3D Printing

Hidden Creative offers 3D printing.  There are some things that you need to understand before you submit something for us to print for you.  First understand the types of material that we can print in.

  • PLA (best for low cost and prototyping)
  • PETG (best for low cost and durability) <- Our favorite and what we recommend.
  • ABS (best for functional, strong, and low-detail parts)
  • Standard Resin (best for visual models and figurines)

PETG is a perfect fit between PLA and ABS.  PLA is very easy to sand, but does not hold up will to abuse or heat.  PLA has been known to distort its shape if left in the car in the summer time heat.  It can also break easily. PETG is easy to sand and finish and is significantly more durable than PLA.  It withstands more abuse and will not warp/distort as easily as PLA because it can withstand higher heat.  ABS is harder to sand and finish and will take more time to get to the final stages and paint.  ABS is very durable and will withstand heat.

If you would like to get a basic idea of what it would cost to have your model 3D printed follow the instructions below to complete the project calculator.  Before you start, this calculator assumes you have a slicer installed.  Slicers are programs that take an .stl file and convert it to gcode for use by a 3D printer.  You do not need a 3D printer to use a slicer.  You can download CURA for free.  Install the slicer and import your .stl file to get some of information you will need, such as the filament length and weight that will be used.

  1. Select your material (PETG is recommended, see above)
  2. Set the diameter to 1.75mm
  3. Set the length to what is displayed in your slicing software
  4. Set the weight to what is displayed in your slicing software
  5. You can search Amazon for PETG and get a price per roll (usually 2.2kg rolls are around $25), and enter the price
  6. Material cost will be calculated and displayed.
  7. Enter the printing time displayed in your slicing software
  8. Enter a cost per hour of $2
  9. Labor cost will be displayed.
  10. Markup is 0% (we charge a flat $2 per hour printing fee)
  11. Final price will be displayed.

Notes on the final price.

This is an estimate ONLY.  The price WILL BE different when we get you the final quote.  Will it significantly different, no.  But it will be slightly different.  Why, you ask?  Because we use commercial slicing software that is configured with a profile for each of our printers for optimum print quality, and we customize each models support structure, which impacts time and material. This will alter the numbers slightly. Also, the amount of material used will be different based on the amount of infill for your project, and we will discuss that with you at the time we load up your .stl files.  Also, each of our printers prints at a slightly different rate of speed.  The final price you pay is what is determined as the TOTAL TIME OF YOUR PRINT JOB, and we round up to the next hour.  So 2 hours and 15 minutes rounds up to 3 hours.  There is no post work completed on the print, except for the removal of any support material.

If you need or want post work completed, sanding, assembly, priming or air brushing, we can do that for an extra charge, but you need to discuss that with us.

A note on material

We said it before, we like to print in PETG.  So we generally stock several spools of it.  If you want PLA, we don’t keep a lot of it, so we may need to order it.  And for ABS we keep none on hand.  If you want ABS, we will need to order it, and for ABS there is a $40 fee added to the cost of the build, as we change our hot ends and nozzles out for higher temp ABS hot ends.

High end resin prints

We also have a resin printer for small object that require exceptional detail.  Resin prints are $10 per hour print time.  The cost includes post work on the print such as part cleanup in a sonic bath to remove uncured resin, followed by a UV curing session to dry the model.

3D Printing Cost Calculator