Sculpteo’s Factory Button

By on January 14th, 2014 in Service

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If you’ve been learning about 3D printing, you’ll know that the best things to print are those that are one-offs. Unique, custom items that are made once for someone. They’re special and “fit” only one use or person. 
If you want to make many of an item, you should not 3D print but instead use traditional mass-manufacturing techniques. Or so the mantra says. 
But we think that’s no longer true. 
If you want to mass manufacture something there is still a big cost to “set up” a manufacturing line to do so. But what if you want more than one, but less than a million of an item? Would you spend the set up cost? Probably not. 
There’s a market for 3D printing limited quantities of identical objects in addition to custom one-offs. If you want ten, a hundred or maybe a thousand “things”, you still might be better off 3D printing them. 
3D printing service Sculpteo recognizes this and has implemented a way to easily do so. The new “3D Printing Batch Control” feature is available to all Sculpteo users in a beta test and permits those requesting more than 20 of an item to: 
  • See the entire batch of items as it will be produced inside the printer
  • Get a better price by optimizing the positioning  and spacing of your items and instantly see per-unit pricing
  • Use any of three finishes (glossy varnish, satin polish and double polish)
  • Adjust the  orientation of models to ensure correct strengths
  • Preview a simulation of each layer of your print to ensure everything is correct
These features are far beyond what you’d normally see if simply printing one item. 
We think this is a big step forward for those who use 3D print services. It’s no longer a way to “just print things”; it’s now a personal factory service. Need 100 items? Just press the button. Need 200? Press it again. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo 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!