3dHubs new guidelines--can the Form 2 meet them?

A few days ago, 3dHubs (a large crowdsourcing 3D printing-service site) released updated SLA guideslines. Basically, anyone who wishes to sell on 3DHubs must meet these guidelines, and as this is a large site, it potentially affects a lot people.

Here they are:

  • Dimensional accuracy: ±0.15 mm or 0.5% depending on which is greater.
  • Curing of parts: all parts must be thoroughly cured, without any leftover uncured resin on the final print.
  • Support removal: deliver all parts with supports removed, minimal requirement is sanded down support nibs.

Obviously the last two are part of the normal process, but the first one is what I’m curious about. I looked around but really didn’t find anywhere the tolerance of the Form 2. Can it hold the 0.5% they ask for? And if not, is that a fault of the printer, or is 3DHubs being too picky?

I believe it is well within that for tolerances. My Form1+ been able to keep parts within .001" and .15mm is around .005"? I would assume the Form2 is at least that if not better than the form1+ with it’s small feature size.

Personally I thought about 3d hubs but shied away from it since there were quite a few people here that didnt think it was worth the effort for the cost of the prints, failures due to poor customer models and general competition driving final costs down. Maybe things have changed?

You are the owner of the hub and you decide to accept or reject requests. If you reviewed the model and found out that it is not good for printing, inform your client or simply reject it.

That’s an interesting requirement. I think it’s incomplete, hard to measure, and probably not what is needed. Shrinkage / expansion and warping can affect the usefulness of the end part. You can’t inspect quality back in! Maybe they are imposing that as a yardstick to throw out some really bad machines and print bureaus.

Shrinkage and warpage do fall under the accuracy requirement. The requirement is a deviation from CAD and not just basic measurements. Applying this to materials that can move around (flex and durable) is not exatly ideal.

I do sell print time on 3D hubs but it’s absolutely not a business for me. If I want to idle the hub I shut it down. If I start getting too many orders I bump the price up. For me it’s just another way to pay for the machine and keep my materials fresh.

I was happy to see the addition of support materials to the cost structure. The old way of adding support costs after the person sends a model was a joke.

Geez, is 3D Hubs trying to make it a pain for printers (aka sellers) like eBay? Buying on eBay is easy, selling on eBay is a PITA.

Let competition separate the good sellers from the bad sellers. The bad ones will drop off. My guess is that 3D Hubs is tired of getting complaints and having to deal with them.

I’ve been thinking of joining 3D Hubs; but I haven’t put enough thought into pricing and services offered yet. The absolute last thing I want to do is sand down nibs before shipping a product.

I’ve been using 3DHubs for a year now with my form 2 and I’m at the point of stopping my service over there. It just isn’t much fun anymore.

They change things on their website on the fly without informing you upfront. You suddenly notice a drop in orders and then you find out they changed something.

Yes, you review orders and can then accept and reject them. But when you do reject orders because the model is bad, it will affect your rating. Their software does automated checks on models and gives you the impression that it’s calculations are good: don’t count on it. You have to check everything manually.

Then you have this system where you are expected to respond 24/7. If you got an order in the middle of the night and you respond in the morning: it will affect your rating and some customers even cancel orders because they expected a response in 10 minutes.

The idea of 3DHubs is/was really good, but they’ve grown and expect high quality parts, shipped in 24hr or so for a very cheap price and they take 12.5% for it.

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I just finished corresponding with 3Dhubs to list my Form 2, and they tell me they aren’t accepting any more SLA printers into their network due to a glut. But after reading their ‘Terms and Conditions’ and SLA ‘Printing Guidelines’ they provided me; I came to the conclusion that 3Dhubs and I wouldn’t be a good fit for each other. I consider both to be too restrictive, and their commission too much.

3Dhubs reminds me of eBay, Cafepress, Etsy, Shapeways, and so many more websites using that business model in that a few people actually make money and possibly a decent living; but most rarely if ever see a dime for their efforts.

3D hubs wants to grow and needs to find ways to do so. They are becoming a company that is in the front end not different from shapeways or any other prototyping company, but in the back end the don’t have any machines. However they take a large chunk of profit for little work.

I guess there is room for more services that go back to the way 3dhubs used to be and maybe this is something that can be done in combination with formlabs? They already have pinshape, so why not combine this with a world wide network of formlabs machines?

The biggest issue that I have with the new tolerance scheme is that it doesn’t take into account the layer thickness. Asking to be extremely accurate on a part that is printed at 100 microns is just plain stupid.

This could all go away if they would split the accuracy into two groups. Industrial/high accuracy and Art/lower accuracy. Lump all of the printers into one of the two groups and you’re done. If a customer that needs a highly accurate industrial part picks a lower accuracy service that’s on them.

Simple problem with a simple fix.

Edit: I doubt that Formlabs will want to deal with holding money for prints or any tax issues that might arise. Maybe working out something with Paypal embedded in Pinshape would work.

I agree, but what I mean is that they could work with another company that hosts a site similar like 3DHubs and integrate pinshape into it.