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3D Printing Resolution or Quality

Most frequent questions and answers

With FDM (fused deposition modelling) technology, the 3D printer prints the given model in layers, depositing one horizontal layer at a time on the print bed. The “thickness”, or height, of each layer can be adjusted and determines the resolution of the print. The lower the layer height, the better the print resolution. Layer height is measured in microns. 

A micron is equal to one-millionth of a metre. It is normally used to refer to the layer height, also known as print resolution or Z height. 50 microns = 0.05mm layer height 100 microns = 0.1mm layer height 200 microns = 0.2mm layer height 300 microns = 0.3mm layer height

Our machines can print at resolutions from 50 to 300 microns. The most commonly selected and affordable resolutions are 200 and 300 microns. Resolutions of 50-100 microns offer exceptional surface detail but also takes extremely long to print. Therefore, this is a more premium option.

If your part is mainly for prototyping or testing an idea or concept (e.g. understanding if 3D printing is a potential manufacturing method), we recommend using 200 or 300 microns. This will give you a rough idea of how the model will turn out in 3D and allow you to test different materials for the properties you require. If you are printing intricate parts with multiple small details (e.g. jewellery) or require the smoothest surface finish available using FDM technology, then 20, 50, or 100 microns will work well. Please note that higher print resolutions take much longer to print and will cost more.

3D Printing Materials

Most frequent questions and answers

We offer a range of 3D materials and the expertise to print them to maximum effect. From rigid plastics to flexible elastomers to wood/metal fills, you can make amazing 3D prints with us.

Here are a few examples:

  • PLA (A strong rigid bioplastic, very good for prototyping and affordable).
  • ColorFabb PLA/PHA (Another bioplastic that has slightly more flex than standard PLA)
  • Polymaker PolyMax PLA (20% stronger than ABS with great mechanical qualities)
  • NinjaTek NinjaFlex (Shore 85A), Recreus FilaFlex (Shore 82A), FFFWorld FlexiSMART (Shore 88A)
  • Wood Filaments (Polymaker PolyWood and ColorFabb WoodFill)
  • Bronze, Copper, Brass, Steel Metal Powder Composites
  • Conductive material
  • Carbon Fibre
  • Glow-in-the-Dark

We use 3 types of flexible material here: NinjaTek NinjaFlex (Shore 85A), Recreus FilaFlex (Shore 82A), FFFWorld FlexiSMART (Shore 88A) The higher the Shore number, the “tougher” the material. There is no Generic TPU/TPE per se.

Recreus FilaFlex is the softest, most flexible material we offer, with a Shore hardness of 82A.

You can determine the hardness of a material using the Shore hardness scale.

Shore hardness is defined as a material’s resistance to indentation. The higher the number, the greater the resistance (and therefore, the “tougher” the material). Shore hardness should be used with caution in 3D Printing. It is only accurate for parts with 100% infill density. We print most 3D parts with 25% infill density, therefore the flexibility of the part will be slightly different from what you would expect based solely on the Shore number. Depending on the level of flexibility you require, we can change the infill percentage. We recommend that you experiment with different infill percentages first (such as by printing a test cube) until you are certain that the part will have your desired flexibility in the material you’ve chosen.

For very solid, rigid parts with tough mechanical properties, we recommend selecting Polymaker PolyMax. This will give you a solid model with a nice matte finish.


Most frequent questions and answers

We offer a vast range of bright colours in various shades as well as white, greys, black and translucent colours. If you’re looking for something in particular just contact us and we can order it in. We can match Pantone,  RAL and even your own custom colours. There is a minimum order of 2kg for custom colours.

Yes! If you cannot find the exact colour you are looking for, just let us know, and we can have it made to order. Minimum order is 2kg of material. Contact us for pricing.

Yes, we offer transparent flexible filaments. Please note that “transparent” will not necessarily be completely see-through, due to the infill structure built within a model and the nature of FDM 3D printing. We also offer translucent rigid plastics, primarily ColorFabb PLA/PHA, in Translucent White, Red, Violet, Yellow, Blue, and Green.

Modelling for 3D Printing

Most frequent questions and answers

We recommend using Autodesk Fusion 360 for modelling your parts for 3D printing. It is free to use for students and hobbyists.

Make sure you combine all your bodies to form one solid body when exporting your as an STL or OBJ file. Especially when exporting from Rhino and SolidWorks, there may be mesh defects.

Our printers can print without supports up to about 55-60 degrees then supports are required, they leave a gap of about 0.3mm between the model and the overhang surface. If you design your parts with this in mind you won’t need to use supports, which also lowers the material cost and the print time needed, and increases the surface finsish of your model as support material will leave some post-processing to do.

Our largest print volume is 500mm (x) by 500mm (y) by 500mm (z).

We suggest you split it into component parts and attach them together. Super glue works very well with 3D prints.

Yes, we offer 3D modelling, so if you have a drawing or concept that you’d like to turn into a 3D print, we can make it happen. Just contact us by emailing us at [email protected] or giving us a call using the number at the top of the website. Or if you would like to visit us in person to discuss your project you can book a 3D consultation with us here.

3D Print Settings

Most frequent questions and answers

While every part is different, we use a grid infill of 25%. For very small parts, we would use 100% infill. If you need the part to be more hollow, more dense, or even solid, we can also calculate a cost for you. While every part is different, we normally print a wall/shell of 1.2mm and use a grid infill of 25%. For very small parts, we would use 100% infill. If you need the part to be more hollow, more dense, or even solid, we can also calculate a cost for you. Just let us know when you make your print request.

We use a Rectilinear infill structure as default. You can request alternative patterns.

We normally print a wall/shell of 1.2mm. If you require something else, let us know when ordering.

Cost of 3D Printing

Most frequent questions and answers

We calculate the 3D print cost based on the volume of your 3D model (in cm3).

There are several ways to lower the 3D print cost. You can lower the infill percentage (the internal structure density). We use a standard 25% infill density. You can choose to make this lower, however this may decrease the toughness of your 3D print. You can decrease the resolution of the print, which is measured in microns. Ordering a higher micron layer height (300 max) will lower the cost, but this will also affect the surface finish. You can select a lower-cost material, for example Generic PLA as opposed to ColorFabb PLA/PHA.

No, it will only create support material within your model, increasing the 3D print time. Export your 3D model as a solid body, and we will adjust the inside density using infill percentage.

Yes, we offer a 25% student and educational organisation discount (museums, schools, colleges) to current students on our rigid materials (not valid on special “fill” materials or flexibles) we need to verify your eligibility before you place an order with us, so please contact us first.

Yes we do, please contact us to discuss bulk orders.

3D Print Time & Turnaround

Most frequent questions and answers

For rigid materials, we usually complete the order within 1 business day. For flexible and special “fill”-series materials, we have a turnaround of 2 business days. Please note that orders placed outside of our opening hours will be processed the next business day. Opening hours are at the top of the website.

As soon as you upload your 3D models, we’ll take a look at them and check them for printability. We correct any mesh errors, as much as possible, and advise you on the printability of your model. If it is not 3D-printable, we will ask you to fix the errors. Otherwise, it will head to our print queue for prompt 3D printing and dispatch.

Yes, you can visit the studio on an appointment-only basis. To book a consultation time-slot, visit: consultations are paid and last 30 minutes.

Postage, Delivery, Pickup

Most frequent questions and answers

For parts that are less than 2.5cm thick, please select “Large Letter Signed For”. The parts will be delivered to you same or next day after they are posted by us. For parts thicker than 2.5cm, please select “3-5 Day Tracked Parcel” or “Next Day Tracked Parcel”.

We will manually change your postage option to “Next Day Tracked Parcel”, and you will need to pay the additional postage costs.

Yes. We offer Bike Courier delivery within London. The flat cost for the bike courier is £25 within London Zone 1-3 it may be more beyond zone 3. We will let you know once we know the delivery address.

Yes. All our postage options are tracked.

We offer same-day printing and delivery within London. Please note, there is a £50 surcharge for urgent orders that require out-of-hours 3D printing. Our studio hours are at the top of the website.

You can pick up from our Champion 3D studio, located within Peckham Levels:

Champion 3D
Peckham Levels
95A Rye Lane
SE15 4ST

Please note, collection is on an appointment-only basis. We will send you a link to arrange a pickup slot once your print is ready to collect.

3D Printing Applications

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, we have printed many architecture models to different specifications, including masterplans and mereological abstract works. Please visit our gallery here:

Yes, we print tough pieces for engineering and functional applications. We recommend selecting Polymaker PolyMax as the material for such uses.

Please visit our gallery here:

Yes. We can print medical devices and models. We also have experience converting DICOM scans (CT, MRI) into 3D models.

Yes, we do. These can sometimes take a little longer to produce.

Quotes, Invoices and Billing

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, we are VAT-registered. Our VAT number is GB 281916777.

We can provide you with a copy of your invoice. Just ask us. 

You can obtain a rough price estimation for your print using the “3D Print Request” on our Order Widget, found on the homepage. We advise that you do this first. If you still require a written quote, you can email us directly with your 3D files attached, and we will get a quote for you manually. Please note the turnaround time is longer with this method.

We offer pre-signed NDAs. We are a 3D Hubs Manufacturing Partner.

Contacting Us

Most frequent questions and answers

Champion 3D
Peckham Levels
95A Rye Lane
SE15 4ST

Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm 
Weekends — Closed

Please note: Visiting our studio is by appointment only. You can arrange a visit here.

You can visit the studio on an appointment-only basis in advance. To book a consultation time-slot, visit: Consultations are paid and last 30 minutes.

+44(0)7751 599 612