Fab Lab’s Quotation Engine Autochecks
Our nifty online quoting engine will automatically perform printability checks on your model. To avoid errors during uploading that will prevent you adding a model to your cart, check these guidelines:
- Readable file format
Supported file type is STL. This is the most common file type in 3D printing.
- Polygon threshold
We accept 3D models with up to 1million polygons. You can use Meshlab to reduce your polygon count. Very high resolution scans, feature recognized conversions, or extremely complex shapes can often carry millions of polygons to get the virtual representation to look as real as possible. Polygon Reduction in Meshlab is great for reducing polygon counts without losing features.
- Printer Size
Your model must fit within at least one of our printers. If you experience a “bounding box” error during upload, scale your model down to the size indicated on the uploader, or cut your object into sections big enough for the printer.
- Model integrity
Your model must be watertight/closed, with correct normals, and manifold. If you encounter an error during the upload process, try using cloud based service like Netfabb (free), or desktop app Meshlab (also free), to repair your model.
Your Pre-Print Checklist
- Check balance and weight
A model must be designed for real-world physics. Account for weight distribution and the model’s ability to support its own weight.
- Model orientation
Orientation of the model during printing can have a real impact on the aesthetic or functionality of your part. 3D printed parts are weakest where the layers join each other, making them easier to break apart. Fine or Ultra Fine resolution can help strengthen parts.
- Protect vulnerable areas
Outstretched feature, such as branches or appendages on a figurine, could snap off during or after printing if the joint is not strong enough.
- Adjust model scale
You likely had to specify the scale of your model (millimeters/inches) while designing, but when the model is pulled from Thingiverse you should check its dimensions one more time and make sure it meets your expectations. The price can be miscalculated if your model is scaled incorrectly.
- Ensure clearance for moving parts
Moving parts need clearance between one another to function properly. This is especially important when designing for plastics—without enough clearance, the parts will fuse together during 3D printing.
- Make sure details are large enough
Embossed and engraved details should be larger than 0.04mm to ensure they come out clearly.
*Once your model checks out, you can order your print! You can upload a new version if needed, and contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.