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Welcome to our new 3D Printing Area


Mike
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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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Excellent idea for a section Mike. Having learning the nuances printing  the hard way ( hit the button and pray) I look forward to learning and helping along if I may.

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4 minutes ago, LorenSharp said:

Excellent idea for a section Mike. Having learning the nuances printing  the hard way ( hit the button and pray) I look forward to learning and helping along if I may.

Well hopefully some of you lovely folks will submit articles or How-to guides to flesh this area out.  I've already been speaking to a few of the 3D Printer users we have here, so hopefully we'll get some stuff in here soon that will have you reaching for your wallet for the latest technology, hopefully without bankrupting yourself or incurring the wrath of your other half, who wanted a new sofa, not a robot that spits out funny-looking bits of plastic. :frantic:

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Great idea, although I don’t own a printer as they become more affordable I hope to be able to get my hands on one. I’d be very interested in what equipment you need to get going, but equally how do you go from an idea of the piece you want, to actually getting it printed. It seems to me you need a degree in CAD

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Excellent idea Mike!

I hope to be on the market for a 3D printer later in the year (job depending..), so am interested in which printer type etc.

My background is laser printers, so have been expecting a move into a 3D dimension for quite a few years now.

Now it looks like a reality.

I'll be watching with interest.

 

Rick.

 

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Thanks for the positive reaction folks :yes: It's not 100% my idea, having been triggered by a few 3D printing enthusiasts who wanted a place to talk on the forum. That led to some thinking on my part (shocking, I know) that developed into what you can see here. There will be some changes I'm sure, as I'm approaching it from the point of view of someone that knows a little about 3D printing from afar, and my knowledge is a bit out of date.

 

Hopefully, the section's development will be driven by suggestions from those that know more about it, and are prepared to share their hard-won knowledge with others. :)

 

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On 23/07/2020 at 20:52, Mike said:

Well hopefully some of you lovely folks will submit articles or How-to guides to flesh this area out.

Thanks for setting this area up

 

I’ve some text that I wrote up as a general intro to the topic & technologies I’ll dig out and rework to fit

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3 hours ago, LostCosmonauts said:

I’ve some text that I wrote up as a general intro to the topic & technologies I’ll dig out and rework to fit

Super! :)

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Hello Mike 

 

A great idea of you to make a area for 3D Printers. Im really sure that's the future of modelling. Very expensive resin conversions sets will be out. Nobody need it anymore. And as soon as the Printers going cheaper as a normal paper printer it will be in at every seriously modeler. But i think that will take 10 to 15 years more. But it will happen. If we remember how expensive was the first Video recorders in the 80th, some people was thinking do i buy another car or a new Video recorder? ( joke )

So its semilar now with 3D Printers, we have just to wait the price of 3D Printers going down.

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A very good addition to the forum @Mike 👍 I've been using 3D printing technology and designing special parts for my modeling for ten years now. It has opened up so many new possibilities and now it is something I couldn't be without. Just like when I started printing my own decals some 20 years ago.

 

Just a small question or clarification if I may; the forum section "3D Makerspace" and the new member category "3D Member", will those be open only for those of us who create our own parts and operate their own 3D printers, or will at also be open to those of us who create our own parts but use external 3D printing services (f.ex. Shapeways and others)?

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40 minutes ago, Bengalensis said:

Just a small question or clarification if I may; the forum section "3D Makerspace" and the new member category "3D Member", will those be open only for those of us who create our own parts and operate their own 3D printers, or will at also be open to those of us who create our own parts but use external 3D printing services (f.ex. Shapeways and others)?

That's a good question. I don't know how someone using a 3rd party printing service works, so you'll have to educate me. Do you get a commission whenever anyone buys your item from them? Drop me a PM if you like :)

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1 hour ago, Mike said:

That's a good question. I don't know how someone using a 3rd party printing service works, so you'll have to educate me. Do you get a commission whenever anyone buys your item from them? Drop me a PM if you like :)

There are at least two different scenarios when using a 3rd party printing service for basically your own parts, that may be of interest in this question:

 

When I have created some parts for a project I usually want them ASAP, but here is also some "brake even" point where the printing volume gets most cost effective. It costs about the same to print and ship a small tree of say the four parts that is my own need, as it costs to print a tree of 10 or 20 of the same parts. So I often print 10 or 20 parts, and get a lot extra parts around. In my case mostly parts for odd subjects no one else wants, but that's another story...

 

You can also, at least at Shapeways, set up your own "store" where you can make your parts available and you will get a small commission on eventual sales. I have a friend who have done so for parts he mostly created for his own interest, and I think he may have earned like 0,01-0,1 £ for every hour working in the 3D CAD with those parts when someone else bought something. Also it has happened someone else wants a similar wheel that he have already done for himself, so he may tweak the design and help the fellow get exactly what he needs.

 

Other people have vast amounts of model parts in their "Shapeways stores" that probably far exceeds their own model building needs. I have no idea what kind of money they make of it, although I suspect it may be somewhat limited when regarding the hours of CAD work involved.

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Oh nice idea to put up this section:

I am responsible for constructing and printing small series enclosures for electronic stuff at my workplace.

We are able to achieve a very good quality.

 

Construction the complex shapes of airplanes is something else tho, this year I will buy my own printer and start with constructing cowlings for radials, that's halfway easy.
Maybe I start with corrected cowls for the Academy Catalinas ....

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This is a great idea Mike, very much an area that i reckon will really take off in the coming months/years.

 

One suggestion, while the printing is one thing, actually doing the 3D design is another. Would it be possible to have a separate 3D design section? I know you don't want things mushrooming, but to keep the design and actual production separate may be an idea... 

 

Matt

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Really pleased to see this new section. 

It's come at just the right moment for me as although you say that we're not at the point of printing our own kits just yet, we actually are.

There's a couple of individuals in the states who are designing & printing complete kits (mostly SF related) that are absolutely stunning and would give some injection moulding companies a run for their money.

There're quite a few other garage producers putting stuff out as well and to be honest i see more complete kits than i do parts or conversion sets.

I personally don't have an interest in learning how to do the design and would more than likely use a third party to get the parts / models i want printed as it's the actual build that's my "thing" but anything learned here with regard to materials etc. will be very useful, watching with interest.

 

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5 hours ago, Mattlow said:

Would it be possible to have a separate 3D design section?

For the moment we'll keep it streamlined and that sort of thing can be in either of the two sections if it's beginner stuff, or the more advanced questions.  I'll be posting up a question about that in due course, as I'd really like to have a crack at designing my own "things" some day :)

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2 hours ago, Mattlow said:

I see your logic..

There's a first time for everything! :lol:

 

The Great thing about the forum software is that anything can be moved, renamed or repurposed at any time. Nothing is set in stone, and if we wanted to split a forum into two or more, we could also do that, although that's a little more labour intensive. We've done it before though, so we know the drill :yes:

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I like this idea. There is a lot happening in 3D world. Sharing knowledge about this area will help others quite a bit.

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On 7/23/2020 at 9:40 PM, Mike said:

3D Member

That is really a good idea! I started 3D printing with shapeways and the development of the designed parts is very expensive.

I needed for my first good part 3 attempts! (orders)! I designed it with tinkercad. Learning by doing without a own printer

is also very slow (waiting for the print and shipment)

spacer.png

exhaust for MAN F90 truck for italeri 1/24 kit. shapeways render. I  have searched for years for this part in the internet!

 

 

 

 

But the real advantage is the possibility to print many small parts that you can never get scratchbuild right away!

 

spacer.png

coal winches for 1/350 scale German Kaiser Class dreadnought. 

 

The next problem is the design of the sprues to hold the tiny parts. If using shapeways you have to pack them as close as possible 

to minimize costs, and you have to remove them from the sprue. Some designs are enclosed by a cage - which would be very hard to 

get the part out of the cage and clean up the connections (same happens with some tiny stirene parts in the commercial kits.

 

Regards 

 

Andreas

Edited by Andreas.R
new text
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On cutting parts from Shaweways sprue's I hold the sprue in tweezers or small plyers for large parts and use a fine toothed razor saw as this removes material without stressing the resin as a knife or clippers would.

 

I also use 1x2mm sprue with 1mm square tags as this uses less volume compaired to rods.

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I am delighted to see the new area. A friend told me in January about the Elegoo Mars which he got for Christmas and I bought our first Mars Pro for Aircraft In Miniature immediately. We are now on our third machine and we are changing over to 3D printing wherever possible because of the exquisite results it gives.

 

For interest these are the machines and resins we are interested in, which may be helpful to modellers looking to get into this fascinating process:

 

MACHINES

Elegoo Mars Pro
Elegoo Saturn - monochrome display
Epax X-1 - monochrome display

 

One thing to remember - the LCD display is classified as a consumable with a life of approximately 400 hour, whereas a monochrome display has a projected life of 2000 hours.

 

We have found Neill's Materials to give the most competitive resin prices - https://www.neillsmaterials.co.uk/

 

I hope the above is helpful. It is definitely the way forward.

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