You keep hearing about 3D printing and seeing videos and pictures of amazing parts, but how do you get your part 3D printed? This task can seem daunting.

Do I need my own 3D printer? How much will that cost? Can someone print it for me? The answer to the last question is yes, and that someone could be, Re3dTech.

Re3dTech is a 3D printing/additive manufacturing service provider. Our expertise is in the design and production of 3D printed parts, but Re3dTech doesn’t sell the machines themselves. As a 3D printing service provider, we print parts to meet end-user’s unique specifications and are considered a job shop or contract manufacturer in the additive industry.

Now that you know a company can produce your parts, what is the next step? Your part needs to be designed in CAD (computer aided design) software, like Solidworks or Autodesk Fusion 360. If your part is not designed in CAD software, then a design firm or a service provider may offer that capability. Re3dTech also offers CAD design services.

A couple of decisions still need to be made before you get your quote and print your part.

  • What material should you select for your part?
  • Which printing technology should you choose?

Wow, again with the decisions. This article has been written to keep things simple and that is how we’re going to keep it.

First, is the part plastic or metal? Second, do I need one piece or a few, or do I need hundreds or possibly thousands? Material choices can seem limitless and there are hundreds of technology options. Working with a trusted service provider can point you in the right direction. At Re3dTech, we print both plastic and metal parts. Two of the most cutting edge technologies we run are Markforged and the HP Jet Fusion printers.

If you need a part as strong as some metals, choose a Markforged carbon fiber part. If you need high detail, movement, fully functional plastic parts from one-piece prototypes to thousands, choose the HP Jet Fusion option. Other service providers have different technologies and materials.

Time to get the quote and have your part design turned into a tangible 3D printed object. Wait! One last thing before you submit your design for a quote. How do you know your design will be safe and confidential? Again, working with a trusted provider goes a long way. At Re3dTech every part file and project is kept confidential. If you desire, we are always willing to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with anyone who wants the added commitment to privacy.

OK, now to the quote. Go to the website of your chosen service provider, Re3dTech, and start the quote process. Some providers have an instant quote system; others like us, provide a quote quickly once we review the part. The file should be transferred as an STL or step file.

Now that you have received your digital quote, complete the order process and your part will be put in the production schedule. Your part will often ship within 3 to 4 days. Your idea has now turned into a 3D printed part.