Home Printing? Home-Based Printing?

 
So you want to print out your model, but don't happen to have a USD$49,000 3D printer under your desk (because your desk would likely collapse if it was ON the desk). You realize you need to use a 3D printing service.

Unfortunately, most locales don't have such services scattered around town like FedEx drops or Staples big-box stores where you can stop in and get your business done locally. You have to use a remote printing service via the Internet.

You have many, many choices. Some of them are large, well-known operations, like Shapeways or Ponoko, dedicated to the service. Others may be offshoots of engineering or architectural firms that happen to have a not-quite-fully-occupied device. But there's another option: small, home-based print services.

It is quite possible for a knowledgeable individual to acquire the right equipment and set up a 3D print service right from their home. One such operation is Bradley Rigdon's PrintTo3D service, which he operates part-time whilst working at a local machine shop.

Why use a service like this? Well, there are some advantages to dealing with a small business that might meet your needs:

  • Lower costs
  • Possibly faster turnaround
  • Highly personalized service
  • Flexibilty

On the other hand, you might want to keep with the big dogs if your concerns include:
  • High volume
  • Absolutely guaranteed delivery
  • Varied material requirements

Are small services suitable for you?

Via PrintTo3D

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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