Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding material options on Shapeways, part of 3D Printing on Shapeways Using Maya.
One of the great things about Shapeways is that they have a variety of printing materials to choose from. This means that almost anything you want to make can be done. But it also means that you might get overwhelmed with choices. In this video, I'll talk about the various materials and their properties. So, here we are at shapeways.com/materials, where we can learn about all these great materials. First, let's look at the strong and flexible plastic. These are made by fusing nylon powder with a laser, very versatile and relatively inexpensive.
This material has options for polishing and solid color dying. As the name suggests, it's a sturdy material that can bend as long as it's not too thick. Now let's look at alumide. It's basically the strong and material with aluminum powder mixed with the nylon. As such, it's not quite as strong and much less flexible. But it looks slightly metallic. Now let's look at detail plastic. There's several different detail plastics with different properties.
In general, these are more expensive, but they do allow the highest detail levels of all the materials. Now let's look at metals. We've got stainless steel and sterling silver. These are some of the most expensive materials, but you'll get the satisfaction of knowing that your designs exist in extremely durable, real metal. There's stainless steel, bronze, and silver. These materials don't allow very fine detail, extreme shapes, interlocking or moving parts.
Now let's look at another one, elasto-plastic. This is a fun new plastic that's the most bendable of all the materials. It's still experimental and the results may not be perfect yet. However, if you need to design something bendy, this is your best bet. Now let's look at full color sandstone. This is usually the least expensive option, and it allows you to print either in solid white or in full color for no additional charge. It's also the most fragile material.
So, make sure that your designs incorporate appropriate thickness and strong structural properties. This one does not allow for interlocking or moving parts. Finally, let's look at ceramics. This material is coated with a glaze. So, any fine details will be lost. It's also the only material that doesn't have a cost benefit from being made hollow. It's great for things that need to be food safe or water tight. So that's the basic rundown of the materials. As you get into the finer points of designing for 3D modelling, make sure you take a closer look at the material properties on the Shapeways website to make sure that what you make can be printed without problems.
- What is Shapeways?
- Setting up Maya for 3D printing
- Checking model scale
- Understanding why thickness matters
- Adding precise thickness
- Strengthening thin structures
- Fixing common mesh problems
- Exporting models with texture maps
- Making a wireframe model
- Publishing to Shapeways