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Author Topic: Anyone 3d printing ?  (Read 1376 times)

Offline ulverston

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 422
Anyone 3d printing ?
« on: August 26, 2022, 07:25:33 PM »
Hi,

I am considering buying a 3d printer and curing/washing station but I am holding back until I can gather some information. Obviously I have read and watched countless Youtube vids but I thought I would ask on here if anyone had already taken the plunge?
My main interests would be modern 28mm and the bits needed to make scenery and of course the odd vehicle. Are there any companies who specialise in this? Or, is there someone on here already doing this that sells the all important seats, tables and all the other stuff that back in the day we never even thought of!
It would be really helpful to know of someone elses journey and what to watch out for.
I think I am finally prompted into action after cutting and sawing to make a multi barrelled rocket launcher on my day off today...with the rules I use it will probably only ever be a marker and it would have been so much easier to print it....wouldn't it??

Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2022, 08:33:16 PM »
Ok, so I have been 3d printing for about the last two years and just upgraded my printer to a larger print bed. I print in resin, it just gives me the detail I want. 

Before you start there are any number of videos on YouTube for beginners.

There are loads of free files to print available through thingiverse and elsewhere, you can buy print files from other vendors like 3d breed or wargaming3d. Quite a few kickstarters will provide you with the files you need to print.

The process is really simple, get your file - normally 'STL' - open it up in the software recommended for your printer or a free software like Chitubox that supports most current printers. Now you have an object..   rescale, rotate, add supports, hollow, add drain holes etc... , manipulate or whatever, then 'slice' the object (cut it into the layers for printing) and save it in the format your printer uses. Most printers will want you to then copy the sliced file onto a USB stick (normally supplied with the printer) - stick it in the printer and select print. (After that you have to remove from the build plate, wash off the excess resin and cure it to finally harden.)

It sounds complex, but actually it becomes really straightforward once you have done it a couple of times.

That's it in a nutshell -  get good at finding free stl files, play with what supports you should add (many of the purchased 3d files will come with already supported versions.. Thingiverse not so much) - and the only warning I would give is that you will be tempted to print way more figures and vehicles than you can paint. Oh and expect to spend all your money on resin, isopropyl alcohol to wash the prints, bases, decals and paint rather than vehicles and figures :)
Wargaming since the dark ages...

---https://aleadodyssey.blogspot.com/---

Offline MaleGriffin

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2022, 09:50:10 PM »
I would like to do resin too. Any suggestions or warnings about what printers to buy or avoid?
Hoc quoque transibit
Sanguinem sistit semper

Offline Kelly_

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2022, 01:48:00 AM »
I am considering buying a 3d printer and curing/washing station but I am holding back until I can gather some information.

I use Anycubic printers, and Elegoo is another comparable brand that I have seen the most talk about on the miniature side of the hobby.

The one thing I would recommend against is a wash and cure station.  It seems like most of them are designed to immerse the entire build plate into isopropyl and then agitate the solution to speed removal of the uncured liquid.  My problem with this is that majority of the surface area you are cleaning with this method are your supports and exposed plate, which quickly contaminates your isopropyl.  I have always removed the printing supports before washing, and a quick pass over with paper towels physically removes the vast majority of uncured resin before putting the pieces into the isopropyl, and using the two container method also greatly increases the life of your isopropyl.

As far as curing, I usually just use the sun, with a turn or two every several minutes depending on the shape and size of the piece, and I have a separate tray to cure the supports and resin paper towels to solidify those before trashing them.
If my wife asks, I only spent half as much as I wanted to...

Offline ced1106

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2022, 01:58:46 AM »
Thanks, Kelly!

Remember the camel to watch the prices!
https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B08F7L945C?locale=US&context=partner
https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B07BR3F9N6?locale=US&context=partner

I'm still waiting for a fume-free high-resolution budget printer. No hurry, given my painting queue. :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 ulverston

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2022, 04:49:43 AM »
Shah, Kelly and all thank you for your advice. I will certainly start checking out the different printers now and I will be using resin. Its such a new (to me) process! Are there any companies that sell STL files especially for modern miniatures? Everything I seem to find is fantasy?
Thanks again.

Offline Poiter50

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2022, 05:56:49 AM »
I think Spectre Operations now has a Patreon with files available on that.

Shah, Kelly and all thank you for your advice. I will certainly start checking out the different printers now and I will be using resin. Its such a new (to me) process! Are there any companies that sell STL files especially for modern miniatures? Everything I seem to find is fantasy?
Thanks again.
Cheers,
Poiter50

Offline Schogun

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2022, 12:36:04 PM »
How many times can the resin be used?

What do you do with the washed-off resin? It can't go down the drain. I see there is water-soluble resin now but even that should not go down the drain.

Thanks

Offline Kelly_

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2022, 01:04:20 PM »
How many times can the resin be used?
The actual resin cured during the printing process is once and done, but any resin remaining in the vat can be printed on other projects or strained back into a bottle.  The lifetime of your isopropyl alcohol is what varies greatly as the washing process removes the loose liquid resin adhering to your print and suspends it the isopropyl solution.  Once the isopropyl is cloudy, less resin can be removed, and it is time to switch it out.

What do you do with the washed-off resin? It can't go down the drain. I see there is water-soluble resin now but even that should not go down the drain.
I do not use the water soluble resin as I feel the regular resin gives more consistent results, but the easiest way to dispose of any type is curing it outside in the sun.  Resined gloves, paper towels, and the unused supports are all inert once they cure / solidify and can easily be discarded.  Used isopropyl is a little more difficult, but leaving that in the sun will have the alcohol evaporate, and all of the resin in suspension will settle out and cure into a mostly solid mass.

Offline _Si_

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2022, 04:04:25 PM »
Give Patreon a look, I back onepagerules, but there's a wide variety of mini makers on there so you're bound to find something that fits your interests. Benefit being it's a lot cheaper than buying models from an online store, and they tend to all do pre-supported minis.

I've been printing for 18 months now, done a couple of armies and a crap load of skirmish models, and I think so far I've had to do supports on two models. Unless you want 3d printing to be your hobby, it's much easier to let someone else do the only tricky bit :D

I don't use a wash and cure (just a couple of pickle jars from amazon, one for 'dirty', straight out of printer into there, then remove the supports and into 'clean'), and I steal my wife's uv nail lamp but they're about 15quid on amazon! Resin goes a long way, I'm only just on my third bottle now.

Don't bother taking the resin out of the vat unless you're planning on not printing for months. It's fine, just leave it be. I tend to stir mine before I print if it looks like it's settled. Oh and my personal preference is the elegoo abs like skin/beige coloured resin. Much less smell than their grey stuff, not sure why.

I use an elegoo mars 2, and I have zero complaints about the print quality. Having just cleaned up a set of TT Combat's commercial rumbleslam resin minis I'd say my elegoo is far superior. They seem to use a 3d printer for their masters, and it has layer lines! Then the resin takes ages to clean. 3D printing is such a doddle compared to that, which feels completely arse about tit.

Overall despite what some naysayers may say (nay one assumes), 3d printing has been plug and play for me. I can count my failed prints on one had, and the results are cracking. Simple, very little mess, and opened up a wide new world of options.

Offline ulverston

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 422
Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2022, 11:12:09 AM »
I am so glad I asked on here as I knew nothing about the alcohol deteriorating and the trick of leaving it to evaporate! I also may skip buying the curing station and save myself a few hundred quid!
As for the modern era miniature STLs I haven't yet looked at Spectre but one page rules seems very interesting.  Also the Eligoo Mars pro 2 is on offer on Amazon.... tempting.

Thanks again for the help everyone.

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2022, 07:17:12 AM »
I have had an Elegoo Mars 2 Pro resin printer and an Elegoo Mercury curing station for a little over a year now, and I have nothing but good experiences so far.

I see people advocating against getting a curing station a lot, but what they forget to mention is the ease of use of these machines. I contemplated dabbing around with iso containers and UV lamps and the like, but the added work, clutter and mess this requires just isn't worth it in my opinion.

Curing in the sun might be an option in places like Spain or Texas, but where I live, consistent sunlight is not a given (at all). Also; I do most of my hobbying in the evening/night, which adds to this issue.

I now have a one stop shop, which takes up only as much space as the actual printer (it sits right next to it, on a dedicated table in the garage), and I for one would recommend it to anyone.

I do second the remark that you shouldn't put the printbed into the vat; I also take the parts off the bed and into the provided metal basket to wash. I found that supports, especially on thin parts, are easier to remove when cured though, so it depends on the model whether I take the supports off before curing or not. Tiny parts are usually left on their supports and base so they don't get lost during the washing process.

As for getting rid of the isopropanol; letting it evaporate into the atmosphere is not exactly the most environment friendly solution, not to mention it takes a long time to evaporate several liters of the stuff, plus the potential fire/explosion hazard when alcohol vapours collect under carports, sunroofs etc... I'd recommend turning it in at a local (municipal?) recycle/disposal station where they accept small chemical  waste.

It's why I held on to the iso bottles I poured into my cleaning unit. But truth be told; I've been printing for a bit over a year now, but aside from straining the iso from the container once to catch the larger flakes (and wipe down the inside of the container), I've not disposed of anything, and the contents are still going strong. That's 3 liters per year, and probably a lot longer too; I haven't reached the end of this batch's effectiveness just yet.

So I'd strongly recommend a curing station. And yes it costs, but I got mine for a mere €100,- , so it's not as if you could buy another printer for the same amount either...
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson

Offline Dr. Zombie

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2022, 07:28:59 AM »
I too would highly recommend a washing/curing station. It removes a lot of the hassle. When my alcohol gets cloudy I pour it through a cloth into a clear plastic bottle and put it in the window. The cloth catches some of the uncured resin and the sun cures the rest of the resin in the bottle separating it from the alcohol. I have used the same 3 liters for about a year now, with no problems.

Online Silent Invader

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2022, 09:18:53 AM »
I use water washable resin with an Elgoo Mars and Curing Station. The combination functions fine.
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Online carlos marighela

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Re: Anyone 3d printing ?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2022, 09:52:15 AM »
This has been helpful, I’m about to take the plunge into 3D printing myself.
Flamengo:
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