Greg Baker I just realized that Spanjaard was asking about resin print vs. Injected plastic. I thought the question was in regards to plastic filament printers. My response is addressing that... not actually injected plastic kits. The 3D print artifacts are a bit of a pain. I've printed a bunch of 1/700 scale planes, so I'll post some pics of that project next week (live from my new workbench in Canada).
6. August, 02:05
Alec K The print artifacts are an issue for us modelers, and I am unaware of affordable existing 3D technology that eliminates this completely (although there are commercial printers and resins that get pretty close, but each print is 100s of dollars, even small ones). I plan to use Mr. Surfacer and lots of sanding sticks to deal with the surface texture.
I think the future is here already, to speak to Andy's post. Most of the mainstream resin aftermarket parts are designed in CAD and then 3D printed on commercial 3D printers, then touched up (smoothed) and used as a master for resin casting. Interesting story about this particular model: as I mentioned already, the 3D design was done by Robert Blaschke. This was not his first effort however, as two of his other designs were turned into resin kits by Brengun (1:72 Aero A-18 and Letov Š-4). That way we get a nice smooth casting with instructions and decals of a niche subject at 1/4 of a price of printing it via Shapeways or other 3rd party printer. Brengun of course assumes the risk of selling enough of such kits to cover their costs. I don't know what the arrangement was between Robert and Brengun regarding his 3D design, so I have no idea how this fits onto the cost of the kit.
About Shapeways and similar services: most of the time I hear about someone getting into 3D printing, the first question usually is "what printer do I need"? I personally think this puts a cart waaay before the horse. Unless you have a 3D design (i.e. printable 3D design, please see Greg's 5.Aug post above), the question really should be "what software do I need to design in 3D". Rarely will we have a tested 3D design of what we want available to us (judging by the stream of resin parts available today, if more that 2 modelers are interested in a part, existing manufacturer already has it in their catalog). So, knowing if we want/can design in 3D should really be considered before worrying about buying a 3D printer. Which brings me to the the benefit of using Shapeways to print one's design: not only do I not have to worry about having the latest and greatest printer, but they also review each design for viability (again, see Greg's post), saving a lot of time and cost dealing with failed prints.
Which leads me to my last point regarding 3D print services, relating to Jay's suggestion. The amount of time invested in designing even small parts in 3D is considerable. One thing that Shapeways allows (and others, I presume) is for designers to make their designs available to others without giving away their actual files. I realize there will be enthusiasts willing to do this, but really well done stuff? I just can't imagine Robert uploading his plans here for anyone to download and take.
Of course these are just my own observations and ramblings, so if I ruffled any feathers, my advanced apologies. As my old boss used to say: "this is good stuff!". Cheers
Greg Baker I basically agree with everything Alec said. I've started working on some 3D designs and they're not easy. I did design and successfully print some really rudimentary engines (basically just to stick something inside the cowling), but that was only really viable for 1/144 scale. The resin printer is a bit messy, since you're dealing with a tank of liquid resin, so I wasn't really set up properly for it. Once I get it unpacked, I think I'll be able to put it through it's paces. I was reasonably happy with my 1/700 plane efforts, but a) they still need a lot of sanding (mainly on the underside), b) the files I got (off Thingverse) were basically just rough outlines... okay for 1/700, but really meant for wargaming as opposed to serious scale model building, and b) I had a bit of trouble with the very thin wing tips rolling on me as the resin cured fully (under UV light). It's quite brittle once fully cured, so there's not much to do about that issue either.
Still, it's a really fun space to explore. One thing I'm interested in trying out is using it as replacement parts to fix nose or tail shapes.
6. August, 14:05
Alec K @bughunter: good to know and thanks for the link. I was not aware that Mr.Color had a resin-specific primer. I used Mr.Surfacer on 3D parts in the past without issues, but I soaked them in Simple Green cleaner first, as recommended somewhere online. I plan to sand/smooth after I apply the primer, hoping to level the surface initially.
@Greg: I am really looking forward to looking over you shoulder on your experience. I feel that 3D design & printing skills will become more and more appealing to modelers as the technology matures and improves. Now if we could just figure out how to print using styrene...
wilky I don't have a 3D printer myself but I know someone that does and he's getting a scanner soon hopefully so I'll be getting him to scan my favourite kits/slot cars and I'll be able to have a heap of them without having to wait until someone sells them on ebay.
I'm hoping I can get him to scale up a Boomerang so I can have the only 1/24 version on the Planet
6. August, 17:21
Ben M I cleaned items I've gotten with shapeways with dish soap and water, and succesfully primed with tamiya fine surface primer. Had no problem with adhesion.
Alec K Thanks for the encouraging comments mates, much appreciated. I must admit that I have a whole new level of respect for scratchbuilders. Although this project is scratched, it's really pretty simple and the final result will probably be rather underwhelming. My hats off to the pros that build masters, they are truly on a different skill level.
Bugsy: I can't tell you how many times I have repainted that damn fuselage...
bughunter Yesterday I thought about this project ... and now it is finished. Wow, very careful and thoughtful work Used machinery, self made assembly rigs, ... and not to forget this absolute great build report with nice pictures and extended explanations. Could not be done better!
27. June, 12:17
Alec K Hello Frank, and thanks very much for such high praise. This one definitely stretched my skill set.
27. June, 12:22
Cuajete Wow... Alec, You could make any model that you propose. You would even compete with the most famous kit producers. Fantastic result. Congrats!
27. June, 17:40
Alec K Thanks Cuajete for your kind words. I do have a renewed respect for master model builders. They would probably take issue with you placing me in their category, but I'll take your praise and run
27. June, 19:14
Spanjaard WOW..... i missed this one before.... what a fantastic job from A to Z.... amazing in every way.