What is 3D Printing?

3D printing or additive manufacturing is any of various processes of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved by additive processes, instead of traditional machining techniques (subtractive processes) which mostly rely on the removal of material. In an additive process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. The 3D printing technology is used in the fields of aerospace, architecture, automotive, apparel, construction, creative, government, industrial equipment, manufacturing, medical, education and many others.

What is Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)?

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology builds an object by depositing a line of material on top or alongside the same material in order to create a joint by adhesion and/or heat.  The material used is usually a thermoplastic, wax or similar material.  FFF is an additive manufacturing technology commonly used for modeling, rapid prototyping, and production applications.

What is "open source" and "open market" and how does it relate to the printers from 3D Platform?

The term “open source” most commonly refers to a program or programs in which the source code or design/manufacturing prints are available to the public for use and can be modified from its original design.  3D Platform’s printers are not open source.  3D Platform may occasionally use some open source components in our machine design – but only after they have been thoroughly tested and if we find that it benefits our customers.  (For example, the nozzles for our ‘Volcano’ extruder are ‘open source’ and their prints can be found online).

 

The term ‘open market’ means that customers (machine owners) have a choice when it comes to materials used with the printer.  3D Platform’s machines run on G-Code and Filament [or pellets] and our customers have a choice where they get these two items from – they are not locked into only buying from 3DP.  This provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use interface to the printer.

 

Compare this to a “Closed” system and you will find that only specific preparation (slicing) software can be used and only specific material can be used – often at a much higher price.

Can we visit your factory before purchasing a printer?

Yes.  Our factory is not open to the public, but potential customers are able to come visit our factory to see the assembly of 3DP’s printers and to have deeper discussions about your their specific applications.

Please contact your local reseller or salesperson to arrange a factory tour.  If you’re not sure who to contact, please contact our marketing department by email:  marketing <at> 3dplatform <dot> com

Is 3DP a service bureau? Can you print my part for me?

3DP does not act as a service bureau.  If you need your part printed, we have several customers who own our machines and their entire business is to print customer parts (“Service Bureaus”).  3DP supports our customers and will not compete with them by taking on Service Bureau work.

3DP will print parts for customers that are seriously considering the purchase of one of our printers in the event that a proof-of-concept print is required to verify at our printers will work for your application.  This is done as part of the sales process and not as a stand-alone business/department or profit center.

What kind of materials can I use on the 3DP's large-format 3D Printers?

Our 3D printers utilize an open market platform, which is capable of printing most materials created for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) provided that material meets the following criteria:

  • The material type/shape matches the extruder.  (e.g. filament or pellets)
  • The diameter of the material matches the diameter of the extruder (typically 1.75, 2.85 or 6.0 mm).  For pellet extruders, this is a maximum size of the pellets.
  • The melting point (“print temp”) has a melting point that is equal to or less than that of the extruder (typically 290°C).
  • The maximum bed temp (typically 145°C) is within the limits of the material.
  • The air temp (sometimes called “chamber” or “oven” temp) of the machine is within the limits of the material.

This includes, but not limited to PLA (Polylactic Acid), ABS(Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), Nylon, Ninja Flex, HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene), TPU, Wood or Metal filled materials, Nylons, some Polycarbonate materials.

Note: Some materials may require increased bed and nozzle temperatures, as well as additional ventilation.

Where do I purchase 3D printing materials?

Material can be purchased directly from 3D Platform or from many open-market vendors.  There are many suppliers of 3D printing materials suppliers on the market, for a list of 3D printing material suppliers; please refer to http://reprap.org/wiki/Printing_Material_Suppliers.

To ensure print quality and an extend printer nozzle life cycle, we strongly recommend using consistent, good quality filament supplied by a reputable vendor.

Poor quality filament is one of the TOP root causes identified by our service team.  Please make sure you purchase your filament from a high-quality source (and not the least expensive source found on an auction website).

How much does filament cost?

On average, a 1 kg (2.2 lb) spool of PLA filament costs anywhere from $20 – over $110.  Filament cost varies by supplier and filament types.  Less expensive materials may work fine on a small desktop printer, but we strongly encourage that anyone attempting to print on a large format 3D printer make sure they use high-quality filaments from a supplier with a good quality control process.

Many prints on a large format printer will require more than one spool to complete a print and if the material is not consistent from spool to spool then the print can possibly fail.  We caution against using the lowest cost materials found on auction sites and online markets as many are not consistent from spool to spool.

For more details, please visit Accessories + Materials page.

Does filament shrink with the 3DP's machines?

Material will shrink with all FFF 3D printers – it’s a function of basic thermodynamics.  As material heats up, it expands and when it cools it contracts.  Since the FFF process requires that material be heated to ‘liquify’ it for extrusion, the material will shrink as it cools back down to room temp.

Shrinkage is a material dependent variable and can be affected by print bed temperature, room temperature, and size of the 3D print. In general, PLA is relatively stable and has low shrinkage, whereas ABS shrinks slightly when it cools and hardens.

Can 3DP's machines print ABS?

Yes.  3DP’s printers can print ABS…

…. But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a common thermoplastic material.  ABS is amorphous and is known for its impact resistance and toughness.  ABS was first introduced in the late 1940’s.

It’s important to remember that 3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process.  ABS was originally designed for injection molding and line extrusion.  While ABS has been adapted to 3D Printing, there are many more modern materials which may be suitable for your application.

Please consider using modern alternatives like ABS-X or ABS-M in place of pure ABS as these materials have many of the same mechanical properties as plain ABS, but less shrinkage.  Or you can look at alternate materials, like Polycarbonate materials or Polymaker’s advanced PLA’s which achieve similar mechanical properties.

 

If you choose to print ABS on a large format printer, your success will depend on part geometry and environment.  A heated enclosure is recommended for ABS printers.

Also, please be careful when printing with ABS and a glass bed:  ABS likes to ‘bite’ into glass.  Cooling the part too quickly or having your first layer too low may result in broken glass.

What software do I need to operate the 3DP's printers?

3D Platform utilizes best in class open market 3D printing software.

The two most common software programs used by our customers are Simplify 3D and Ultimaker Cura.

  • Simplify3D is an easy to use program used to import, repair, slice, preview, and print all from the same application.
  • Ultimaker Cura prepares your model for 3D printing. For novices, it makes it easy to get great results. For experts, there are over 200 settings to adjust to your needs. And integration with major software platforms makes 3D printing even simpler.

Please visit the Software Platforms page for more details.

How much does the software cost?

The open source software such as Ultimaker Cura or Repetier Host are free to download.   Simply3D costs around $150 per license.

Please visit the Software Platforms page for more details. Please note that the software is not included with the printer purchase.

As of Q4 2016, 3DP has started using a web-based support system.  For the fastest response time, we encourage all customers to visit our support portal:

https://support.3dplatform.com

The support portal has user manuals, downloads (firmware, print profiles, etc.), FAQ’s, articles and much more information that may provide an immediate answer to your question.  If an answer cannot be found, please click the ‘Submit a Ticket’ link to create a new request.

Do you offer any technical support?

In addition to the extensive user manual, video tutorials, and 3D printing tips blog posts, 3D Platform provides live video support or written explanations via email. 3D Platform also provides on-site installation support with additional charges, please contact support <at> 3dplatform <dot> com for details.

Do you offer any warranty?

Yes, 3D Platform has a standard 90 day warranty. The warranty covers replacement parts but not onsite service. This warranty excludes normal consumable or expendable parts (such as nozzles), repairs or replacement during the warranty period because of abnormal use, misuse, neglect, or improper or unauthorized service.

Extended warranties are available for purchase separately.  On-Site setup and basic machine training by a factory certified technician are required in order for an extended warranty to be purchased.

What is the 1 or 2 year extended warranty?

3D Platform has a standard 90 day warranty, as well as extended warranties for up to 2 years with additional cost. The warranty is based on the printer being used under the normal conditions described in the documentation provided to the customer. The warranty covers replacement parts and not onsite service. This warranty excludes normal consumable or expendable parts (such as nozzles), repairs or replacement during the warranty period because of abnormal use, misuse, neglect, or improper or unauthorized service.

 

For customers in Europe (and anywhere else required by law), a 1-year warranty is included with your machine purchase.  For your convenience, the costs are itemized out as a base machine price and then the startup/1 year warranty price on a second line.  In these regions, these items are compulsory.

What are the dimensions and shipping weights of the printer?

WorkSeries 200/300 Printers, as crated:

  • Dimensions (length x width x height)
    100 inches x 66 inches x 60 inches
    (2.55 m x 1.7 m x 1.53 m)
  • Max Shipping Weight
    1000 lb (455 kg)

WorkSeries 400 Printers, as crated:

  • Dimensions (length x width x height)
    129 inches x 66 inches x 86 inches
    (3.28 m x 1.7 m x 2.2 m)
  • Max Shipping Weight
    2000 lb (910 kg)

Enclosures are always shipped separately.  The dimensions for the WorkSeries enclosures are, as crated:

  • Dimensions (length x width x height)
    120 inches x 50 inches x 26 inches
    (3.05 m x 1.27 m x 0.66 m)
  • Max Shipping Weight
    800 lb (363 kg)

The same enclosure can also be used on older machines.

I do not have room for storing the crate, can I return the crate?

3DP’s printers are shipped in a large crate, we recommend storing the crate for future shipments of the printer. If this is not possible, 3DP will buy back your crate. We will pay for the return shipping, and you will receive the option to receive either 3 spools of 3DP filament or a refund check in the amount of $250 once the crate is returned.

You can download the crate buy-back form from our website’s Downloads page.

This program is for domestic [USA] customers only.  3DP reserves the right to modify/discontinue this program at any time.

Do you ship to international customers?

Yes.  We will ship to any country and to any person/company which we are legally allowed to do so.

Currently, we ship EXW (Ex-works) Roscoe, IL, USA for international shipments. The buyer is responsible for arranging and paying all costs associated with pickup at our facility, shipping & handling, customs, duties, VAT, etc.

For information on 3DP’s specific printer(s), please choose the appropriate printer from the menu on the left.

As of Q1 2016, the 3DP1000 is discontinued.

We are leaving the FAQ section for this printer for the convenience of the customers of this machine.

Can I upgrade my 3DP1000?

Yes!

As a special thank you to our original customers, we have put together a very cost effective rebuild program that will tune-up your hardware and upgrade your electronics to the WorkSeries generation.  You can find more details on the ‘Rebuild Program’ page:

Rebuild Program

Please contact ” support <at> 3dplatform <dot> com ” for more details.

How big can I print on the 3DP1000?

The 3DP1000 provides a build area of 1 meter x 1 meter x 0.5 meter (39.3″ x 39.3″ x 19.6″), that is more than 70 times more print area than average desktop 3D printer.

What is the print speed of the 3DP1000?

The 3DP1000 can print up to 100 mm/sec. Speed is dependent on nozzle diameter and material type. You can increase overall print time by using a bigger nozzle. For example, with the 1.2mm nozzle, the 3DP1000 can achieve up to 3 times more volumetric build rate.

What is the layer thickness and print accuracy of the 3DP1000?

Layer thickness describes the thickness of a layer that the 3D printer can lay down in one pass. Print accuracy refers to the printer’s ability to lay down materials layer by layer without shift. The 3DP1000 is capable of layer resolution down to 70 microns (0.0027″). In general, the print accuracy is dependent upon the slice settings, the geometry of the print, print speed, and the quality of filament. Under average conditions, the 3DP1000 can hold layer resolution of 100 microns with a well-tuned and calibrated printer configuration.

Can I change the nozzles on the 3DP1000? What nozzle sizes are available?

Yes. The 3DP1000 is an open platform, and nozzles can be changed and upgraded by the user. Watch this quick video tutorial on how to change the nozzle, or contact us if you need support.

The standard dual extruder 3DP1000 comes with the 0.6 mm nozzle. Customers have the option to add 0.25 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.8 mm, and 1.2 mm nozzles to their order. (Please note that the 1.2mm nozzle is available only as an upgrade with a whole new extruder assembly at this point, please contact us for details.)

What are the technical specifications of the 3DP1000?

Read the full 3DP1000 technical specifications here.

What phase outlet is required for the 220V printer? What type of plug does the printer use?

The 220v 3DP1000 uses single phase, 15A, 220v. The printer uses a 3-blade male plug, NEMA L6-15.

How much maintenance is required for the 3DP1000?

The 3DP1000 is designed for ease of use and low maintenance. Read the full 3DP1000 maintenance guide here.

What is the CE compliant version 3DP1000?

The original 3DP1000 machine was designed to be fully compliant with domestic (USA) laws and regulations.  As 3DP expanded its sales to Europe, we had to make minor modifications to the machine to make it compliant with European statutory and regulatory requirements.  This resulted in a new generation of the 3DP1000.

How many different generations of 3DP1000 were made?

There were three (3) unique generations of 3DP1000 machine which were made.

While several changes were made within the design of each generation, it’s easiest to tell which specific generation a machine is by looking at the extruders on the machine:

  • Gen 1:  Single Extruder
  • Gen 2:  Front to Back Extruders
  • Gen 3:  Side by Side Extruders

As of Q2 2017, the WorkBench is discontinued.

We are leaving the FAQ section for this printer for the convenience of the customers of this machine.

This product is now generally referred to as the “WorkBench Classic”.

Can I upgrade my WorkBench?

Yes!

As a special thank you to our original customers, we have put together a very cost effective rebuild program that will tune-up your hardware and upgrade your electronics to the WorkSeries generation.  You can find more details on the ‘Rebuild Program’ page:

Rebuild Program

Please contact ” support <at> 3dplatform <dot> com ” for more details.

How big can I print on the WorkBench?

The WorkBench provides a build area of 1 meter x 1 meter x 0.5 meter (39.3″ x 39.3″ x 19.6″), that is more than 70 times more print area than average desktop 3D printer.

What is the print speed of the WorkBench?

The 3DP1000 can print up to 120 mm/sec. Speed is dependent on nozzle diameter and material type. You can decrease overall print time by using a bigger nozzle. For example, with the 1.2mm nozzle, the WorkBench can achieve up to 3 times more volumetric build rate.

What is the layer thickness and print accuracy of the WorkBench?

Layer thickness describes the thickness of a layer that the 3D printer can lay down in one pass. Print accuracy refers to the printer’s ability to lay down materials layer by layer without shift. The WorkBench is capable of layer resolution down to 70 microns (0.0027″). In general, the print accuracy is dependent upon the slice settings, the geometry of the print, print speed, and the quality of filament.

Under average conditions, the WorkBench can hold layer resolution of 100 microns with a well-tuned and calibrated printer configuration.

Please keep in mind – the actual layer resolution is a function of nozzle size.  The layer height chosen in the slicing software should typically be between 25% – 75% of the nozzle diameter.

Can I change the nozzles on the WorkBench? What nozzle sizes are available?

Yes. The WorkBench is open platform, and nozzles can be changed and upgraded by the user. Watch this quick video tutorial on how to change the nozzle, or contact us if you need support.

The standard dual extruder (“Volcano”) on the WorkBench comes with the 0.6 mm nozzle. Customers have the option to add 0.25 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.8 mm, and 1.2 mm nozzles to their order.

Other nozzle sizes may also be available.  Please contact our support team for more details:  support.3dplatform.com

What are the technical specifications of the WorkBench?

Read the full WorkBench technical specifications here.

— this link has been removed since the product is no longer for sale —

What phase outlet is required for the 220V printer? What type of plug does the printer use?

The 220v WorkBench uses single phase, 15A, 220v. The printer uses a 3-blade male plug, NEMA L6-15.

How much maintenance is required for the WorkBench?

The WorkBench is designed for ease of use and low maintenance.  Please see the maintenance section in your manual for full details.  If you no longer have your manual, please download one from our support page: https://support.3dplatform.com

What is the CE compliant version WorkBench?

All variations of the WorkBench [Classic] are CE compliant.

The CE CoC (Certificat of Conformance) is inside of the user manual.

How many different generations of WorkBench were made?

The WorkBench is 3DP’s 4th generation printer.   There was only a single generation of this machine produced.  Early in 2017, the WorkBench was superseded by the WorkSeries.

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