Production Run Samples
We recommend that you print a test sample before going ahead with your full production run. These usually fall way under our minimum print order. If you are happy with that test sample and you order a production run over £500, we will refund the price of your test print that fell under our minimum order. This means your test samples will be free of charge.
Our minimum order is now the same minimum cost for production on either the Economy or Express Service.
Reduce lead times: with a predicted smaller number of orders we aim to be able to get your parts out earlier when possible.
Speed up response times: With less admin work for the smaller orders we aim to be able to get responses to your queries as soon as possible
Develop our services: We are always searching for that extra hour in the day to carry on working on the development of our services. We’re planning to roll out live order updates, client log in, order history, credit accounts and more.
What is staying the same?
Pricing: Our price per cm3 is remaining the same with economy at 10p and express at 20p per cm3 meaning the cost of your models will be the same.
SLS Printing with 3DPRINTUK
If you still have question about printing in SLS after reading our guide below, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
As of 2015 we now offer two different pricing systems for your 3D printing needs. Each system caters for a different type of model and we automatically default to the cheapest one for your model on both the automatic upload and the manual one so that you get the best possible price.
Structure 1: The XYZ Pricing Structure
Our original and favourite pricing structure. This is a simple calculation of the XYZ dimensions of the STL file with a 1mm bounding box added to each side to cover the spacing of the parts in the machine.
This pricing structure allows you to place multiple items into the same STL file. The closer you get them together, the cheaper you can make your model. Have a look here on how to nest like a pro.
You can even work it out yourself using our smartphone app without having started the design process!
How it works:
Factors that affect the price for our XYZ pricing structure are:
- The dimensions of the bounding box of the STL file
- The 1mm buffer around the edge
- The number of parts on the STL file
All we need is the XYZ dimensions of your. We add 2mm to each of the dimension (this makes the 1mm buffer around the edge) and then multiply the XYZ dimensions together. This is then multiplied by either the express of the economy rates to get a price.
To check the minimum part cost, we divide the total cost by the number of bodies on the file. If this number is lower than the minimum part cost, we default to the minimum part cost.
How Much And How Long?
- Express – 20p + vat per cm 3 – This is 2-4 working day lead time. 90% or orders will take 2 days, but we always allow 4 days in case of any problems that we may have during the print process. Express is exactly the same as economy, only you join the front of the queue and not the end.
- Economy – 10p + vat per cm 3 – This is an 8-10 working day lead time as an estimate. The process is exactly the same material and quality as express, only you join the back of the queue rather than the front. We print everything as quickly as we can, so it is likely is get to you before the estimate lead time, but please consider the lead time as it is stated.
Almost all parts are best suited to this other than large single/un-nested items with large voids, such as bowl shaped items and large hollow items.
- Multiple bodies in the one file.
- Can be extremely cheap for lots of small items.
- You can make the cost for the same parts cheaper by nesting them closer
- You don’t need to hollow out parts and make them weak to save money. Parts can be solid and strong!
- Does not work very well for large hollow items or bowl shaped items, for this we will use the Offset pricing structure.
Rules And Tips:
- Nested parts MUST be 1.5mm apart in every direction.
- Parts do not have to be nested, sometimes with square or cylindrical items it is cheaper to price individually.
- 1mm bounding box is added to the price to avoid parts touching in the printer.
- CHECK, then DOUBLE CHECK for overlapping parts as they WILL fuse in the print process.
Structure 2: The Offset Pricing Structure
We’ve always tried to keep our rates as competitive as possible, so, as of late 2015 we’ve added a secondary pricing structure to our business model in addition to our XYZ bounding box pricing – this we call ‘Offset pricing’. This pricing structure really favours large models with low material usage such as bowls, large electrical housings etc.
This works by offsetting the surface of the models by 3mm each way (to cover the material we cannot use) and then charging for the volume of material in the offset space. This is higher rate than the XYZ pricing, but you don’t pay for the ‘dead space’ which results in cheaper prints.
You must have a hole of at least 50mm for this to work. This is so we can fit parts inside the dead space and that they can be removed without getting trapped inside.
The price per cm 3 is more than the XYZ pricing, but you only get charged for the material you use and not the total XYZ dimensions of the model.
How it works:
Stage 1: You upload your model. We then check it to see if it will be cheaper on the offset pricing structure.
Stage 2: We offset all the outer surfaces by 3mm outwards and check for a gap larger than 50mm. If the gap is smaller than 50mm, it is unlikely that we can use the void in the middle for other parts so the XYZ pricing structure is used.
Stage 3: we remove the volume of the part from inside the offset volume
stage 4: We calculate the price by multiplying the volume of the offset by the tariff you want.
For models with holes less than 50mm:
For models with holes more than 50mm:
How Much And How Long?
- Express – 60p + vat per cm 3 – This is 2-4 working day lead time. 90% or orders will take 2 days, but we always allow 4 days in case of any problems that we may have during the print process. Express is exactly the same as economy, only you join the front of the queue and not the end.
- Economy – 30p + vat per cm 3 – This is an 8-10 working day lead time as an estimate. The process is exactly the same material and quality as express, only you join the back of the queue rather than the front. We print everything as quickly as we can, so it is likely is get to you before the estimate lead time, but please consider the lead time as it is stated.
Large items with large areas of void in them. These include big hollow objects (with openings greater than 50mm), bowls, vases, cases etc.
- Cheaper than XYZ pricing for some models
- Part orientation does not affect the cost.
- Hollow parts must have a hole greater than 50mm for this to work
- You cannot nest times like with the XYZ pricing
Rules And Tips:
- Only use one model in each STL file or it will be more expensive
- There must be a hole 50mm or larger in the file so we can get other parts in the void.
- Parts that do not have a hole that is 50mm could be cut into 2 sections and priced separately – this will be cheaper than the XYZ and we can get parts in the void.
Minimum Part Cost
We have recently slashed our minimum part cost from £2 + vat to 50p. This now means that you don’t have to sprue things up like you used to. We found that we were taking most of the orders off the sprue so we could get your orders into earlier prints to get your parts to you quicker. Now, with our massively reduced minimum part cost, you don’t need to sprue at all!
We have a minimum order amount to cover the admin and man hours that go into each individual order.
The minimum order on Economy is £40+VAT and shipping.
The minimum order on Express is £40+VAT and shipping.
We offer a variety of postage options for both domestic and international shipping.
Standard 1-3 days – £6.00
Social Postage 1-3 days – £6.00 Refunded if used on Social Media.
International 3-5 days (no tracking) – £12.00*
International 3-5 days Europe Tracked – £24.00*
International 3-5 days ROW Tracked – £45*
Special Delivery Next Day 1pm – £12.00
Social Postage Next Day 1pm – £12.00 Refunded if used on Social Media.
International 1-2 days Europe Tracked – £ Price On Request *
International 1-3 days ROW Tracked – £ Price On Request *
* PLEASE NOTE: due to orders regularly being held in customs we cannot guarantee these lead times. Lead times are based on estimates provided by the couriers, though in our experience, if all the documentation is not filled in correctly, these lead times can take considerably longer. If you do not fill in your details correctly on our upload and quote systems this is likely to be the result!