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Author Topic: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?  (Read 2437 times)

Offline Harry Faversham

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3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« on: January 12, 2021, 08:42:28 AM »
Any chance of an idiot's guide to the advantage/disadvantages of 3D printing? I can't see any, the models look crap with all them funny lines all over 'em...
or is that from using a cheap-tack printer?

???
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Offline bluewillow

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 09:18:51 AM »
They wavy lines are from plastic filament PLA printers and its ability to lay down a layer, resin printers have no lines, more expensive but have their own problems with handling.

STL are great for buildings not so much for figures or vehicles. You can add products like Mr surfacer or such to fill the lines a little.

Resin in my opinion is where it is at, if you are going to spend the money and are thinking about vehicles .

My two cents

Cheers
Matt
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:16:36 PM by bluewillow »
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Offline Elbows

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 07:22:32 PM »
While I don't own a 3D printer, I've looked into it, and it basically boils down to:

3D Printing is a hobby in its own right.  You'll get out what you put in.  Sadly I have maybe 4-5 friends who own 3D printers and never use them because parts break, they're too lazy to fix them, etc.  A couple other friends own them and really get stuck in.

If you get a cheap printer, don't do much research, and run garbage software, etc...and speed your prints, they'll look like boiled ass.  If you buy a decent printer (the market is moving toward liquid resin printers) and take the time to learn what you're doing and sort everything out - the results can be excellent.

I've got some decent prints from Etsy and a friend who owns a nice resin printer and has it properly figured out.

Quality from a decent resin printer is close to say...Bones Black miniatures?  The biggest advantage is that there are thousands upon thousands of files out there...meaning you can produce heaps of stuff.  It's not super simple and it's definitely not fast....but if you're going to really get into it, I think it can be really solid investment.
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Offline zemjw

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 08:33:53 PM »
I have a PLA printer. I've never had a huge amount of success with it (more my fault than its) and it's mostly used now for printing custom bases. I still have hopes for small vehicles at some point, but getting things to stick to the print bed has been a problem since day one.

It is useful and I have designed and printed parts for conversion projects. However, I tend to treat it just another tool in the toolbox, so I'm probably not getting the most use out of it :(

Resin printer are much better for figures, but be wary of the fumes. I think things will improve, but you need proper ventilation for them. I only really have my kitchen to work in, so I've never bought one.

It always seems bad form to mention another forum, but the Reaper forum has a very active 3d printing subforum - here - that is probably worth a visit

Offline DivisMal

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 08:43:30 PM »
I don’t have a printer myself, but bought from several printing services. The results but also the prices I paid tell me, I won’t need a printer for some time. From all the discussions I followed, it’s clear to me, that it is a time consuming hobby in itself that needs a lot of investment in time, space (resin is toxic, so a nogo for my 2 year old) and skill (putting supports, choosing the right software).

These may not seem much to people wanting such a hobby, but I chose little metal soldiers as my hobby because they don’t need computers and are relaxing.

I bought from several aftermarket sellers (LAF‘s Agis gave some great advice) to buy not-Star Wars stuff, my experience go for someone using resin printing who sells the models cleaned without supports for a decent price. That is for me the cheaper and quicker option.

Offline Tadgie

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 09:48:55 PM »
Resin for figures and vehicles for me and PLA for Terrain. The better the quality you want the longer it takes. And I mean longer.......... well part of this gaming hobby is watching paint dry 😁
Be prepared to fail is this best advise with printing.
Yes it is a hobby in itself and setting up a resin print is time consuming at best. Files that say “pre supported” well trust them at your peril. If you don’t have the time to spend on printing it is probably best to avoid. However if you have the time to invest in setting up the machines and trying and failing till you get it right, well then it is great.
I have an Ender 3 for Terrain and an Elegoo Mars Pro for resin. Had the ender for a while and the heated bed and a glue stick work for me.
The resin is all about supports, software and a level bed.
It has taken me a while to be at least competent but I now have more terrain than I need and the resin mountain is growing ( as is the pile of fails in the bin).
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:50:53 PM by Tadgie »

Offline YPU

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2021, 10:54:59 PM »
While I don't own a 3D printer, I've looked into it, and it basically boils down to:

3D Printing is a hobby in its own right.  You'll get out what you put in.  Sadly I have maybe 4-5 friends who own 3D printers and never use them because parts break, they're too lazy to fix them, etc.  A couple other friends own them and really get stuck in.

I think this really covers it. People are still fudging about with regular printers which can be crap in all sorts of ways even though the technology hasn't changed that much in a decade. 3d printers are new, continually getting better but different, and literally add another dimension. Don't get me wrong you might have a plug and play experience... until something breaks.
I'm still not convinced the current craze for them will actually hold. Casting metal figures at home to a descent standard isn't much harder but people don't do that nearly as much it seems.


On a more general note, there are definetly much much higher quality machines out there, that are only worth it if you are going to be printing masters continually. Chances are a lot more models you've seen over the past few years were manufactured on such machines then you realize.
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Offline Elbows

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2021, 11:53:10 PM »
Yeah, some of those super-high-end printers are nuts.  Some companies, such as Zealot Miniatures, own a couple - and actually outsource a ton of "masters" for people producing metal and resin miniatures.  It's part of their business - making masters, essentially.  Pretty smart.  Though this happens all over the world now in every industry.  Heck they 3D print aerospace components using powdered titanium compounds etc...nuts.

Offline beefcake

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 01:36:23 AM »
Yep, Eddie at Zealot has some amazing printers. I think I remember him telling me his prints to 8 microns? That was a while ago anyway.
As others have said, you get out of it what you put into it. You definitely need to be tech minded and have patience. I have owned multiple printers. Some absolute crap and others great. Suprisingly the cheapest one I have owned works the best (Ender 3 Pro).
If you are after a high quality finish on your terrain you are probably better of purchasing terrain than using an FDM printer (extruded plastic) resin prints as said come out amazing and you have to look very closely to see any print lines even on your cheap ones like an elgoo mars. But... toxic materials and so on.
I may be biased though as I run a hobby business based around selling files for printers  lol


Offline SotF

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2021, 11:25:52 PM »
Until the lockdowns started, I had access to some older pla printers because the library's maker space has a pile of them and help set things up for them. They didn't charge for failed prints, and it only costs for materials used.

They aren't the best for things, layers are more visible with it than newer ones

Offline WillieB

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2021, 11:56:51 AM »
I've seen, handled and actually own a few resin 28mm 3D printed figures that could rival ANY metal ones. Obviously can't say anything on their longevity right now but IMHO they are not any more fragile than plastic figures. To be honest, the guy printing these things is  quickly becoming a semi- professional with a medium/high end machine.

Also seen and handled some resin printed 1/700th scale ships that were actually way better than their commercial counterparts at a fraction of the price.

Huge advantage IMHO is that you can design (a) -missing- figure(s)  in say ZBrush and have it printed the next day.
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Offline YPU

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2021, 04:02:58 PM »
Obviously can't say anything on their longevity right now

I'm very curious about this as well, I know that some of the resin prints for 10 years ago now when this method started becoming a thing are like glass these days, hard and prone to shattering.

Online OSHIROmodels

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2021, 04:08:13 PM »
UV exposure certainly won't help and resin (normal expoxy) can degrade over time. We had a few repairs/replacements at work over the years from some of the first print jobs that were included in models (around 15 years ago now). The colour had completely changed and some warping had occurred. There was brittleness in some of them but I couldn't tell you which ones.

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2022, 01:25:03 AM »
From my POV, 3D printing is the future... for just about everything, not just miniatures.

The cool thing about 3D printing is that it is open source with the various research people sharing new data as the encounter it. While we may still be on the steep upward learning process on how to make literally anything via 3D printing, there will come a time (probably not that long from now) when we will get some pretty dramatic breakthroughs. When that happens, the whole industrial manufacturing paradigm will go flying out the window.

Did ya'll know that there is a company that is making rockets to throw stuff into orbit that is manufacturing the entire body of the rocket using 3D printing? I understand even Elon Musk heavily uses 3D printing for his SpaceX project. I think for his engines.

Anyway, I have seen the incredible detail of 3D printed miniatures and have decided to buy some. I will report back later.

Offline Arjuna

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Re: 3D Printing, wot's it all about?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2022, 06:10:55 AM »
Is it a hobby in its own right?
Yes, just like the PC/home computer was in the late 80s.
Is it not for everyone?
Yes, just as the PC/home computer was in the late 80s.
Is it the future?
Yes, as the PC/home computer was in the late 80s.
For everyone and everything?
No, it is not as the PC/home computer was in the late 80s.

Do you want to play a computer game or do you want to program it?
For the latter, there's a steep learning curve, and even if you secretly hope so, there's probably no return on investment in sight.
Do you want to play a miniature war game or do you want to write it?
For the latter, there's a steep learning curve, and even though you secretly hope so, there's probably no return on the horizon for you.
Do you want to buy a shiny new toy on a whim, or do you want to design/sculpt/kit-bash it?
The latter involves a steep learning curve, and even if you secretly hope to, there's probably no return on investment in sight.
Want to design, sculpt or craft your own toys, from CAD to print?
The learning curve is steep, and even if you secretly hope so, there's probably no return on investment in sight.
But for some it's fun, rewarding and you can add a few new skills to your tool set.

It can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be very frustrating.
Of course, with the right mind set, there is no bad print, but a new project.
Of course, in general you can't be bothered to make something up.

In short:
Filament printing is fiddly.
UV resin printing is messy.
And smelly.
Currently for miniatures, UV resin printing should be prefered, because easier set up, higher resolution and faster printing.
Albeit, that can change in the future.
Allthough I doubt that.

https://www.wargaming3d.com/2021/04/24/a-worrywarts-resin-printing-faqs-part-deux/

Do you need a 3d printer at home for wargaming?
Depends.
How many miniatures do you need to pile up on your personal 'Mount Shiny Toy' till you die?
Is it cheaper?
I bougth an Anycubic Photon Mono X with washing station and some accessories for roundabout 700€.
Of course I have a well ventilated hobby workshop.
Wouldn't advise to print UV Resin in the kitchen.

Don't know, how much is a 1500 point FoW Army nowadays?
So, about four armies and it's break even.

https://www.wargaming3d.com/2019/01/02/3d-printing-a-1500-point-flames-of-war-army-in-10-days/

The article is three years old, and my printer is an improved model.
I should give it a try, still have those Blitzkrieg Commander rules lying around since 2005.

A lot of people are better off without one, just buying the finished model.
But then again, I love to buy little used rigs from frustrated hobbyists for cheap.
So I'm all for it, everyone needs one.
 ;D

As an aside, an interesting question maybe the second hand market of 3d printed models in the future.




« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 09:00:42 AM by Arjuna »

 

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