3D Printing Service Sites

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing service companies are a great way to get your desired products, release your creativity, and show off what you can do in an easy and effective manner. People all over the world are already loving what is possible with a 3D printer, and these online on-demand sourcs give you the same opportunity without having to buy a printer for yourself, or even learn how to use one! As long as you have a model for what you want created, you can make use of the services to turn your ideas into actual products that you can hold, use, enjoy, and even bring to others. If you have any ideas that you think would make great products it’s now possible by combining service design groups and on-demand prototyping to create a functional prototype very quickly.

While manufacturing the items the old fashioned way may work, it takes time and effort and money that might be too much for most users. Not everyone has access to a full tool shop and nearly no one has access to a reliable molding materials (at least no one who is not already gainfully employed as a mold maker or casting expect). To get around this, a lot of people and small businesses are choosing 3D printing services. This is because you can get high quality pieces in a short amount of time, and the results are stunning. Whether you are trying to make jewelry or cell phone accessories, you can make use of these services and see some fantastic results. Places like Sculpteo, Shapeways, and iMaterialise allow you to upload a CAD file and receive a part within a few days. The rise in popularity of these services is primarily due to how amazing the pieces created are, even pieces that are used for building or mechanical purposes, and how inexpensive it is to use them when compared to the full cost of owning and operating a printer. As long as you can upload 3D designs that have everything you want, you can get the product that you have in mind in a matter of days.

The accuracy of 3D printing services is astonishing. This is another reason why so many people are using these services over other methods. By consolidating print services these companies are able to offer a much wider array of materials, colors, and finishes that would be possible from any one printer. You can get the exact item that you want, even if it is tiny. Whether you want a small metal jewelry item for yourself or you want to produce highly detailed pieces that offer functionality and fashion for consumer release, you can get what you are after.

Quality is another major advantage to choosing additive manufacturing over other options. 3D printing is known for creating some great pieces that work without breaking or causing any difficulties, but that is not always the case. For complex geometry items it can be difficult to get a printer to properly output an item, this is a learned art that takes practice and many lost prints. Service companies leapfrog this learning curve. When you are trying to use them for a specific purpose or sell them to customers, you need to know that these items are going to work for you. They need to look great, work perfectly, and last.

Free eBook - A Complete Guide to 3D Printing

3D Printing is on the rise and many readers are coming to 3DEngr to find about more about this great new technology. To help satisfy the curiosity or you and others who want to know more, we are releasing a complete eBook that will serve as a complete guide to 3D Printing. From who the major industry players are to how you can become a user of 3D printing everything is included in this complete guide.


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Introduction Part 1: 3D Printing Overview 

Chapter 1: Discover 3D Printing

A summary of the history, current market leaders, and applications of 3D Printing and additive manufacturing. The 3D printing industry is projected to revolutionize manufacturing. Some projections estimate that by 2020 the market for printers will exceed $5 Billion, while outputs from existing printers are already disrupting a wide variety of markets. We will explore the major manufacturers that are having success with 3D printers. Also included will be a look at unique applications of 3D printing. From custom medical implants to simple children’s toys hobbyists and professionals alike are finding unique ways to use this technology.

Chapter 2: Investigate Various 3D Printing Processes 

Reviewing the various processes used by different printers. SLS, SLS, FDM, DMLS and more; it is difficult to talk about the future of printer without understanding a whole variety of acronyms and how they apply. Each printing process has different strengths and weaknesses which will be clearly reviewed.

Chapter 3: Change A Small Business Using 3D Printing 

Hobbists and Small business can use 3D printing a number of ways to help make their lives and business run more smoothly. We will show the impact a 3D printer can have on the bottom line, how it can reduce time to market, and how it can improve product design. We will also show how a 3D printer can be used by a single hacker in a garage to compete with mega corporations.

Chapter 4: Print Using Everything from Chocolate to Steel: 3D Printing Materials 

Printing is about more than paper (although we will discuss 3D printers that use paper too). In this chapter we will separate the various materials and lay out the reason to choose or avoid each type. We will highlight why chocolate may be a better material to print in than steel (it taste better) and how old milk jugs can be turned into a spool of plastic to be used by a 3D printer.

Chapter 5: Stay on the Right Side of the Law (Intellectual Property Rights) 

More than nearly any other technologies in the modern age 3D printers carry with them a host of questions about intellectual property rights. Is it legal to 3D print your own legos? What about a replacement part for your ’57 Chevy? What is stopping someone from printing their own gun at home? We will look at the existing rulings on ownership rights of designs and summarize on-going legal cases that could have large ramifications for 3D Printer owners.

Part 2: Get A Printer 

Chapter 6: Research And Buy Your First 3D Printer 

We will summarize the printer options for home hobbyists, small engineering firms, and mega corporations. Purchase options (lease or buy) can be compared to service center costs. This chapter serves as a short buyers guide to the most popular printers available.

Chapter 7: DIY! Build Your Own Printer From a Kit 

This is a step-by-step guide of how to build a home 3D printer using the most popular open source kit printer, the RepRap. We will also touch on the brief history of the RepRap project and the impact open sourcing has had on 3D printing technology.

Chapter 8: Budget For The Full Cost of A 3D Printer 

Power, Materials, Replacement Parts, Employee Training, Software, the costs just keep adding up. Here we will look at the major expenses created by owning a 3D printer and highlight some of the better options for home users who want to avoid hidden fees and high costs.

Chapter 9: Get All the 3D Printing Gear And Accessories 

As the saying goes, if you give a mouse a cookie… Every owner of a 3D printer is going to want some fun after market extras. These items are not part of the previous chapter since they are not required costs of owning a printer, but they may be very useful.

Part 3: Use A 3D Printer! 

Chapter 10: Design and Prepare a Device For 3D Printing 

Unfortunately there is still no true “print” button for totally custom parts. This chapter is a hands on step-by-step tutorial that will show how you can create a useful 3D printed device. Using free open source software users can customize any of a number of popular devices (ex. coffee mugs or custom sized wrenches) we will show how to find, load, and edit a 3D CAD file and prepare it for loading to a 3D printer. Chapter 11: Print and Troubleshoot Your First 3D Printed Part Even the world’s best baker has made a fallen cake. This chapter will review some of the common problems 3D printed parts have, and how a home user can fix them.

Chapter 12: Prepare For a Presentation with Finishing And Post Processing 

Hobbyists all have dreams of creating something amazing with a 3D printer but often the result of a print is not as shiny as the mass produced items we can buy in stores. To help take a printed part to the next level and really impress a crowd (whether it’s your wife or the company executives) these secondary processes are great options for printers.

Chapter 13: Maintain and Improve Your 3D Printer 

The overview owner’s manual checklist on how to keep a printer running in top condition for as long as possible. Lists of cleaning tools, maintenance schedules, and replacement parts to keep on hand will all be summarized. Part 4: Effects & Future of 3D Printing

Chapter 14: Research & New Applications Underway for 3D Printers 

No matter what the technology is moving so quickly that things will start to be outdated well some readers are still working through the book. It makes sense to discuss on-going developments (the leading research institutions, key places of R&D spending, etc.) where more information may be gathered.

Chapter 15: Change Our Society with 3D Printing 

We will highlight the changes 3D printing is slated to cause for our society. Which industries are most likely to be disrupted and how quickly.

Chapter 16: Sci-Fi Becomes Reality, The Future of 3D Printing 

Who needs a flying car when you have a 3D printer. Here we will speculate on some of the more abstract implications 3D printing technology. If we can print liver cells (already happening) can we print a clone? Printed chocolates already exist but why bother hiring a personal chef if you can have a printer do it for you. This chapter is a light hearted way to kickstart the creative thinking of a reader and encourage them to get printing!

Amazon Creative Expression 3D Printing First Reviews

Every year there are new advances in technology that provide consumers with both functional and fun elements.  3D printing has recently become the number one technology to have in both the business world and the technology world.  With the ability to completely customize your own products and have them printed entirely in 3D, the 3D printing industry is taking the world by storm.  Amazon is one of the many businesses that is harnessing the power of 3D printing and providing customers with the opportunity to customize their own products.  This service is known as Amazon Creative Expressions and is quickly becoming quite popular.

Amazon and Mixee Labs

The Creative Expressions store was recently opened, to much fanfare and media coverage, and offers customers the opportunity to customize their own products.  With their partnership with Mixee Labs (a 3D printing company), consumers can choose from a variety of different products ranging from mini bobbleheads to personalized key chains.  Considering that the release of this service is relatively new, there is much more room for it to expand and harness the true power of 3D printing.

The Importance of Customer Feedback

The majority of people who will be buying these 3D printed items will generally be buying them for their first time. Therefore Amazon is quite interested in hearing what the customers have to say about the service, which makes sense given the overall importance of Amazon reviews.  Depending on the feedback, there may be more products offered to the general public to expand the experience of Amazon Creative Expressions. The one knock on the service right now (in the small number of reviews) is that the customization options are still limiting. Both the bobble head reviews and the wax stamp, for letter sealing, have the same negative noted. Since this is just a matter of new incremental designs chances are Mixee Labs will be adding more options.  Considering that it is a relatively new technology, it can be exciting to own your own personalized 3D printed product, which again is reflected in the reviews. At least one user opted to 3D print a customized doll for their baby!

The Customization Features

Now that you are aware of what Amazon Creative Expressions is, you may be wondering what customization options are really available to the general public.  You will be able to use an interactive and in-depth online program that is incredibly simple to use and allows you to change most of what you want to purchase in as many ways as possible.  As an example, if you are purchasing a bobblehead you will be able to change the hairstyle, hair color, facial features, and clothing of the miniature model.  Plus, with the increasing popularity of 3D printing, the customization features are only bound to increase over the incoming years, offering more options to interested customers. If other sites are any indication simple devices such as phone cases, earbud storage devices, and belt buckles will be on their way soon.

3D Print Pulse Launches as New Hub of 3D Printing News and Information

These days the news of 3D printing developments is coming fast and furious. Popularity of the term continues to be on the rise, just take a look at the Google Trends graph below.

With that in mind the good team of Aggregage has just launched 3DPrintPulse.com. The site aggregates from a number of top resources across the web to deliver all the pertinent information regarding 3D Printing. Directly from their about page the goals of 3D Print pulse are:

  • Collect High Quality Content - The goal of a content community is to provide a high quality destination that highlights the most recent and best content from as defined by the community.
  • Provide an Easy to Navigate Site - End users most often are people who are not regular readers of the blogs and other sources. They come to the content community to find information on particular topics of interest to them. This links them across to the sources themselves. 
  • Be A Jump Off Point - To be clear all content communities are only jump off points to the sources of the content.

Mixee Labs - The Rise of On Demand 3D Printing

3D printing services are quickly becoming the must-have products in the world as more and more people are becoming aware of the unique and innovative aspects of 3D printed products.  We previously showed a handful of retail locations that cover rapid prototyping services. Now there are more and more virtual stores popping up that can do this on demand work. Mixee Labs is one of the companies that are currently providing customers with the opportunity to create and purchase their own 3D printed products, whether it be a personalized bobblehead or a unique molecule key chain.  With the ability to explore your own personal creativity, using their 3D printing services is relatively easy and it's clear their focus is on fun novelty items. In the future they are one of the sites that is likely to expand into functional 3D printed on-demand components.

How Mixee Labs 3D Printing Works

The 3D printing services offered by Mixee Labs are relatively simple for anyone to use.  Essentially you will be provided with the ability to create your own products with the help of a customization tool without having to spend the money on finding your own 3D printer.  With the help of the designing platform, companies can create their own products and sell them online.  The team at Mixee Labs will provide a consultation to your company in regards to the materials that should be used for creation to ensure that they are of the best quality.  Or if you are more interested in having your own personalized product, you can customize one of the many objects offered from Mixee Labs.

What Products Do They Offer?

There are a variety of 3D printed products for sale, including:

Mixee Me: Customize your own personal mini figurine.  You can choose the design of the clothing, the facial expression, and even the style and color of the hair.

Mixee Bobbler: Much like the Mixee Me, you will be able to customize your own figurine that has a bobblehead to put on your desk, dashboard, or even in your locker at work or school.

Molecules: For a trendy and memorable piece of jewelry, you can pick your favorite molecule design and have it printed in any color that you desire.

Quark Jewelry: Who doesn’t love having unique and exciting pieces of jewelry that will be a statement piece for a plain outfit?  With the ability to create earrings, necklaces, and rings, the Quark jewelry is definitely a modern twist on traditional costume pieces.

Slim Wallet: Instead of venturing to a department store and browsing through a variety of generic wallets, have your own customized slim wallet printed that is easy to use and carry around.

Dog Bone Tag: Similar to generic dog tags, take advantage of these 3D printed accessories for your beloved pet.

Other products include: Cufflinks, knotted rings, wax seals, and bracelets.

As you can see from the listing these are mostly novelty items, as noted above, but at least one of them (the slim wallet) is an functional device that benefits form the ability to personalize and customize.

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