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 Post subject: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:44 am 
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I just saw that two of my orders of silver jewelry got cancelled. Unlike earlier, when I was notified about the reason or about any order I placed, part I uploaded successfully or not, I don't get any messages from them anymore. Nothing. No notification on the shapeways site either.
And also why are silver orders just cancelled, that I actually already ordered once and have on my shelf? Did they change the design rules? I made a little tie clip and it still says 0.6 mm wallthickness for silver. I didn't change anything to the design of it, except making the actual clip part from 1.5 to 2 mm thickness. Not they cancelled it.

Also I ordered a special cufflink in steel with bronze finish. It got excepted and is in production now. I ordered the exact same thing in silver and it won't be excepted. But the degree of detail is higher. And it's really only a little cufflink. No moving parts or anything by the way.

Why are they not bringing it anymore? :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:31 pm 
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alaskajoe wrote:
I just saw that two of my orders of silver jewelry got cancelled. Unlike earlier, when I was notified about the reason or about any order I placed, part I uploaded successfully or not, I don't get any messages from them anymore. Nothing. No notification on the shapeways site either.
And also why are silver orders just cancelled, that I actually already ordered once and have on my shelf? Did they change the design rules? I made a little tie clip and it still says 0.6 mm wallthickness for silver. I didn't change anything to the design of it, except making the actual clip part from 1.5 to 2 mm thickness. Not they cancelled it.

Also I ordered a special cufflink in steel with bronze finish. It got excepted and is in production now. I ordered the exact same thing in silver and it won't be excepted. But the degree of detail is higher. And it's really only a little cufflink. No moving parts or anything by the way.

Why are they not bringing it anymore? :cry:


The only thing Shapeways prints themselves is the SLS. The other materials (ceramics, steels, silver, etc) are outsourced. If their source is having issues with the silver it means they have to cancel all the silver orders.


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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:44 pm 
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alaskajoe wrote:
And also why are silver orders just cancelled, that I actually already ordered once and have on my shelf? Did they change the design rules? I made a little tie clip and it still says 0.6 mm wallthickness for silver. I didn't change anything to the design of it, except making the actual clip part from 1.5 to 2 mm thickness. Not they cancelled it.


If you selected "Glossy" or "Premium" the design rules are tighter. My recent experience with silver suggests the following:
  • "Glossy" and "Premium" models will be rejected if they detect any walls thinner than 0.80mm, even by tiny a fraction of a mm. That cutoff seems to be rigid and rigorous--they would accept a model with 0.802mm walls but not 0.798mm. (The 0.8mm minimum is listed in the design rules for silver.)
  • "Premium" models will be rejected if any part of the model is potentially unreachable for polishing. "Glossy" models may be accepted as best-effort where polishing in concerned, but "Premium" will not.

Obviously you should have received some sort of notification, regardless. Be sure to check your spam folders -- if you didn't receive any notification, complain to Shapeways.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:55 pm 
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@alaskajoe, did you try asking Shapeways, rather than just us folks?

I'm sure if I asked you (rather than, say, my bank) about a certain item on my credit card bill, you probably would not be able to help me. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Location: bay area, california
I've always had great service e-mailing service@shapeways.com with the order numbers specified...
Even if it takes a while to get things sorted out, they've been very helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Derek Bosch wrote:
I've always had great service e-mailing service@shapeways.com with the order numbers specified...
Even if it takes a while to get things sorted out, they've been very helpful.


Yes indeed. I know nearly all of the service team meanwhile - means: there was often a reason to contact them.
But they are all extremely helpful and if you don't take the issue too serious and react relaxed, the support you'll get will
be even more than you might expect. They really care about you! I am sure, this is the most important department of
Shapeways, because of the huge amount of issues the others are causing...

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Thanks for the concerns.
Yes, of course i contacted them too. :D

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:38 pm 
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I just had an odd experience with Shapeways that I thought I'd share. Last night I order copy #2 of my Multi Gear Cube Kit. A while ago I had TomZ repack the pieces using his packing program to get the cost as low as possible and I've been wanting to test it before opening it up for ordering in my shop. With Shapeways current 10% off sale on WS&F, I figured this was a great time to test it. Remember this is what I ordered:
Attachment:
MGCK01.jpg
MGCK01.jpg [ 70.12 KiB | Viewed 2897 times ]

And today I just got this email from Shapeways:
Quote:
We're really sorry to let you know that there was a problem with your recent order. These design(s)
could not be 3D printed in the material selected:

Multi Gear Cube Kit in White Strong & Flexible

Reason: Thin walls

Additional information: The minimum wall thickness for this material is 0.7mm. Please thicken the
walls of the model. For more information about the design specifications for this material please
visit: http://www.shapeways.com/materials/strong-flexible-design-guidelines

Please take a look at the attached images for further explanation. We've highlighted a few areas that
will cause issues when printing.
This is the picture they had attached:
Attachment:
MGCK02.jpg
MGCK02.jpg [ 59.18 KiB | Viewed 2897 times ]

Unless TomZ added in a little toy gun model into the packing I think someone at Shapeways has their wires crossed. I've emailed them and I hope I can get this sorted out with enough time that I can still use their 10% off discount.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, California
I recently printed 8 copies of a very complex Twisty Puzzle. The puzzle has 9 different part types and Shapeways sorted and counted every part type for each print into 9 little bags and wrote in black marker on the outside of the bag what each part was. They grouped each set of 9 parts into a larger bag and shipped me 8 larger bags (72 total bags).

There was a minor problem with the print. I noticed a couple parts with print flaws and they forgot to include one of the part types in one of the prints. That is, I wasn't missing a single part, I was missing a single bag of parts. I contacted Shapeways about the issue and they're reprinting a whole new model even though just a few parts needed replaced.

Of course their customer service has some rough patches and of course producing parts as complex as they do fails once in a while but overall I'm very pleased.

Shapeways asked for a photo but I was busy so I didn't have time to send one. A day later (and without sending them a photo) I got:
Shapeways wrote:
Dear Brandon,

I just wanted to let you know that we have issued a reprint for your damaged model.
Your new order number is *[censored]* and we will ship this order to you on or before August 16th.

Thank you for your patience and our apologies for the problems caused.

Have a nice day!

Adéla Zemková
Customer Service Agent
http://www.Shapeways.com


I then sent a photo and received:
Shapeways wrote:
Dear Brandon,

Thanks for the photo.
I have asked our production team to print the whole model, so you should have enough spare parts.

I hope this helps.

Have a great weekend!

Adéla Zemková
Customer Service Agent
http://www.Shapeways.com


Call me crazy but this is GREAT customer service.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:48 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
Call me crazy but this is GREAT customer service.
Oh I don't have any serious bone to pick with Shapeways either. They make errors every now and then and to date they have always fixed all the ones they've had with me. Usually going well above and beyond. Though they aren't very flexible with their discounts. Sometime ago I ordered the Clockwork 4x4x4 during one of their sales and their was a minor issue with the model so they cancelled the order and issued a refund (or store credit) as they have just done with my Multi Gear Cube Kit. However by the time the model issue was resolved the sale was over and the credit then no longer covered the full cost of the model and they wouldn't simply re-instate the initial order. Not the end of the world... and I suspect that will be my worse case outcome here as well.

Either way I'm a very happy Shapeways customer. Simply put without them I wouldn't be much of a puzzle designer so they've enabled me to do things I just dreamed about a few short years ago.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:02 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
They make errors every now and then and to date they have always fixed all the ones they've had with me.

The same is true for me. I think it's reasonable to expect a small error rate. They're dealing with a relatively new technology at volume. If you think about the error rate not on a per-print basis but on a per-part one (perhaps neither is an accurate denominator?), their error rate is extremely low.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:24 am 
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bmenrigh wrote:
I recently printed 8 copies of a very complex Twisty Puzzle. There was a minor problem with the print. I noticed a couple parts with print flaws and they forgot to include one of the part types in one of the prints. That is, I wasn't missing a single part, I was missing a single bag of parts. I contacted Shapeways about the issue and they're reprinting a whole new model even though just a few parts needed to be replaced.

Call me crazy but this is GREAT customer service.

I agree. I must be lucky since I've never had bad issues with my prints...well, except for one missing part in a particular print which I have gone ahead and ordered a replacement for.

From the stories I've heard before, it seems like their customer service is getting much better.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:44 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
I've emailed them and I hope I can get this sorted out with enough time that I can still use their 10% off discount.
Issue resolved. They admitted there was a error made and I simply replaced the order in time to get the 10% off discount. And it looks like they will be shipping me the pieces Monday.

Just FYI,
Carl

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:54 am 
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bmenrigh wrote:
Shapeways wrote:
Dear Brandon,

Thanks for the photo.
I have asked our production team to print the whole model, so you should have enough spare parts.
[...]


This replacement print arrived. They printed two whole copies of the model plus one extra piece for every part type! That means I got 3 cores, 41 corners, etc. I ordered 8 copies of the puzzle but I now have 9 full copies plus I'm just a few parts shy of a 10th.

I'm quite pleased with this resolution.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Ok. After 4 re-prints they were finally able to get a complete printing of my Multi Gear Cube Kit. On Sept. 2nd they had stated "We have printed this model 4 times already so we have a lot of parts. I will ask to send you what we have already." So I was hoping to get all the parts they didn't lose from the first 3 printings. Anyways I just got it in the mail today and it appears complete but there are NO extra parts. I really have no right to complain as I did get what I paid for but they had gotten my hopes up that I'd potentially be getting alot more then I paid for.

I'm tempted to wonder if there are now 3 Shapeways employees out there now that each have their own copy of the Multi Gear Cube Kit.

I've emailed to ask what happened to all the extra parts and if I find out I'll let you know.

Carl

P.S. Just noticed one other oddity. The core I had made hollow. I used the screw holes to hollow other the entire core. Notice you can see through the core when you look down a screw hole. However Shapeways printed this part as solid. They left enough of the screw holes that I believe the part is still useable but I wonder why they did that. If I had to guess I'm thinking they may have been moving pieces on me again and the first few times they printed this they were printing pieces inside the core and they couldn't get them out so to solve their problem they just made the core solid. If that is the case (I don't know that it is) why don't they just leave the pieces where they are in the original STL file that I uploaded? Does this mean bad things for Tom's piece packer? It seems they may just be re-packing everything anyways. Very very odd... I've never had them modify one of my pieces before.

Attachment:
CorePic.PNG
CorePic.PNG [ 39.48 KiB | Viewed 2485 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:20 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Does this mean bad things for Tom's piece packer? It seems they may just be re-packing everything anyways.

I reduced the triangle count on two puzzles and packed them with TomZ's packer. Both prints were unusably bad. The parts were so tight fitting together that I could barely assemble them and they weren't turnable.

I wasn't sure if the issue was a bad print from Shapeways or perhaps that the arbitrary orientation in the packed STL caused the parts to deviate too much. The other concern I had is that in my effort to reduce the triangles, I might have altered the parts.

So, I repacked one of the puzzles so that most of the parts were all the same orientation and ordered another print. That one came back flawless. I've repacked the second puzzle and ordered a print but it hasn't arrived yet.

Right now main possibilities I see are:

1) Both of the original packed prints were bad due to Shapeways fault and I just got really unlucky that both were bad

2) You can't let pieces be rotated arbitrarily because it causes them to deviate beyond designed tolerances.

I'd like to do most testing but it's costing me about $200 a print so I don't think I'm going to re-order prints of the original packing job to see if those are bad too.

I'm leaning towards the parts being sensitive to orientation and the fault is my aggressive arbitrary rotation packing.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:35 am 
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I guess that the main problem with allowing arbitrary rotations of parts to achieve a >10% packing density is that faces which, if orientated orthogonally, would be nice and flat and smooth, would now show "stepping" due to the printing process. Whether you could say such parts were bad or out of tolerance is doubtful, and how this would affect the puzzle would depend on the design.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:43 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
The core I had made hollow. I used the screw holes to hollow other the entire core. Notice you can see through the core when you look down a screw hole. However Shapeways printed this part as solid.


Are you sure it's solid?
I've the experience that some small hollows can be clotted with processing powder (and thus appear solid, but aren't). I remove such powder using a small screwdriver or bent paperclip (and scrape it out).


Further, I've no negative issues with Shapeways. It helped visiting their factory once and having the 'luxury' of picking up my models directly from the factory/service desk.

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Splinter wrote:
Are you sure it's solid?
I've the experience that some small hollows can be clotted with processing powder (and thus appear solid, but aren't). I remove such powder using a small screwdriver or bent paperclip (and scrape it out).
Good question. In the past I've always been able to rather easily blow out excess power and I had tried that and nothing budged. Today I took a tooth pick and pocked it in the hole expecting it to hit a solid bottom. It went in further then I expected and came out with the tip covered in powder. So I powered up my air compressor and was actually able to blow the powder out. The part WAS printed as expected. However this was a much more dense packing of the powder then I've seen in the past.
Splinter wrote:
Further, I've no negative issues with Shapeways.
I don't either. I think they are a great company that offers a great service. They aren't perfect but their customer service seems to be continuing to get better all the time. I'm just trying to share my experiences here to show how they resolve issues when something doesn't quite go as expected.

By they way they have been very responsive to my emails. They are apparently still trying to get me the extra parts from all the other printings and I now also need to let them know they had printed the core correctly after all. They had asked for pictures which was what I was trying to do with the tooth pick this morning.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:06 am 
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Regarding the use of Tomz's packing program, has anyone asked Shapeways their opinion on whether the final packing solutions provided are compatible with their printers? It would be nice if they could give some sort of guidance on optimal packing solutions. (I haven't used the program "in anger" yet, so I don't have any models to send them.)

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 Post subject: Re: What is wrong with shapeways nowadays?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:29 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Splinter wrote:
Are you sure it's solid?
I've the experience that some small hollows can be clotted with processing powder (and thus appear solid, but aren't). I remove such powder using a small screwdriver or bent paperclip (and scrape it out).
Good question. In the past I've always been able to rather easily blow out excess power and I had tried that and nothing budged. Today I took a tooth pick and pocked it in the hole expecting it to hit a solid bottom. It went in further then I expected and came out with the tip covered in powder. So I powered up my air compressor and was actually able to blow the powder out. The part WAS printed as expected. However this was a much more dense packing of the powder then I've seen in the past.


Due to the shape, the powder inside the sphere was compressed under pressure. Powder wasn't so compressed in the screw holes due to the smaller cross section and the openness along one axis.

Nylon expands significantly from room temperature to sintering temperature, so parts would warp disastrously if they were built from cold material. To compensate the EOS preheats the material in its build chamber and builds models oversize by 1-3% depending on axis. That's right, the shrinkage is anisotropic.

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