Your guide to 3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

3D Printing is used to construct simple and complex geometrics by fusing together very fine layers of powder, liquid or a continuous filament. The process starts with a CAD model sliced into cross-sections. Each cross section is mapped onto the surface of the rapid prototyping material which is fused or cured to the layer below. High tolerances of the 3D Printing process mean that it is ideal for producing fit-form prototypes that are used to test products before committing them to a chosen method of production. Our Viper SLA system produces the highest surface finish and dimensional accuracy of all rapid prototyping methods.

What's the difference between SLA, SLS and FDM?

3D Printing Methods Key Differences
SLA (Stereolithography)
SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

Can you 3D Print without a CAD file?

No, but don’t worry, we offer full 3D parametric CAD data creation. Contact us for more information.

Why do I need to produce a STL file?

STL is the industry standard file format for 3d printing machines. It converts parametric CAD data into surfaces constructed of triangles that is then sliced by the printing software into the build layers. There are various free STL converters available on-line. Be aware though that, if you’re struggling to convert your data, it can be a good indicator that your CAD data is unsuitable (poorly stitched surfaces etc.).

What are the design rules for parts built as SLAs?

Why does part orientation matter?

IDC will re-orientate your part to achieve the best quality build. However you may have certain features that are more important to you. Please assign x, y and z values to best fit your preferred orientation and detail your requirements in the naming field of each parts. To help you here are some pointers.

If we receive no specific instructions, we will use our experience to best fit the parts to produce the best results. We can undertake more extensive post-finishing and spraying etc. at additional cost. Please contact us directly if you have requirements beyond 3d printing.

Do I choose normal or high resolution?

A part built in high resolution is always more expensive than a part built in normal resolution. To get comparative prices enter both options in our on-line quoting or estimating systems.

What are the material properties of SLA resin?

View the Accura 60 resin specification sheet

How do I use the online quoting system?

What will I be getting for my money?

Our on-line service includes the following:

Not included but available as services we can provide at additional cost are the following:

Note that IDC has a full product design, engineering, modelmaking and prototyping capability.You may assume that a 3D print is what you need. If you are not sure then feel please contact us for advice on the most appropriate solutions to your requirements.

Is delivery included?

There is a charge for delivery outlined in your quote.

International clients should contact us directly for courier costs and for quotes without VAT added.

What about data protection?

IDC take client confidentiality very seriously. Until you place an order, we cannot see your data. We retain your data for a period of 30 days after despatch of your parts and then it is deleted from our systems. We cannot offer to sign individual NDA’s for parts ordered through our on-line system though we are happy to do so at additional cost. Please see our Terms & Conditions for full details of our data protection policy.