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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

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Architectural Concepts via 3D