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3d Printer


tundrayeti
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Hello all!

This is my first post. I have been a member for a little over a year and I have done some business with a few members on this site. I love all the ideas that I see and be a design engineer by trade i have an opportunity to get my hands on a 3d printer. Before I do, i would like to use this thread as a sounding board to look into the possibilities that such a device would offer. Personally i would like to use it to make my own detailed models for my various projects.

One of the most frequent questions that I see when someone is making a cool Scratchbuild or customizations is people asking if the model can be done in a different scale. Well i think that the 3d printer would be a very cool way to make that happen. Anyone can make up their idea in the form of a 3d model and that model can then be printed out in any scale that the end user wants. For example If i get a model for say ground support equipment, (boom trucks, etc) if the 3d model isn't already out there, we could use the various talents of people on this site to make that model and it would then be printed out to whatever scale is desired. I would not be interested in making a profit from this, however i would only seek to cover the cost of materials, etc. Let me know what you think.

Edited by tundrayeti
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That would be awesome. There are so many things that groups of people would like, but simply will not get produced due to lack of mass interests, or the perception of. I too, have always wanted one of these. From what I understand, they now have a 3D scanner, and will scan an object, and create a 3D image of the item. Then can be reproduced. If you get this up and running, I'd suggest putting this inside the Toy forum as well once it's up. I'd be happy to pay for stuff that could be made. Thanks for posting here, and welcome to the forums and your first post.

Edited by Jasonc
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That would be awesome. There are so many things that groups of people would like, but simply will not get produced due to lack of mass interests, or the perception of. I too, have always wanted one of these. From what I understand, they now have a 3D scanner, and will scan an object, and create a 3D image of the item. Then can be reproduced. If you get this up and running, I'd suggest putting this inside the Toy forum as well once it's up. I'd be happy to pay for stuff that could be made. Thanks for posting here, and welcome to the forums and your first post.

Actually JasonC I have looked into a scanner setup and i can get one running for about $500 us. take a look on Ebay and see what I'm talking about. Having worked with technology like this in the field has always made me wonder how cool it would be to use modern prototyping techniques in my personal hobbies. It actually started with a diorama of a hangar that i have been working on in the last year. I used CNC technology to make some of the panels and it looked nice. I will try to get some pics posted si that everyone can see some of the possibilities. CNC is nice, but it is a little wasteful where the 3d printer would not be. Well during the course of making this diorama, I found myself thinking, like I see so many people do in these forums, how cool would it be to have a VC-33 mom's kitchen in 1/100 scale or 1/72 scale? or maybe the Centipede? I think it can happen with some of the new technologies out there.

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Hey tundrayeti, glad to have you on board! If you do invest in a 3D printer you can have a LOT of fun with it.

How many threads have been put up about MW members making CG mecha? ? TONNES, that's how many! Potentially that is all raw 3D data just waiting to be printed out. The implications are truly mind boggling!

However, in my experience it is not as simple as just hitting print and 2 hours later you have a transformable VF-4. The results from different generations of printers vary, but If you've read Hobby Japan recently and seen a prototype for Gundam Unicorn or whatever, you may see something like this...

3877954970_d183027ba1.jpg

Kinda rough with lots of 'build lines' visible. These will have to be addressed. Aside from potential legal issues about intellectual properties and such (although if it's just for your own personal enjoyment I think you'd be okay), 3D print-outs need to be refined and cleaned up, molded, casted, painted, movable parts need to be tested for fitting, etc etc (let alone taking into consider the strength of the materials needed for different functions, 4th dimensional planning, maintenance and materials for the printer...), but as a design engineer I'm sure you appreciate that.

But let's be clear, there is a LOT of things you could do with this technology. Think of the coolest toy/accessory you always wanted and was never made. This is now within your grasp!

Custom pilots for your valks? Check.

1/55 VF-1D head in the style of Macross First? Easy.

1/60 Ghost X-9? Piece of piss!

1-foot tall transformable Battle Frontier? That would be a hell of a project... but it can be done!

Please keep us posted if you do decide to go ahead with this. Seriously, I know for a fact that there are people here who can help out if you should wish to proceed.

Think on..!

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1-foot tall transformable Battle Frontier? That would be a hell of a project... but it can be done!

The feasability of this kind of thing is becoming more and more possible I agree, but there are a number of things to take into consideration here. First of all what kind of Stero-Lithography are you thinking of? SLA? SLS? 3DP? something else? each method uses different materials which each have their limits - i.e. cost (SLA resin last time i checked was still extremely expensive), britleness, resolution (amount of detail), etc. So exactly what is possible in terms of the finished product will depend on the method of production. To make transforming toys one would have to do a lot of work in the design of the joints and the parts breakdown. Chances are good that for each joint one would need multiple parts to be fabricated and then these will have to 'cleaned up' (build lines sanded down by hand) & then test-fit together to ensure that they work. Once all of that is done the masters will have to be molded and then cast. Now if you're talking about transformable toys you need to consider what materials are going to be used, some how I don't think polyurethane is the best choice given the material stresses involved in transforming toys.

Don't get me wrong I still think this is a good idea I just think it best to start off with small steps. I'd leave the talk of large scale transforming mecha off the table for now.

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Hey tundrayeti, glad to have you on board! If you do invest in a 3D printer you can have a LOT of fun with it.

How many threads have been put up about MW members making CG mecha? ? TONNES, that's how many! Potentially that is all raw 3D data just waiting to be printed out. The implications are truly mind boggling!

But let's be clear, there is a LOT of things you could do with this technology. Think of the coolest toy/accessory you always wanted and was never made. This is now within your grasp!

Custom pilots for your valks? Check.

1/55 VF-1D head in the style of Macross First? Easy.

1/60 Ghost X-9? Piece of piss!

1-foot tall transformable Battle Frontier? That would be a hell of a project... but it can be done!

Please keep us posted if you do decide to go ahead with this. Seriously, I know for a fact that there are people here who can help out if you should wish to proceed.

Think on..!

I like where some of the ideas are going with this. Of course I would not be looking to compete with what is already out there. I like your idea for the pilots etc... maybe even some add on acessories for existing toys/models. originally the idea came from what isn't avaliable. one day i was thinking how cool it would be to have a cat's eye recon plane in a certain scale. or maybe a VC-33 mom's kitchen? ground crew and equipment, let's face it the Valks don't fix themselves. or maybe even some background greebles etc for your display. Of course large scale transformable mecha would be possible, but with so much out there already done, it seems more feesible to start small and work our way up.

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The feasability of this kind of thing is becoming more and more possible I agree, but there are a number of things to take into consideration here. First of all what kind of Stero-Lithography are you thinking of? SLA? SLS? 3DP? something else? each method uses different materials which each have their limits - i.e. cost (SLA resin last time i checked was still extremely expensive), britleness, resolution (amount of detail), etc. So exactly what is possible in terms of the finished product will depend on the method of production. To make transforming toys one would have to do a lot of work in the design of the joints and the parts breakdown. Chances are good that for each joint one would need multiple parts to be fabricated and then these will have to 'cleaned up' (build lines sanded down by hand) & then test-fit together to ensure that they work. Once all of that is done the masters will have to be molded and then cast. Now if you're talking about transformable toys you need to consider what materials are going to be used, some how I don't think polyurethane is the best choice given the material stresses involved in transforming toys.

Don't get me wrong I still think this is a good idea I just think it best to start off with small steps. I'd leave the talk of large scale transforming mecha off the table for now.

Chas you have some excellent points and I am looking at small scale non transformable items to start. The unit i'm looking into prints in ABS plastic, so i would think that the end result would be pretty robust. Of course testing it out and seeing how far the technology can go would be the first thing. I know that the newer units can print materials fully assembled with moving parts so the possibilities could be endless. transforming toys would be a bis deal, but for starters, i would like to start out with easy items like support aircraft, ground vehicles, figures, and scenery. i have no doubt that with the creative talents of some of the people on this site it could go much farther.

Very encouraging so far everyone thanks for the input!

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Don't get me wrong I still think this is a good idea I just think it best to start off with small steps. I'd leave the talk of large scale transforming mecha off the table for now.

Totally agree! Just got a little carried away. :p

But one of the reasons I want to expand my digital sculpture skills is precisely for this reason. I've noticed with many of my valk figures that there is so often just little elements that were overlooked in the development process that would make the figure drastically improved. Things like thigh swivels, hip pivots and re-sculpted heads would be much easier to develop and produce making them more clean, uniform and versatile.

Especially if its for small components or accessories the implications are awesome! with a combination of mechanical chain bases from Kotobukiya and a 3D sculpture program you can make a 'Macross Factory' set-up for 1:60 or even 1:48 valks, or make MDE bombs that attach to a DX armored VF-25...

Sorry, need to go sit down for a little while again :lol:

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I was looking into a dimension Uprint. it prints is UBS plastic so The models would be pretty tough.

I think this machine is excellent for making parts that are mechanically functional. But I don't think the plastic used is very sandable.

The layer thickness of 0.010" is way too fat for what I would want yoo. That's just like layering up styrene sheets by hand.

http://www.develop3d.com/uploaded_images/P...-RGB-716919.jpg

http://www.develop3d.com/uploaded_images/T...-RGB-799882.jpg

http://fadedmirror.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/uprint2.jpg

http://www.huv.com/blog/uploaded_images/Na...rint-757810.jpg

I noticed that a lot of the sample photos are fuzzy.

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But I don't think the plastic used is very sandable.

The layer thickness of 0.010" is way too fat . . .

That was exactly what I thought when I read

The unit i'm looking into prints in ABS plastic

ABS is notoriously hard to 'work' and because all of the various methods of automated 3 dimensional constuction (that I'm aware of) build items in a series of layers, the end products will always have 'steps' where a new layer was begun. These machines do not produce a 'finished' model. Usually what comes out at the end of this process is 'hand-worked' to a smooth finished 'pattern' from which a mould is made, and then casts are produced. At least that's how we used to do it in ther shop that I worked at back in '03-'04. We used SLA and SLS to produce the patterns.

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My experience with this technology is that we are getting close. Having said this, 1/72 modelers have a while to wait; the stepping and resolution means a lot of work still needs to be done afterwards. In some cases, the detail means you might as well start from scratch for smaller pieces.

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Kinda rough with lots of 'build lines' visible. These will have to be addressed. Aside from potential legal issues about intellectual properties and such (although if it's just for your own personal enjoyment I think you'd be okay), 3D print-outs need to be refined and cleaned up, molded, casted, painted, movable parts need to be tested for fitting, etc etc (let alone taking into consider the strength of the materials needed for different functions, 4th dimensional planning, maintenance and materials for the printer...), but as a design engineer I'm sure you appreciate that

I don't think you'd have to worry too much about legal issues. If you're making these with no profit, and at such limited numbers, I don't think it'll be an issue. If it is, you'll get a C&D order,,,basically just a "stop doing that" letter. In any case, I'd be delighted to support this cause.

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I keep looking at this stuff every once in a while, but anything even remotely good enough to produce "no sanding necessary" parts to model-building caliber is still about 15K and up. The technology is almost there, but the cost still has a ways to go, and frankly, hand-made parts might not be micro-milimeter accurate, but they're a helluva lot faster and cheaper... And where static models are concerned, some of the very best stuff I've ever seen was done by hand, and often just plain looks better than something computer-generated...At least to me.

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I keep looking at this stuff every once in a while, but anything even remotely good enough to produce "no sanding necessary" parts to model-building caliber is still about 15K and up. The technology is almost there, but the cost still has a ways to go, and frankly, hand-made parts might not be micro-milimeter accurate, but they're a helluva lot faster and cheaper... And where static models are concerned, some of the very best stuff I've ever seen was done by hand, and often just plain looks better than something computer-generated...At least to me.

Well that explains why 'Prototyping' is still an expensive service: to produce good quality prototypes still involves a lot of 'hand working' and skill (as in skilled trades people) ergo $$$$

Edited by Chas
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It just seems to me that, a decade or so down the line, all my resin kits will be worthless because anybody will be able to fabricate a copy right at home with their $99 walmart 3-d printer. :(

Yeah but then you can just scan it with your 49.99 scanner and make more!

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my 2 cents

All my models are done for manufacture , or printing ........one day , even if you can afford the 3d Printer , it only does a small amount of printing before you need to replace cartridge , in South Africa a printer would cost R130 000.00 (+- $ 17 000.00 ) and a cartridge R1000 ( +-$ 133.00), if you do the math that doesn't make sense and you need a lot of work to keep such a printer going ......

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Thanks for all your input. There is no doubt that technology is moving forward at a very fast pace. eventualluy you could go to Walmart and buy a 3d printer for 99 bucks. from a lot of the technology shows and such that i watch everyone seems to think that in the future, you would just download the scematic for whatever car, or device you are buying and then print it out on your home 3d printer. Heck they are even talking about printing Human tissue. Before this gets into a technology debate, I just want to make clear that my motives for getting this machine come from 2 places:

1) for my own use for my job. It would be nice to be able to test my designs quickly. without having to tool them.

2) The reason I posted this thread. As I look around this site at all the cool ideas and the scratchbuild that people are doing one of the most common things I keep seeing is "could you make this in (whatever) scale", or "I would love to get my hands on one of those." well i hope my point is made. I agree with Capt. that this should in no way replace scratchbuiling as an artform. I simply saw a way to possibly fufill some of those requests that i see made so often on this site.

Most likely I will purchase this machine for my job. If I do so i will maybe do a couple test prints of some basic models and post them just to see the limitations of this device. I'm not in any rush to get this machine right away. I want to make sure it will meet my needs for my job first.

I appreciate all of your suggestion and comments.

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my 2 cents

All my models are done for manufacture , or printing ........one day , even if you can afford the 3d Printer , it only does a small amount of printing before you need to replace cartridge , in South Africa a printer would cost R130 000.00 (+- $ 17 000.00 ) and a cartridge R1000 ( +-$ 133.00), if you do the math that doesn't make sense and you need a lot of work to keep such a printer going ......

The models I was looking at are between $9000-$14000. I'm still doing some research, but the 2 machines I'm looking at are the Uprint from Stratasys, and the V-flash from 3d Systems. The reviews from both seem pretty good as far as maintainence, and I actually know a couple schools locally that have the Uprint so I'm gonna get to see that one up close. I would like to hear more about the machines that you are working with though. From a professional standpoint i would love to hear your thoughts on the process as an alternative means to traditional tooling and prototyping methods

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Interesting thread. This Prototyping service has some detailed model examples.

http://www.crystallinemodels.com/

got the link from this blog.

http://www.plasticpals.com/?p=15179

I might try out a small piece if it's not too expansive.

Thanks for the info. actually they are using one of the printers I am considering. I might just get a small model printed to see what it can do.

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If you do start on this, I suggest starting with the Ghost x-9 in 1/60 scale. That seems to be a topic of interest lateley, and by what I've researched, doing this method would look better than the 1/72 model kit that came out several years ago.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have received some samples. These are from the V-Flash. I took these pictures using a camera macro to bring out the detail. I must say that you can't see the steps with the naked eye (at least I can't)

All that aside I'm pretty impressed with the results. Each or these steps is .004" thick. I will do a paint test and sanding test to see if this will smooth out some of those steps but the detail is pretty good.

these samples were created from the same model, in different scales. Which is pretty much what I want to do. I have been working on a couple models to test. One of the is a VC-33 Mom's kitchen and

The SC-27 Stargoose. Someone sent me a rough 3d model of the Stargoose that I am modifying so it is more accurate and detailed. I will post pictures. The Vendor I am dealing with will let me print a

test model at cost and I will then post pictures here and get some more opinions.

post-7782-1257776707_thumb.jpgpost-7782-1257777049_thumb.jpgpost-7782-1257777165_thumb.jpg

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Here are the pictures of the paint and sanding tests. the paint actually helps fill in the steps from the printing and smoothed the model out. So it appears that the plastic from a 3d printer can be painted and sanded quite easily. I will be doing the adhesive test and the drill test later today. i will post the photos by tomorrow.

post-7782-1258300245_thumb.jpgpost-7782-1258300279_thumb.jpgpost-7782-1258300319_thumb.jpgpost-7782-1258300352_thumb.jpg

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Very interesting topic and thanks for the photos and info tundrayeti. :)

I've been seriously considering doing something like this myself too. I put in an application yesterday to study Product Design with the intention of learning about 3D scanning and printing in the hopes of being able to start a career doing it. The places in the course are very limited and competition is "intense" so I'm not overly optimistic, but we'll see.

I've been thinking of sending off a couple of parts to be scanned with the intention of then modifying the data and having it printed out. I'm not quite sure what the cost for the scanning would be tho so if anyone could give me a rough idea I would appreciate it. :unsure:

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Sorry for the delay, i had to go out of town, but here are photos of the drill test and the glue. I used a standard modelling glue and it is holding very well. The drill holes look pretty clean. Another idea I had would be to use the printer to make molds and that would further reduce costs. Some of my other ideas would be to maybe do 1/1 representations of equipment. I always liked the Gallant H90 from Mospeada so why not make one?

post-7782-1258756397_thumb.jpgpost-7782-1258756436_thumb.jpg

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Very interesting topic and thanks for the photos and info tundrayeti. :)

I've been seriously considering doing something like this myself too. I put in an application yesterday to study Product Design with the intention of learning about 3D scanning and printing in the hopes of being able to start a career doing it. The places in the course are very limited and competition is "intense" so I'm not overly optimistic, but we'll see.

I've been thinking of sending off a couple of parts to be scanned with the intention of then modifying the data and having it printed out. I'm not quite sure what the cost for the scanning would be tho so if anyone could give me a rough idea I would appreciate it. :unsure:

I was looking into getting a 3d scanner as part of this endeavor. There is someone on ebay who makes 3d scanners that are relatively inexpensive. If and when i get this project off the ground I'm sure something could be arranged.

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