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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Protomac?
Protomac is a leading provider of 3D printing and product development services in Orlando, Florida.
We use state-of-the-art 3D printing technology and 3D Modeling Software to bring your ideas to life, allowing for quick prototyping and production of high-quality products. Our team of experienced designers and engineers are skilled in creating innovative products from concept to production.
Our company is dedicated to providing top-notch product development and 3D printing services to help bring our clients’ ideas to fruition.
Browse our portfolio of completed 3D printing projects and see what we can do for you!
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of creating a physical object by building it layer by layer using a digital model. It involves using a computer-aided design (CAD) file or a 3D scanning device to create a digital model of the object. This digital model is then used to control a 3D printer, which lays down successive layers of material (such as plastic, metal, or ceramic) to build up the physical object.
There are several different technologies and methods used in 3D printing, including extrusion, powder bed fusion, and vat polymerization. The material used in 3D printing can vary, including plastics, metals, ceramics, and even biological materials such as cells.
3D printing has a wide range of applications, including prototyping, manufacturing, and custom fabrication of objects that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing methods. It has the potential to revolutionize the way products are designed, manufactured, and distributed, making it easier and more cost-effective to produce custom, one-of-a-kind products.
How big can you 3d print?
It depends on the application.
If the part doesn’t require tight tolerances then, as big as you need it to be. We can break large parts or assemblies into a series of smaller parts and glue them or plastic weld them together.
If you need precision single-piece parts these are our build plate sizes:
INDUSTRIAL FDM: Up to 450mm x 400mm x 400mm (17.7 x 15.7 x 15.7 inches)
- INDUSTRIAL SLA: Up to 800mm x 800mm x 500mm (31″ x 31″ x 19.6″)
How much does 3D Printing cost?
The cost of 3D printing depends on a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the object being printed, the material being used, and the type of 3D printer being used. In general, 3D printing can be more expensive than traditional manufacturing methods for producing large quantities of parts. However, it can be more cost-effective for producing small quantities or one-of-a-kind objects, especially when the cost of tooling and setup is taken into account.
Here are some rough estimates of the cost of 3D printing:
Entry-level FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printers, which use plastic filament, can cost as little as $200-$300. However, the cost of the printer itself is just a small part of the overall cost of 3D printing. Filament, support material, and other consumables can add significantly to the cost of printing, especially for larger or more complex objects.
Professional-grade FDM printers can cost several thousand dollars. These machines are generally more precise and capable of producing higher-quality parts, but they also require more expensive consumables and maintenance.
SLA (stereolithography) 3D printers, which use liquid resin, can cost several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. These machines are generally faster and more accurate than FDM printers, but they require specialized equipment and consumables.
Industrial 3D printers, such as those used for metal or ceramic printing, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. These machines are designed for high-volume production and are generally much larger and more complex than consumer-grade 3D printers.
Overall, the cost of 3D printing can vary widely depending on the specific needs and goals of the user. It is important to carefully consider the cost of the printer, consumables, and any other expenses (such as training and maintenance) when deciding whether 3D printing is a cost-effective solution for a particular project.
How long does 3D printing take?
We can get most basic prints completed within a week of order.
Exact timing is relative to our current order schedule and nearly all print requests are on a first-come first-served basis. We are able to handle some same-day and RUSH requests, however that availability varies.
The time it takes to 3D print an object can vary widely depending on the size and complexity of the object, the type of 3D printer being used, and the material being used. In general, 3D printing is a slower process than traditional manufacturing methods, especially for producing large quantities of parts. However, it can be a more efficient way to produce small quantities or one-of-a-kind objects, especially when the cost of tooling and setup is taken into account.
Here are some rough estimates of the time it can take to 3D print an object:
A small, simple object printed on an FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printer using plastic filament may take just a few hours to print.
A larger or more complex object printed on an FDM printer may take several days to print.
An object printed on an SLA (stereolithography) 3D printer using liquid resin may take several hours to a full day to print, depending on the size and complexity of the object. SLA printers are generally faster and more accurate than FDM printers, but they can be more expensive to operate.
An object printed on an industrial 3D printer using metal or ceramic may take several days to several weeks to print, depending on the size and complexity of the object. These machines are designed for high-volume production and are generally much larger and more complex than consumer-grade 3D printers.
It is important to consider the time required to 3D print an object when planning a project. In some cases, it may be necessary to factor in additional time for post-processing steps, such as cleaning, sanding, or painting the finished object.
What kind of files do you need?
STL Files are preferred.
We also accept OBJ, STP, STEP, iges, or 3mf.
When sending files for quote, always include the unit of measurement the file was designed in (mm, cm, in, feet, meter). Even better, include the intended dimensions of your part when printed in the body of your text description.
What is 3D Design?
3D design refers to the process of creating a digital model of a three-dimensional object. This can be done using computer-aided design (CAD) software, which allows designers to create, visualize, and manipulate 3D models on a computer. 3D design is used in a variety of fields, including architecture, engineering, product design, and video game development.
In 3D design, the designer creates a digital representation of the object using a variety of tools and techniques. These may include basic shapes and geometric primitives, as well as more complex modeling techniques such as sculpting, smoothing, and texturing. The designer can then view the model from any angle and make changes or adjustments as needed.
3D design is an important part of the 3D printing process, as the digital model created in the design phase is used to control the 3D printer and create a physical object. It is also used in other industries, such as film and television, where 3D models are used to create special effects and animations.
How much does 3D design cost?
Our rates start at $125/hr and have a 1 hr minimum. We can work very quickly, but very few projects only take 1hr and most take many hours of work.
The cost of 3D design can vary widely depending on the complexity of the project. In general, the cost of 3D design can range from a few hundred dollars for a simple project to several thousand dollars or more for a more complex project.
What is FDM Printing?
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is a type of 3D printing technology that involves extruding molten material through a nozzle to build up an object layer by layer. It is also known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF).
In FDM printing, the 3D printer heats a spool of filament (usually plastic, but other materials such as metal or wood-based composites can also be used) and extrudes it through a nozzle onto a build platform. The printer follows the design of the object in the digital model, laying down successive layers of material to create the physical object.
FDM printing is a relatively low-cost and easy-to-use 3D printing technology that is well-suited for prototyping and making small to medium-sized objects. It is also commonly used for home-based 3D printing. One of the advantages of FDM printing is that it can use a wide range of materials, including both rigid and flexible plastics, as well as composite materials that contain wood, metal, or other fillers.
What is SLA Printing?
SLA (Stereolithography) is a type of 3D printing technology that uses light to cure a liquid resin into a solid object. It is also known as photopolymerization.
In SLA printing, a laser or other light source is used to trace a cross-section of the object onto the surface of a vat of liquid resin. The light hardens the resin into a solid layer, which adheres to the build platform. The platform then lowers slightly, and the process is repeated to build up the object layer by layer.
SLA printing is known for producing high-resolution, accurate parts with smooth surface finishes. It is often used for creating prototypes, as well as for producing small, complex, or highly detailed parts. SLA printing is generally faster and more accurate than other 3D printing technologies, but it can be more expensive due to the cost of the resin and the need for specialized equipment.
My question is not listed on this FAQ, what should I do?
Contact us at email@example.com, someone from our team will get back to you as soon as possible.