3DHubs is an international printing service that connects the public to local 3D printers. This is a great service for anyone that wants to make money back on the purchase of their 3D printer. 3D printers can put the printer to use when they are not using it themselves. If you are starting a 3D printing business, 3DHubs can be a way to attract customers while you build your online brand.
The public can also benefit from 3DHubs. Depending on the location, consumers can shop for a local 3D printer. If you just one a handful of 3D printed items for a project, outsourcing the job to your local hub is more economical then buying a 3D printer.
In light of this, 3DHubs and other 3D printing services are plagued by the following types of noobs. These are the customers that fit the saying “The customer is always right, even if their an asshole”! These are all based off of real customers I’ve dealt with on 3DHubs.
Unit of Measure Noob
Advanced CAD programs will let you design an object in US standard, but that does not mean you should. 3D printers and their slicer programs are built around metric. 3D printers are built with metric parts, and print in tenths of a mm. When you try to print in standard, many slicer programs will distort the print.
Graphic artist are just as bad about submitting objects they design in picas, not realizing that they are actually trying to build a 3 dimensional object.
Another noob mistake is trying to 3D print something too small or large for the printer. I’ve had customers try to print something so detailed that it was smaller than the resolution possible with any 3D printer. These small details simply would not print in any material.
To avoid measurement problems and rejection from the 3D printer, just model your design in mm from the start.
OMG I is a CAD Mazzter
I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this one. I just finished my CAD certificate from a local VoTech college, and there are time I feel I can design anything in CAD. This hubris is common in all designers.
Let me share my humble pie with you. You can design whatever you want digitally, but that does not become a 3D printable object. If your think you can 3D print something with 10 overhangs and internal structure without some support and get it in one piece, you are not a CAD master.
The Bad Magician
The bad magician tries to turn an order for one (1) 3D print into 10. They think that 3D printing is cheap. This customer thinks your 3D printing from the goodness of your heart. They think your time and effort is free.
First off, nothing in 3D printing is free. Second, we have a 3D printer that is amortized for the time that we put on it. Finally, 3D printing filament may be cheep, but it is not free.
If you want to order 10 3D prints that is fine. Just expect to pay for 10 3D prints up front. I’ve canceled orders in 3DHubs for customers that try to change the production number on me.
The Time Sucker
Cosplayers are guilty as sin for this. Hubs understand that there are sites that share amazing cosplay props, and they are cool to 3D print.
It is one thing to 3D print Rea’s blaster or a Kylo Ren’s Light saber, its another to 3D print an entire Stormtrooper suit.
3DHubs recently gave a discount on the Fallout PipBoy controller. This amazing 38 piece file will take a week for a Hub with a single printer to complete. If you want someone to commit a weeks’ worth of printer time, please expect to pay for it.
These large files take a serious time commitment from a Hub with a single printer. The material alone may be more than the printer will have on hand, so they will have to order a bulk spool of filament.
Please remember that many Hubs have a day job and can’t run a large print job during the day.
I’m an artist
This is similar to the CAD master. Graphic artist are guilty of this 3D printing oversight. They think that desktop 3D printers can 3D print in multiple colors, without looking at the capabilities of the Hub.
While polyjet and LOM type printers can print in full color, FDM desktop 3D printers can’t (yet).
If you want a full color print, you are welcome to 3D print in plaster or paper with a 3DHub that has that type of 3D printer. But don’t send the file to someone with a desktop printer. Even with a dual extrusion head, you’ll only get two colors out of a desktop 3D print.
I Wants me a 3D print
This is the worst noob of all. This noob somehow managed to design something that resembled a shape, and wants it 3D printed without understanding what 3D printing actually requires.
The .stl files have large overhangs, gaps, manifold errors, or other technical problems that keep them from printing. They don’t know what supports, rafts and overhangs are. They also do not want to pay for the said support material and processing.
This noob is also the most persistent. They think they are the center of your Hub universe, and they want their 3D print in 5 min.
This noob is someone who does not understand what resolution is. They read an article that tells them 0.1 mm resolution will produce a fine smooth print. They don’t realize that 0.1 mm resolution takes a large chunk of time.
What’s worse is they don’t need 0.1 mm for the print job. Hubs know when your just testing a part that can be printed in 0.3 – 0.4 mm.
Time and again, I’ve gotten an order at 0.1 mm that takes 30 hrs for a part that does not justify it. Like the time sucker, these resolution snobs suck time out of your life for a 3D print that is not worth the resolution.
Things to remember with 3DHubs
Please understand that we love to Hub and put our 3D printers to good use. We just get tired of the ignorance of certain noobs. 3D printers have a unique set of technical skills, as well as the machines required to do the 3D print job.
3DHubs is a great service for 3D printers, but please respect our technical expertise.