Prototyping Tips

  1. Submit your geometry in inches or millimeters...

    as indicated with your quote. If you encounter issues with the Stratasys Direct Express system saying your geometry is too large or too small, double-check your units of measure.

  2. Avoid nesting and/or treeing parts...

    (connecting parts not intended to be built together with thin branch-like structures). We discourage the submission of nested part files due to the limits it places on orienting the parts for best build results and allowing for removal of support material. These files may be rejected at our discretion, especially if they contain more than 10 items, the connectors are insufficient, or the orientation of the parts won’t work for the selected build style.

  3. Try reducing your geometry to one shell...

    as multiple shells typically indicate overlapping, "floating" or separated surfaces. If the design has more than one shell, locate the second shell and identify why it is not attached to the rest of the part. If sections of the design aren’t securely attached, the part may build separately or break during cleaning. Multiple shells may also signify that features are embedded rather than unified with the entirety of the part. Embedded features can cause double scanning of that section during the build, which may result in scarring. Another way of looking at this is to ensure that your STL files are closed and connected like a combinatorial surface (not self-intersecting). While small discrepancies may not impact the build of an STL file, every effort should be made to assure that endpoints of edges are adjoining.

  4. Become familiar with all materials and services available...

    You may find that there is another service better suited for your requirements.

    • PolyJet is ideal for smaller models – half the size of a shoebox or less. The PolyJet Blue material is best for fine feature detail and density.
    • Stereolithography is well suited for larger concept models with good accuracy. With excellent sidewall characteristics, SLA is ideal for form and fit studies and master patterns.
    • Laser Sintering produces rugged nylon parts that are heat and chemical resistant. Best for strong functional parts.
    • Fused Deposition Modeling is a 3D printing technology that builds parts up layer by layer by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament.
  5. Do not build artistic geometries with exceedingly fine or threadlike elements on extremities...

    extending beyond the model’s surface. PolyJet offers incredible fine feature detail but there ARE limits. If you look at your geometry and think you see a weak spot, chances are it is vulnerable (see standard minimum feature sizes in FAQ section).

  6. Don't wait until the last minute...

    Smaller parts uploaded early in the day have a higher likelihood of qualifying to build today. You'll be notified by our quoting system if your part qualifies for a same-day build.

  7. Be mindful of parts with extremely thin...

    (and no supports). Though PolyJet offers high resolution and fine feature detail, large sections built with exceedingly thin walls risk the chance of warping. Minimum recommended thickness is dependent on height and length of the feature.

  8. View your STL file before you purchase...

    By visualizing your geometry, you can catch those little mistakes and guarantee that your part will turn out exactly how you want. A FREE STL viewer is available from SolidView.com.

  9. Verify that none of your surfaces are turned inside out...

    by double checking your entire geometry.

  10. Stratasys Direct Express is a self-service prototype provider...

    If you would like 3D printing and advanced manufacturing services with expertise, turn to Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. With knowledgeable project engineers to help you through your prototyping process as well as an extensive line of material, technology and finishing options, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is sure to answer any of your advanced product development needs.

Welcome ZoomRP customers! Stratasys Direct Express offers all of the same services and shipping options you came to know and love from ZoomRP.com.

More Prototype Choices

  • Advanced Custom Rapid Prototyping
  • Short-Run Production
  • Tooling and Production Parts