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Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer

 Post subject: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:49 pm 
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For Christmas I treated myself to a 3D printer. I had a Makerbot Thing-o-matic which I never really got working, the slicing software had problems, I never intended to use it for epic models - except some buildings - but as I said it never really worked except for some pre sliced demo models.

Since last year there are a two 3D printers below 6000$ which do not use fdm (plastic sausages), but use light sensitive resin to produce 3D models. The resolution and surface finish is better than that of fdm machines, but the built size is much smaller - which isn't that important for non-monstrous miniatures.

I've received the printer 2 days ago. Making it ready and doing the first print took about an hour .
Than it was time for the first calibration print, and it went perfectly - I was happy as the punch.

While I waited for the printer to be delivered, I did a 3D model of an Rhino. I did a Rhino, because I wanted to have a model I could compare to some existing miniature.

To my very big surprise the first try was successful.
The models are made from a shiny red resin, which does show detail on photographs only badly.

Image
Image

Yesterday I did not have much time, so I only started to design a Stalker. As I already had designed a model of the old Rhino chassis, I put the Stalkers guns on that, instead of designing a new Rhino chassis.

That's what it looked like when the first two fell out of the printer today.

Image

I was eager to see how they compared to my other models, so I painted them in a rush - as you can see on the hairs enclosed on one model, and that there are contact points left at the back of the Stalkers.

My Rhino is a bit smaller than the original, so it does not fit on the base. I still photographed it on a base to make comparison easier.

Image
Image
Image
Image

There are s lot of things to learn about using the printer effectively and designing models so they print well, but I'm more than happy with these first results.

Regards
Stephan


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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:58 pm 
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They look great mate! Nice job!

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:31 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:11 pm 
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That is brilliant. Excluding the cost of the printer, how much are you spending on plastic to print those?

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:35 pm 
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That's astonishing!

A new era in little plastic soldiers is rising :)

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Tiny-Tim wrote:
That is brilliant. Excluding the cost of the printer, how much are you spending on plastic to print those?


That's difficult to say.

The resin is 110$ per liter. That would be 650 of those Stalkers (calculated by the software)

That's 0,17$ per tank.

You will also need PDMS which is 60$ a bottle. Which is about 10 coatings which should be good for 100 to 200 print runs which would be about 0,30$ per tank.

That's 47 cent plus what you will need to clean your tools and so on.

So it might be a total somewhere between 0,7 and 1,0 $. If you're not in the USA, you will have to pay customs and VAT and P&P will be higher. I would expect a 30% premium for not being "born in the USA". So the price in Euro might be the same as the price in $.

You can reduce the resolution and print 8 Stalkers in a print run. The cost of resin would be the same, but the PDMS and the cleaning fluids would be reduced to 25%. I haven't tried the lower resolution, so I can not say how much of a difference it makes.

The whole process is very time intensive and there are hidden costs ranging from cost for electricity to parts that will have to be replaced over time. And there is no provision made for misprints, spill and spoil.
Whether this adds to 1, 2 or 5 $ in the end, only time can tell - and I do not really care.

If you need small numbers, you might get parts cheaper by having them made at shapeways or such. It will definitely be cheaper if you do not ignore the time involved. And you will not have to make yourself familiar with the whole process and you will not have to care for the logistics.

If you want large numbers, you might be better of in doing a master only, and than have a mould made.

For the price of the printer and materials, you can buy many armies and/or have a lot of stuff made at shape ways.

From the financial point of view to buy one to make standard epic models is not a sound investment.

Regards
Stephan


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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:01 pm 
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Brilliant!

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Impressive ! :o

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Thanks for the break down of costs. I have plenty of models to paint, but am always looking at ideas for more items including terrain.

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Blimey... Welcome to the industrial revolution mk 2 - household edition !

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Very impressive! To think that this is where mini production is headed...I feel this thrill up my leg!


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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:51 pm 
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This is awesome! What's the smallest resolution it can manage?

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Hi!

Brumbaer, are you thinking of trying to do infantry?

For me at least that would be the big question.

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 Post subject: Re: Stalker, Christmas and a 3D Printer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Noob question, did you scan the design for your rhinos or reproduce with a software design package, I'm guessing the latter. If so, is it hard to pick-up or have you had formal training? I would love to give this a go.


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