Frequently Asked Questions

One Eyed Dollar

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In this thread I’ll try to answer some common questions about 3D printing and my products. Please feel free to reply with new questions if you don’t see your answer in the FAQ.

How can I contact you?
Shoot me an email at 3dprintedpoker@gmail.com or send me a PM through the forum, and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

How does 3D printing work?
There are many types of printing actually. The most common types for home hobbyists are FDM and SLA printing. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is what I use. A spool of plastic filament is melted and extruded onto the print bed. The print head goes back and forth laying down filament a layer at a time in order to create an object. Simple printers like mine print with just one color at a time, although you can create multicolor objects by pausing a print and changing colors. More advanced printers can print with multiple colors and even blend them together, or you can always prime and paint an object after it’s printed.

What kind of printer do you use?
I began with a Creality Ender 3, which is a very popular entry-level printer with a bed size of 220mm x 220 mm. This one has served me well, and it is big enough to print a typical chip rack. I will still be using it for prototype testing and occasional smaller print jobs.

My new workhorse printer for the store is a Creality CR-10 V2. This one has a much larger bed size of 300mm x 300mm, so I can take on larger projects like 43mm chip racks that wouldn’t fit on the Ender 3.

What kind of plastic do you print with?
I use Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastic only. It’s easy to print, strong, and it doesn’t give off nasty fumes while printing like ABS plastic.

Are you going to print (insert item)?
I have no plans to print copies of products that are readily available through other channels, like Paulson racks. 3D printing is slow and not well-suited to mass production yet. I recommend that you just go buy regular acrylic racks if that is what you need.

Where 3D printing shines is for creating custom items. It’s very expensive to create a mold to make a product out of acrylic, so it doesn’t make sense for small batch items. I plan to make unique variations of items that aren’t mass produced and some original creations.

I’m also not planning on printing poker chips! Unless there is suddenly a demand for lightweight, plastic, monochrome chips. Maybe with little interlocking teeth? Ha!

Why is my order taking so long??
3D printing is slow. It’s just me and one printer, not a commercial print farm with lots of expensive printers. (I also charge much less than those services, so this is the trade-off.) I’ll try to keep everyone up to date on when to expect their order, but keep in mind that if I get backed up it could take weeks to get your items. I’m always trying new printer settings to try to speed up the process, but I don’t want to sacrifice on quality.
Why does it say an item is unavailable in the store? Can’t you just print more?
There could be a few possible reasons. I may have forgotten to update the inventory amount in the store. I might have set the product as unavailable to temporarily stop new orders if my backlog gets too long. Or I might have taken it out of the store while redesigning an update for that product.

What is the quality like?
I’m always adjusting my models and print settings to achieve the best quality I can but still print in a reasonable amount of time. I do a lot of prototype printing to get everything dialed in just right. I have a whole box of rejects and test prints for all the different things I sell.

I only use premium PLA filament for the items I sell. For home use I’ve tried probably 10 different brands of filament depending on what was on sale at Amazon, etc. There is definitely a difference in quality with the cheap stuff. For the store I primarily use Hatchbox or sometimes Inland Premium PLA+ (the good stuff from Micro Center).

That being said, 3D printed racks will never be as smooth as acrylic racks, for instance. The printing process creates small lines as the layers are printed, and you occasionally get little blobs on the side or other artifacts. If you’re not happy with the quality of your order, please let me know and I’ll do my best to make it right.

How strong are the racks?
Quite strong actually! The strength is similar to regular acrylic racks. I print with a larger nozzle size which reduces the number of layers and increases the strength of the prints.

Can you print clear racks?
Not really. Clear PLA filament does exist, but it mostly looks crummy and nothing like clear acrylic racks. I agree that clear racks are awesome so that you can see the chips, but anything I print would be “clear-ish” like looking through frosted glass.

Do you take custom orders?
Eventually. First I’m going to focus on getting the store going and fulfilling orders. Once I get caught up, I’ll be glad to talk about custom designs.

Do you ship internationally?
Not yet. At first I’m going to limit orders to the US to keep it easy for me as I figure out all the details of being a vendor. I would like to add this option eventually, but if you are far away it’s probably better to find someone local that can print the items for you using the free models that I’ve shared. That’s the magic of 3D printing!

Do you take PayPal Friends and Family?
No, as a vendor I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid the free friend-to-friend payment options and pay the extra fee for vendor payments. I’ll also be collecting sales taxes and trying to do everything by the book. I’ve set up the business as an LLC so that I can write off my expenses, so I’m trying to follow the rules. Thanks for understanding.
 

One Eyed Dollar

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Me and you need to have a word... :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
Haha, soon! So far the store hasn't broken or accidentally sold things with free shipping or anything to destroy my bank account, so I'll look at setting up the international shipping option soon. Or maybe I'll make a business trip over there to deliver some orders and write off the taxes. :sneaky:
 
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