762 × 393 × 393 mm (Bronzed-Silver, Bronze, Black)
178 × 178 × 178 mm (Gold, Nickel)
Your model should be within the minimum and maximum bounding box sizes. The maximum bounding box represents the largest model that that we can manufacture. The minimum bounding box size is the smallest dimension in which we can manufacture in this material.
Min Supported Wall Thickness
Min Unsupported Wall Thickness
A supported wall is connected on at least two sides. Walls in your model must meet the minimum measurements to ensure it survives the printing and cleaning process. Thin walls are prone to warping during printing and are fragile to clean. Objects that meet the minimum requirements may still be rejected based on the geometry in which case our production team will communicate with you if the design needs improvements and can assist you to strengthen your model. The minimum wall thickness may vary by length and can be checked using the 3D Tools for a given model.
Min Supported Wires
Min Unsupported Wires
A geometry is considered a wire when it's thinner in both unconnected directions than its length. Wires that are under our suggested minimums are prone to breaking in the cleaning process, or warping.
Min embossed detail
1.0 mm high & wide mm thick
Min engraved detail
1.0 mm high & wide mm thick
We recommend these minimum measurements for details like embossing or engraving, based off of printer resolution.
Although 0.2mm details will show up in this material, we find that text raised at least 0.5 mm shows up most clearly. If you want crisper text or embossed details, try bumping the thickness up to 0.5 mm.
Single Escape Hole Diameter
Multiple Escape Hole Diameter
Pressurized air is used to blast excess powder from models that are hollow, or contain hollow cavities. In order for us to safely do this, escape holes need to be larger than 4.0 mm in diameter. For models larger than 50.00 mm³ we require two or more escape holes at least 2.00 mm in diameter.
A single escape hole at the end of a cavity will not allow material in the corners near the escape hole to fully escape. So we recommend multiple escape holes at both ends of the cavity.
INTERLOCKING AND ENCLOSED PARTS ?
Steel is printed by depositing a liquid binder onto a bed of steel powder one layer at a time. The product is then removed from the printer and infused with bronze. While the product is being transferred from the printer to the infusion chamber, it exists in a delicate "green state" which does not support interlocking parts.
We cannot print Steel parts with sprues. Any part with sprues will be rejected.
Since sprues are inherently thin by design, Bronze will not be able to be infiltrated between parts that are sprued and the model will fail in production.
The bronze infiltration of each steel part makes this material less dimensionally accurate than other Shapeways materials. Shrinkage is more prevalent, especially on small holes and inner diameters. Accuracy and tolerance can vary greatly depending on the model, and are hard to predict because they are so geometry specific.
A 5% deviation on a ring is around 1 US ring size. So if you order a size 6, the deviation could cause the actual print to be a size 5 or 7.
Print Lines or "Stepping"
A "staircase" effect, or print lines, can occur on the surface of your print. These can become more pronounced on curved and angled surfaces.
The way that bronze infiltrates the steel can vary, and this changes the color of your product. If there is a higher concentration of Bronze near the surface, it will take on more of Bronze's deep brown color over steel's gray color. For a visual of this variation, see the FAQ section.
Sandcastle Rule: If this structure was made of wet sand, would it break?
There's a part in the production process for stainless steel 3D printing during which the model is fragile and brittle. It's basically like wet sand. When you design, ask yourself this question: if I made this out of wet sand or brittle clay, could I lift the design without it breaking? If the answer is "no," then your design might break in production.
Nickel and Gold Finishes Can Wear Through
Matte Gold, Polished Gold, and Polished Nickel Steel go through an electroplating process that deposits a 100 micron layer on the outside of the product. This gives them a unique finish and is great for aesthetic purposes, but will wear off on functional products that are exposed to friction.
Some people may have a nickel allergy, so we do not recommend using the Polished Nickel finish for wearable items, particularly jewelry. Shapeways Steel is not completely corrosion-resistant and may tarnish.
Small Engraved Details and Sharp Corners
Steel products are tumbled with a corn polishing media to smooth out their surface. If your product has small engraved details or sharp corners, this polishing media may get stuck. To avoid this issue, make your engraved details over 2mm wide and avoid sharp corners.
Too Delicate or Large for Polishing
Products larger than 150 x 150 x 150 mm and products with particularly thin features or details will undergo bead blasting instead of the regular polishing process in order to avoid breakage. This may lead to a rougher and less consistent finish than usual.
Models containing a liquid holding cavity that are difficult to fully dry run the risk of corrosion and cannot be plated.