Frequently Asked Questions
- Will you print a custom object for me?
- How do I apply my plaque to a surface?
- How true are your colors to the image I see on your site?
- How long does it take to get my items?
- What are all these lines in my print?
- What other things might I see on my prints?
- Why do you print in PETG and not PLA?
- What are engineering filaments?
- How do I contact you?
Will you print a custom object for me?
How do I apply my plaque to a surface?
All of our plaques come with adhesive tape pre-applied. By default all of them have a grey or black vinyl foam tape with an acrylic based adhesive on both sides. This adhesive is one of the few that will stick to PETG filament which also makes it suited for things such as a city garbage can, as the materials they are made from are related to PETG. The foam allows for the tape to follow some of the contours of the surface it is applied to making for better adhesion. This only works on smooth surfaces though – think orange peel vs sandpaper. It will not stick to rough surfaces.
Generally we use 3M branded tapes, but do on occasion use Gorilla brand or other suitable replacements when the 3M is not available.
We strongly recommend first cleaning the surface the item is to be applied to reasonably well. Make sure the temperature is over 50 degrees Fahrenheit / 10 degrees Celsius, if it isn’t use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the surface and plaque prior to application, though do not warm the plaque too much as it may warp. Slightly warm to the touch is sufficient.
Remove the protective film on the tape and apply the plaque. We recommend firmly pushing on the sign for at least a minute to allow the foam time to adjust to the contours of the application surface. It will take about 72 hours for the tape to reach full adhesion.
The tape is really only one-time use. Applying, removing, and reapplying it damages the adhesive and will weaken its ability to stick. Try not to do that.
To remove the plaque we have found kite string to work surprisingly well to cut the tape from the surface and remove the sign. Then use a razor blade to remove the tape.
Our clear tape for glass is similar, though it doesn’t have quite the strength of the darker tapes. It works great on glass and looks nicer when seen from the rear.
There are some cases where the tape will just not adhere. We recommend using a hot glue gun or Original Gorilla Glue polyurethane adhesive. This will make a permanent bond to just about anything. Be careful with the hot glue. Too much and it can warp the plaque.
Because of the variety of surfaces out there, we are unable to make a guarantee on if or how long it will stay stuck to your surface.
How true are your colors to the image I see on your site?
We would love to tell you they are a perfect match, but in reality there can be quite a bit of variation. We try to use the same vendor for each color to stay consistent, but colors vary from order to order, and even within a single roll of filament. Add to that, the issue with your screen being calibrated differently than ours and the cumulative effects are definitely there. That said, you get a good feeling for the filament or resin colors from the images. If a color match is critical to you, order your items on the same order and let us know. We will make best efforts to accommodate.
How long does it take to get my items?
Right now print times are in the 2-4 week time range. Once printed it should take anywhere from 1-7 days to get to you. We do have tracking so you will see when it is shipped and in the system.
What are all these lines in my print?
Ahh, welcome to 3D printing! There can be several reasons for the lines, but they all have to do with “additive manufacturing”. In normal manufacturing you take things away and end up with a part. With 3D printing it is built a little piece at a time. Just like a picture is made of “pixels” that are the small square elements that make up the image, 3D prints are made of “voxels” that are essentially three dimensional pixels. In resin prints an entire layer is printed at one time, a few microns thick. This can lead to fine striations that may be visible in the print under high magnification. They are inherent to the process and not a flaw. Similarly in Filament Deposition Printing (with the rolls of plastic that look like weed whacker line) a nozzle squirts out molten plastic in very regular lines tracing out the shape. This can leave a texture that is unique to FDM printing. These are also considered normal and not a flaw. The aesthetics are in the process.
What other things might I see on my prints?
This is going to depend on the type of print. For FDM prints (filament) we try to clean up any little strings and hit them with a heat gun which usually takes care of them, but you may see some fine strands or small specs of loose plastic.
Occasionally some plastic will build up on the print head and “over cook”. These unsightly blobs will occasionally get incorporated into the print. If it is on the surface or visible, we will generally reject the part and reprint.
We may allow for flaws on the back or bottom of a print depending on context and if they are not visible in use or affect mechanical properties.
Warpage is also a possibility. Occasionally the corners will lift a bit during the print. If this is significantly noticeable we will reject and reprint. Slight warping is normal and not considered a flaw in most cases though.
Surfaces that needed support will have a very different surface finish than either the top or base of the print. This is expected and normal.
When it comes to resin, there are a whole different set of considerations. Resin prints are printed in liquid resin, and that changes things. There may be small points where supports were connected to the print to support certain areas. These usually break away cleanly, but occasionally you can see some marks where the supports were. These are considered inherent to the process.
We also ultrasonically wash and additionally cure our resin prints in a UV box to make sure the resin is fully set.
The because of the fine scale of resin prints there can be matte parts, shiny parts, and even parts that have a slight rainbow effect. These are normal and cannot be controlled.
If you have specific needs or questions, reach out. We will do our best to accommodate them.
Why do you print in PETG and not PLA?
PLA is a great plastic. It is cheap, rigid, and the filament selection is unbelievable. When you are starting in 3D printing it is the default starter plastic. It is just easier to print.
Similarly that is why many 3D print houses use PLA. It is cheap, there are lots of colors and effects to choose from, and it is easy to print. Failed prints mean lost revenue and time.
We look at it a little differently. Most of the items we print will be used, often outside. PLA does not hold up to outdoor exposure well. It gets brittle and will fade dramatically. PLA prints at a much lower temperature, which also means you can’t use it where there will be heat. A PLA print left on your dash in the summer will probably droop and warp significantly.
PETG filament is much better in those environments. It is printed 30-50 degrees C (86-122 degrees F) hotter than PLA. This makes it much more resistant to the kind of temperatures most of us encounter on a daily basis. The colors are much more resistant to sun fade. We won’t say they won’t fade, but they will stay far more true for longer than PLA. PETG is also really good at weathering the elements. Your big trash bins and large outdoor plastic items are probably made of related plastics.
So, while it is more expensive and harder to print with, the benefits are real. We feel the juice is worth the squeeze in that regard, so we have committed to stay with PETG for all of our prints except when using an engineering type filament.
What are engineering filaments?
This is where things get fun. Engineering filaments are plastics that have unique properties that are suited for a particular application.
A good example would be our Carbon Fiber Polycarbonate blend filament. This filament is a blend of PLA, Polycarbonate, and about 5% carbon fiber. The end result is a light, tough, rigid material that is also even more heat resistant than PETG. PETG prints at around 230-250 Centigrade, our CFPC prints at about 265-275, and needs a bed set at 110 Celsius. That means the bed is hotter than boiling water. There are a lot of cool things you can print from this unique filament. The down side is it costs from 2 to 5 times what our normal filaments cost, and it is very abrasive on our print heads and equipment. You will see that reflected in the price of those items.
We will introduce other engineering filaments that meet specific needs as we add more products and capabilities.
How do I contact you?
The best way is via email at or you can chat with us right here.