still very cost effective if you can swing the price of admission.
The gate is 6x6x1.5. I'm no pro, but I don't think that equals $200 in PLA. Or time. If I get the file I'll try another print service, if they say the same thing then I guess I'll wait until I can add a printer to my workshop.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Craftcloud only wants $7 for it. But I can't view the file to make sure it's correct.

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The gate is 6x6x1.5. I'm no pro, but I don't think that equals $200 in PLA. Or time. If I get the file I'll try another print service, if they say the same thing then I guess I'll wait until I can add a printer to my workshop.

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Again, it's the size of the print. Yes, the material utilized is SOME PART of the total cost, but much of it is composed of the fact that while they're printing YOUR job, they can't print anything else. You also pay for the machine utilization time. More competition would bring this price down somewhat. A 6x6x1.5 job on my printer would take about 8 hours to complete. Granted, FDM printers are faster, as are commercial grade units, but still. There is also labor for post-processing (cleaning, and maybe removing supports).

To compare prices, you need to make sure you're comparing apples to apples, and the only way to be sure of that is to send the same STL file to multiple companies.

At least in the software I use (SolidWorks), there is no easy way to just hollow out a model. You have to delete the solid shapes and substitute ones for the hollow version, and you have to make sure that the hollow model is still printable (that there is enough support for the structure, both during printing and normal use).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, this is why I hadn't gotten into 3d printing myself yet. I got his file printed at craftcloud for $7, so I'll see how it turns out. I also found some files on thingyverse. Craftcloud is great because you can easily scale whatever file you upload. So if this one is a bust,I have alternatives.

I think a modeler could make a lot of use out of 3d software and printer if your serious about it.

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for a model, solid is best ... the slicer software will generate the honeycomb internals as you specify [or the default] ... shapeways is pricey ...it was less money for me to buy a printer kit and print the models themselves ... i'm into HO so the standard resolution is good enough for outhouses and small buildings ..
 

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Yeah, this is why I hadn't gotten into 3d printing myself yet. I got his file printed at craftcloud for $7, so I'll see how it turns out. I also found some files on thingyverse. Craftcloud is great because you can easily scale whatever file you upload. So if this one is a bust,I have alternatives.

I think a modeler could make a lot of use out of 3d software and printer if your serious about it.

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Definitely. It's one of my best purchases, for sure. And they're getting cheaper all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I can say for certain that this didn't turn out the way I expected! Yes, that's my ring is sitting in! Not sure if it was my typo or the company that printed it. Ah well, try again I guess.


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Now I guess you know why it was only $7.00....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sort of. Something wrong with the file, the software claims the correct dimensions but it isn't coming out that way. I did get another one that's closer for about $15. Turned out to be a little too narrow for me, but I didn't have a way of determining the dimension I needed.

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Was it your own file that you uploaded?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No, I don't have the ability to make that. The strange thing is that when I upload it to craftcloud the dimensions look correct. But in 3d viewer or tinkercad I get errors. Either a bad file or a messed up the scans when I submitted it. The new one is too large to upload to tinkercad. I think i could do it there, but it's 29mb and they have a 25mb limit.

Either way, I have one that works now. I just need to find a way to modify it so I can get the size I need.

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Keep us posted. I do a bunch of 3D printing, both on my own machine, and through Shapeways when I need something my printer can't handle (like metal). I'm always eager to keep up on what's going on in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Will do. I need to post some photos of the other items I have gotten. I'll get those later this week.

What do you use? I need to find some way of splitting the file for the gate into multiple files. The way is created, it's multiple pieces in one file and is too large for tinkercad. If I can split it into two files it should work and I can manipulate the sizes separately. Any chance there is a free or low cost (
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