Pendraken Miniatures Forum

Wider Wargaming => Non-Pendraken Stuff => Topic started by: Wulf on 10 March 2019, 03:46:12 AM



Title: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 10 March 2019, 03:46:12 AM
Recently I decided to splash some cash & buy myself a 3d printer. I didnít go entirely wild, I was looking for a good entry level FDM printer. FDM printing is like icing a cake with a bag, squeezing icing out of a nozzle. Move the nozzle around and you can build up a 3d structure. Itís not as good at detail or structural integrity as a resin printer the likes of which is used by Shapeways and others, but itís a fraction of the cost and the stuff used in resin printers sounds nasty and hazardous.  While I wouldnít actually try eating the stuff used in my printer, itís bio-degradable and says itís non-toxic...
My intention wasnít actually to print my own minis. I accepted that FDM printing wasnít detailed enough. Iíd bought FDM printed buildings and tanks from online retailers, and, while they were workable and useable Ė Iíve used them Ė they were just on the acceptable side.  However, if I could print at that quality for a fraction of the cost of a professional mini (my software to prepare the prints tells me a Jagdtiger in 1:150 scale weighs 12g, which, compared to the cost of a 1kg spool of the material I use at £15 a kg, makes it about 18p... plus electricity, of course).
Anyway, what I discovered was that buying a 3d printer isnít like buying an inkjet or a laser printer. 3d printing is a hobby in and of itself, and one you need to be prepared to commit to to get decent results.  First of all, you have to assemble the printer... this is a £200 piece of kit with tolerances of 0.02 mm, and they gave me a spanner and some alan keys... Oh, and although I knew it was a slow printing process, I had no real idea HOW slow... That Jagdtiger would take about 4 hours to print, some of the buildings will take 3 solid DAYS...
After some initial encouraging tests, I hit a bad patch attempting to improve matters. Sometimes I couldnít get the print to adhere to the print bed at all, sometimes the print would dissolve into a ball of plastic wool after 4 hours of printing... But, eventually, Iím quite pleased with the results...
Initial tests did not produce very good tanks at all, as you can see...
(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/first_zpsme4caubw.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/first_zpsme4caubw.jpg.html)

However, I persevered, and got some much better results...
(http://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/lots_zpsjzogykxv.jpg) (http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/lots_zpsjzogykxv.jpg.html)
The buildings in the background are also 3d printed, as are the rather superb wattle fences. The tanks are cleaned up, an extensive process I admit, and primed with Hafords spray primer. The buildings only cleaned up. So, some obvious questions...

Q: Can I now home print minis to the same standards as the professionals like Pendraken or even Shapeways?
A: No. Quality is better than I expected, but I can still see the layering on any smooth sloped or curved surfaces, the minis are very fragile, I still get failures in printing and, most important of all, I canít create my own 3d print files, so I am reliant on finding the files online and the work of others. Now, itís amazing what is available (see above...), but there are still limits. Almost every 3d file I found for tanks was either in 1:100 scale and had to be shrunk down to 1:150 (which often made parts like track guards & gun barrels too flimsy and small to print) or 1:200 (which can look a bit crude when enlarged). The only KV-85 I could find was 1:200, for instance, despite every other KV variant I know of being in 1:100 as well. They also take a long time to print, but not as long as waiting for postage... Oh, and they are CHEAP...

Q: Can I then produce minis rivalling the cheap end of professional printing, FDM prints for instance?
A:Yes, I think Iím quite happy to say my prints are as good as theirs, if not better. And cheaper...

Q: So, will I never have to buy minis from professional sources again?
A: I very much doubt if thatíll be the case. I am still entirely reliant on finding someone elseís work to print, although I have to say I could probably spend the better half of a year just printing what I have found that I like so far... Annoyingly, terrain is probably the most difficult thing to find. I guess most gamers game in bigger scales, so 3d printing whole buildings in 28mm or even 20 or 15mm scale is going  to run into problems of print bed sizes Ė I think my printer can handle up to 220x220x260mm or something like that Ė and, like I say, most of the 3d files available are for bigger scales. I also came across some building files marked as 15mm scale which proved way too small when reduced in size to 10mm scale, and were obviously about 10mm scale to begin with. Annoying after a couple of hours of printing, but it only costs 10p or so...

OK, so thatís it so far. You have to excuse me now, I have to prepare some fences...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Orcs on 10 March 2019, 07:37:54 AM
They look very good Wulf, an interesting article, I have been wondering about getting a 3d printer, but did not know if their was any real saving when the time taken to clean up prints and the initial printer costs were taken into account.


I would be interested in hearing more about your forage into 3d


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Steve J on 10 March 2019, 07:50:10 AM
We have a 'cheap' FDM printer at work and it causes no end of issues, most of which oyu have mentioned. It printing temrs it's damned crude but the advantage is it prints the 'right' material so if useful to engineering tests etc.

Then if you want a good SLA 3D printer, then you need all the chemicals etc to clean of the support materials and a UV oven to cure the printed parts. There are other options on the market, but it's very much caveat emptor. We see loads of new and interesting kit all of the time, but most rarely perform anywhere near as well as advertised.

Another thing to remember is that these materials are for prototypes and are often not that UV stable and can be quite hygroscopic, so barrels can become brittle or distort over time etc.

Hope this helps?


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Dr Dave on 10 March 2019, 08:02:39 AM
Wolf, did you make a Pz35T in the end?  ;)

I have to say that Iím a fan of this process. Those look terrific.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: jambo1 on 10 March 2019, 08:25:43 AM
Interesting read, those tanks look very decent too. :)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Leman on 10 March 2019, 08:39:56 AM
those initial taks would probably be taken off your hands by a fantasy sci-fi player; unique and strange looking.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 10 March 2019, 08:44:24 AM
I think those look very spiffy !!  :)

Steve has some interesting points, though.

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: steve_holmes_11 on 10 March 2019, 09:44:26 AM
Most emerging technologies like this will present three tiers of machine.
Each one better (faster, more precise and providing higher quality output) than the former, but costing at least 10 times the price.

The low end appears in the home, or a small workshop.
The midrange used to appear in a local small businesses.
The big stuff appeared in factories.

Over time the features and qualities of the top tiers migrated down the stack, and entry cost fell.
I get the impression that 3D printing at home has some limited applications for wargaming, but won't supplant our favourite manufacturers for quite some time.
I think we'll be seeing boardgame components, and marker tokens well before figure printing becomes mainstream.

However, I've learned that technology is anything but predictable.
Occasional breakthroughs create massive leaps in speed or quality and render old kit obsolete overnight.
Perhaps the drawbacks will be ironed out and in a couple of years we will all be using this technology.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Westmarcher on 10 March 2019, 09:53:27 AM
On the basis of the photograph alone, most of these tanks look very good.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Leman on 10 March 2019, 01:23:49 PM
There is a company that is now producing printed 2mm figures and scenery, and they look remarkably good.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 10 March 2019, 08:25:09 PM
those initial taks would probably be taken off your hands by a fantasy sci-fi player; unique and strange looking.
You may already know this, but just in case anyone doesn't, the first two are the Bob Semple Tank from New Zealand, and the Odessa or NI tank from... well, Odessa... Both real tanks created on the brink of WWII, and, as far as I am aware, not available in any other way in this scale.

For everyone else's comments, I can't disagree with much if anything said, I am improving my print quality by small steps now I've got the printer functional. It's certainly not a simple process and you do need to spend a lot of time - mostly time sitting waiting for the latest test to print - to get improvements.

Fences, though... fences are lovely...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 10 March 2019, 08:27:16 PM
Wolf, did you make a Pz35T in the end?  ;)
I never did (so far...) print a 35t - I bought metal minis from Pit Head, and the campaign has now moved on to Pz IVH and T-34s. However, I will return back to the 35t now you have reminded me...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: GrumpyOldMan on 10 March 2019, 11:20:11 PM
Hello Wulf

If you really want to get into the 3d world you could have a look at getting some models from the 3D sketchup warehouse https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/ (https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/), sketch up available as a free version https://www.sketchup.com/plans-and-pricing/sketchup-free (https://www.sketchup.com/plans-and-pricing/sketchup-free). This software exports as STL files as well. The warehouse has both the KV-85 and the Pz 35T available.
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/uaeb0a8d2-464a-4168-a52d-1954d2cd44c8/KV-85-Russian-Heavy-Tank (https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/uaeb0a8d2-464a-4168-a52d-1954d2cd44c8/KV-85-Russian-Heavy-Tank)
(https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/warehouse/v1.0/publiccontent/f69a6d7e-5d43-4138-850b-01017af2495f)

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/6b5e78cc4809cdf404885c24bdd02cc/Panzerkampfwagen-35t (https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/6b5e78cc4809cdf404885c24bdd02cc/Panzerkampfwagen-35t)
(https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/warehouse/v1.0/publiccontent/7f5c16c0-9833-4ef6-b410-0d61aba5a546)

Other handy programs would be Meshlab and Netfabb studio for manipulating the stl files, (might also be handy for fixing rescaled meshes too).

Now you can look forward to many hours playing with 3d meshes  :D :D

You've probably already looked at the tutorials available from Shapeways but I'll put some links here for any other budding 3d designers:-

https://beta.shapeways.com/tutorials/3d-software (https://beta.shapeways.com/tutorials/3d-software)
https://www.shapeways.com/creator/tools (https://www.shapeways.com/creator/tools)
https://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/easy-3d-modeling-for-3d-printing-tutorial-for-beginners (https://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/easy-3d-modeling-for-3d-printing-tutorial-for-beginners)

Good luck with your 3d endeavours.

Cheers

GrumpyOldMan


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 11 March 2019, 09:39:05 PM
OK, I have decided to continue with this, in the hope that someone - either myself or the readers - learn something about 3d printing. Today, I'd like to discuss bed levelling, print adhesion, and associated subjects...

When you get an Ender 3 printer, it comes in a big box which, on opening, appears to be Big Boy's Meccano... The good news is, the base unit, with the print bed, comes pre-assembled. Everything above that you have to put together. Once assembled, switch on and, everything looking good, set the print head to Auto Home. The print head should stop at base level at the left front corner of the print bed.

Now... the factory fitted print head (you can get others with finer nozzles) extrudes filament at 0.4mm in diameter. The finest layer it's designed to lay down is 0.04mm thick. So, if you print at maximum detail, and that print bed is 0.04mm too high, the nozzle is scraping against the print bed. Remember, you assembled this with a little spanner and some alan keys... Because the filament is 0.4mm diameter, if the print bed is close to that too low, the filament won't be stuck to the bed & will either be pulled away by the print head, or will be hit by it next time it passes over that location. So bed levelling is essential... How do you do it? It seems laughably primitive to me, but essentially you position the print head at each corner and slide a piece of paper under it until it can just be moved and no more. There's a wheel under each corner to raise & lower that corner of the print bed by tiny tiny amounts. Keep doing that, since there's a see-saw effect - raise one corner & the diagonally opposite one is lowered. Keep doing it until you're happy. It works, but weeks and many prints later I'm still making tiny adjustments while the first layers print, depending on the look of the filament, too transparent & the bed needs lowered, too lumpy & it needs raised, etc. You can do that while it prints if you're careful. On the advice of someone on a print forum, I have a 10cm square of kitchen foil under the removable print mat you get on an Ender 3 Pro just to raise the centre of the print area. Even that thickness makes a noticeable difference to adhesion! Note that there are various different test prints available to download that will help determining how level your print bed is by how well the print looks at various bits of the print bed. Too thin or missing altogether, the print bed is too high. Too thick or not sticking to the bed, it's too low.

Other things that affect print adhesion are temperatures and print speed. I'm printing with PLA so far, the 'basic' material. Other materials need higher temperatures and have different properties. PLA prints with a nozzle temperature anywhere from 180 degrees Centigrade to about 240 degrees. It will print anywhere within that range, but too cold and it won't stick (and the layers of the print won't stick together making a very fragile printed model), too hot and it dribbles out of the nozzle and makes a mess of the whole thing. Each different spool of filament will, apparently, have a slightly different 'best' temperature, differing between manufacturers and, some say, even between colours... The print bed of the Ender 3 can also be heated. Generally 60 degrees is recommended for the bed, which is fine, but I'm currently running with 210 degrees for the nozzle despite the default being 180.

Now, print speed. The faster the print head moves, the less time the filament has under the pressure of the nozzle to stick it to the bed or the underlying layer of filament. Simple. Slower means more accurate. But a 10mm scale tank already takes 2 hours or more to print at moderate speed... Default speed is 60 m/s, I use 30. If you have patience, 20 is recommended for untrafine detail. Remember, 10mm scale tanks are TINY by the standards of 3d printing, and have a very small footprint to adhere to the bed.

So, last topic regarding getting the print to stick to the bed (it does sound disturbing, doesn't it?), Build Plate Adhesion. The software I use to change my 3d files into print files, Cura comes with 3 methods of Build Plate Adhesion. The Skirt is a ring around the print on the print bed, that doesn't actually touch the print. As far as I can see, it does nothing to help adhesion, but serves very well to warn you if the bed isn't level. Watch that skirt print & adjust on the fly. The Brim is a single layer of printed filament around the print, starting a few mm out and extending in to touch the actual print. I can certainly see that helping, even if the outer rings don't adhere it stands a good chance of sticking the actual print down. Last is the Raft. That's basically a platform, like a Brim, but thicker, and with a miniscule gap under it with it's own support/infil. It's designed to break away from the print easily. It sounds like it would be great at providing a good base for the print so long as the Raft itself adheres... I haven't printed any tanks with Brim or Raft so far, just Skirt, but have tried Brims on buildings and Rafts on fences (basically a Raft that's redesigned NOT to break away from the print, so it provides a base for the fence to stand on). I will experiment with both on tanks to see what effect they have.

OK, so, next time, Supports, Strings, and model cleanup...

Meanwhile, my Pz 35(t) is printing...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fred. on 11 March 2019, 09:46:55 PM
Thanks Wulf

I assume that while a model is printing, you can just leave the printer to it? Or does it need monitoring while its printing?


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 11 March 2019, 10:15:48 PM
I assume that while a model is printing, you can just leave the printer to it? Or does it need monitoring while its printing?
I watch the print until I'm confident it's adhering and will print. I just started another print and aborted it twice because I wasn't happy that every part was stuck down. Better to stop it after 5 minutes rather than let it fail after 5 hours... This 3rd time, it looks fine. I watched the first 1mm or so print. It'll now take about 8 more hours to print... I'll be going to bed soon, it may well finish in time before I go to work tomorrow morning at 7am...  After the first few prints, I've been confident enough to leave it running overnight & while I'm at work, so long as I see it off to a good start.

There is always, however, the possibility of a disaster, a bit comes loose from the print bed, or some support proves inadequate & the print just becomes a mess. But if that happened while you were watching you couldn't stop it anyway...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fred. on 11 March 2019, 10:32:03 PM
That makes sense.

Do you think you are getting a higher success rate now you have more experience, or is it still quite hit and miss?


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 11 March 2019, 10:46:42 PM
Do you think you are getting a higher success rate now you have more experience, or is it still quite hit and miss?
Definitely better, but now I'm experimenting more with even finer detail vs. speed - I don't want to take 6 hours to print one  10mm scale tank, but I do want the finest possible detail... - so I am getting failures caused by that. Right now I intend to test other Build Plate Adhesion methods, and increase the percentage of my support (10% is proving barely adequate). If I played it safe, or printed bigger things, I would be quite confident of success. I can, for instance, print buildings quite successfully so long as the walls aren't too thin, or scaled up 1:200 scale tanks (which look a bit chunky at 1:150).

Still having minor issues with stringing too, I'll have to dismantle my filament feed after this print & try and get it more precise.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Westmarcher on 12 March 2019, 10:24:40 AM
I got lost when the Palestine Liberation Army got involved.   :-/

But keep up the good work, anyway, Wulf.  :-bd


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: barbarian on 13 March 2019, 04:08:00 PM
Played a bit with the printer (Creality) of a friend. The worst part is even the room temperature is a factor.
I think these entry level printers are no good to small scale like 10mm. Even 28 mm is rubbish on these.
I can see being used for scenery I guess.
Still need to test more and more.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 13 March 2019, 11:41:06 PM
I think these entry level printers are no good to small scale like 10mm. Even 28 mm is rubbish on these.
It depends what you want and what you expect. I'm happily creating 10mm scale tanks to rival the detail level of cheaper metal & resin minis, but at a fraction of the cost of even those cheap ones. Yes, you certainly get visible surface layering & artefacts, but from gaming table ranges & angles those are negligible.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 14 March 2019, 06:44:08 AM
Sounds like, you pays your money and you take your choice. :)

If you're happy with what you're producing, Wulf....and I would be !... that's the 'main thing'.

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Steve J on 14 March 2019, 07:11:48 AM
I agree with Phil. I tend to look at a lot of this stuff from my professional modelmaking point of view, where it simply doesn't cut the mustard for most of the time. From a home point of view they are more than adequate, which is what really counts.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 15 March 2019, 08:27:05 PM
If you really want to get into the 3d world you could have a look at getting some models from the 3D sketchup warehouse
Finally checked out Sketchup, and, while it's nice to have more options, as far as I can see these tanks don't come with separate turrets, which makes them considerably less useful to me. Very nice, but I'm hoping there are easier alternatives.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 01 April 2019, 08:43:05 PM
Apologies for having left this thread hanging, and now seemingly resurrecting it. It was always my intention to continue, but I felt I couldn't discuss problems with stringing and support until I solved my own problems with stringing & support...

First, a couple of definitions in case any terminology is confusing issues. The files containing information that define a 3d shape are commonly called 'meshes'. To print them, you need a bit of software called a 'slicer', which converts them into code that can be understood by your specific printer. I use 'Cura', a popular and, importantly, free program. The printer I have is an Ender 3 Pro by Creality, which I have, since last posting, upgraded a bit. Normally the 1.75mm diameter plastic 'wire' that feeds the printer, properly called 'filament' is pushed into a nozzle hot enough to partially melt it so it extrudes through a 0.4mm hole - I upgraded to a 0.3mm nozzle allowing for finer detail. I have a 0.2mm one too, but decided to be moderate...

OK, so.. Stringing...
What is stringing? Well, this is, and a nasty dose of it too...
(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/TANKS_zpsjlgxmt73.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/TANKS_zpsjlgxmt73.jpg.html)
Any of you familiar with plastic modelling may have tried stretched sprue - take a bit of the sprue, the frame or runner that holds the plastic bits of a kit together, hold both ends while heating the middle with a candle or other heat source, and, when the middle goes soft, pull the ends apart while moving away from the heat. That fine plastic line that stretches out is great as a radio antenna, but a damn menace on the 3d print bed. You see, the hot nozzle, full of partially melted plastic, is in contact with the model being printed and, when the nozzle moves away to go to another part of the print job, it stretches out that string. Note this is only a problem when the nozzle has stopped printing and is moving to another bit that needs printing. Leaving plastic behind during printing is called... well... printing...

So, how do you stop stringing?
There are a few factors involved, but the most important is Retraction. This is a setting in every slicer, although frankly I can't imagine why you'd want to switch it off! Basically it pulls the filament back from the hot nozzle - it doesn't actually suck it back into the nozzle, but stops the pressure forcing it out. After that, the two important factors are temperature - if the filament is so hot it dribbles then it'll still string - and speed - print slowly so the filament isn't being pushed through too fast to retract properly, but set travel speed - the speed the nozzle moves away from the print - high so the potential string doesn't form. There are a few other factors, one important one in Cura is 'Limit Support Retraction' - Cura, apparently, doesn't retract when moving from Support to Support, to save time, since Support doesn't have to be tidy or pretty. OK on a single-part print but with a dozen bits on the build plate it's a mess, so turn this OFF. In that pic above virtually every string is from Support to Support already, so if I only knew about this setting... I'd not have learned as much about the whole process! And then there's 'Coasting'. Not entirely certain what this does ( I think it stops the pressure pushing the filament just BEFORE it stops printing), but it works... turn it on.

So, did I beat Stringing?
More or less, yes...
(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0324_zpskz20rwmh.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0324_zpskz20rwmh.jpg.html)
Still the odd tiny thin thread, but that'll probably always happen. I now print at 190 degrees nozzle temperature, with a print speed of 35mm/s (this is a general speed, the outer wall of a print prints at half this speed for accuracy) and a travel speed between printing of 200mm/s. Initially I read that travel speed should be 'high'. Well, I thought, I print at 35, so maybe 80 would be 'high'. Nah. 150-200 is recommended... With the other settings mentioned and a hell of a lot of tweaking, it's lovely.

Next up, Support...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 01 April 2019, 08:44:00 PM
Can someone remind me of how to make those pics smaller on this page?

...assuming anyone is actually reading this...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fsn on 01 April 2019, 09:02:20 PM
lol.

after the img  put width=300 or height=300

I've done it here. If you reply and insert this answer as a quote, you can see wot I dun.

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/TANKS_zpsjlgxmt73.jpg)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 01 April 2019, 10:22:12 PM
lol.

after the img  put width=300 or height=300
Ta  :-bd


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fred. on 01 April 2019, 10:30:09 PM
Thanks Wulf, a very useful and detailed post.

The photos look fine to me in their original size.

There seems to be loads of spare material underneath everything - I assume this is support material. Is this hard to remove? And why do the turrets have so much underneath them?


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 01 April 2019, 11:47:57 PM
Thanks Wulf, a very useful and detailed post.

The photos look fine to me in their original size.

There seems to be loads of spare material underneath everything - I assume this is support material. Is this hard to remove? And why do the turrets have so much underneath them?
That is indeed support, and that's the next topic. Good point about the turrets, basically that's support clearing the turret pin - I'll provide a 'before & after' pic to illustrate that.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 02 April 2019, 07:34:16 AM
Very interesting post, Wulf !!  :-bd

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 02 April 2019, 09:45:42 PM
OK, so, Support...

What is Support in 3d printing & why do we need it?
Imagine you have a wall, with a gap to walk through. You want to build an arch over that gap, so you get a pile of bricks, place one on top of the wall at each side of the gap, slightly overhanging the gap. The next bricks go on top of those, with slightly more overhang, and so on until the two piles of bricks meet at the top over the gap. Voila, you have an arch!
Not going to work, is it? The piles of bricks will quickly fall over into the gap. ...unless you use lego bricks...

One way to create an arch is to build a temporary support in the shape of an arch in that gap, probably of wood, then build up the bricks over it, place the capstone at the top, then remove or break up the temporary support. Now you have an arch. In very simple terms, of course.

Support in 3d printing does the same job, and turning it on is usually just a simple tick box in the slicer, but there’s one fundamental difference to the brick arch & wooden support; 3d print support is made of the same stuff as the arch – it’s all plastic filament, and it’s all extruded hot & sticky. If the support comes into solid contact with the arch, the two become one, and it’s a bugger to clean it off. For that reason, the print doesn’t actually print on top of the support – support is printed up to a point just a fraction – commonly 0.1mm – below the first print layer.  That first layer will sag a little, but just enough to contact the support – filament cools & hardens almost as soon as it leaves the nozzle, and the slightest touch of support is enough to let it harden  in place. The next print layer hardens  on top of that, and so on.  Now, support is printed fairly flimsy, usually single line thick according to your nozzle diameter, and you can choose how dense it is, commonly between 10 & 50 percent – I use 15 or 20. Both factors make it easy to remove, but even then it’s not always necessary. Look at this:

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/test_zpsszrmnkdg.jpg)

That’s a very odd angle to look at one of the basic print tests you’re well advised to print as one of your first attempts at 3d printing. It’s a very poor pic, I couldn’t get the camera to focus. I offset the pic so the 'Photobucket' logo didn't get in the way so much... Normally the bottom of the pic is the print bed, and the arches rise up into empty space – just as you see them, with no support. Look at the arches marked ‘Overhangs’. As you can hopefully see, the underside of the arches is fine until about halfway up, around 50 degrees. After that, you can see droopy filament. But the thickness of the arch, layer upon layer, means the top surface, not seen here, is just fine. If we were only interested in the top surface, we could print this arch with no supports! But normally we’re interested in the bottom of the arch – think of a tank, sitting on it’s tracks. Layer by layer, the printer prints tracks, wheels, suspension, then, suddenly, the belly of the tank stretching from track to track, across open space. It needs support. OK, so most minis don’t even have a bottom to the hull, they’re often hollow, so no big deal? Also needing support are upper track runs, WWI tank gun sponsons, track guards,  and, of course, gun barrels, and everything else that sticks out.

Now  we have  a further complication from our brick arch & wooden supports.  Look at this:

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0337_zpshp6pxoth.jpg)

That’s a JagdTiger, Archer, SdKfz 234 Pakwagon, plus turrets for the Charioteer and a Ram. Sorry about the shadows, I was trying not to use the flash as the grey plastic is really reflective. TOG lurks in the background because... I like TOG... Now, the turrets show normal support, all along the length of the barrels. But the vehicles show a Support setting called ‘Touching Baseplate’ (the alternative is ‘Supports Everywhere’ – I’ll get back to that). The barrels are NOT supported while they are printed above the hulls, but only when they extend beyond the hull. Why? Because to support them above the hull would mean printing support on top of the surface of existing printed material – that  nice smooth front plate of the SdKfz, the equally smooth front plate and little detailed headlamp of the Jagdtiger, and all the engine deck detail of the Archer. OK, support is flimsy, but it will mark the surface and does need cleaning off. As you can see, the barrels have quite successfully printed anyway – why? Back to that pic of the test arch. Look at the bit marked ‘bridge’.  The filament has quite happily printed 25mm across open space from one pillar to another because, as I mentioned, it cools and hardens almost as soon as it leaves the nozzle. That’s called ‘Bridging’, and it works lovely on gun barrels. It does NOT work on the belly of a tank, because, unless it’s a damn peculiar tank, the tracks & suspension do not create a solid wall or pillar each side, and the belly is not printed from the top of one to the top of the other! Bridging is quite specific. Note that the turrets are actually also printed with support touching baseplate, it’s just that the base of the barrel is still directly over the baseplate!

Here’s a problem though. Look at these two Rams:

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0335_zpsmunufxif.jpg)

OK, they’re two different models (the one on the left has lovely suspension detail, but the turret shape looks a bit off), but look specifically at the underside of the rear of the hull above the track. The one on the left was printed with support touching baseplate, and looks distinctly droopy.  Because that area of the hull is directly over the tracks, it couldn’t be supported from the baseplate. I could have placed supports  Everywhere,  and that would put supports between the tracks and upper hull. And between the wheels and upper tracks. And... everywhere... It becomes extremely intrusive and hard to clean out, even when it’s not on top of visible details.

Now, look at the Ram on the right. That was printed using Tree Supports. This is marked as an experimental feature in Cura, but it’s in other slicers. Turn off Generate Supports, turn on Tree Supports (don’t turn both on, it gets a bit solid then). Tree support still uses the basic supports options, but, although supporting from the baseplate, tree supports can lean and twist in, like the branches of a tree, supporting more points than standard support while still not touching the printed surfaces. Not sure why it’s called ‘tree’ support though, it looks more like Alien Encrustation to me...

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0327_zpsdltzjq1f.jpg)

Now, does this mean that Tree Support is overall just better? Well certainly it has huge advantages. But it’s a bit unpredictable. You can prepare the same models in the same slicer with the same settings twice & get substantially different arrangements of ‘tree’. Sometimes it bonds with the print and makes it a damn hard job to clear up. Sometimes it just fails and doesn’t support some bits. It is after all, marked as experimental. Always better to check the preview view in the slicer before starting to print, and carefully run through it from all angles. I tend to still use standard support for turrets and wheeled vehicles.

OK, this went on longer than I thought... Next time, cleanup.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 03 April 2019, 09:02:03 AM
Not that I can see myself ever getting a 3D printer.....I'm finding this really fascinating ! :)

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 03 April 2019, 07:28:28 PM
Not that I can see myself ever getting a 3D printer.....I'm finding this really fascinating ! :)
I try to provide a good selection of tank types to keep the interest up there at least...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 06 April 2019, 07:19:10 PM
THere's been a major speedbump in production. The company called Wargaming, who made the online game World Of Tanks, have just made a copyright claim on some of the 3d meshes on Thingiverse, on the legally enforceable basis that they use the 3d files from the game. They demanded that Thingiverse remove all content using their work. THingiverse, having no way to prove which files did or did not use the game files, have removed just about everything tank related...

Other websites do host 3d files, so there may be a future in the hobby as it directly relates to 3d printing historical tanks, but what I already have may have to suffice for a while. Fortunately, I have a lot...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 07 April 2019, 06:51:37 AM
Oh.

That's a bit of a sod.

Having said that, if Thingiverse had breached copyright, Wargaming had every right to throw a 'wobbly', I suppose.

Copyright and the 'net' must get horrendously complicated !!

Ages ago I paid for the whole 'set' (then available) of Roger Dean artwork as screen savers.
Roger Dean dot com has since withdrawn those images for sale as downloads. I presume folk were being to free in using them on their own sites ? v :-\

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 07 April 2019, 12:01:21 PM
That's a bit of a sod.

Having said that, if Thingiverse had breached copyright, Wargaming had every right to throw a 'wobbly', I suppose.
The problem wasn't really the Wargaming code that was being used - there was some, some models even plain said so. The real problem was Thingiverse's response - it just removed anything and everything which mentioned World of Tanks, including Tags, which anyone visiting the site can add whether relevant or not. As a result, literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of files have been removed, the majority - probably the vast majority - of which have nothing to do with Wargaming's code. Some of them most certainly do not, as the models depicted don't even appear in the game, and some of them are fantasy creations!

Now, Thingiverse don't have the resources, the time or, most likely, the knowledge to tell which models actually contain World of Tanks code and which don't, so they played safe. There's nothing that can really be done there. Other files about WWII tanks are still there at the moment, some of the tanks depicted do appear in the game, but the files are not marked as World of Tanks. It's possible they may be removed too.

Some or all of the files may appear elsewhere, one of the contributors is discussing a location on the THingiverse forum, but whether we see them all or not it's changed the 3d tank printing environment.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 07 April 2019, 12:05:57 PM
Quick update - looks like some of the models are being moved in to the Wargaming3d website (no relation at all to the 'Wargaming' who own World of Tanks...).


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Westmarcher on 12 April 2019, 09:59:51 AM
To augment Wulf's good work, there's now a good introductory video on 3D Printer basics by Steve on Little Wars TV. 


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 13 April 2019, 02:41:46 PM
OK, back again and, again, a change of plan. No longer a discussion of cleaning up, this is another post about Support, after I had a few recent challenges in that area.

First though I must put forward a delicate topic which many here will find disturbing. There's no easy way to say this so I'll just state my case directly. There is more to life than little toy tanks. In fact, there's more to life than wargaming. There, I've said it. There are, for example, these...
(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/figs_zpsnobdwg6x.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/figs_zpsnobdwg6x.jpg.html)
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last few million years... well, you'll recognise the Ankylosaurus. The others are Princess Leia in the Slave outfit from Jabba's palace, and Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. The outfit is I think, from Tomb Raider: Underworld.

THe first challenge was Princess Leia's... erm... bust... RIP Carrie Fisher, you will never be forgotten. Clearly there are overhangs here that will need support. Her arms, chin & nose especially. You lot at the back can get your coats. I decided to try this with Tree supports. Normal supports would have to be built Everywhere, and that would mean straight over the surface of her skin, which would likely leave a mark. And what you see there is my first attempt with Tree Supports. It worked beautifully, the tree supports started from the baseplate & curved over the model without touching it until they reached the areas in need of support. The only bits that needed cleanup were the underside of the chin and the top surface of the shoulders (which showed some layering effects). It's quite sturdy too. With 20% grid infill, it survived a fall when I took it in to my office to show off. While doing final cleanup before the paint job (undercoat of Halford's Grey Primer, then a few layers of Halford's Rover Cashmere Gold) I discovered a crack across one side of her neck. Her head would have broken off altogether if the structure had been less solid. A little superglue to the neck & all is well.

OK, I thought, this is going well. I'll try the Ankylosaurus. She (I'm sure you can tell the three of them are all ladies) presents a much greater requirement for support, with all those spines, not to mention the fact her entire body is raised off the ground on four legs. Again, standard supports would have to grow on top of her feet for some of the spines. In this case, tree supports failed miserably. Not only did they fail entirely to support some spines, never even reaching the tipe, but in cleaning up I discovered some support pattern had been printed right through both left legs, which broke off in cleanup. In studying the preview in Cura, I can see two or three layers where the support patters does indeed grow right through the legs. I have an add-on in Cura which warns me that some meshes are 'not watertight' - I guess this is what that means... OK, so try again, but this time adjust the X-Y distance so support never gets as close to the legs, and add in the Support Interface option. This adds a 'roof' to the support structure which conforms to the shape of the structure to be printed above it but, as usual, leaving a tiny gap so it's not in direct contact. One leg broke off and a smaller number of spines still failed. The Support Roof worked a treat though, so I decided to try standard supports Everywhere, but with both a roof and a floor. Dinosaur skin isn't as delicate as a Princess's, so I'd deal with that. Worked a charm. OK, took over hour of fear and sweat to clean the support out, but it worked fine. One spine lost a few mm of it's tip. I'll print a carnosaur to blame that on... One big benefit of supports with roofs & floors, you can build far flimsier support - only 10% in this case.

Last challenge, Lara Croft, standing. Standing on two petite feet, with two slim ankles, two arms that, in 3d printing terms, appear out of nowhere as the print rises, holding two Big Guns on two very slim wrists... Tree support only just failed. It supported her legs, shrouding her entire body in support, but her arms were just too delicate. To the software, once it's supported the tip of the gun on the down pointing arm, or the elbow on the bent arm, the rest of the arm doesn't need support, it's at a shallow angle to the vertical. In reality, just supporting those points was nowhere near enough, and they both broke off as the print head moved around on them. Time to add another feature of Cura to my repertoire... You can add Support Blockers. At their most basic, they stop support printing in a specific location. Select the model in the software view, select the feature from the menu, click on the model & you get a little cube, which can be resized & moved where supports will not print. Remember way back in the first couple of posts in this thread, the factory building in the background with the window frames in the window gaps? Here, however, comes the tricky part. You now select the support blocker itself (it's treated as a separate model in the software), and them the menu item Per Model Settings. I'd already been using this feature to have some tanks print with standard supports and some print with tree supports, but it can do more - it can turn the support blocker into a support block. Resize & position so it supports the arms more substantially, make sure it extends down to touch the base. It uses standard support settings, so it'll have a roof and floor, and 10% support. Now, I won't pretend it was a simple cleanup, between the support blocks and the tree support virtually everything below the eyebrows was covered in support. Both hands actually broke off. But everything printed, so a little Superglue sorted her hands out! I took her in to the office too, but didn't allow the same colleague who dropped Leia to hold her...

My decision after these is that Tree Support is very good when curving in from outside the model, like the Princess and Lara, but no good when curving out like Anky (so... not much like a tree at all...). Support with a roof & floor can be really flimsy and still effective, but, looking at the pic above closely, specifically the centre of Lara's base, it still leaves a mark.

Next comes that cleanup discussion, with some reference to these three again!


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 13 April 2019, 06:26:48 PM
Very interesting, yet again. Wulf.  :)

Cheers - Phil




Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: mad lemmey on 13 April 2019, 07:50:41 PM
Looks great sir


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 13 April 2019, 10:18:20 PM
Incidentally, some of the major collections of tanks are reappearing on Thingiverse, but without any mention of World of Tanks. They never contained any of their code anyway, hopefully people won't add the tags that got them removed before...

(p.s. my spellchecker suggests 'Thingiverse' ought to be 'Inverkeithing'...  ??? )


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fsn on 15 April 2019, 07:53:07 PM
Forget tanks and stuff.

In Israel, they're printing hearts.  :o :o :o

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-47940619/israeli-scientists-print-3d-heart-using-human-tissue  (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-47940619/israeli-scientists-print-3d-heart-using-human-tissue)

Just think. we could replace bits of Techno until eventually - a completely 3d Printed Techno.   8)

Then we could print out more copies of Techno, and more, and more - until we get some Byzantines.   :D
   


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 15 April 2019, 09:59:39 PM
Forget tanks and stuff.

In Israel, they're printing hearts.  :o :o :o
What really scares me is that my sub-£200 printer can print in that material with a £20 modification... Not to the degree of precision needed, admittedly, and the material costs a fortune, but..
Quote
Just think. we could replace bits of Techno until eventually - a completely 3d Printed Techno.   8)

Then we could print out more copies of Techno, and more, and more - until we get some Byzantines.   :D
I'll give it a go... of course, it would require scanning the original parts. I hear he's started the dissection already...  8)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Westmarcher on 15 April 2019, 10:22:21 PM
[in reply to fsn's "Then we could print out more copies of Techno, and more, and more ..]
but..I'll give it a go... of course, it would require scanning the original parts. I hear he's started the dissection already...  8)

 ;D ;D ;D

C'mon, Phil. There must be a finger or an ear lying about somewhere ...  ;)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fsn on 16 April 2019, 07:58:34 AM

I've been reading some more articles about the technology and it's fascinating.

Printing off micro-satellites in space ...
https://www.sculpteo.com/blog/2017/11/29/3d-printing-in-space-the-new-revolution/ (https://www.sculpteo.com/blog/2017/11/29/3d-printing-in-space-the-new-revolution/)

Printing houses ...
https://all3dp.com/2/3d-printed-house-cost/ (https://all3dp.com/2/3d-printed-house-cost/)

Printing prosthetic limbs* ...
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/19/3d-printed-prosthetic-limbs-revolution-in-medicine (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/19/3d-printed-prosthetic-limbs-revolution-in-medicine)

The ingenuity of Man constantly amazes me.

*In FSN world (where all forum members are attractice young ladies with an aversion to significant amounts of clothing) Techno is Queen Borg. Part woman - part 3d printed.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 16 April 2019, 08:21:05 AM
You OIKS !!

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: ianrs54 on 16 April 2019, 08:27:31 AM
They 'avin a dig at you Phil........GOOD


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fsn on 16 April 2019, 08:37:24 AM
Not at all!

We value Techno as a special resource and wish to preserve his skills and talents far into the future.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 16 April 2019, 09:21:48 AM
Mutter, mutter, mutter, mutter......Sodding OIKS !


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: FierceKitty on 16 April 2019, 09:33:52 AM
Techno gave us the Aztecs. Let us honour him for that.

Of course, now that we've got them....


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: ianrs54 on 16 April 2019, 09:34:55 AM
Techno gave us the Aztecs. Let us honour him for that.

Of course, now that we've got them....

Unfortunately !!


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 16 April 2019, 10:30:57 AM
THe Aztecs knew a thing or two about hearts...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 18 April 2019, 10:13:36 AM
Sometimes you don't need Supports at all...

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0362_zpsz6pqloxm.jpg) (http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0362_zpsz6pqloxm.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 18 April 2019, 10:39:48 AM
That looks familiar !

It really is rather good.

(Wulf......Dirty your cutting mat......It's disgustingly clean. ;))

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 18 April 2019, 10:48:36 AM
(Wulf......Dirty your cutting mat......It's disgustingly clean. ;))
That's the CUTTING mat, commonly used for photoshots and paper projects such as wargame counters, card buildings & various boardgame bits.

Here's the WORKING mat...

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0368_zpszpxhn2vs.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0368_zpszpxhn2vs.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 18 April 2019, 11:14:19 AM
MUCH better.  ;)

My own 'working mat' has loads of black bits showing through.....Where I've spilt acetone....and then peeled the green 'skin' off.
I've got a brand new mat in the room.....Which I keep for 'best'. I'll probably pop my clogs before I decide to give that one an airing. ;D ;D ;D ;D

Cheers - Mr Scruffy-Git


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 18 April 2019, 11:53:31 AM
My own 'working mat' has loads of black bits showing through.....Where I've spilt acetone....and then peeled the green 'skin' off.
Mine has fluff growing out of it where I used a rotary cutter to chop up some corduroy to make ploughed fields... It cut then, but embedded some of the fibres into the mat!


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 21 April 2019, 04:37:20 PM
One quick note - so far I've printed stuff with brown PLA, Silver Grey PLA and Translucent PLA. They're all a bit different, the brown stuff is a lot stringier, the translucent stull is harder when cured and a bloody nuisance since I can't see if its printing properly, and the Silver Grey stuff is lovely. Many of the pics I'm showing have minis sprayed with Halford's Grey Primer (especially the translucent stuff...)

OK, so, things have progressed again, thus the further delay. However, the issues Iíve had were issues with cleanup, so...


Cleanup on build plate 1...

Letís start with the most essential part of cleanup. Actually getting the printed model off the build plate... That may sound simple, but remember how much effort we spent getting it to stick to the build plate... This printer, and, I suspect, others, comes with a palette knife Ė essentially a little, sharpened, wallpaper scraper. Often, you need it... In fact, often you need quite a it of effort just to prise a corner of the knife under the model, then gently but damn firmly (hold the build plate with the other hand, remember how precisely itís aligned) work it under the model until it pops off. Repeat as necessary when printing 20-odd fences... At this point itís advisable to spend a few minutes cleaning the build plate itself before attending to the model. Scrape off any remaining residue, the skirt if you printed one, etc. Alcohol becomes important now. No, not for you, isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, to rub thoroughly over the base plate & clean it off. I think neglecting this led to a lot of my early issues with adhesion.  Note that my printer, the Ender 3 Pro, comes with a removable flexible magnetic textured mat on the build plate, other printers have glass (very very smooth & highly recommended as an upgrade) or metal build plates, and need additional work to ensure adhesion, such as glue sticks, double-sided tape or hairspray...

Rather than attempt to explain the process of actually removing supports, the best thing I can do is point you at a couple of YouTube videos. The first is especially relevant to us, as itís by Butlerís Printed  Models, and heís removing support from a SdKfz 234/2 Puma (although in 15 or 20mm by the looks of it):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPkKWE_BSpk

Iíd say from that video & the minis Iíve purchased from them before that was 20% support  in a grid pattern.  Might have been  support everywhere, but the Puma is a nice shape for support from the baseplate. The second is a look at removing support from delicate & detailed minis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znkbwajT100

There are dozens of others like this on YouTube. Now, from these you can see that these minis are pretty tough, but, if you overdo it, they just snap. So, superglue to the rescue.  So long as the model has printed in itís entirety and not disintegrated during printing, and so long as you can remove the supports without a great deal of mess, some minor breakages are acceptable.

The issues I had recently were to do with Support Interfaces, the roofs I was so keen on earlier. Well, theyíre off my Christmas list again. Iíve had immense difficulties separating roofs from prints recently, and in trying to fix this I discovered more about them. For a start, theyíre damn thick Ė the default thickness is 1mm, which is pretty damn thick for this scale! I have found you can reduce this, but thereís a minimum dependant on layer thickness, however you can also vary the density. Iím investigating a 0.36mm thick 50% roof with 0,08mm layers on some Opel Blitz trucks as we speak...

A quick word on Tree Supports.
Blech...  
Good word for them. I have a constant on again off again relationship with tree supports. Sometimes they work perfectly, and come off far better than normal supports.

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0330_zpsaotknek0.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0330_zpsaotknek0.jpg.html)

Those just slipped off like a pair of gloves...

Other times, they  just wonít let go & ruin the mini, or they never supported it in the first place.  Generally, though, they work well without a roof, not so well with, which works OK most of the time. Normal supports work better with a roof if you want to minimise the amount of support material to clean up, but the roof then gives issues in cleanup...

Now, way back in this thread I was asked why turrets had such a lot of support under them. Hereís why:

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0342_zpsm3wkf5sw.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0342_zpsm3wkf5sw.jpg.html)

The Ram at the top left still has it's MG turret in place, it is separate, and that's not something nasty stuck to the bottom of the turret, it was printed in brown PLA and sprayd with grey primer. The others were printed in grey PLA. Note the lovely big, solid turret... well, theyíre not pins, more like pillars. The turrets sit right side up on the build plate, so the support has to go all the way up that pillar to support the bottom of the turret & gun. Any turrets on the tanks Iíve printed turn, even the teeny little MG turret on the Ram! Youíll have see turret cleanup on the Puma video.

Once support cleanup is over, and you breathe a sigh of relief that nothingís irreparably damaged, you can clean up  the stringy bits, odd surface anomalies, etc. Same as you would with a resin model at this point.

On painting, well, by this point these are just plastic minis. Treat them like any other. I always prime them, but I use primer on every mini now, Halfords spray stuff. Remember that the depth of undercuts & detail on these is greater than most metal minis, so theyíll take washes really well, but the sharpness of surface detail like hatch hinges, shovels, etc. may be a bit suspect, especially in 10mm scale since most of the minis have had to be upsized or downsized from other scales.

Lastly, a reminder that cleanup is really a matter of support. Often, you wonít need much if any support. This was printed with no support at all...

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0365_zpslfyauoua.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0365_zpslfyauoua.jpg.html)

And these Panzer 35(t), although printed with tree supports on the hull & standard supports on the turret, stand in front of what were described in the file I downloaded as ĎCzech Hedgehogsí (I thought it fitting...), which printed with no support.  Notre Dame only needed a few threads removed by finger & thumb from the highest points, but the hedgehogs needed a fair few strings removed by tweezers. A damn sight easier than cleaning out support structure from between the girders though!

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/Pz35t_zps3wunyscf.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/Pz35t_zps3wunyscf.jpg.html)

OK, from now on Iíll intermittently post random thoughts & (hopefully pretty) pictures. If anyone wants  any specific topic covered, let me know.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 21 April 2019, 06:40:56 PM
The Blitz's turned out lovely.
(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/blitz_zpssmekahtc.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/blitz_zpssmekahtc.jpg.html)
Looks like playing around with the Interface settings will pay off. Although, note the separated slats above the sides on the leftmost truck, those printed without support!

The Luchs just wanted his photo taken, 'cos he's cute.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 21 April 2019, 08:42:48 PM
 :-bd =D> :-bd

A really interesting thread

One of the stalls at our recent nationals was selling files for 3d printing :o :)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 21 April 2019, 09:41:40 PM
:-bd =D> :-bd

A really interesting thread

One of the stalls at our recent nationals was selling files for 3d printing :o :)
Yes, I have paid for quite a few files myself. I even backed a Kickstarter for Dark Ages terrain, buildings, walls, etc, mostly because you could get cheap copies of previous Kickstarters, including some WWII stuff along with it. I have a 13 hour print of a ruined Russian factory lined up now from that...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 21 April 2019, 10:47:26 PM
I wish I'd taken a picture of this, but I was a bit worried & a lot angry when I discovered that a reprint of the Blitz's failed in a very peculiar way...

Originally there were 4 lorries, but one failed with a flat - oval, in fact - tyre. The print hadn't stuck to the print bed firmly on that corner and had printed, but risen up. The printer continued to print on top of it, and by the time it reached axle level it was all straight again, but the diameter of the wheel below the axle was about half the diameter above it. It's happened a few times before. I decided to reprint, and add in a couple of other Blitz variations.

About an hour & a half into the print I realised the print was looking messy. I then realised that, sitting off to one side of the build plate, there was half a front axle... This time, it had printed up to axle level, but hadn't quite reached the chassis, when the axle part came adrift. At this point only the tiny point of contact between each wheel & the surface had held it in place, and the supports were not binding enough to... support. My efforts to make the support easier to remove have come back to bite me...

Worse yet, the print head seems to have actually got stuck on the axle, as the entire print had 'shifted' off to one side at that point. This was the really interesting bit. When it tried to move over the axle it got stuck, and the belt feed that moves it has slipped (which is WAY better than getting any kind of mechanical jam!), but then carried on printing about a centimetre off to one side. I noticed this about another millimetre of print later. I realised it had failed, aborted the print, then set the print head to Auto Home, which moved it off to one corner of the build plate, where it hit the end stops which automatically recalibrated it. It's started up again on the same print. A couple of hours and about 5p worth of filament wasted...

It's never a simple task this.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 22 April 2019, 02:16:28 AM
Here's a common oddity I meant to mention before. It came to light again while testing the print time of a single Pz 35(t) for Leon on another thread. Look at these shreenshots:
(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/snap041_zpsrgzbawbb.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/snap041_zpsrgzbawbb.jpg.html) (https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/snap042_zpsnyyuqfat.jpg) (http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/snap042_zpsnyyuqfat.jpg.html)

Notice the oddity? The track treads show up on layer 2, but not on layer 1 - the tank actually 'hovers' a fraction of a millimetre above the buildplate! That happens quite a lot. Remembering that the extruded filament will droop & adhere anyway, and that Support should hold it in place, it's sometimes not an issue, but I have taken to checking every model on every print before starting, and lowering it just a fraction until I do get a decent contact. One weird one was these guns, where the tracks touched the buildplate, but the recoil spade did not. The spade was almost a half millimetre above the buildplate, which is huge in this scale. Not certain if this was intentional or not, but I adjusted by rotating the gun rather than sinking the tracks into the ground, as a half millimetre would make the tracks excessively thin, or even not print at all. Anything below the plane of the buildplate just doesn't print, by the way, it's a common way to reduce the height of, or eliminate, bases, etc.
(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/B-4_zpsy1kzhfk8.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/B-4_zpsy1kzhfk8.jpg.html)

As I am dependant on the work of others supplying these meshes, I'm happy to spend a few moments in preparation.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Steve J on 22 April 2019, 07:20:51 AM
The quality of the cad data can make a big difference to whether a build works or not. We know this form bitter experience at work >:(. Another major issue can be temperature, especially during Winter as if the room cools over night, it seems to always cause problems. Then there are the occasions when for no obvious reason, the build crashes :(.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: andys on 22 April 2019, 01:41:15 PM
@wulf - pm sent. I think, can't see it in the outbox thing!


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 22 April 2019, 01:59:34 PM
@wulf - pm sent. I think, can't see it in the outbox thing!
Reply sent...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 22 April 2019, 02:02:52 PM
The quality of the cad data can make a big difference to whether a build works or not. We know this form bitter experience at work >:(.[/q]
Yes, I've seen all kinds of weird anomalies in the meshes on Thingiverse. Hovering tanks (and other things) seem to be quite common, or things that do touch the ground, but only with the tiniest sliver of contact.[q] Another major issue can be temperature, especially during Winter as if the room cools over night, it seems to always cause problems. Then there are the occasions when for no obvious reason, the build crashes :(.
I seem to be OK overnight, strangely enough, nothing has failed overnight. Usually while I'm awake - but a few times when I'm at work.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 23 April 2019, 11:22:55 PM
Here's an interesting one (and an in-action picture too):
(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/foil_zpsh1lav9d5.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/foil_zpsh1lav9d5.jpg.html)

While printing a whole load of parts for a ruined factory, really overloading the build plate, the print at one corner came loose. Rather than restart the whole print (for the third time...) for the sake of one part, I waited until the print head was at the opposite corner of the build plate printing the part over there, then gently raised the magnetic mat that comes on the Ender 3 pro and inserted a piece of kitchen foil, while it continued printing. The thickness of that was enough to raise the bed to compensate for the lost print layers (the fluff/spaghetti they turned into isn't seen here) and allow the rest of the print to adhere and continue. It'll finish in another 12 or 14 hours...

Note that this is using a Brim for bed adhesion, thus the grey 'halo' around all the parts. A brim will support the more vertical parts, like some pillars & the chimney. Assuming it doesn't all go wrong, I'll post a pic of the finished print tomorrow.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 24 April 2019, 07:47:01 PM
Here's the completed kit of parts for the factory (with StuG for scale):
(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/factory_zpsnzimysy5.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/factory_zpsnzimysy5.jpg.html)

Everything printed nicely, I'm glad to say. The 'Venetian blind' effect vertical pillars are the supports, a side view of the zig-zags visible in the previous pic. Sadly, I realised when I looked at the previous pic that I'd forgotten to set the support to break into 'clumps' which simplifies cleanup. Never mind, the shapes of this print are relatively simple, so as long as the support doesn't bind to it it should be fine.7

However, my gout is playing up today, and while that doesn't stop me sitting at a table cleaning up the print, it dampens the enthusiasm, so it may be a day or so before I post a pic of the assembled piece.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: fred. on 24 April 2019, 08:44:16 PM
Iím really enjoying the detail you are providing in these posts. While the results from the printing are good it does feel an art to generate the right settings and tweaks to produce them.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 24 April 2019, 09:45:51 PM
Iím really enjoying the detail you are providing in these posts. While the results from the printing are good it does feel an art to generate the right settings and tweaks to produce them.
You can approach it methodically and produce consistent results, but unless you only print one sort of model (tanks, armoured cars & trucks, for instance, have different problems with support) they'll have to be decent rather than good. Most of my issues have to do with getting stuff better, not with getting stuff printed.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 24 April 2019, 10:45:13 PM
The gout is still playing up, but these proved far easier to give an initial cleanup than I had feared. Unfortunately that's partially due to having been printed with thick layers, and far too fast. The undersides of the outer roof supports are a mess of hanging filament thread thanks to inadequate (but easily removed...) support. However, it looks pretty good from tabletop distances...

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/factory%20test%202_zpsaullunxg.jpg) (http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/factory%20test%202_zpsaullunxg.jpg.html)(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/factory%20test%201_zpsnuda1v3o.jpg) (http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/factory%20test%201_zpsnuda1v3o.jpg.html)

Lots more cleanup to do, and plenty of filing cutting & sanding on those overhangs... Then it needs a base & lots of rubble & fallen roof structure.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 24 April 2019, 10:53:37 PM
 :-bd =D> :-bd

I'm definitely learning lots


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 25 April 2019, 08:04:22 PM
Lately I've has a few requests to print stuff for people. And I've been quite happy to do so, it's led me to subjects I'd not have considered. So far I've done so at no cost - the most expensive thing about this process is, after all the stamp to post them with... However, stamps aren't as cheap as they were, and really I also need a box to put the models in, and... well, I don't want this to escalate.

From now on, however, I want to get a bit better control over this, just in case. I'm not saying there's been a deluge of requests, just a few, but of them a couple are taking many hours to print, so, from now on, these rules apply...

1) I will not print anything produced by Pendraken. Doing so would be a gross abuse of the privilege offered by these forums. Unfortunately I don't know PD's entire product catalogue by heart, so I'll have to take requests on trust... So far I don't think anyone has requested anything that breaks this rule.

2) I will refuse any request that'll take too long or too much effort to print. Now, the requester won't know that, but anything that my slicer says will take over, maybe, 6 hours, or that looks a right bugger to clean up, will be refused, unless it looks really interesting...

3) There will be a nominal payment required, maybe £10 for a 6 hour print, to cover time, postage & packing. I don't want to make a profit out of this, I just want my printer to be printing my prints...

Right... now I feel both egotistical and selfish... :(

To cheer me up, here's a pic of the latest request I've actually finished printing. In the absence of any  more suitable figures, some unpainted Normans give a sense of scale. I think they're PD.

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/siege_zps9vifl0sx.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/siege_zps9vifl0sx.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 25 April 2019, 08:10:52 PM
 :-bd =D> :-bd

Seems a very sensible and reasonable set of guidelines


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: sunjester on 25 April 2019, 10:12:43 PM
And the war engines look nice.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Orcs on 25 April 2019, 10:34:29 PM
That's both very reasonable and generous.

I totally agree about not replicating Pendraken .


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 26 April 2019, 08:15:36 AM
I've got a few little odds and sods that I might contact you about, Wulf. :-\

There are certain things that are a pain in the posterior for me to keep replicating, when I'm making a range of soldiers......Certain shapes/sizes of shields, for example.
I might well ask you to do some of those.....Then I can send those to Leon..... get him to RTV them.....Then I can have some metal copies made. :)

Wouldn't half save me some time !!

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: ianrs54 on 26 April 2019, 09:03:38 AM

Wouldn't half save me some time !!


Work faster


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Orcs on 26 April 2019, 09:12:28 AM
Wouldn't half save me some time !!

Cheers - Phil

You would only get bored. Mrs T would be thinking you could look after more horses/dogs/sheep, or start expecting breakfast in bed. Although I am not sure she would let you loose with the Toaster - Very hot, exposed electrical elements etc


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Westmarcher on 26 April 2019, 09:31:41 AM
Once again, to augment Wulf's fine work, there's now a second Youtube 3D printing video tutorial on Little Wars TV with the promise of a third one providing links to various places where you can get 3D printable files specifically for historical wargaming.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 26 April 2019, 02:02:17 PM
I've got a few little odds and sods that I might contact you about, Wulf. :-

There are certain things that are a pain in the posterior for me to keep replicating, when I'm making a range of soldiers......Certain shapes/sizes of shields, for example.
I might well ask you to do some of those.....Then I can send those to Leon..... get him to RTV them.....Then I can have some metal copies made. :)

Wouldn't half save me some time !!

Cheers - Phil
That would also be a nice proof of concept for mastering. Remember, though, I need files in STL, OBJ, x3d or 3mf format...

Wulf


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 26 April 2019, 02:36:16 PM
Once again, to augment Wulf's fine work, there's now a second Youtube 3D printing video tutorial on Little Wars TV with the promise of a third one providing links to various places where you can get 3D printable files specifically for historical wargaming.
I've watched the two so far now. One thing to note is that he has an Ender 3 - not the newer Ender 3 Pro I have (at the same price, more or less) which solves some issues. Maybe the Prusa would be better if you have an extra few hundred quid to spend - I certainly do not!

I'll be more interested in the next episode though, good historical wargaming terrain is still the hardest subject to find.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Dr Dave on 26 April 2019, 03:35:12 PM
Those look terrific - especially the Blitzs. I sure BPM have been getting better, but some of their tanks the gun barrels are very "liney" and often too thin.

I've had to replace several with plastic rod of the right diameter and use thinned tubing for fume extractors etc.

BUT - your models look better. Keep up the good work.  ;)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 26 April 2019, 05:47:51 PM
Those look terrific - especially the Blitzs. I sure BPM have been getting better, but some of their tanks the gun barrels are very "liney" and often too thin.
I can only judge the examples I have bought (maybe a dozen or so), all of which are in their 12mm scale range. They do hundreds of different vehicles, and in a wide variety of scales. Buyer beware, the pictures they show are always of the 20mm scale versions, which is noted on the pages. Wile I won't criticise them too much, I will say that buying them convinced me that FDM printing was almost acceptable, but not quite, and I bought my printer on the basis that I'd make do with the tanks given how cheap they would be, but terrain would be my real target.

Now I'm printing tanks, and I'm almost, but not entirely, happy with them.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: GrumpyOldMan on 26 April 2019, 11:10:38 PM
Hello Wulf,

I've been looking at the interweb (they should really have me controlled around it) and I was wondering if you had looked at the resin 3d printers? I was looking at the Sparkmaker and Anycube Photon.

Cheers, back to unsupervised roaming of the Interweb.

GrumpyOldMan



Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: GrumpyOldMan on 26 April 2019, 11:18:38 PM
I've got a few little odds and sods that I might contact you about, Wulf. :-

There are certain things that are a pain in the posterior for me to keep replicating, when I'm making a range of soldiers......Certain shapes/sizes of shields, for example.
I might well ask you to do some of those.....Then I can send those to Leon..... get him to RTV them.....Then I can have some metal copies made. :)

Wouldn't half save me some time !!

Cheers - Phil

Hello Phil

There are places that have free shields available but you'd have to play with them to get the thicknesses right and while some look ok in render the actual 3d model is horrible.

https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/free/shield (https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/free/shield)
https://free3d.com/3d-models/shield (https://free3d.com/3d-models/shield)
https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=shield&dwh=915cc383670864c (https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=shield&dwh=915cc383670864c)

Cheers

GrumpyOldMan


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 27 April 2019, 02:02:34 AM
Hello Wulf,
Greetings comrade... erm... sorry, just been watching a couple of Russian tanker films, T-34 and Invincible...
Quote
I've been looking at the interweb (they should really have me controlled around it) and I was wondering if you had looked at the resin 3d printers? I was looking at the Sparkmaker and Anycube Photon.
I looked at them, I looked at the price, I looked at the toxic materials they use, I looked away...

If I wanted to do this really seriously, and produce results to rival the best, I'd look to resin. But all I want are some little toy tanks with minimal cost and minimal hassle. Resin is for the dedicated with cash and facilities (a room of kit's own with ventilation and storage at least).

Wulf


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 27 April 2019, 07:48:59 AM
Hello Phil
There are places that have free shields available but you'd have to play with them to get the thicknesses right and while some look ok in render the actual 3d model is horrible.
https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/free/shield (https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/free/shield)
https://free3d.com/3d-models/shield (https://free3d.com/3d-models/shield)
https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=shield&dwh=915cc383670864c (https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=shield&dwh=915cc383670864c)
Cheers
GrumpyOldMan

Thanks, Vic !

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 28 April 2019, 10:06:43 PM
You want Dragon's Teeth you say? How many? Lots? How about 28 sets? It'll take about 7 hours...

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/teeth_zpshgfifqbl.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/teeth_zpshgfifqbl.jpg.html)

Note: this is a posed pic, I meant to take it to show the capacity of the build plate, but then started scraping them off the plate before I realised. So... I posed them all back in place...


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 29 April 2019, 07:25:15 PM
You can print Cruel Seas boats on an FDM printer, so long as you're prepared to accept a bit of simplification...

(https://oi1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/mcboatface_zpskyyvtvtf.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/mcboatface_zpskyyvtvtf.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 29 April 2019, 07:40:58 PM
 :-bd =D> :-bd


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: lowlylowlycook on 29 April 2019, 07:49:40 PM
Quite nice!


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 04 May 2019, 12:59:27 AM
I've been experimenting with PETG, a different type of filament. It's the stuff drinks bottles & the like are made of, more resilient than PLA (actually they're PET, and moulded, not printed with filament, of course). PETG is kind of the home printing version of PET, and includes manufacturers' extra ingredients to make it easier to use - but also makes it inconsistent. It needs a higher temperature to print, and, well, I'm not impressed. Very stringy so far. Undoubtedly strong prints, mind you, so useful for things like containers, boardgame items, etc - stuff that takes a lot of handling.

...however...

IN checking out some details about 3d printing materials, I have discovered that, despite my belief, I have NOT been printing with PLA, but with a mix of PLA and PLA+... PLA+ is an improved formula, although, like PETG, it's not a consistent formula between manufacturers. It turns out my preferred filament, the SUNLU Silver Grey stuff, is actually PLA+... I didn't even notice until now! It's still not as tough or flexible as PETG, but it's easier to use and way less stringy...

Well, apparently the eSUN PLA+ is even better, so I ordered some of that.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: andys on 04 May 2019, 10:18:57 AM
Just before I shoot off to the daughter's wedding, a huge thanks to Wulf. He is a scholar and a gentleman 👍👍👍👍


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 04 May 2019, 10:56:17 AM
Just before I shoot off to the daughter's wedding, a huge thanks to Wulf. He is a scholar and a gentleman 👍👍👍👍
I do impressions.  8)

Best wishes to the couple & family.  :-*


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 04 May 2019, 09:15:30 PM
I hope the wedding goes well


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Westmarcher on 04 May 2019, 10:01:09 PM
Likewise (i.e., hope it went well - including your 'father of the bride' speech  :) ).  My turn tomorrow (Sunday) ....... my  daughter's wedding also!


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 05 May 2019, 06:29:25 AM
Best of luck as well Westmarcher, remember be on your best behaviour ;)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 05 May 2019, 08:40:40 AM
Best wishes to all.  :-bd

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: sunjester on 05 May 2019, 10:42:33 AM
Good luck to all!

And thanks again Wulf for a really interesting thread.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 12 May 2019, 11:09:41 AM
Still printing, no interesting developments until now. I was asked to print a Taj Mahal for a work colleague, so here it is, but for myself I tried some character miniatures, Dungeons & Dragons style. They're meant to be printed about 32mm tall, but I rescaled them down to 25mm...
(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0416_zps1jctwspw.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0416_zps1jctwspw.jpg.html)

With tree support from the baseplate, the figures worked out well. I've changed to this yellow eSUN PLA+, which feels a bit... soapy? compared to the SUNLU grey stuff, but does seem to be excellent for print quality & strength.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 12 May 2019, 06:43:43 PM
How small can you actually print a recognisable tank? How about 1:600 scale?
(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/teeny_zpsv4lyoha5.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/teeny_zpsv4lyoha5.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 12 May 2019, 07:03:20 PM
OOPS... deleted a file on PhotoBucket, wrong one... if anyone has the ability, please delete the erroneous post.

Still printing, no interesting developments until now. I was asked to print a Taj Mahal for a work colleague, so here it is, but for myself I tried some character miniatures, Dungeons & Dragons style. They're meant to be printed about 32mm tall, but I rescaled them down to 25mm...

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0416_zpszmxjrs98.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0416_zpszmxjrs98.jpg.html)

With tree support from the baseplate, the figures worked out well. I've changed to this yellow eSUN PLA+, which feels a bit... soapy? compared to the SUNLU grey stuff, but does seem to be excellent for print quality & strength.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 16 June 2019, 10:34:43 PM
Thread resurrection...

Enough of these high-tech modern devices! Let's get back to basics...

The more astute amongst you may notice the presence of a Sherman tank (that's a metal mini by Pendraken) and a yellow school bus... While I'd imagine most people on this forum would understand the scale, those are there for other forums to demonstrate relative sizes to those less accustomed to tanks. Most people associate 'tanks' with modern Western tanks, which are HUGE in comparison to almost every WWII tank, but WWI tanks were pretty damn big too.

(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0473_zpsqccyeike.jpg) (https://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0473_zpsqccyeike.jpg.html)(https://i1380.photobucket.com/albums/ah199/WulfC/IMGP0474_zpsxiwez9wh.jpg) (http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/WulfC/media/IMGP0474_zpsxiwez9wh.jpg.html)


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 16 June 2019, 11:00:04 PM
I have been meaning to update this thread, actually. A lot has happened, but fundamentally not much changed...

After many issues with the 0.3mm nozzle, I went back to the 0.4mm stock size. I can't really notice the difference 99% of the time... Only when attempting to print really thin lines (like the barrels on those 1:600 scale tanks & struts on the WWII Armoured Bulldozer). The 0.4mm has one huge advantage, it puts down more plastic at a time. When printing big stuff, like boardgame box inserts, it can shorten print time by up to 25% - and that can be HOURS...

I'm now using eSUN PLA+ almost exclusively as my filament brand of choice. As I mentioned early in this thread, quality varies by colour quite remarkably, the 'Pine Green' being quite stringy, the 'Dark Yellow' a bit stringy, but the 'Grey' is superb & my default colour now.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 17 June 2019, 08:20:14 AM
Those all look pretty damn good to me.  :)

The lilac (?) ones look fine .....Or are those the 'grays' and my eyesight's playing silly b's ?

Cheers - Phil



Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 17 June 2019, 06:36:36 PM
Those all look pretty damn good to me.  :)

The lilac (?) ones look fine .....Or are those the 'grays' and my eyesight's playing silly b's ?
I see what you mean, the picture colour has gone wonky. Those are indeed grey.


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: paulr on 17 June 2019, 08:48:15 PM
I suspect the yellow of the bus has thrown the white balance out


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Techno on 18 June 2019, 07:30:54 AM
The colour balance has definitely gone a bit squiffy.  :o

I think Paul's right.....Unless you used a different light source, Wulf ?

Cheers - Phil


Title: Re: The care & nurture of a 3d printer...
Post by: Wulf on 18 June 2019, 07:16:39 PM
The colour balance has definitely gone a bit squiffy.  :o

I think Paul's right.....Unless you used a different light source, Wulf ?
No, just daylight & the flash on my cheap camera.