3D Printing FAQ - Questions & Answers

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3D Printing Services and Products

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We can print just about anything you need and to your specifications.

We offer a full complement of 3D scanning and imaging services. Do you need to scan a historical artefact, sculpture, or medical application? We can help with that and more!

While it is best to have a completed, print-ready file, TPH® does offer design, customization and file repair services. We can design anything from six-sided dice to a full color human bust. Please contact us for a quote.

Making molds for jewelry casting, vacuum forming and injection molding is very possible. We have materials that are well suited for these applications.

3D objects can be printed in a variety of plastics, metals, or rubber-like materials.  Read more about 3D printing materials »

We are capable of printing your item in a full CMYK spectrum of millions of colours.

TPH® also has printers that can print in a single, solid colour with a wide range of colours to choose from.

Some colours are available in a flexible rubber-like material.

Polyjet technology offers a range of material characteristics from hard plastics to rubber-like materials in a wide range of colours.

FDM has a couple options for different materials.

ABS is also known as the designer’s plastic. It is very durable, has excellent colour properties, and a variety of finishing options. ABS can be painted to desired finishes.

Powder materials are brittle when removed from the printer and require some post printing processes to make them stronger. Infiltrants solutions are used to penetrate the model surface to make it more durable.  Read more about 3D printing materials »

TPH's 3D printing is not safe for food items. While there are lots of products out there made from ABS or PLA that you can consume food with, like disposable cutlery or cups, 3D printing food related items is not something we recommend. The nature of 3D printing is as such that when the layers are fused together there are some nooks and crannies left where you can't clean out the food particles properly and bacteria will grow.

3D Printing Requirements

For the optimum results, we recommend no dimension smaller than 1 mm or 0.039 of an inch.

We offer coarse, medium, and fine levels of resolution. Our Polyjet printers provide the highest resolution at 600 DPI and are capable of printing horizontal build layers down to 16 microns (0.0006"), which is the equivalent of a single human hair!

We prefer to accept .STL files, as our machines run best using this format. We also accept .OBJ and VRML (.WRL) files. It is best to "save as" or export a .STL file for use in 3D printing.

.OBJ - .OBJ file is a geometry definition file format similar to .STL and used and developed from the animation industry.

.STL - .STL is commonly referred to as stereolithography and is widely used for rapid prototyping and computer-aided manufacturing. .STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color or texture.

.WRL - .WRL is an extension of the .VRML virtual reality model language file format. It contains the colour and texture maps needed to be printed in relation to the objects 3D surfaces. For example a bust of a person or a family pet.  Read more about 3D printing process »

TPH® can print any sized object. If it is too large for a single print, your model can be sliced to maximize print time and reassembled after printing is complete.

Maximum Print Volumes:
Polyjet: 490 × 390 × 200 mm (19.3 × 15.4 × 7.9 in.)
FDM: 254 x 254 x 305 mm (10 x 10 x 12 in.)

Yes. We will never share your file with a third party without your consent!

3D Printing Pricing and Turnaround

Each 3D printed object is unique, and price varies based on material cost, print time as well as finishing. The biggest variable in the final cost is the volume of the printed object. Please contact us for a detailed estimate!

Print times vary based on size of the build, material used, and machine. A print the size of a ping pong ball can take as little as 30 minutes, whereas prints as big as a basketball can take 30 hours! Please contact us for a quote.

Yes! Wherever you are located TPH® can help.