Can you repair meshes?

Yes, we can check and correct faulty meshes. Sometimes it carries an extra charge, which is dependant on the number of errors in your mesh, and the time it takes to fix the model ready for printing.
If you have a problem with a file, please let us know and we will try and help. A typical example of this would be for printing architectural models when you have tight dealines and you need some expert help.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes we do, anywhere you need. International shipping charges will apply.

What is the typical despatch time?

It depends on the size of your model, which technology you choose to print it, how much post processing is involved and our workload at the time of ordering. Typically you can expect a model to be despatched within 8-10 days from receipt of order for our Standard Service. If your model is urgent then please let us know when you request your quote and we will prioritise it. Our Premium Service will take as little as 3 days to ship at an additional 30% fee.

Do I have to pay VAT?

If you are inside the European Union (EU) and you are an individual you will have to pay value added tax (or VAT) on top of the quoted prices. The current rate of VAT is 23%. If you run a business within the EU (excluding the UK) and you are VAT registered you will qualify for zero rate VAT as long as you can supply a valid VAT registration number including the country code.

Outside the EU there is no VAT charge.

Can I cancel once I have placed my order?

It depends on where your model is in the manufacturing process. If we have started producing the model or we have started repairing your mesh then cancellation may incur a charge. If we have not carried out any processing then cancellation may be possible at no charge. Please email [email protected] as soon as possible if you need to cancel an order and we will let you know whether it is possible without a cancellation fee.

How much does shipping cost?

For domestic orders, the usual ELTA pricelist applies.

If you require a faster and more secure way to receive your models, ACS Courier service will cost an additional 5 for orders up to 100. Domestic orders above €100 will be shipped free of charge.


For international shipping a typical example would be a 250g package to the USA would cost 20.00 for a 15 day delivery or 30.00 for a 4 day delivery. International orders will automatically receive free shipping when above €300 and €450 respectively. Please contact us for further price information on International shipping to where you live.

What colours are possible?

All 3d models can be printed in the following colours: ivory, white, black, red, olive green, nectarine, fluorescent yellow, blue and gray.

What is support material?

During the 3D printing process the part being printed needs to be supported. In Z Corp it is supported by removable powder, in Objet it is removed by a jet wash and in Dimension technology it is dissolved.

Do I need a BuildBytes account to buy something?

Yes. If you are buying something from the BuildBytes Store and you don't have a BuildBytes account yet that's ok, we'll create one for you during the checkout process. It's free to create a BuildBytes account.

What size or price restrictions are there?

The minimum volume for your product is 1cc. You'll receive an error message if the volume of your model is below 1cc.
The minimum total size for 3D printed objects is 1cm X 1cm X 1cm, and you will get a warning message if one side of your object is less than 1cm.

The minimum surface thickness is 1mm and we will not be able to process your order if one side of your object is less than 1mm thick.
As a general rule, try to keep objects bigger than 1cm in all directions and thicker than 1mm at all places.


The maximum single-piece size restriction is 203 x 203 x 305 mm (8" x 8" x 12"). Objects larger than the building envelope can be automatically splitted and 3d printed into 2 or more pieces and then strongly glued back together with little or no visible signs of seams. Seams are software generated and allow us to build big custom parts otherwise not possible.

 

Minimum order for prototypes is fixed at €100. Orders costing less than that amount will be upwards rounded to €100 plus shipping (plus VAT where applicable) due to the minimum fixed per session unavoidable operation costs. This kind of rounding will be communicated through our quote to you prior to 3d printing.

There is no minimum order for the BuildBytes Store.

How does the process work?

3D printing works by converting a 3D digital design into thin cross sections that are determined by the printer software. This information is then sent to the machine where it starts to deposit material layer by layer, thus creating a 3-Dimensional object. This process is called Additive layer manufacturing. For a more detailed explanation of the process please visit our 3D Printing page.

I don't want to use the website to request a quote, what can I do instead?

Using our SSL certified uploading platform is the fastest and more secure way to communicate your projects to BuildBytes with industry standard 256-bit encryption. You can rest assured your private details are safe with us. However if you want to use another way, that's no problem, just email your enquiry to [email protected] and attach your file(s) to the email. If your file(s) are over 10Mb then please use any free file upload service like Rapidshare or YouSendit where you can upload up to 100Mb. Alternatively give us a call on +30 2413 013030 to discuss your project.

How can I pay?

You can pay by credit card, PayPal, Skrill, Google Wallet, paysafecard and bank transfer or if you are a business customer we can open a business account for you after your first order has been processed on a pro-forma basis. After this you will be invoiced after each job.

Can I pay by invoice or cheque?

Yes, if you are a business customer we can set up an account for you after your first order has been processed and you will then be invoiced after each job.
If you wish to pay for a one off job by cheque please email us at [email protected] and we can arrange for your job to be processed once the cheque has been cleared.

Do you do discounts for higher volumes?

When we calculate the price of a model, we take into account the quantity requested, we will look at the volume of material used and the time it takes to print and post process your model and send you a quote. If you want to increase the quantity ordered we will re-calculate the price and in most cases higher volume mean lower prices.

We actively encourage 3D printing for production items and will ensure discount prices apply accordingly.

Why use 3D Printing?

The reasons for using a 3D printer is that you can create a 3D model of your Computer Aided Design without the need for tooling or specialist programming skills. You can choose from a variety of materials, and different resolutions to suit your application.
With the increased use of CAD many designers are either having a small scaled model made before production tooling is ordered to ensure the integrity of the design, or full size models to show their customers, to ensure they are going to be happy with the size, shape and form of a new design.
3D printing machines are optimised for speed, relative low cost and ease of use which makes them suitable for visualising designs during the conceptual stages of your design when properties such as mechanical strength is less important.
Colour can be introduced to a model in 2 ways, you can colour or render your model in CAD and export a VRML model, or you can send us an STL file and a document to show us the colours which we can then apply in our software.

Which file formats do you accept?

Our preferred file format is STL, which stands for Standard Triangulation Language, but the following monochrome file formats can also be accepted:

.3DS | .OBJ | .PLY | .MAX | .DAE | .FBX

If you only have .STEP or .IGES files we can bring them into a CAD program and do a conversion for you but this takes extra time and slows down the quoting process.

I don't have a 3D digital model, can you still give me a price?

We now have a new service to help people who don't have CAD. We can convert your 2D drawings or sketches to printable 3D CAD files. Just upload your jpeg files using our Uploader and we will reply with both a 3d modeling and a 3d printing price. We look forward to helping you get your 3D designs printed.

How can I easily convert a 3D file to a format supported by your website?

We advise you to export your 3D file from your 3D software in one of the supported formats. You can also download and use a free 3D software from here: Meshlab

When I upload a 3D model to the site, textures and colours are sometimes missing: how can I make them appear?

When you upload your 3D file in certain formats, for instance .obj, you should include colours, textures and the 3D model in a .zip / .rar archive. To upload your 3D model to the site, you must then select the .zip/ .rar file on your computer.

Why do some designs require fixing before they can be made?

When you upload a design to our gallery, you may find that some geometric issues prevent it from being built without modifications. The most common reason is that the design does not unambiguously represent a solid object. Another possibility is that some parts are too thin to be synthesized.
Many 3D software modelling tools currently available focus on creating models for rendering and animation. Most of the time, this type of software does not require the object to be solid and only represents its surface. This information is sometimes insufficient to reconstruct a solid object solely based on the 3D design.
If possible, our software tools will attempt to automatically fix the design. The design may be reviewed for correctness in the gallery at any time. However, some issues require manual editing by the designer. A quick overview of potential issues you may encounter is presented below, along with tips on how to correct them.

    Borders and holes

    A design may contain surfaces with borders, that do not enclose a volume. These surfaces have no thickness and therefore cannot be constructed. Sometimes, small holes prevent the surfaces from being 'watertight'.
    This issue may be fixed either by simply removing the problematic surfaces, by extruding them (via the "push/pull" or "displace" tool of your 3D modelling software), or by filling the gaps.

    Incorrect orientation

    In most 3D modelling applications, surfaces are oriented to have a "heads" side and a "tails" side. When the surface is closed, this orientation is used to define the inside and outside of the enclosed volume. Sometimes, the entire surface is not oriented consistently, and does not clearly separate the inside from the outside of the object.
    Most of the time, this issue is fixed by flipping the problematic facets. However, some surfaces cannot be oriented consistently (such as the Moebius strip or the Klein bottle). To build these kinds of objects, their surface must be cut open and thickened via extrusion.

    Singular points or edges

    When designing a 3D model, some operations may produce ambiguous surfaces that connect to each other on a single shared point or edge. These singularities mean you cannot determine which volumes are enclosed by those surfaces.
    This issue may be fixed by duplicating the singular points or edges until the surfaces are disconnected from each other. The duplicated points or edges may reside in the same location, but each surface must have its own copy.

My file is in .obj format: how can I make colours and textures appear?

For this particular format, you must attach, along with the .obj model, the indexation file for colours and textures (..mtl), the texture files (image formats .jpg, .png, .gif or others) and include them together in a zip archive.
It's this .zip that you have to upload to the website.
So .zip = .obj + .mtl + .jpg (or other picture formats).

Applications

    Can I paint my objects if I order them in white?
    Yes, you can paint your objects. Different types of paint can be used: bi-component polyurethane, epoxy... Using a spray will make application easier.
    For a raw aspect: spray paint directly.
    For a smooth aspect: it’s best to apply a coat of polyurethane primer, sand the surface, then spray paint.
    In both cases, the items must be clean (wash with water).


    Are the materials you use suitable for engraving or tapping?
    Yes, they are.

What software should I use if I’m a beginner in 3D design?

- Google provides a free, easy to use application called Google Sketchup. This tool allows you to design everything you want in 3D, through an intuitive interface, and offers free 3D models for download.

- Wings 3D is another free 3D application; the website has a forum, which is very useful to find answers to all your questions.

- Blender is available for free, but targets a more experienced audience.

- Newcomer Sculptris works like you are sculpting directly from clay.

- Make Human is a free specialized in human body 3D designs and lets you play with all body and face details. Amazing!

- GLC Player is a free application which allows you to easily view 3D models. It’s lighter than regular modelling software so comes in handy when you just need to quickly check a 3D model before uploading it to BuildBytes (are the materials properly linked to the model ? Are the textures in the right place? Has the model changed before and after the export?). GLC Player also lets you categorize 3D models into albums (like you would with a photo album).

Is the price of my items getting lower if I hollow it out? Why do my hollow and full objects cost the same?

Unfortunately, raw material is not the only element charged in the 3D printing technology! As we want to offer a good service at a low price we planned out a price strategy that takes into account:

    The real quantity of material used for the final objects
    The whole quantity of material used for the manufacturing process
    The time that takes the machine for the manufacturing process
    The time spent to manufacture, control the quality and pack up your order

Such process prevents from overtaxing orders in order to make up the wastes we could have with other customers; we are trying to be as fair as possible.

This might seem complicated but don’t worry, the price is automatically calculated. All you have to do is  upload your item to get a quotation.
You can also contact us if you need some advice on how to reduce the price of your project.

  • Film FX + 3D Printing

  • Conceptual Design + 3D Printing

  • Furniture Industry + 3D Printing

  • Fashion Industry + 3D Printing

  • Marketing Purposes + 3D Printing

  • Toy Design + 3D Printing


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