3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#1
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So I bought and built a 3D printer - (a Reprap Huxley), which means I can now do cool stuff like this! :D

These models are around 13cm long, and have been amazingly painted by a friend of mine who's an expert miniature painter. (Check out his site for more pics of the Fenris and Aeolus - there's some superb stuff on there)

So I was just wondering if anyone would be interested in getting some printed & painted FS miniatures? :)
Though it would vary with the desired size and complexity of the ship, the basic cost would be about AUD $36 for a similarly sized model, + AUD $15 for a basic-colours-only sort of paint job up to AUD $30ish for the kind of detail seen on the Fenris + postage.

PM me or post here if you're interested. :)
Twisted Infinities

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#8
I recently read about 3D printers after watching a show about it. Kind of like a replicator, can make things extremely customized at low cost and fairly quickly with minimal waste. Someday they might print buildings and new hearts. I wonder what material you buy for one though and how that works (you buy a powder maybe). I only heard about 3D printers from an educational show and reading online; never from any individual, so they must be rare. I read though that they are used for making prototypes in this day and age.

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#9
They are fed either solid bricks of material or perhaps a powder/liquid depending on the type. My college has a 36" cube one which melts bricks of 2 types of plastics. The whitish plastic is the product, and there is a blackish plastic that dissolves in a special solution which is used as a sort of on-demand mold. There is an entire class about SolidWorks and this machine. I've never seen it in action but I've seen what they make with it, it's pretty cool and the running costs are a lot less than what you might think.

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#10
Any plan for non-FS ships in the future?
Yeah sure - all I need is a model file, a desired size, and a textured reference pic for the painter if you want it painted. :)
They are fed either solid bricks of material or perhaps a powder/liquid depending on the type. My college has a 36" cube one which melts bricks of 2 types of plastics. The whitish plastic is the product, and there is a blackish plastic that dissolves in a special solution which is used as a sort of on-demand mold. There is an entire class about SolidWorks and this machine. I've never seen it in action but I've seen what they make with it, it's pretty cool and the running costs are a lot less than what you might think.
This printer actually does it differently - it has a big spool of plastic (ABS) filiament, which it pushes through a hot end that melts it into a very fine noodle. This hot end is attached to the movable print head which can move around in the 3D space above the print bed, so as it moves and extrudes, it lays down a layer of plastic, then moves up to do the next layer - repeat till finished. The powder based printers have a much finer detail than the extruders, though that comes at higher costs and other problems like draining the powder, cleaning models and recycling powder, as well as reduced model strength (the continuous noodles of plastic in extruder printers is much stronger than the sintering process makes - I've been making engineering components out of it, and the strength is very impressive! :) )
Twisted Infinities

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#12
Ah yes that's right. I remembered my Prof. showed us the raw material, but I couldn't remember if it was a block or not. Yes, I believe ours is a spool-fed as well. What is the advantage of a 2-material printer like I described vs yours?

What kind of time does it take to print a full-size model with it? Does it need to wait long for each bead to cool between passes?

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#13
Well there's a huge variety of printers, and what you're describing sounds like it has one material to make the object, and a soluble material to make the support structures. The support structures come in handy when you need to print things with overhangs - they allow the material to be laid onto a lattice of support material rather than into thin air (which makes plastic spaghetti :P ). The advantage of soluble material is that when your print is finished you can soak the support material off rather than snap it off as you need to on mine. This would lead to nicer underside-surfaces on your objects.

If you start with a block of material and remove stuff, you've got a CNC milling machine, which is different to 3D printing, and has its own advantages and limitations. :) (Ie, milled stuff made of steel etc. is far stronger than anything 3d printing could produce)
Twisted Infinities

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#15
Yes, they use it for support structures, etc. One of the examples my Prof likes to show off is 3 concentric lattice spheres, and a fully functional mini-wrench, both of which were formed in one piece, no assembly required. Which in an of itself can save companies thousands.

I agree with Gary, I'm sure there will come a point where we can make 3D-printed objects with similar strengths to steel. I believe there are already 3D printers that beat steel on a strength/weight ratio which are starting to be used for weight-sensitive applications like airplanes. It's a lot cheaper to form a complex 3D structure that provides optimal weight usage using a 3D printer than with traditional casting or CNC methods.

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