When you submit a design to us, we’ll start with the Design Review Process where our engineers review your 3D model to confirm that it’s ready for printing. We have three goals for the design review:

  1. Confirm that your design is ready to be 3D printed. We’ll suggest tweaks if we identify any concerns with the model.

  2. Discuss your project so we can determine the best approach for 3D printing the model.

  3. Communicate with you about our expected timeline to ensure we can deliver the print before your deadline.

At the end of the design review, you’ll know exactly what to expect when we print your model. You’ll also get a final price quote from us for the order. Once you give us the go-ahead, we’ll be ready to start printing.

Why Is Design Review Important?

When we print a 3D model, we have the ability to configure settings that affect every aspect of the printing process. This includes the surface quality and strength of the printed part, amount of raw material required, and the time it takes to complete the print. For example, we can use a smaller layer height to achieve a smoother finish on the part, but this comes at the cost of a much more time-consuming printing process. The improved surface finish would be worth it for a model that is intended for display, but might be unnecessary for an engineering prototype.

We’ve utilized a wide variety of print settings through the hundreds of projects we’ve worked on. When we review your design, we’ll draw from this experience to help you decide what we should do to print your model successfully. We can often repair defects in the model before printing, such as non-manifold errors, and if we do have a concern about the model, the design review is where we will identify that and discuss possible solutions with you.

The Design Review Process can also lower the cost of your 3D print. We will often suggest printing settings that will reduce the amount of raw material needed for the print while maintaining your desired level of quality. If you’re iterating on a new design, this allows you to produce more prototypes while staying within your budget.

How Long Does The Design Review Process Take?

We know that you want to have your parts printed as quickly as possible, so the Design Review Process won’t take long. In most cases, you can expect a message from us within an hour of submitting your 3D models, and we’ll complete our initial review of the design within a few hours after that.

From there, we’ll discuss the project with you. If you already know exactly how you want us to print the model, we can skip over this part, but in most cases we want to understand your needs so we can suggest the best approach for your print. Unless we have a lot to discuss, this won’t take long—the vast majority of our design reviews are completed the same day we receive the model. We don’t want to keep you waiting for your parts.

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