How do I get a part 3D printed?

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  • How do I get a part 3D printed?
  • Premier Icon schmiken
    Subscriber

    I have a pair of Oakley Radars that fell off my helmet and got run over. A small removable plastic nose bridge got damaged and is apparently not sold separately  I reckon I could get one made, and there’d be a small market for them.

    How do I get it made though? Do I take the part somewhere and let them model and print or try and model it myself?

    In time honoured STW tradition, I’ll reply by ignoring your actual question and suggesting something completely different…

    Is this something you could just quickly knock up with some Sugru?

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Have you tried Oakley?

    Premier Icon schmiken
    Subscriber

    I have tried Oakley – they gave me a 30% off voucher and said the part wasn’t sold as a spare.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you can design it, I’ll print it for you. But tbh design is the hard part!

    Premier Icon schmiken
    Subscriber

    Thanks Northwind, any particular program worth using?

    I’ve used these guys a couple of times:

    Home

    You would need to have modelled it first obviously. They price it on overall volume/dimensions not number of bits, meaning if you can tessellate parts or fill hollow parts you can reduce costs significantly.

    They use SLS which gives you very good quality nylon parts. The material is white and has a slightly rough texture so not the best aesthetically unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of time finishing.

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    Same as NW, I’d print it for you if you have a CAD drawing.

    Simplest (and free) to use are SketchUp or 123D.

    And yes, the design is the hard part! For something like the part you’re describing I’d probably go through 3-4 proto versions (design, trial print, tweak design, etc.) before a final high quality print that works.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    For a one off I would definitely use sugru. Something fiddly like that would take a while to model even with some experience, you’ll spend the first few hours working through tutorials for whatever software you chose.

    My boss is always asking “can you make xyz on the 3d printer?” The answer is always yes but most of the time it would be better to buy a project box, or cut the part from a piece of wood/plastic.

    fooman
    Member

    I’ve used Shapeways to make cable guides the quality of the printing is good but you do have to model yourself.

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