From what I know of the three major 3D printing services – Shapeways, i.materialise, and Sculpteo – Sculpteo is keen on anticipating the needs of their customers to push the 3D printing service model further. Earlier this year, the company introduced batch control to their services, so that users could fabricate a batch of duplicate objects in one job, reducing the overall cost of a print series. Now, Sculpteo has added multipart printing to their capabilities.
With Sculpteo’s new feature, customers can upload a complex object with multiple parts and the site will ask whether or not those parts are to be combined into a single printed object or into multiple, separate parts to be attached after printing is complete. Because printing multiple parts at once requires manual post-processing for each component, Sculpteo charges a small six euro fee for the service. Afterwards, you can order successive prints of the complete set of objects or you can select individual parts to be printed.
3D printing a set of objects at home with a desktop machine is a pretty easy process, but doing so with an online service has not been previously possible with i.materialise and has had some pricing issues in Shapeways. Sculpteo’s new feature gives customers the flexibility they have with home printing with professional-grade machines.