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Author Topic: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers  (Read 563 times)

Offline Highlandbevan

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The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« on: August 07, 2022, 04:01:34 PM »
Please can someone develop a new 3D printer where I can feed in all the plastic packaging from food that arrives each week and get out a new army of my choice?

It would probably cost too much and\or emit poisonous gasses. But you donít ask you donít getÖ

Online Mammoth miniatures

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Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2022, 05:21:33 PM »
I think there are a few companies working on something similar, but part of the issue with the idea is that plastic is a very broad category - ABS/HIPS/LIPE/LIPS etc etc are all different chemicals with different compositions, melting temperatures and properties when cured.

I feel your pain though, I am increasingly angry (genuinely angry) at the amount of plastic around me.

One thing you can do is chop it all up into little bits and heat it onto a lump, which could be pressed into a hard mould for very simple things like hills/rock faces etc etc.

Offline Westfalia Chris

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Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2022, 05:25:02 PM »
Please can someone develop a new 3D printer where I can feed in all the plastic packaging from food that arrives each week and get out a new army of my choice?

It would probably cost too much and\or emit poisonous gasses. But you donít ask you donít getÖ

Given that most food packaging isn't polystyrene (as used in model kit spruces, not the insulation type) or ABS, to name but two materials, I hazard the guess that it will not be technologically feasible for quite some time. Being employed in the recycling industry myself, getting waste material to a quality level sufficient for use as a secondary raw material takes quite an effort on an industrial level, so I don't think you would get satisfying results as a home appliance.

That said, there are people who shred and re-use waste filament from their 3d printing process already, but I cannot evaluate how effective that is, not to speak of efficiency and health hazards.

I'm also regularly terrified when the YouTube algorithm spits out a video from that dude who dissolves polystyrene sprue in plastic glue to make "raw" plastic for modelling. Some people are really gambling with their health.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 05:28:07 PM by Westfalia Chris »

Offline War Monkey

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    • Silo1313
Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2022, 06:12:33 PM »
There is a lot of equipment out there for home use to shred and process plastics to make filaments for printing. There are plans to make your own on Instructables and there is desktop commercially made equipment too such as Filabot to name one.

Myself with a very limited budget, I am taking the DIY way and slowly collecting what I need just to make a shredder.

Here is a good start. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_wMUkHrzs4 
Just remember "If the Enemy is in range, so are YOU!

http://silo1313.blogspot.com/

Offline ced1106

  • Mad Scientist
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Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2022, 01:38:20 AM »
Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Reduce: I think cutting back is the only real way to do it. By not purchasing resources for use, you're doing more than any recycling could -- and the logistics are much less complicated. Reduce use of single-use plastics and take-out convenience food, reduce recreational travel, that sort of thing.

Reuse: The usual "make terrain from it" comment. Besides rubbish piles made from sprues, I guess you could do plaster casting with some sprues hidden in the plaster. This would also reinforce the plaster to keep it from breaking.

And reduce again: That said, I think 3D printers, even with the extra resin and plastic generated, will greatly reduce resource costs in the hobby. No buying of physical miniatures that you don't end up gaming with or painting. No transport fuel consumed to deliver product. No resources used for packaging. No money spent on warehouse and retail space. Just don't keep printing stuff you'll never use! :P
My DIY Contrast mix:
* White-primed miniature lightly pre-inked in a dark shade.
* 1 drop acrylic ink in a small pot of paint (eg. children's craft paint). Do not mix.
* Dip the brush in the ink. As you paint, you can dip into the paint to make the layer more opaque.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2022, 02:01:47 AM »
I, too, am thoroughly alarmed at the amounts and types of plastics all over our environment - and apparently already inside our bodies - and the food industry is seriously guilty. 

But, as Westfalia Chris stated, tread lightly in this realm.  Changing the chemical structure of plastic, which is basically what you will have to do, emits a vast array of highly toxic stuff.

I don't think any company should be allowed to create any plastic product unless it also has a side by side method of rendering said plastic back into environmentally friendly organic compounds without creating more toxicity.  Would make any plastic prohibitively expensive so isn't going to happen but should still be required world wide.

Not to worry, though, we are going to make our planet uninhabitable for humans a lot faster than all but the most sanguine realize.  And take much - or all - of the other lifeforms down with us.  Pretty sure the cockroaches will survive.

And if you live near any coast, the real question is: how long can you tread water? 

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2022, 02:44:13 AM »
It's a good subject, so let's stay on it or it will get closed very quickly.

3D printing has made massive advances due to open source research. First used to make tiny, very intricate designs, folks are now using 3D printing to make rocket engine components and even whole rocket bodies.

I don't think we are very far from the day when lots of ordinary stuff will be domestically, and more importantly, commercially designed and printed for household consumption. The end game will be printing incredibly complex objects. Every city will have their own printing industry and the only thing that will have to be shipped is the materials needed for printing.

This will be a revolution in manufacturing and transportation. It will potentially cut waste to near zero (as everything will be recyclable) and the need for petroleum for manufacturing and transportation will drop exponentially, with all the benefits that will bring.

Sounds like really futuristic stuff doesn't it? But it will come faster than you think.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 02:47:32 AM by Ray Rivers »

Offline Sunjester

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Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2022, 06:44:39 AM »
Given that you can get printer filliamants that are biodegradable, paper-based or even plant-based, 3d printing should be a realtivaly eco-friendly option. Sadly I think that we will still be churning out masses of toxic plastic crap to dump in the oceans instead!

Online Mammoth miniatures

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  • Posts: 457
Re: The ultimate technology goal for wargamers
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2022, 09:04:43 AM »
Given that you can get printer filliamants that are biodegradable, paper-based or even plant-based, 3d printing should be a realtivaly eco-friendly option. Sadly I think that we will still be churning out masses of toxic plastic crap to dump in the oceans instead!

~Yes these fillaments are really quite good - At work many of our students use the wood filament as it's cheaper. It does have plastic in it, but the amount is reduced.
This is something we should be doing with all materials really - Resin can be stretched with filler, wood being a good one (I get mine from underneath the tablesaw at work, nice fine wood flour to be added to resin) and so can many plastics. Bakelite used to regularly be bulked up with organic filler material.

The issue as always from an industrial standpoint is that any additional process adds cost.

something worth considering is our desire for things to last forever - Plastic miniatures are fantastic in that sense, metal will last until melted down or until oxidation finally destroys it, resin will crumble a bit faster than plastic but not much.
But we had the solution to this years ago in the form of composite toy soldiers - Paper pulp, animal glue and sawdust over a wire frame. Perhaps with contemporary fabrication methods we could return to older, less long lasting  toy production methods without losing out?

 

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