Shapeways Throttle Quad components arrived!

For those of you who may have suspected that nothing was happening over the last two weeks think again 🙂

We have been hard at work on doing the distribution drawings for the Presentation Throttle Quadrant, ordering materials, placing orders for waterjet cutting and the 3D printing of the handles etc.

The latter was ordered from Shapeways in the USA and arrived here in South Africa a week later. We were very impressed with:

  • the promptness,
  • the amount of information available on each component throughout the manufacturing process and
  • The great quality of the prints

The components were all printed in “Black, Strong and Flexible” Nylon through the SLS process.

Shapeways Throttle Order
Order for Throttle Quadrant as received from Shapeways USA

We were very pleased with the way the coarse threads on the throttle handle had come out, and it provides a very strong neat connection while giving easy access to the bomb release button installation.


We had the airscrew handle printed in Premium finish. This entails polishing of the part to reduce the graininess normally associated with SLS. The results, which admittedly are nice, however do not justify the significant extra cost in our minds.

Close-up Airscrew Handle copy
Airscrew handle done in Premium finish

4 thoughts on “Shapeways Throttle Quad components arrived!”

  1. Your newsletter is the only I so eagerly expect!
    You have done very nice work so far and I have to say you inspire me.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Nice project! If you need help with printed parts…..and FDM is acceptable (to 0.125mm)
    We can do you some printing in exchange for MK1X control column drawings!
    contact We don’t do SLS printing. Bed max size is (mm) 140x140x140.
    I prefer to print with HIPS for its ease in gluing and sanding. it is also strong and light.

    I am designing a real aircraft with limited sideways movement for a traditional control column. the articulated aileron control of the Spit is a good solution. i would love to borrow it! the full sized aircraft is very 1930’s in it’s design and construction apart from being electric!

    If you find my post erroneous – my apologies!

    1. Hi Shane,
      Thank you very much for your interest. It sounds like you are busy with an amazing project!

      All our 3D Printing is offered only in SLS Nylon. It is the only cost effective manner in which we achieve the necessary toughness and accuracy we require for our products. We are offering a museum grade product hence we cannot compromise on our standards.

      I would also think you may wish to do the same and not use FDM when applying it to mission critical applications. The SLS Nylon with good design will achieve the necessary strength and reliability for (experimental) aircraft applications. Hopefully at some time you will order one of our Shapeways prints so that you can see the difference?

      We do not offer our 3D Print designs in native format and regrettably our full design (other than the throttle quadrant which is available now) will only be up for purchase at the end of the year.

      However, you may wish to give the following file a try which is available on an Open Source basis:

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