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niart17

3D Printing Discussions

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Hey guys. I've noticed more and more people here have delved into the world of 3d printing for use in their model building hobby. I've had several threads about some of my 3D prints and there have been a few times where the subject of starting a thread where all of the ups and downs of 3d printing could be discussed. Yes there are a great many sites that cover this topic, and they are great. But I think the input from model builders, people that have the same expectations and desire for similar results specifically leaning towards model building, and not just other aspects of printing; would be a good subject for this forum. So this is just a starter post to get the idea out there. I'll come back and post more specific ideas and thoughts whenever I get the chance. But right now I mainly wanted to get the ball rolling and see if anyone else wanted to contribute either by posting suggestions in getting started in 3D printing, questions about techniques, techniques to get specific results or just general "hey this is cool, have you seen this" or whatever else you may want to discuss. So how about it? Let's get a good informative thread going.

 

Bill

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Sounds interesting. Being a young guy, from my perspective, 3D printing in its conception seemed along the lines of “revolutionary”, but was something people kind of knew was going to happen. It seems that they are becoming more commonplace now. I think at one point I’ve seen the 3D models of aircraft being sold for money to be printed out in 3D. Don’t quote me on that but if it’s true then anything is possible with the modeling... I could see the aftermarket scene flourishing through that.

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I think 3D printing deserves its own subforum. The interest is not specific to any of the current ARC subforums and a dedicated 3D forum would help focus topics - and searches. 

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I dunno.  I'm not a fan of having a sub-forum for every little thing (I think all the armour, car and ship sub-forums could easily be contracted into one section for each subject) and I don't think there's really enough 3D printing posts to warrant a specific section for the topic.  But it's regular enough that constantly hijacking Bill's 'I bought a printer!' thread isn't really tenable. :woot.gif:

 

Maybe a subforum for 'Computer Aided Modelling' that encompasses 3D printing, CAD modelling, decal design and printing, vinyl cutter/plotters, etc.?  Maybe even roll it into the Aviation Art section since a big chunk of that section is digital - call it 'Alternative Modelling' or 'Outside the Box' (anything outside of traditional plastic modelling, from pencil drawings to 3D printing and everything in between).

 

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3d Printing seemed like a great idea, and some of the stuff you can print is pretty impressive. But it's not about to replace traditional injection-molded model kits, at least for a long, long while. Until you can print without visible layers and print lines, it's difficult to get a lot of shapes, or a smooth, crisp surface. Not unless you have a printer that's basically priced out of the home modeler's range. Also, most of what gets 3D printed can be made easier, cheaper, and faster with other means, like a laser cutter or just traditional model building techniques like foamcore or sheet styrene. Once the really high-quality, high-precision printers are available for the home user, and we can print with durable materials, like manufacturing-grade materials, then 3D printing will be useful. 

By the way, if we were to make a new sub-forum, I suggest a "Model Show" section, with reports and pictures from local, regional, and national model shows. 

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Perhaps not replace most traditional IM kits, at least at the time. BUT in some certain instances, such as Vincent Meens Lunar Module kit, it TOTALLY can replace an injection molded kit. Since a majority of the parts are usually covered with some sort of foil or textured papers anyway, the basic parts as well as the detailed parts printed on a resin printer, are just as useful as any IM kit.

 

But I think at this time, one of the best uses for this technology as far as model building goes is either in the scratch-built or conversion realm, by making actual parts and/or masters; or in the aftermarket business. Again either with marketable finished parts or masters to make resin copies from. So maybe your typical kit builder isn't going to have a need for them yet, but other builders will greatly benefit from 3d printing.

 

And I haven't even gotten into the area of 3d printing specialized tools and support materials for model building yet. THAT opens an even larger group of possibilities since function outweighs form for most of those items. Imagine being able to print out very specific jigs, or rigging tools, or cases for other tools, or brackets to hold things, or bend things or or or or.....on and on and on. Exciting times I think.

 

Bill

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