Get the Most out of
3D Printing Services

Timely and accurate delivery of your 3D Printed parts is critical to anyone utilizing 3D Printing as a service. To further assist our customers, this page and the linked resources are our way of helping customers get more out of their additive manufacturing efforts.

Take a look at the information below to learn more about 3D Printing in general and with PADT.  If you don’t see what you are looking for, please contact us at 480.813.4884 or  We would be happy to  assist.

Doing 3D Printing with PADT

Working with PADT for 3D Printing is a bit different compared to other service providers.  You don't throw your models over the wall, get a quote in an email,  and then receive your part a few days later.  Our manufacturing engineers work with you to understand your part’s uses and determine the best technology and materials given your specifications and budget guidelines. 

Here is how the process works:

  • Prepare your CAD model to represent your chosen component or components.
  • Save it as a file:
    • The best is for you to export your CAD model as an STL file
    • If you have a SolidWorks, Pro/E, NX, or SolidEdge file, save in that native format.
    • If you have a different CAD system, save as IGES, STEP, or Parasolid, or SAT.
  • Repeat for each of the parts you want.
  • Compress the file(s).
    • It will save time if you make a ZIP file that contains all your files
    •  Relevantly name your file. We like:  Something like
  • Send us the zip file in any of these three ways:
    • Email it to with your contact information.
    • Add to a dropbox or secure file sharing location and send us a link  at
    • Email or call 480.813.4884 to request access to our secure upload site.
  • To speed up the process, you can help us out by providing some additional information:
    • Your planned use for the parts
    • Process or material preferences
    •  Post processing needs, such as painting, clear coat, or texturizing
    • How you want your finished parts: shipped, currier, or pickup.
  • Once we receive your file and your contact information, your request is added to our quote queue. Our engineers will look at the file and contact you with any questions. They will then generate and email over a quotation.  The quote will include pricing, processes we plan to use, and an estimated delivery time.
  • If you like what you see, you will send us authorization to make your part.
    • If you already have an established account with PADT, simply send us a Purchase Order
    • If you do not have an account, call us to give your credit card information over the phone
  • We will then start in on making your partsyour part(s). 
  • Your parts will be delivered by your specified shipping method.
Prototype for a fan housing

Understanding the Technologies

As 3D Printing gets better and better, it is more and more difficult to get your head around all the technical aspects of the technology. There are always new technologies, new materials, and new applications to study and understand. And the name keeps changing. We called it Rapid Prototyping for years, but now use 3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing.

PADT has prepared some material to explain the basics as well as some more detailed information.
[Not all the material is available, we are adding it over time]

There are a lot of great resources on the web as well. Some that we suggest are:

  • Wholers and Associates: This is the best overview of Rapid Prototyping on the web
  • This is a nice collection of free tools for rapid prototyping
  • RP-ML is the RP mailing list. It’s been in existence since 1995.  If someone asked a question about RP, more than likely it’s on this list.
Prototype for gear housing
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