Level up to impress; Level down to save $$

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Wait… What? You don’t need it to be perfect?!?

Did you know that Designcraft offers different levels of finish quality? As much as we love to chase perfection, we understand that not all models have the same audience, and that every model doesn’t require the same high level of fidelity in order to be a useful design evaluation tool. Being able to concisely communicate your cosmetic quality needs to your Technical Sales Rep can have a huge impact on the cost of your project.

Designcraft uses a finishing scale from F0 – F5 to determine our various levels of quality. Our Technical Sales Reps are specifically trained to help clients find the best fit for every project. Below are some of the key differentiators between our levels of quality.

Different fidelity models of the same device.

Level F0 would be for “raw” SLA, CNC, or 3D printed parts, also called strip-and-ship for some suppliers. Parts will be de-burred/de-flashed/stripped of supports, cleaned and shipped, with no additional secondary processing.

Secondary processing is introduced in tier F1; this could be sanding, bead blasting, installing threaded inserts, or verifying a mechanical fit with other components. While suitable for the most basic of form studies, level F1 is more commonly used for engineering models with no visual requirements.

Level F2 begins to incorporate aesthetic requirements with primer, paint, laser marking, and simple masking, but cosmetic imperfections are still accepted. Level F2 is often used for single color form study models. Our popular “Engineering Clear” SLA finish also falls into this category.

Models that begin to capture the qualities we attribute to visual models are considered Level F3; they will have specific paint textures, high-gloss/polished/brushed finishes, custom graphics, and could include mechanisms. While capturing these cosmetic details, these are still budget-driven models, and minor imperfections will still be permissible.

Level F4 high-fidelity models are expected to be virtually flawless and free of imperfections. This includes dust-free paint, and clear coat that has been “cut and buffed” to eliminate pooling. At this level, we discourage the use of SLA or other 3D printed substrates in favor of CNC machined components. These models may require custom textures, functionality, and any of the requirements from previous tiers.

Need to knock their socks off? F5 is our highest tier, prioritizing quality above all else. Projects bearing the F5 title are exclusively handled by our most elite personnel, and every detail will be given the attention one would expect from a bespoke, VIP experience. Usually reserved for the most important reviews and presentations, F5 models often incorporate exotic materials, cutting-edge new processes, custom color anodizing, and a high level of functionality.


Be sure to communicate to your Technical Sales Rep the intended use and audience you’re looking to impress. By knowing the audience and the intention behind your model, Designcraft can create the most budget friendly solution for your project.

Have a project you’d like to discuss with us? Contact us today!

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