3D printers are amazing tools that let you make almost any kind of physical object you can think of (or at least design in a 3D modeling program). The one downside? They’re stupidly expensive, and you probably can’t justify the cost. Fortunately, you don’t need to own one to print your own stuff—there are many services that’ll do it for you.
3D打印机是出色的工具，可让您制作几乎可以想到的任何种类的物理对象(或至少在3D建模程序中进行设计)。 一个缺点？ 它们非常昂贵，而且您可能无法证明其合理性 。 幸运的是，您不需要拥有一个就可以打印自己的东西，有许多服务可以为您完成。
There are plenty of reasons you might want to 3D print something, but few that justify owning one. You could print anything from a custom GPS mount for your bike to Dungeons & Dragons miniatures to wearable armor for your next Star Wars cosplay. Unless you’ll be printing a ton of stuff on the regular, though, none of them are worth the hundreds you’d need to spend for a 3D printer (or the thousands you’d spend on a really good one).
To help people like you who want to print stuff but don’t want to shell out a ton of money for the privilege, services like Shapeways, Kraftwurx, Ponoko, and 3D Hubs have made 3D printing accessible even if you don’t own your printer. Some offer stores of 3D models that you can print directly, or you can upload models you made yourself or found online. Each service is a little different, so we’ll go through each one and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
Shapeways可让您以吨材料形式购买3D打印，或上载自己的材料 (Shapeways Lets You Shop for 3D Prints in a Ton of Materials, or Upload Your Own)
Shapeways is one of the biggest and most versatile 3D print shops around. The company has a substantial community of 3D modelers and designers that upload their creations for anyone to buy. You can head to the Shapways Shop to find jewelry, phone cases, Raspberry Pi parts, tabletop game accessories, and tons more. The models you find there are designed to print without problems, and each model is checked by Shapeways employees to make sure they’re structurally sound. Printable 3D models need to be made with extra care to ensure that the pieces are thick enough to not break, and avoid a host of other problems that most of us won’t think about. Some models like keychains and pendants are even customizable, so you can add your name or personal message.
Shapeways是周围最大，用途最广泛的3D打印商店之一。 该公司拥有大量的3D建模者和设计师社区，他们可以上传自己的作品供任何人购买。 您可以前往Shapways商店查找珠宝 ， 电话盒 ， Raspberry Pi零件 ， 台式游戏配件等等。 您在这里找到的模型被设计为可以毫无问题地打印，并且每一个模型都经过Shapeways员工的检查，以确保它们的结构合理。 可打印的3D模型需要格外小心，以确保零件足够厚而不破裂，并避免许多我们大多数人都不会想到的其他问题。 有些模型甚至可以定制， 例如钥匙扣和吊坠 ，因此您可以添加姓名或个人信息。
You can also get prints in a variety of materials. If you’ve ever seen something that was 3D printed, it was probably plastic. Shapeways offers prints in steel, bronze, brass, silver, gold, wax, porcelain, aluminum, and several types of plastic. Not every model is available in every kind of material, of course. Some models will print fine in plastic, but would fall apart if made in metal or porcelain. Still, it’s awesome to get a set of stainless steel gaming dice without buying a printer.
您还可以获取各种材料的印刷品。 如果您曾经看过3D打印的东西，那可能是塑料的。 Shapeways提供钢，青铜，黄铜，银，金，蜡，瓷器，铝和几种塑料的印刷品。 当然，并非每种型号都有每种材料。 某些型号的塑料可以很好地打印，但是如果用金属或瓷器制成则会分崩离析。 不过，不用购买打印机就能获得一套不锈钢游戏骰子还是很棒的。
3D prints from Shapeways are made-to-order. Since the company uses industrial-grade printers that can make hundreds of models at once, prices are relatively low for what you’re getting. For simple, plastic prints, you can spend as little as $10 for basic figurines. Even some metal jewelry or trinkets can be as low as $25, though metal is obviously more costly than plastic. In general, the bigger the print, the more expensive it will be. However, you’ll have to go for something pretty big to rival the cost of buying a 3D printer that can print in a comparable quality.
If you can’t find a model for something you want on Shapeways, you can upload your own. However, things get trickier when you do this. For example, you can find 3D models on sites like TurboSquid, but those aren’t necessarily going to be designed for printing. Sites like Thingiverse offer models designed for 3D printing, but they don’t undergo testing for printability. You may still find that a design you uploaded has walls that are too thin, or won’t print properly. That’s fine if you’re used to 3D modeling yourself, but for amateurs, you may run into problems. To help deal with this problem, Shapeways offers a directory where you can hire a designer. Obviously, this will be more costly than finding a ready-made print, but if you really need a professional’s opinion, you can find one in Shapeways’ community.
如果在Shapeways上找不到想要的模型，则可以上载自己的模型。 但是，执行此操作时会变得比较棘手。 例如，您可以在TurboSquid之类的网站上找到3D模型，但是这些3D模型不一定要设计用于打印。 诸如Thingiverse之类的网站提供了专为3D打印而设计的模型，但它们并未经过可打印性测试。 您可能仍然会发现，您上传的设计的壁太薄或无法正确打印。 如果您习惯自己进行3D建模，那很好，但是对于业余爱好者，您可能会遇到问题。 为了帮助解决此问题，Shapeways提供了一个目录，您可以在其中雇用设计师。 显然，这比找到现成的印刷品要贵得多，但是如果您确实需要专业人士的意见，可以在Shapeways的社区中找到一个。
Speaking of which, Shapeways’ primary advantage over other services on this list are its community. Whether you’re looking for a ready-made model or need help making something custom, you can probably find someone to help. Shapeways also offers some of the best prices around for individual prints. Many 3D printing companies are aimed at printing large quantities of products for small companies and are priced to match, leaving their services outside the reach of the average person. Shapeways is one of the few that let the average person place a one-off order for a cheap doodad without emptying their wallet.
说到这一点，Shapeways相对于此列表中其他服务的主要优势是其社区。 无论您是要寻找现成的模型，还是需要帮助定制一些东西，您都可以找到需要帮助的人。 Shapeways还为个别印刷品提供一些最优惠的价格。 许多3D打印公司的目标是为小公司打印大量产品，并且其价格与之匹配，从而使他们的服务超出了普通人的承受范围。 Shapeways是少数几个让普通人一次性订购便宜的daodad而不清空钱包的产品之一。
Kraftwurx is also worth mentioning alongside Shapeways, as the two have a very similar business model. Kraftwurx has a wider selection of materials than Shapeways, but it doesn’t have as robust of a community. For 3D modelers, their tools are a little clumsier. However, if you just want to search for a model and print it straight away and can’t find it on Shapeways, Kraftwurx is worth a look.
3D集线器找到可以进行项目的本地打印机 (3D Hubs Finds Local Printers That Can Make Your Project)
Most people don’t need to buy a 3D printer, but many people who drop thousands of dollars on a high-quality 3D printer do it so they can start a business selling prints to other people. 3D Hubs helps you find those individuals or small businesses near you that can make whatever you want. Though “near” is a relative term. 3D Hubs will look for printers halfway across the country if it needs to in order to find a good printer, but it’ll probably be closer than ordering from a manufacturing facility in Europe.
大多数人不需要购买3D打印机，但是许多人在购买高质量3D打印机时投入了数千美元，因此他们可以开始从事将打印品出售给他人的业务。 3D集线器可帮助您找到附近的个人或小型企业，他们可以根据您的需求做出任何事情。 尽管“附近”是相对术语。 3D集线器将在全国范围内寻找打印机，如果需要的话，它会找到一台好的打印机，但它可能比从欧洲的制造工厂订购打印机要近。
The upshot of 3D Hubs is that you can shop around. Some of the “hubs” (as each printer is called) on the site are little more than an experienced enthusiast who owns their own printer. Others are small companies with bigger production facilities that can handle more complicated requests. You can compare prices and services from dozens of different companies to see who can give you the best price and quality print.
3D集线器的优点是您可以货比三家。 网站上的某些“枢纽”(称为每个打印机)仅是拥有自己打印机的经验丰富的爱好者而已。 其他公司则是具有较大生产设施的小型公司，可以处理更复杂的要求。 您可以比较数十家不同公司的价格和服务，以了解谁能为您提供最佳的价格和质量的打印。
The downside is that 3D Hubs itself doesn’t offer much in the way of quality control. Unlike Shapeways, no one at 3D Hubs looks at your model to make sure it’s print-ready and doesn’t have any major flaws. A computer scans the file for basic errors, but there’s no human in the loop to make sure it works. The Hub you hire to do the print should do that job, but quality can hypothetically vary from one company to another. It’s a bit like shopping on Etsy. You’ll probably get a good product, but there’s always a chance you’ll get something that’s garbage.
缺点是3D集线器本身在质量控制方面没有提供太多帮助。 与Shapeways不同，3D Hubs的人都不会看着您的模型以确保其可打印，并且没有任何重大缺陷。 计算机会扫描文件中的基本错误，但是循环中没有人来确保它可以正常工作。 您雇用进行打印的集线器可以完成此工作，但是假设每个公司的质量可能会有所不同。 这有点像在Etsy上购物。 您可能会获得优质的产品，但是总会有机会得到垃圾。
Fortunately, in the event you get a print you’re not happy with, 3D Hubs offers a money-back guarantee. While you pay 3D Hubs when you place your order, the printer you hire doesn’t get that money until you receive your item and indicate you’re happy with it. This is a pretty strong incentive for printers to make sure they get it right the first time.
幸运的是，如果您收到不满意的打印件，则3D Hubs提供退款保证。 当您在下订单时向3D集线器付款时，您租用的打印机要等到收到您的物品并表示对它满意后才能得到这笔钱。 对于打印机确保第一次安装正确，这是一个很强的动力。
You also don’t get the same kind of community from 3D Hubs that you’ll find with a site like Shapeways and, to a lesser extent, Kraftwurx. However, you can browse Thingiverse to find a ton of ready-made models. When you find a model you like, you can use Thingiverse’s “apps” to send the model to 3D Hubs and find a printer in your area.
3D Hubs’ real strength is its speedy delivery times. Services like Shapeways and Kraftwurx make all their prints in just a couple central facilities and ship everywhere in the world. 3D Hubs, on the other hand, coordinates a network of hundreds of printing companies all over the world. You can find a printer in your country or even in your state that has a much lower workload and can hopefully make your order faster than one of the bigger services. Some printers even let you come pick up your order if you live close enough. If you need a print in a hurry and want to support local businesses, 3D Hubs is the way to go.
3D集线器的真正优势在于其快速的交货时间。 诸如Shapeways和Kraftwurx之类的服务仅通过几个中央设施即可制作其所有照片，并在世界各地运送。 另一方面，3D集线器可协调全球数百家印刷公司的网络。 您可以在您所在的国家甚至您所在州找到一台打印机，它的工作量要低得多，并且有望使您的订购比大型服务之一更快。 如果您住得足够近，有些打印机甚至会让您来接您的订单。 如果您急需打印件并希望为本地企业提供支持，那么3D集线器是您的不二之选。
从Sculpteo获取批量3D打印(和激光切割) (Get Bulk 3D Printing (and Laser Cutting) From Sculpteo)
If you’re a designer or artist, nothing feels quite as good as selling something you made yourself. Sculpteo is a 3D printing service that rides the line between professional and consumer-level printing that’s perfect for anyone who’s just starting out. If you found a model on sites like Thingiverse that you want to print, you can upload it to Sculpteo and get comparable prices to sites like Shapeways. However, you can also order your models in bulk.
For a single print, Sculpteo works a lot like Shapeways. You can upload a model, the software will do a few automatic checks to make sure there are no obvious errors, and then you can see how much it will cost for a print. Sculpteo’s prices are somewhat comparable to Shapeways, but they can be more expensive for certain materials or bigger builds.
对于单一印刷品，Sculpteo的工作方式与Shapeways非常相似。 您可以上载模型，软件将进行一些自动检查以确保没有明显的错误，然后您可以查看打印将要花费多少。 Sculpteo的价格在某种程度上可以与Shapeways相提并论，但是对于某些材料或更大的产品，它们的价格可能更高。
Where Sculpteo really shines is in bulk printing. Say you want to design a simple necklace or keychain, print off a couple dozen, paint them, and sell them to your friends. You’re not starting a Fortune 500 company or anything, but you’d like to make something unique to make a few extra bucks on the side. Sculpteo will scale your per-unit price down the more you order. If you order ten units, you’ll get a little bit of a discount. Order a hundred and you’ll get a bigger discount. For larger orders, Sculpteo also gives you special tools like Batch Control that let you tweak the order to save the most money and maximize your profits.
Sculpteo真正发挥作用的地方是批量印刷。 假设您要设计一条简单的项链或钥匙扣，打印几打，上漆，然后卖给您的朋友。 您不是要创办一家财富500强公司或其他任何公司，但您想做点独特的事情，可以多赚一些钱。 Sculpteo将根据您的订购量减少单位价格。 如果订购十个单位，您将获得一点折扣。 订购一百个，您将获得更大的折扣。 对于较大的订单，Sculpteo还为您提供了诸如批处理控制之类的特殊工具，可让您调整订单以节省最多的钱并最大程度地提高利润。
Sculpteo also offers laser cutting, which opens up a bunch of new options. If you’re a designer that’s not great at 3D designs, you can get your 2D designs cut into acrylics, cardboard, plywood, and several other materials. With this service, you could make customized picture frames, key chains, or even cut your own Arduino robot arm kit. Again, you can order a single object just for yourself, or you can get several laser cut items and sell them.
If you’ve never touched a 3D printed or laser cut object before, it’s probably best to start with just one print—and maybe even look at sites like Shapeways or 3D Hubs first—but if you’re ready to branch out and maybe even make a little money from your hobby, Sculpteo is a great way to step up your game.