Knowledge Center
KNOWLEDGE CENTER
Get Started on SmartQuote:   In the knowledge center, you will find information on 3D printing materials and technologies, tips, tricks, and other how-to’s for additive manufacturing — lower costs, decrease time, and achieve the best possible finished product on SmartQuote. FATHOM is more than just a 3D printing focused company. From advanced prototype fabrication to bridge-to-production services, FATHOM also offers CNC machining, injection molding, urethane casting, and 3D scanning. Speak with a SmartQuote specialist to learn more. Speak with a SmartQuote specialist to learn more about how FATHOM is uniquely blending 3D printing with legacy manufacturing methods so companies can go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in a way that wasn’t previously possible.
TECHNOLOGIES, MATERIALS & SERVICES
3D Printer Sales & Services Quick guide on all services offered.
How 3D Printing Works Infographic overview of PolyJet.
3D Printing Material Datasheet Chart includes PolyJet, FDM, SLS, and DMLS.
Model Finishing Services Sanding, priming, painting, and more.
Injection Molding Services Parts in days, not weeks or months — achieve better results faster with an advanced additive manufacturing expert.
Matte Vs Glossy (PolyJet) Guide on why to choose matte or glossy when ordering a PolyJet part.
WHITE PAPERS & INTERVIEWS
From Rhino to STL Optimize exporting — get high quality 3D prints from your Rhino models with these guidelines
SolidWorks for Multi-Material Guidelines and best practices for using SolidWorks to generate multi-material 3D printed parts — includes simulated overmolding.
Model Finishing for 3D Printing A variety of post-processing techniques can be applied to 3D printed parts — interview with FATHOM experts.
3D Printing Assemblies with Moving Parts FATHOM mechanical engineer Alexei Samimi investigates 3D printing moving parts — comparison between FDM and PolyJet.
Form, Fit, and Function Testing Creators Atom, an innovative bicycle-based charging system, explain how 3D printing helped validate concept, design, and functionality.
FEATURED RESOURCES
Materials Overview
From smooth surfaces to thin walls to complex geometries to rigid to flexible — a variety of material options are available on SmartQuote to meet your application needs.
Technologies Overview
An overview of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies available at FATHOM’s Oakland and Seattle advanced production centers.
Make the Unmakeable Contest
FATHOM is challenging all designers and engineers to think differently about how they design and manufacture products today — enter to win a professional 3D printer!
3D Printing Arm Casts
#CAST “Hash Cast” is the new way to customize your broken arm cast with personal messages aggregated from your family and friends through social media.
Transforming Metal Casting
San Francisco Bay Area companies FATHOM, Scansite, and Artwork Foundry are transforming the ancient art of metal casting using advanced 3D tech to replicate statues by Michelangelo.
55-Part Complex Assembly
After the Coolest Cooler campaign closed as the most funded of all-time on Kickstarter, the team had less than two weeks to prototype the refined design for TIME Magazine.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR USING SMARTQUOTE
  1. When exporting STLs from Solidworks, Rhino, or other CAD software —
    Adjust STL export settings for high quality to ensure better accuracy and smoother curves.
  2. If you want to specify the orientation at which your part should be printed —
    please include clear instructions in the comments box and a SmartQuote specialist will follow-up with you to discuss.
  3. For best results, wall thicknesses, pegs, fins, and other features should be greater than 1mm —
    All features are dependent on geometry and subject to review by a SmartQuote specialist.
  4. Opting for sparse fill on FDM parts is ideal for reducing overall weight of part —
    Be sure to include “sparse fill” in the comments section and a SmartQuote specialist will follow-up.
  5. Any splits, voids or gaps should be larger than 0.6mm —
    This will prevent material from fusing together during the 3D printing process.
  6. For best surface finish on small to medium sized parts, PolyJet is ideal —
    For larger parts, or where surface finish is less of a concern versus strength or durability, FDM is ideal.
  7. For parts larger than 200mm that require smooth surface finishes —
    Stereolithography and CNC machining should both be considered.