Sculpteo is a 3D printing service as well as a community. Their mission is to provide you access to all things 3D printable, and that comes about through exposure to an amazing variety of designs and designers. You can share your own work and your designs, upload others, and turn it all into a reality with the technology of 3D printing–and helpful advice and guidance–provided by Sculpteo.
Based in France, with a U.S. headquarters in San Francisco as well, Sculpteo’s reputation is formidable, and it continues to grow as they provide great services, education, and quality 3D prints for their users. And while they do pride themselves on providing excellent service and access for everyone, one option has not been available for everyone up until now, and that’s the possibility for picking a higher resolution for your model—unless you were one of the Sculpteo users taking advantage of their batch control feature. Now, Sculpteo will make that available to everyone for every plastic 3D print. The only question for you is whether or not you need it for every 3D print.
When it comes to the ins and outs of 3D printing, there’s a lot of talk about high resolution. With this technology, high resolution comes in the form of layer thickness, with the lower numbers being desired, rather than higher; for instance, Sculpteo’s standard printing resolution is 100-150µm. The option for a higher resolution at 60µm layer thickness was only available to a select number, but as of now, Sculpteo will have numerous 3D printers dedicated to running at 60µm layer thickness on Thursdays. If the higher resolution is what you desire for your 3D print, your order will be 3D printed at that resolution on the following Thursday, space allowing.
Deciding on your resolution option is all in the details. The Sculpteo team recommends that you consider exactly what your use will be for the 3D print and how you will want to finish it, as the differences in resolution really boil down to ‘surface roughness,’ with a higher resolution basically sanding your 3D printed model down further for more refined and elegant polishing.
You have multiple options regarding finishing your product once you’ve decided what you’ll use it for, and this will help you choose either the standard or higher resolution. What type of finish do you have in mind? That’s important to figure out ahead of time.
Sculpteo offers the following options to you:
- A raw sandblasted finish, which is the most affordable—but unpolished and rough.
- A polished finish which is smooth to the touch, but with some layers visible.
- A double polished finish, which is smooth with very little layers to be seen. With the intense polishing, a layer of plastic is lost, and some fine details of the model can be be ruined.
Sculpteo provides a simple and quick comparison of an elegant 3D printed, spinning top in the video below. The top was printed using both the standard (left) and higher (right) resolutions, with the standard resolution falling short at the end in clumsiness, compared to the other—thus a perfect reason to use higher resolution due to the use involved for that particular 3D printed item.
From figurines to robots to beautiful items for your home—whatever you are having 3D printed does require some planning so you can choose finishing and resolution accordingly.
What resolution would you normally choose, and what successes and failures have you experienced in experimenting? Do you use the Sculpteo service? Share your experiences and thoughts with us in the Sculpteo: New Higher Resolution 3D Prints forum over at 3DPB.com.