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  1. There's no doubt that 3D printed parts are becoming part of the mainstream of this hobby of ours, and if you look at some of the products from major players like Eduard and others, you can sometimes just make out the miniscule lines that are the individual layers laid down by a 3D printer to create their masters. The crispness of the parts is unmistakable, and if you have a top-of-the-line printer that costs about as much as a small house (at time of writing), they can be pretty much ready for casting once they're taken off the print platform. The home machines that your average member can just about afford now (providing they have the space) weren't viable for a long time without a great deal of effort, with substantially thicker layers that were quite visible until they were exposed to a solvent to smooth them out, and/or primed and sanded to within an inch of their lives. Times they are a-changing though, and wse now have a newer generation of resin printers that can compete with the best industrial printers in terms of resolution, with 0.01mm layers now being possible with a relatively (and I say that with reservation) inexpensive printer. As time goes by the printers are either getting cheaper, have higher resolutions or both, and this can only benefit us, as we strive to make better models and make subjects that perhaps aren't otherwise available in our chosen scale. We're a long way from just downloading a kit and printing it out to assemble and paint, but some of us can already create or download the 3D files and print out a basic shape of a model already with the extrusion type of printer, and even better detail with resin. I'm interested to see how things progress and hope that one day I'll have the time, space and money available to make my own model parts on my PC. That's the preamble, now for the reason why we're here. We've opened up this area after discussions with some of our more technologically adept members that have seen the future of modelling and decided to create their own model parts and even complete models, or are interested in doing so. It has a number of purposes, as follows: "3D Printing Basics" To disseminate information about the use of 3D printers in general and their uses to modellers. "3D Printing Chat" For idea sharing and getting help with learning to use the hardware, software and understanding how to model in 3D. To create a "3D Makerspace" where modellers proficient in 3D modelling and with access to a printer to show off their creations and if other people want copies, to sell a few copies on an ad hoc basis. You must be a Gold Member to request access. We have created a new member category called 3D Member, and members can be upgraded to this status on request if they are an existing Gold Member, or have made a donation to the server fund of £20 or more before approaching us for conversion. They can then participate in the show-and-sell 3D Makerspace area, and share their work with other members. If anyone by chance should make a mini-business out of it we would expect them to move to the Vendor area but that's only fair, especially to the other 3D Members who might not otherwise get a look in. As I've only got a very limited knowledge of the process and have never created anything myself, we'll be looking for some of the 3D Members to help out with content for the areas to help others to get to grips with basics of it. We're not expecting this area to be a hive of activity initially, as the penetration of the technology hasn't yet reached most of us, but over time it can perhaps help to broaden the appeal of this new aspect of the hobby, and become more active as a result. That's the idea anyway
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