Case Study: 3D Printing a Full Size PC Model in 32 Hours

The Scenario

Scott Contacted us on a Tuesday night, in need of a full size model for a customer demo...that Friday.  It was around 10 PM, and none of the other local 3D print shops were open.  Scott needed someone he could talk to about his project right away!  Despite the late hour, we were available to get started on the project right away.  However, even so, the deadline was going to be a challenge - even with overnight shipping, we only had until Thursday morning to get the entire project - a full sized PC case with a new PCI card design - printed, packaged and shipped.

This PC model would take over 50 hours to print in one piece, but we only had 32 hours to complete the project

This PC model would take over 50 hours to print in one piece, but we only had 32 hours to complete the project


We looked at the print files that night, and determined that printing the entire thing on our largest printer would take around 50 hours, even with a large .8 mm nozzle...not fast enough.  We needed a way to get this print done faster.

The Solution

Fortunately, there was a solution: we  split the model into 5 pieces, and print the pieces on 3 different printers.  This brought the estimate for the longest print down to an acceptable 18 hours.

In order to make the deadline, we quickly split the model into pieces using Autodesk Meshmixer software, and started the prints that night.  We checked and rechecked all the print settings, since there was little room for error in this time frame.

Once the prints started, we periodically checked to make sure things were going smoothly and to be ready for post processing as soon as the prints were completed.  This gave us time on Wednesday night to get the parts put together and ready to ship out the next morning.  After speaking to Scott on Wednesday night, we agreed to ship the model in three separate pieces for easier demonstration in the customer meeting.

Before shipping, we sent Scott print photos to verify that there were no issues or oversights.  We got everything packaged up that night to get it shipped out first thing in the morning via overnight mail, for arrival the morning of the meeting, right on schedule!

While these types of rush orders do come with an additional rush fee, the full cost of this project was still in the three figure range, significantly lower than any of the competition.  If you need fast service on a project, let us know, we are here to help!