3D Printing Service Cost Difference?

Wayward Flood

Member
Hi Everybody,

I'm having an issue with the cost differences between 3D printing services. Some services will quote me around $50 and others $400 all for the same model. The measurements and file are all the same between the services. I started in Blender in inches and put it to selection only scale x 1000 when exporting the STL file. I kept the conversion in mm when transferring it to the 3D printing services, since that is what agrees with them mostly. I think that's because Blender is generally based on mm. The odd thing is that costs vary greatly even when the same material is used.

Does anybody have an idea why the costs are so different? I can only figure the service's program reads my STL file differently, the companies time constraints, or they have people review and correct the model. 3D Hubs is cheap for me even with 100% fill. Shapeways is very expensive in contrast to 3D Hubs. I ordered a $20 print from Craftcloud in PLA. I'm expecting it to be completely hollow at this point. Any input will be appreciated!
 

MoeSizzlac

Member
So, you live in the states, right? I would check out your local library or university and see if they can print. The cost at my library is usually pretty cheap and if you slice the .stl yourself for their machine, you can dictate your infill percentage.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Hi Everybody,

I'm having an issue with the cost differences between 3D printing services. Some services will quote me around $50 and others $400 all for the same model. The measurements and file are all the same between the services. I started in Blender in inches and put it to selection only scale x 1000 when exporting the STL file. I kept the conversion in mm when transferring it to the 3D printing services, since that is what agrees with them mostly. I think that's because Blender is generally based on mm. The odd thing is that costs vary greatly even when the same material is used.

Does anybody have an idea why the costs are so different? I can only figure the service's program reads my STL file differently, the companies time constraints, or they have people review and correct the model. 3D Hubs is cheap for me even with 100% fill. Shapeways is very expensive in contrast to 3D Hubs. I ordered a $20 print from Craftcloud in PLA. I'm expecting it to be completely hollow at this point. Any input will be appreciated!
There's also the option of putting a shoutout on the forums here and seeing if anyone can do the print job for you. Who knows, you may find someone local!
 

Wayward Flood

Member
So, you live in the states, right? I would check out your local library or university and see if they can print. The cost at my library is usually pretty cheap and if you slice the .stl yourself for their machine, you can dictate your infill percentage.
Yep. I live in the Midwest. That's a good idea. I worked IT at my local Community Collage. They have some 3D printers so I can talk to them about this.
There's also the option of putting a shoutout on the forums here and seeing if anyone can do the print job for you. Who knows, you may find someone local!
Another good idea. I would be limited to the material for the final builds though. My project has 4 main parts which will be ABS plastic and steel/aluminum. The pieces have to hold about 10 pounds on their own. This is why fill% and material matter so much.
 
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