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"3D printing service in the UK to recommend?" Topic

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DestoFante26 Oct 2021 1:15 p.m. PST

I am fascinated by the new STL files being offered, but in the limited space of a London apartment I am not going to get my own printer. Do you have any third-party 3D printing service to recommend where I can send STL files to be printed for me? What prices should I expect?

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2021 8:18 p.m. PST

I'm not in the UK, so cannot suggest any local firm. I will say that you'll pay a good sum to have someone professional print for you (they are out to make a profit after all). I'd suggest you ask if anyone who has a 3D printer would be willing to print for you (it would really require you saying what you want printed, scale and how much, as well as detail).

Frankly, 3D printers are quit small, space wise. My Prussa only takes up about 18"x18". You can get much smaller ones depending on the size of what you wish to print.

UshCha27 Oct 2021 4:55 a.m. PST

It depends on the type of print Resin or FDM for a start and how big/long the print is. Coarser is faster but lower quality. I very rough figure would be £1.50 GBP an hour making a 1/144 tank of your own design probably £3.00 GBP to £4.00 GBP depending on size. To get it cheap you need your own printer. Labour costs are key. Building your own printer like a Prusa is cheap and then models are very cheap to print as material costs are relatively small (25 for a kg for an FDM printer). Biggest cost is amortizing the cost of the printer. Probably around £0.50 GBP per hour depending how much you paid for the printer. Commercially its manpower and loading and of course profit that ups the cost.

Resin printers will be more costly to run and have more safety issues. If its only FDM figures you want then a Monoprice I3 or one of the infinite clones may do. We have on eof these for small jobs and its very small even with a 1kg reel attacked. Quality is fine but it is slow.

monk2002uk28 Oct 2021 3:57 a.m. PST

I am based in the UK. Before I purchased a 3D printer, my go-to for one-off prints or print runs was Shapeways. You can set up a user account and the whole process of uploading and verifying the STL files is easy. Turn around times were good – but that was pre-Covid…


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