Affordable 3D Printing Service

I made this guy:

I was hoping I could find an affordable 3D printing service. Checked few websites like Sculpteo, Shapeways and simmilar, and their prices are way above my budget (227$plastic, 457$sls, 1503$sla plastic for 19cm x 12.6cm x 10.9cm sized print).
Thats a lot for me, especially at a stage when I don’t even know if the file prints right.
Are there any services that help to connect 3D printer owners with people who have files to print?
I think 3Dhubs used to be like that, but not anymore. I’ve also checked some 3D printing message boards, but it seems to me that it is mostly about assembling and fixing the printers rather than printing things, but maybe I have to search more…
I bet there are some people with experience in 3D printing here, so maybe someone could offer me some wisdom please.

I don’t think you’re going to find a lot cheaper than 200 for that. That’s pretty much the absolute minimum what I’d ask for that. Considering how big it is and how much material will be used. Printing something like that on a basic FDM will take at least half a day and require a lot of manual attention. Not even counting the cost of figuring out any issues with the model like fit and how it will stay together on the table. I might be completely wrong though, I haven’t looked outside Shapeways. But the 200 price for that sounds completely reasonable. You could also buy your own printer and spend a month debugging it to get the print done.

Scaling down the model would probably also lower the price by quite a bit.

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I think I’d loose most of the details printing it with FDM at this scale. It’s 19cm wide but most of it are his horns, so head itself would print out pretty small. SLA or SLS would probably be a way to go if I want to maintain any level of details. At this scale costs for that start from about 500$ up. I wasn’t paying attention at 3D printing market for a while, but was kind of hoping that prices for SLA prints would go down after they started selling these cheaper resin printers for home use…
For now this is mostly about learning how to prepare working 3D printable files for me. I can’t throw 500$ at it just to see if it prints allright.

I’d be willing to try a print for you- either FDM or Resin but it would be smaller than 19cm , we can haggle price if you like the print - I could start with the horn or something

You could also try a peer to peer 3D printing service, connecting you with a local 3D printer owner near you. This is usually much more affordable than the big services like Sculpteo and Shapeways.

Here’s an article that covers a number of those services:

Also: did you make the solid parts hollow, like the back of the skull and the horns? That would definitely make quite a difference in price because of much-reduced material volume.

Yes, tried it on shapeways, not a huge change in price. Would it even matter for SLA? There is no powder that fills the print, so it is just a shell with some infill structure like in FDM right?
Thanks for the link, that’s something I was thinking about, will check it out.

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If you’re in the US there may be resources in your community to help. One of my local libraries, for example, has a 3D printer that’s available to use and I think that the materials are partially subsidized for county residents. I doubt that they would be able to print something large, but if I were making something like what you’ve made and I wanted to test it out I could probably print a mini-version pretty inexpensively. There might be other collectives besides libraries in your area. Can’t hurt to ask.

Some libraries even advertise this online, like mine does:

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I’m writing from Northern Ireland. They do that too in some libraries here, not anywhere near me though. And that is mostly with rather simple FDM printers.
But I was thinking about bothering people from local fablab, they have Uprint SE Plus, which is a FDM but seems like a good one.

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Okay. Good luck with your research. :slight_smile:

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