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Top 3 Things You Should Consider When Choosing a 3D Printing Service Company

1. Good customer support. For a lot of people many questions can arise when going through the process of having something 3D printed, especially if it is your first time. Choosing a company that gives advice to your specific project will grant you possible insights on things you may otherwise would not have considered.


(SLA vs FDM 3D Printing From Custom Prototypes in Toronto, ON)

A good company will assess your parts and offer suggestions on a material and process that will comply with your needs. Whether you need an appearance model or a functional prototype it is beneficial to shop around and gather various opinions on what different service companies recommend for your project.

2. Examples of work & reviews. Before committing to a 3D printing service you should always ask to see some samples (preferably in person). Often companies will exaggerate their printer resolution or show images online that appear to be higher quality then what they are actually capable of. This is also a good way to feel the material to better understand the surface quality and structural properties.

SLA vs FDM 3D Printing From Custom Prototypes in Toronto, ON

(3D Printed Material Comparison From Custom Prototypes in Toronto, ON)

Looking for an established company with a lot of positive feedback and reviews is a good way to understand the quality you can expect. Companies can be vultures when it comes to making a sale so it is important to do your research and be patient when choosing your 3D printing service company.

3. Price & turnarounds – If after browsing various 3D printing companies you find some that seem too cheap to be true, chances are… they are. While you may find a cheap quote to be intriguing, it is important to figure out why. While FDM printers may be a cheaper alternative, some applications that require painting or high resolution parts will most likely be better suited for SLA or SLS printing. In order to reduce the cost for 3D printing it is important to make sure your files are optimized. This article by 3D Hubs is a good reference guide that showcases techniques you can use in order to reduce the cost with your 3D printed parts.

Another thing you should take into account is turnaround times and shipping costs. Service companies that are not local may offer more competitive pricing, but ding you the savings when you account for the shipping cost. Often local companies can still offer fast turnarounds so you may find in-store pick up to be cheaper after weighing all the cost factors.