Anyone tied 3D printing?

Last I heard you can get a 'home printer' with a resolution of 5 microns horizonatal and 10 microns vertical, 10 microns is about the thickness of a human hair and as I model in 1:72 or 20mm scale thats not quite good enough for a model.
The potential, however, is interesting. I grew up on Airfix Magazine so when I look at a kit I wonder what I can convert it into.
--
Cheers

Mike

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

The width of a human hair is to coarse for 1/72 modeling? What exactly is your standard? I don't have any kits with detail that fine.
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On Tuesday, 19 August 2014 16:13:30 UTC+1, Frank Tauss wrote:

s
On a rifle for example it'd show up, it is very good but I'd like 5x5 micro ns, then all sorts of really fine and fiddly things become possible, for ex ample printing the anti grenade screens on the German 20mm armed turrets.
My main interest is in making bits, ever since I was a kid I fancied a 'spa ce base' and now I'm retired I have a youngster in my sights as a victim, I mean as a recipient of said space base that I have a hankering to make but no room for. Its the 'rule of threes', three of something is significantl y different from one or two, so I want to make a few of the various craft, ground support vehicles etc. as well as the buildings, several of which wil l be the same.
In the stash are half a dozen Airfix '2001 shuttle' kits, about the same nu mber of 'Angel Interceptors', five Heljan Frellon helicopters in some odd s cale that's make lovely small transports and a few 'one off's' such as a Cy lon saucer (the old one with the Airfix Sherman tank sprockets as air intak es).
This goes back a long way, over 40 years, I'd like to get it done, not leas t so my family will not have to try and find homes for all my stuff.
Cheers
Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've had some (very) limited professional experience with 3D printers and you are correct - the surface finish of a *typical* 3D printed part is in no way comparable to an injection molded plastic part. It wouldn't even be suitable for use at 1/32 scale in the raw, IMO.
However - that's said of a "typical" 3D printing. I've seen finely printed 3D parts that look as good as cast resin...but I'd venture to say that none of us here could afford those types of machines, nor care to wait the amount of time it takes to print a part at this quality.
That said, I like this line of 3D printers for hobby use -
http://store.makerbot.com/compare
In particular I like the 5th Gen Replicator and am considering buying one...and even so, note that it only specs a *100* micron vertical resolution at it's near $3K price point. Still, depending on the size part you desire to print, this resolution is nothing that I feel that Mr. Surfacer couldn't smooth out...but you would/will end up doing some hand work.
Another thing to note about this machine is that it is somewhat hackable - i.e.; it may be possible to obtain higher resolutions from it by changing out it's stepper motors, using different software, etc. This is something else one should also consider when shopping for a 3D printer, or any CNC machine.
IMO, unless you are prototyping masters for full scale parts, or have very (very) deep pockets (like the price of a new car deep...) for an engineering quality machine, a hobby 3D printer is best suited to printing master plugs for resin casting, and for figure models in particular, IMO. And/or larger scale models - meaning 1/32, 1/12, and larger scales.
They are also handy for making production tooling and holding fixtures for other projects.
--
- Rufus

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There is a method, using a solvent in an enclosed container with heat being applied, I think, that will smooth out the surface of a plastic printed part. How it actually works and what smoothness it actually give is open, I guess, to your own inspection. There was a video on you tube about it a while back If you're interested, this is a link that I've been watching: http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=+printer&catId=&initiative_id=SB_20140409083436 with 3D printers from China that have prices that are somewhat less than here in the US. R. Wink
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On Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:47:06 -0500, rwwink wrote:

Thanks chaps - Interesting, you know a lot more than I do about this. I was at a Maker Fair last year which is where they were talking about th
for the machine in question. I went again this year but it was held in a restored 1830 warehouse (at the oldest surviving railways station in the world), they were on the top floor and the heat was oppressive so I bailed out before chatting to them. I could go for a white metal approach, something like the old Centricast but I find white metal models heavy, I don't know why but they feel sort of 'wrong' and as the Plan includes quite large space craft to be played with by children white metal is probably not ideal (heavy, fragile, toxic etc). Having said which in my scale things have improved, some figures are now as good as most plastic figures, no more the giant heads and blobby detail. I was at a toy soldier show in Manchester (England) a couple of years back where a chap was showing off a squadron of Polish winged hussars in 1:72. They were made by a brain surgeon in Poland who makes figures for a hobby and sends them to friends. Frankly they were as good as or better than any injection moulded figures I have ever seen, right down to the expressions on the horses faces. Truly amazing. I have some white metal troops on order to finish a project I started many years ago showing representative forces in NATO and WP in NW Europe in about 1980. That is of course now definately historical modelling! I prefer the story telling diorama approach to the big scale model on a shelf, I suspect I never grew out of playing with toy soldiers.
Thanks again for the responses, I am following the links offered, if I come up with anything interesting I'll post an update to the Group.
--
Cheers

Mike

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Mike Smith wrote:


If you've ever seen the 3D modeling programs Poser or Blender (which is freeware) I can only imagine that these are what your brain surgeon is using to do his figure modeling. Most 3D printers will print models directly from .obj files, and 3D animation/rendering packages like Poser, Blender, or Maya at the high end make printing figures a dead snap by being able to output printer compatible file types...there are many, many, *thousands* of gigabytes of free (and payware), poseable models and content out there from weapons to clothing to vehicles to buildings...this is why I mentioned feeling that 3D printers are very well suited to producing figure models.
Just to add something I'd not pointed out clearly before, the "100 micron resolution" I pointed out for the Makerbot line of printers is the *layer to layer* resolution, and it is *this* resolution that accounts for the surface roughness in the printed part - not the head positioning resolution/accuracy. It is the layer resolution that makes the surface finish of a printed part look like a vinyl record. Or worse.
Layer resolution is likely a function of the filament material you use to print your model, it's melting temperature, and head speed. More things to consider when looking.
I also discovered this morning that my office is considering buying a Makerbot Replicator Z18 (to the tune of over $10K...), so I may actually get to play with one of the Makerbot line before I make any decision to actually buy a Replicator 5th Gen for myself. We'll see how this pans out...
--
- Rufus

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rwwink wrote:

Interesting, in that the Makerbot folks also list a "dissolvable" filament -
http://store.makerbot.com/dissolvable-filament
But only certain of their printers are compatible with it.
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- Rufus

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On Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:57:46 -0700, Rufus wrote:

Thanks - And I misremembered, a human hair is about 100 microns not ten so a 10 micron rinter would do all I need.
Makerbot's site looks interesting though, 100 micron resolution might be workable for larger objects with a bit of a polish.
I am surprised there are not more people offering a 'you design it we print it' service.
Thanks again for the responses
Cheers
Mike
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Mike Smith wrote:

Actually, if you do a quick Google on "3D printing services" you'll find that there are quite a few services that will do 3D prints for you of models you upload; this is one I'm most familiar with -
http://www.shapeways.com/create?li=nav
And another -
http://www.sculpteo.com/en/
Some of them will/can even print parts in metal...but I hear that is expensive.
--
- Rufus

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On Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:04:29 -0700, Rufus wrote:

Thanks for that. There is a local arts and crafts shop that has been in place for years (at least 40), in the basement hey now offer a photo studio with assistance and also a laser cutting studio, again with assistance, and I suggested a 3D print service might be useful. I live in Manchester (England) which has the largest student population in Europe so there are numerous groups playing with things like this, I was working too hard and didn't have the time/energy to attend, then I gave up work to write a book and found I was working 18 hours a day 7 days a week for several months. The book is writ and once I return to Earth I shall make the pilgrimage and investigate further. I suspect the learning curve on the creation software (notably Blender) is going to be a bit steep, but I do want to build that damned space base, just so I can finally forget it and stop collecting odd bits and pieces to go into it! Just got a device for programming a chip so I can add ripple lights along the runway, flashing high building lights on top of buildings etc. I hope to get this out of the door before I die!
--

Cheers

Mike

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Mike Smith wrote:

I wish I had access to such...there seems to be far more of this sort of thing going on outside of the USA...I think that even one of the services I cited is only business headquartered in the USA and the actual printing is done in the Netherlands and then shipped to you.
You are correct, one of the longest things it takes to master is the modeling software itself, and as with building any model the 3D prints are going to reflect how well you build your model on the computer. And getting an eye/feel for how things look on a screen and what they will look like in real life can be a learning curve as well.
Here's anther interesting free package to play with, just to get a feel of some of this -
http://www.123dapp.com/make
Quite a few people I know have been making CNC router tables, and I plan to make at least one, possibly two - a small one and a large one. 123D Make is a great app for doing flat parts on a CNC router with.
And they also link some 3D printing service -
http://www.123dapp.com/3d-printing-services
This is also very interesting - 3D models from photos -
http://www.123dapp.com/catch
Mouse around this site for info...I think you'll enjoy.
--
- Rufus

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On Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:03:41 -0700, Rufus wrote:

Thanks again - I do like the look of the photo capture approach - I am sure I can make 'one off' something well enough, it's when you need three or more it becomes difficult.
Cheers
Mike
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Mike Smith wrote:

Here's another pending 3D printer that appears to work by laser fusing the layers vise using a heated nozzle for layer deposition...surface finish looks a lot smoother, and about the same price point as the Makerbots -
<http://fslaser.com/products/3d-printers/pegasus-touch-laser-3d-printer-by-fsl3d
I've had my eye on these folks, they are based in Las Vegas, NV. I'd like to have one of their laser cutters; a friends of mine that built a large CNC table has one -
http://fslaser.com/products/lasers/hobby-lasers/newhobby
These are also "hackable".
--
- Rufus

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Rufus wrote:

...no wonder - this is a stereo-lithography printer...*far* more precise, but the resin printings aren't as tough as ABS or PLA.
Very good for making masters for resin casting.
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- Rufus

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On Sun, 24 Aug 2014 19:16:57 -0700, Rufus wrote:

It is all very tempting. For some jobs I might get away with vac-forming, which has the advantage of being cheap (kitchen oven, fish tank, vacuum cleaner and a tap to let the air in). The hesitation is because I still remember trying to built some vac-form Hind helicopters for my toy soldier collection.
I'l have a bit of a potter around the MadLam in Manchester, quite a few enthusiasts there, I'll see what they suggest. They may offer to print the bits I need for a fee, which would be an interesting test of the technology.
Cheers
Mike
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Mike Smith wrote:

That's certainly another good use for 3D printers - making plugs for vac-forming. Again, you'd need to pay attention to what material the printer prints with - it's strength and melting temperature - and select the right printer and material combination for the job.
I was a bit surprised to find a stereo-lithography printer at this price point - I've seen industrial examples of these sort of prints at work, and the surface finish of parts from very high-end printers of this sort can be smooth as glass and extremely precise. But the cost of such printers is far more than our houses.
And even for this one, I suspect the cost of operation would run high - such printers use lasers to cure a resin to print a part, and that's how they can do it so smoothly and precisely. But laser tubes also wear out after x number of firings and then have to be replaced, so the more parts you make and the more precise you make them the more you end up needing to replace the laser tubes (two at a minimum in such a printer - hence "stereo" lithography), and they aren't cheap.
--
- Rufus

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Any thoughts on this one, Rufus?
http://promotions.newegg.com/printers/14-4355/index.html?nm_mc=EMC- IGNEFL082814&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL082814-_-EMC-082814-Index-_-MECH-_- printers-EB1A&et_cid729&et_rid002609
Tom
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Tom Thompson wrote:

It seems well-built, but what I don't like about it is that it seems to only support 2 input file formats - .stl and XYZ. This means that you will be *very* limited in the choices for software that you can use to do your modeling.
.stl is a stereo lithography format and is a standard for 3D, but in general only the high end CAD packages like Solidworks or Autocad may output .stl files.
XYZ is a format I've never heard of...but a quick Google makes it seem to be popular with chemists and biologists for describing molecular geometry...say *what*?...
Any 3D printer worth a look should at a bare minimum support printing from .obj output - there are tons of *free* CAD and 3D packages that support this most basic of 3D file types. I have a feeling that the cost/availability of supporting software, and learning curve to build 3D models with that software put this particular printer at a disadvantage.
--
- Rufus

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Thanks for the feedback....
T2
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