We often get requests to “3D print” something, an image or sketch or what have you where the client asks this simply to be “fabricated”. In our simple 3 step process:
- Client submits a new project
- New project is 3D Designed (client is provided the 3D Design files, e.g. *.STL)
- Project is Fabricated (e.g. 3D Printed)
This request effectively translates into “please start at step #1, skip step #2, and then proceed to step #3.”
As of this writing, there is no automated process that we’re familiar with that can automate step #2 and thus, it requires some human involvement to transform the client request into the 3D CAD Design file that is needed to “3D Print” or fabricate in any number of digital fabrication methods. We are actively pursuing research to support our Design Acquisition System (DAS) but it’s not ready for prime time…yet. But do not worry, there is still hope for your project!
Our 3D Design network is full of amazingly capable people with 3D Design skills and we’re 99.9% certain that someone in our marketplace can get you a personalized 3D Design and help you “3D Print”…or fabricate in the best method possible based on your timeline, budget and quality expectations.
Once you’ve gone through our sketch > 3D Design process (step #2), that 3D Design file enables the myriad machines in our marketplace to help you get your part(s) fabricated. These machines need those digital 3D Design Files to know how to move their extruder nozzle tips, machining spindles and laser heads in order to fabricate your concept. No matter how much we shout at these machines or patiently describe to them what we want, english and photos are not currently a language our machines speak. They need translators and those are humans combined with a Computer Aided Design tool.
How much does this cost? Read this blog post:
What does it cost to design and fabricate a prototype?
Have any other questions? Simply comment below!