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Bill Hudson

3D printing

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Bill Hudson

The topic of 3D printing has popped up here several times in passing.  Here is a topic from another forum where 3D is used quite often.  Some one might find it interesting.  The main topic of this thread is building of a very fine old building and using some variety of aging processes. A good read in itself.

 

http://www.finescalerr.com/smf/index.php?topic=1893.0

 

On this page you will see a faucet made in 3D printing

 

http://www.finescalerr.com/smf/index.php?topic=1893.msg48390#new

 

Were it not for the learning curve, I would like to learn a modern CAD program for my Mac.  It would also be nice if someone was near by to learn with me or guide me.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Our local library has purchased a 3D printer for community use.  I personally haven't been able to discover a use, but my 1/4 scalers in my miniature club have found this public availability worthy of our internal newsletter.  If any one wants to know how our community did this, I will be glad to find the article online.  I still subscribe to my local newspaper, and it was on the front page.  I've heard rumors that a college in the next county may be purchasing a laser, and that has piqued my interest. 

 

Tamra/Indiana

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oz9ny

My experience with hobby 3d-print is that there still is development to be done when it comes to miniatures but Shapeways looks like the place to look for when my own machines isn't up to standard.

 

The combination of printing wax and then investment casting of the metal parts is interesting.

 

Maybe I should look deeper into 3d-printing with wax? A small printer with a printing area of around 2inch*2inch*2inch would be nice to have.

 

/Niels

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Bill Hudson

My experience with hobby 3d-print is that there still is development to be done when it comes to miniatures but Shapeways looks like the place to look for when my own machines isn't up to standard.

 

The combination of printing wax and then investment casting of the metal parts is interesting.

 

Maybe I should look deeper into 3d-printing with wax? A small printer with a printing area of around 2inch*2inch*2inch would be nice to have.

 

/Niels

Do you have your 3D printer up and running yet? What medium does your printer use? Wax or plastic?

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WeekendMiniaturist

Micro Mark just announced a 3D Printer kit for $724.95. www.micromark.com

Search for 3D Printer.

 

Tamra/Indiana

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Catherine Soubzmaigne

Here is an example of what you can get ( sorry for the poor quality of the photo...), the round windows ( oeil de boeuf in french)

Mylène Martin designed it for a commission, then she had it made by a company.

The cost was around 150€ (~$200) for three pieces.post-109-0-59191000-1407831183_thumb.jpg

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jackofalltrades

There are different 3D printing machines and processes.   I started using the process out of necessity when a customer wanted very complex organic shapes with relief lettering.   At first is was a nightmare but eventually I found a vendor offering high res 3D printing on a "Projet" printer.  I used the printed parts as patterns to make silicone molds for spin-casting in pewter or for making waxes.   Depending on the project requirements the printed parts may need further refinement to enhance surface finish.

 

The picture is a rendering from the CAD model of the part that started it all for me.   The original part was sent out to be laser scanned with the result being scaled down and sent out for printing.

 

Jack

post-479-0-55871700-1415752660_thumb.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

I found out that our local high school also has a 3D printer - wonder what the kids are making with it...

 

I just found out that Dremel has also entered the 3D printing market.  I saw it on Amazon.com.  Dremel ID Builder 3D Printer $999.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Damn that is neat Jack!..... What is the size of that part? My guess is about 1 1/4" in dia.? ......... Also, how much time did the whole process take? ........ From the original part in your hand to a pattern ready to mold?

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Wm. R. Robertson

Does anyone know how archival the materials used in 3-D printing are?..... What is this stuff going to look like in 20 or 30 years?

I remember a lot of early plastics that were suppose to be so great didn't hold up with time......

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jackofalltrades

Bill,

 

That Evinrude rope sheave in the model is about 3/4" diameter.  I sent the part out to have it laser scanned (about $250 back then) and ended up with a .stl file.  That had to be reduced and edited to suit the model.   Once the virtual model was ready it was sent to the 3D printer.  The part was printed using the Projet printer.  Projet printing is essentially an inkjet technology.  The printed part was cleaned up and given a thin coat of paint.   It was then used to make a RTV silicone rubber mold cavity in a vulcanized rubber mold.   The mold was used to spin-cast pewter production patterns which after being cleaned up were used to make a production mold.  The model parts were spin-cast in pewter.  Today I would skip the laser scan and design the part from a picture in order to eliminate the issues of working with a .stl file.  I probably had about a day or two of my labor in this project.  The big waits were for the scan and the printed part.

 

The only 3D printed parts that I feel are suitable for use in making quality miniatures are Projet printed parts.   IMHO I do not feel that printed parts are suitable as part of a miniature.   Much depends on the part function and if the part is expected to have longevity.

 

Quality Projet printed parts can be had in 16 and 32 micron resolution and much of it boils down to the thickness of the layers.   Skill of the machine operator makes a difference as does orientation of the part being printed.   I tried a few 3D printing vendors and ended up getting excellent service and quality printed parts from a company specializing in dental work.

 

For me 3D printing saved lots of time on making some medium complexity parts and made some very complex parts possible.  I only used the printed parts as patterns for making molds for casting pewter or wax.   3D printing can be expensive and is worth shopping for price and quality.

 

In my opinion other 3D printing methods have little application for miniatures due to low resolution.   I have considered using low cost fused material deposit (extruded plastic) printing for making armatures for modeling figures/animals.

 

3D printing is probably best suited to full time working craftsmen who are proficient with CAD or solid modeling.

 

Jack

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jackofalltrades

Attached is a picture of some parts that started as 3D printed patterns.   Design work would take me about 3 days since these parts need to look correct AND fit other parts.  Going from the printed part to a mold in this case took about 12hrs most of which was cooking he mold in the vulcanizer.  Note that some parts are very simple to design while the part with the "FR" on it was a fairly complex design challenge.

post-479-0-29536600-1416357930_thumb.jpg

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karincorbin

Does anyone know how archival the materials used in 3-D printing are?..... What is this stuff going to look like in 20 or 30 years?

I remember a lot of early plastics that were suppose to be so great didn't hold up with time......

You can 3D print in nylon and in abs plastics. Both of those materials are quite durable. But don't purchase a 3D printer that will only print in PLA plastic as it is not very strong. You want the option of being able to print in a wide range of materials.

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