Shapeways Announces Frosted Extreme Detailed (FXD)

Shapeways has announced its Frosted Extreme Detail today on their blog. Along with this comes they are now removing “Frosted Detailed on April 29th” as this has been known to have many issues. Yellowing, and even the starting to deteriorate.

This level of detail is expensive starting designs at $5.00 and $5.99 per CC… So this is going to really be more for smaller models, which would be really great for faces, and smaller details minitures.

Today we are excited to announce our newest material, Frosted Extreme Detail! It uses the same resin and printer as our popular material Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), but it’s almost twice as detailed! Frosted Extreme Detail, or FXD for short, 3D prints using 16 micron layers (vs FUD’s 29 micron layers). This means 3D prints that have unprecedented detail and surface finish, sharper edges, less stepping, and stronger walls and wires. It’s perfect for the most demanding miniatures, figurines, and molds and masters for casting.


Design guidelines are the exact same as FUD, so all your existing FUD designs are printable and you can get started designing amazing new things right away! Pricing for this material is $5.00 startup and $5.99 per CC. The difference in price compared to FUD is that the thinner layers take longer to print and use more material.

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3D Printing Sprues

Sprueing is a method of joining a multi-part model into one. The benefit of this is that most 3D Printers charge an additional flat rate per “part” even if it is in the same model. Separated parts usually can add as little as $1.50 to even a $6 charge per part.

Sprueing does have its own challenges as different materials require different thicknesses. Most white strong materials require at minimum 1mm thickness. 1mm sprues are rather springy and “give” when pushed or dropped. Resin (Sculpteo) requires a 2mm thickness. Each material has its own requirements for sizes so it is always best to keep this in mind when printing. When I first did this I was concerned that it was adding costs and “waste” to my model, however with Shapeways recent price changes it actually reduced the cost over all. ( before October 7th 2014 it would have raised the price!)

At home printing is slightly different as instead of printing the whole thing you might print on a flattened plain or each individual piece separately. Sprues and Cages are really only for commercial grade printers that use the powder layering process.



Pictured above is version 1.0 hands of one my models I am working on. It consists of 2 joints on each of the 4 main fingers, 2 thumbs, 2 5mm pegs to fill the wrists if needed and 2 palms. Totaling 20 parts. Without sprueing this model would cost over $30. By placing sprues in the model this costs less than $10 depending on the material selected.

The above is printed in white strong polished. It has a rather nice “spring” to it when pushed on but bounces back rather well.

Spruing is a rather easy process basically I personally use Tinkercad. Adding in columns and sizing their thickness to 1mm then placing them so they connect and create a strong structure. Most smaller pieces only need one connection point. (Fingers, and joints…) And on the larger parts I have 2-3 connections.

If your model is not going to be polished then you may not need as many sprues. However… If you plan for it to be put through several processes its best to add more.

While sprues do add a little more labor involved after receiving the model in the end it does provide the printer you use a LOT less work involved. (Somewhat wish they would speed up the ordering process on models like these!)

These sprues if done small enough to spec they really do not even leave a mark once cut. I use the following tools to remove and scrap excess away.


Wire cutters or Scissors. (To cut each part from the rest of the model initially.)

Elmers/X-Acto X3037 Axent Knife with Cap, Blue. (To clean the parts of any excess.)

Use your wire cutters to cut away at the sprues freeing up each piece. It is ok to leave some room on the parts. As the final process you will use your X-Acto Knife to scrap layer by layer to smooth the spots where the sprues joined your parts.

In following this process and using the above tools I was able to remove any excess material from the sprues. I was afraid that it might leave marks or bumps on the model but it actually did not.  You do have to be slow and careful and take small layers at a time off till you get a smooth surface. Smaller parts are easy to mess up on so be careful and go slow. White Strong Plastic can be pretty forgiving depending on the model you print.


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Custom 3D Printed Sword

I have started back into what started me in Computers in the last few months… 3D!
Years back I worked in a program called Adobe Atmosphere (R.I.P. 2001) – Wikipedia link. Long story short Adobe finished it out and hit version 1 and discontinued it. The product was WAY ahead of its time and basically allowed people to create 3D Worlds that you could chat/play/and explore.

Anyways without further going into that history here is some pictures of my first works. Back in 3D.

(Using Tinkercad!)

10394032_782468332117_270820326353580561_n sword1 swordbumblebee

The sword comes in two parts. Which gives the ability to print in two different materials. For this I chose to print in Transparent and Strong White Plastic. It came out pretty nice. I had to also split it up like this in order to comply with Shapeways terms and conditions. (No weapons larger than 10CM…)

Because of this I had to split it up… Which I have another project that I finished that I had to print with another company that does not have this rule.

I am at the moment finishing the handle in a yellow paint. (Unfortunately not exactly the orange yellow seen with the AOE Bumblebee above…) It should however give it a nice clean look.

To see it in my Shapeways store: Shaunware Design

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