3D Printing Service: Is This For You? What To Expect From It?

3D Printing Service

3D printing service includes designing and printing 3D object. A 3D printing business offers this type of service.

Source: Rockett PC


Was there a time in your life when you need to 3D print an object but you do not have a 3D printer? Are you wondering if it’s possible to produce a 3D object without a 3D printing machine?

If you do, then this page is for you. Here you will learn the benefits of getting a 3D printing service and see for yourself if you need it or if purchasing your own 3D printer is a better choice.


What is 3D Printing Services?

A 3D printing service refers to the services you get from 3d printing businesses who offer 3D printing jobs like 3d design and printing. This is very useful for prototyping or bringing to life your ideas in reality. This technology is practical and is also applicable to aerospace, medicine and education.

For this reason, 3D printing manufacturers and companies have become in demand. Commercial 3D printing services are experiencing a rapid growth and this is expected to continue in the coming years. Even individuals who own a 3D printing machine and is knowledgeable of the craft offer this to those who need it.

This type of services is very accessible. There is a lot of 3d printing online shop and you can easily find them when you browse and check the internet.

Different 3D Printing Services

3D printing businesses do not only 3D print objects, they offer more. Here are the different services that you can avail of them.

Direct Print

Source: 3ders.org

If you want to 3D print an object, these companies exist to do the job. You can provide them the file in .obj, .stl or .vml format. They will also allow you to choose the material to use. The time frame depends on the size of your object and the company who will be working on it.

If you get the service from an online job it might take two days or more as they need to ship the product. Their workload will also affect the speed of processing.

In general, if the object is small it will not take a whole day if it will be processed immediately. Most, if not all of the online 3D printing shops offer an instant quote to give you an idea of the costing.

Rapid Prototyping

Source: 3D Printing Color

Sculpteo offers this service which they claim is fast and reliable. In fact, according to them, this is the shortest way between your 3D file and getting the object in your hands.

Aside from rapid prototyping, it can also produce 3D objects in various dimensions and allows you to customize your object.

Volume 3D Printing

A 3d printing service company offers volume production. If you need to 3D print objects by parts and assemble it later that would not be a problem because that is possible. However, you should do your research well as printing a large number of objects might be costly.

Laser Cutting

Source: Vat19

This service is not really into 3D printing but it is another option that you can find in businesses that offer 3D printing services. Laser cutting has its own edge.

Print API

This service allows you to automatically route your order from a website or application directory to their factory where it will be manufactured on your demand, packaged and shipped.

3D Design

Source: Atlanta Tribune

If you are not ready with the 3D design that you want to 3D print, do not worry because some companies offer this service too. They have a team of 3D modelers and CAD professionals to turn your idea into a ready-to-print design.

According to Wired, “when 3D printing won’t do this at home, laser cutter will.” Per BenCo Technology, laser cutting is done using a flat sheet laser or a 3D tube laser. Unlike 3D printing which is an “additive manufacturing,” this is a “subtractive technology” because it produces parts by cutting the material away from the source.

Who Needs 3D Printing Services?

3D printing applies to almost any areas of your life. So getting your own machine will be very helpful. However, if you are not willing to invest for one, then a 3d printing service is perfect for you.

A 3D printing service is for you if you belong to any of the following:

You’re a Business Person

Source: Penn State University

If you are in business and you need a working prototype for a client presentation, using a 3D printer will make the process easy and fast.

Usually, creating one with the traditional process will take time, money and energy. However, the cost, time and labor will be greatly reduced by using this technology.

In fact, some of the individuals who use 3D printing services include Architects, Engineers, Real Estate Brokers, Interior Designers, and Business owners.

You Want Lesser Investment Risk

Source: Smashing Magazine

3D printers can be cheap or expensive depending on the brand and model. However, buying one and maintaining it isn’t that easy and practical especially if you do not use it often. These types of machines are not a plug-and-play thing, there are tons of things that you have to consider when you want to get one.

Sometimes it might involve training yourself or a staff, setting up a software, maintenance, purchasing materials (filaments, print heads, etc.) and disruption operations.

Yes, buying and maintaining this equipment can be costly. It’s not for everyone. Thus, there are businesses that offer this type of service. They make 3D printing affordable and accessible to anyone who needs it.

You’re Not Technology Savvy

Owning a 3D printer can help you save if you have a business or you have to do three dimensional printing often for some reasons. Yes, owning one will be practical if you know how to use it and make money from it.

However, if you don’t and if you rarely need it, then the best option for you is to get a 3D printing service. These services offer you the convenience of producing 3D objects anytime you want without maintenance cost.

You Want to Customize Something

Source: Inhabitat

Customized items are very popular nowadays. In most cases, even gifts like mugs or key chains are now customized by adding the recipient’s name or photo. Custom 3D printing is a real thing.

Custom 3D printing service allows you to customize almost anything you have in mind be it a stand for iPad, a bottle opener, a pencil container, a cup, an accessory holder or even a shoe.

The benefit of customizing shoes is that it caters to the actual shape and size of your feet, which delivers great comfort. For athletes, this could help them maximize their performance.

You Want to Try New Stuff, Materials, Designs

Source: 3ders.org

Commercial 3d printing services offer everyone the opportunity to enjoy this popular technology. It’s not only for those who are completely inexperienced because even experts seek for this type of service from time to time to try or learn new stuff, materials and design.

According to Stratasys Directs, a number of 3D printer owners come to them to try new materials that they don’t have or to customize their tool, jigs, and fixture.

You Want to Save Money on 3D Printing

Source: 3ders.org

At some point, you might think that owning a machine will help you save more, but this also depends on how frequent you need it and how much the maintenance cost is.

For instance, according to Sculpteo.com, it is more affordable to avail a 3D printing service than printing using Makerbot Replicator 2x and Formlabs Form 1 for one or few prints.

Sculpteo.com calculates its 3D printing price by considering the printer cost (divided by output over 3-year life) materials, maintenance, labor and electricity.

So, for example, a ring measuring 23 x 11.6 x 23mm will cost $8.37 from Sculpteo, $9.34 from Makerbot Replicator 2x, $11.01 from Formlabs Form 1 and $33.10 from Stratasys Mojo.

3D Printing Service Cost

3D printing cost depends on several factors. For Shapeways, service cost includes the materials used, machine space and labor.

On the other hand, Sculpteo’s pricing considers these three factors: investment cost of the printer, materials and maintenance, and labor and electricity. It can also use this formula: retail price of printer and installation cost over a 3-year timeframe.

A small item is cheaper compared to bigger items because it uses less material and reduced labor. However, the complexity of design and the number of parts has nothing to do with the price.

Source: Sculpteo

If you are looking for a 3D printing service it is important that you check the price well because the cost can differ up to 100%.

So, compare the prices from the different companies that offer 3D printing service online. You can use 3D Printing Price Check. The site allows you to upload an STL file in mm or in units.

If you want an estimate because you don’t have the STL file, you can use the sample files provided which include the details about the volume, surface area and bounding box for the output.

The page also allows you to choose different materials for your 3D printing project like ceramics, glass, metals, plaster, plastic and precious metals. At the same time, it allows you to choose from different 3D printing outlets like Shapeways, makexyz.com, Sculpteo and more.

You can only find a cheap 3d printing service after making a comparison. The price should not be a great concern though as this technology is deemed low-cost and fast. In addition, more and more companies are starting to offer this service. With tighter competition, the price will surely go down.

3D Printing Market

Most companies now turn to 3D printing services to create prototypes. Prototypes are very important in businesses. The traditional prototype manufacturing is often time-consuming and more expensive.

However, 3D printing makes it fast and low-cost. Due to its promising potential, a number of 3D printing services are now available offline and online.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst James Crompton when the economy is fine the manufacturing activity determines the industry revenue.

Source: 3ders.org

A number of small players have already joined the market. In fact, a number of startup industries like Shapeways and Ponoko have already developed a cost-effective method to manufacture customized 3D printed products which boost the demand for this type of industry services.

The report was published two years ago and by that time the consumer market for 3D printing was still in its infancy but Crompton saw its potential for growth.

At the time, there are already a number of 3D printing services in the US which only confirms that this industry is indeed booming. You will find some of the 3D printing services in the US in the next section.

3D Printing US Economy

3D printing is one of the fastest growing technology today. In fact, one technology specialist claims that it will have a bigger economic impact than the internet.

Steve Sammartino, an Australian technology specialist, digital entrepreneur and venture capitalist added that 3D printing will transform lives.

“It’s just a little bit like the internet. When it arrived we thought, ‘Oh, that may be interesting for media’, but as we’ve seen it’s transformed every type of business no matter what industry,” Sammartino said per ABC.

“The internet is an important part of our business, and 3D printing, while we can’t see exactly how that might manifest itself, there’s no doubt that it’ll change everything we do from just simple operations and the spaces we work in and in unforeseeable ways it’ll impact, I think, most businesses”

Source: Naver

This new technology represents an extraordinary technological shift. At the time there is a growing number of 3D printing services in the US and according to a report from IBISWorld, the 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping Services industry in the US has grown so quickly in the past years.

Among the factor that trigger these are the rapid technological developments, falling costs and new applications for 3D printing technology.

The industry revenue in the past five years up to 2014 is expected to grow at an annual rate of 17.9% and a total of $422 million. This has decreased by 6.4 percent in 2010 due to decline in demands tied to the recession.

If you are wondering where to get something 3d printed then you can visit our 3D printing service online page. The shops listed there offer the best 3d printing services online, so you should take time to check it out