Our 3D printing facility can offer some of the best print quality available and is highly suited to small, complex and detailed designs. There are also things it can’t do and we’ll be up front about it’s limitations.
Using DLP printing technology, we can offer modellers very fine details with print resolution down to 30 microns (0.03mm), providing a smooth surface finish that cannot be matched by extrusion based printers. Our prints very rarely require polishing or smoothing with abrasives.
In all cases we aim to be helpful and honest about what the technology can and can’t do, so send in your 3D STL file and we’ll be able to give feedback on whether it will be suitable for DLP printing.
3D Print Pricing
High resolution, lost wax capable resin
£25.00 Minimum Order
Per item setup up fee of £0.50p. Duplicate or mirrored items on the same support structure do not incur extra fees. Print Job fee of £7.50 per job.
6 week estimated lead time however completion dates are determined by complexity and cannot be guaranteed
Our 3D printing service is provided by modellers, for modellers, so we understand the need for high detail, precision and a superior quality finish. 3D printing may be a new world to some, so we aim to make the experience as simple as possible, helping you to get the most out of your design or idea and realise its potential in physical form. This includes being honest about 3D printings limitations – it is not the answer to all our prayers, in some cases more traditional methods may be more suitable and we’ll advise the best methods.
Our speciality is production of small components and scale figures, be it for Railway, Military, Fantasy, or other modelling genres, whatever your need the goal of high quality components is achievable.
What can I print?
We optimise our printing for 30 microns to achieve the highest level of detail. Given the size of the build areas, some guidelines can be provided on how to get your design to fit, for example larger parts can be separated into smaller sections so you can still achieve the level of detail required. Adjustments of this nature can be discussed and we will help you optimise your design to get the best results. In some cases it might be that DLP printing is not suited to your project, particularly for larger prints, in which case we would recommend you a more industrial SLS based 3D printing bureau.
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What does it cost?
Materials: Print jobs are priced by the amount of resin used and is charged at £5.00 per millilitre.
Setup & Processing: 3D models have a setup & processing fee starting from £0.50p per item. This fee is variable depending on the complexity of the support material required and the amount of time it takes to prepare the job before the print and clean off un-cured resin afterwards. Duplicate or mirrored items which are on the same support structure do not incur additional fees.
Each print job (i.e. a full build table) has a processing fee of £7.50 per job.
These fees can be accurately quoted once we see your 3D files.
Recalibration: As we are optimised for 30 and 50 micron printing, any requests to change the build resolution to the larger build volume of 70 micron’s will be charged at £10.
When will I get my print?
We work on a 6 week turnaround for print only jobs, but are flexible if you need something in a hurry!
3D Printing FAQ
[expand title=”What level of detail can be achieved?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]Our DLP printer is capable of very fine detail, with embossed or engraved detail of 0.1mm. For small objects a wall thicknesses of 0.2mm is achievable, for larger surface areas we recommend a wall minimum wall thickness of 0.5mm.[/expand]
[expand title=”How do I submit my design?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]
If you have a design you’d like to print, get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss options for printing your design.[/expand]
[expand title=”What file formats do you support?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]STL files are our preferred format, but we also accept PLY, OBJ, X3D(B) and VRML2.[/expand]
[expand title=”Can my parts be painted or glued?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]The resins we use can be primed, painted using acrylics or enamels and glued using cyanoacrylate (super glue). [/expand]
[expand title=”Is the material safe?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]Yes, our materials has passed all safety tests, you can read the Material Data Safety Sheet for the castable resin we use. [/expand]
[expand title=”Can I use the print as a resin or lost wax casting master?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]The resin we use is primarily designed for lost wax casting and can provide an incredible level of detail to your casts. The smooth surface finish saves time and effort cleaning up the print for casting.[/expand]
[expand title=”What production volumes can 3D printing handle?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]3D Printing is a great solution for low volume production runs. It’s uses include production of high quality masters for lost wax casting or short runs of up to 1000 component parts, depending on size. If you have a requirement for large numbers please get in touch and we can discuss options.[/expand]
[expand title=”What software can I use for 3D design?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]There are a number of free 3D design tools to get you started. Trimble Sketchup is good for beginners working in 3D and has a wealth of support and guides online (You will need the STL plugin for 3D printing.) For more advanced projects, Blender is a powerful application with wide community support. Netfabb is an essential tool that can be used to check your 3D model faults.[/expand]
[expand title=”What is DLP Printing?” trigclass=”highlight” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]
We print your 3D design using a light sensitive liquid resin and a HD projector, known as a Digital Light Processing or DLP projector. Your design is sliced into hundreds of tiny layers, microns thin, which are in turn projected into the resin. The resin reacts to the UV light and hardens, curing a layer at a time.
The Z axis or vertical axis detail level can be controlled between 5 and 200 microns, while the projector optics allow for X / Y or horizontal resolution between 30 and 70 microns.[/expand]