Author Topic: 3D Printers advice & discussion  (Read 722 times)

Megalosaurus

  • Cambrian survivor
  • *******
  • Posts: 1077
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Tyranotricerankylostegospinoraptor
3D Printers advice & discussion
« on: January 24, 2018, 07:24:00 PM »
Hello.
Shapeways has been quite popular here, and some forum members have 3D printers. I'm considering to buy a 3D printer to print prehistoric models, and also I want to make my own ones.
What 3D printers are good enought to print dinosaur models?
Where to buy the printers and the filaments needed?
What are the best filaments to print detail?
What software is best to model for 3d printer?
Is there a way to avoid that step lines that are shown in some 3d printed models?
Where to buy or get free prehistoric models to print?

Any advice and your experiences with 3d printers will be welcome.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 07:26:40 PM by Megalosaurus »
Sobreviviendo a la extinción!!!


stargatedalek

  • Pliocene survivor
  • ********************
  • Posts: 4368
  • I'm not slow! That's just my moe!
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Fratercula arctica
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 07:39:55 PM »
I have a Flashforge Finder and it does decent detail, can print something comparable in detail to Safari toob figures. When it works it does absolutely beautiful prints with comparative ease, but the thing with "beginner" printers is that when something does inevitably go wrong it's more difficult to repair/replace.

The Finder can only print in "standard" PLA, but that's generally going to be good enough unless you want high details on very small prints or "unusual" materials (IE flexible or highly durable). An FDM printer with a heated bed can use things like flexible PLA or ABS (which is probably the most durable of all 3D printing options). "Standard" PLA is comparable to Kaiyodo Dinotales in terms of durability, ABS is far stronger than even something like PVC but it also doesn't bend as well and snaps easily if bent to far.

If you want something more detailed, ala Warhammer, D&D, etc. you're going to need a resin printer. Resin does better detail but is more difficult, more expensive, and more fragile.

Megalosaurus

  • Cambrian survivor
  • *******
  • Posts: 1077
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Tyranotricerankylostegospinoraptor
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 05:04:27 PM »
Thank you stargatedalek.
What software do you use with it? What file formats does it admit?
Sobreviviendo a la extinción!!!

stargatedalek

  • Pliocene survivor
  • ********************
  • Posts: 4368
  • I'm not slow! That's just my moe!
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Fratercula arctica
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 07:36:49 PM »
Thank you stargatedalek.
What software do you use with it? What file formats does it admit?
I use Flashprint, it's intended for Flashforge products but it can be used for any printer assuming you account for difference in printer bed size. Flashprint is particularly relevant here because it has the best support for organic/naturalistic files by-far.

It can only open .stl or .obj files, but most files are convertible into these if you have a program that can open them.

Papi-Anon

  • Full member
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Allosaurus fragilis
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 07:58:14 PM »
As a draftsman I use SolidWorks, but it's pricey as a software (just the standard package for the latest edition WITHOUT support is $4,000 USD). I'm able to do organic shapes but my branch of the hobby is for making poseable figures, so the geometric shapes used for joints are easier to do in the software. If I have a mesh file of a design I can reverse-engineer the shape into a solid form like what I did with my Andrewsarchus project. It's tedious, but then again I'm OCD to begin with so it's fun for me.



“They said I could be whatever I wanted to be when I evolved. So I decided to be a crocodile.”
-Ambulocetus, 47.8–41.3mya

tyrantqueen

  • Ultimate survivor
  • ***********************
  • Posts: 7133
  • Kek
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: What do you think?
  • v.1 status and posts: 137 Full Member
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 08:05:11 PM »
As a draftsman I use SolidWorks, but it's pricey as a software (just the standard package for the latest edition WITHOUT support is $4,000 USD). I'm able to do organic shapes but my branch of the hobby is for making poseable figures, so the geometric shapes used for joints are easier to do in the software. If I have a mesh file of a design I can reverse-engineer the shape into a solid form like what I did with my Andrewsarchus project. It's tedious, but then again I'm OCD to begin with so it's fun for me.

*snip*

Holy moly, not an option for most hobbyists then... :-\
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 08:05:23 PM by tyrantqueen »

stargatedalek

  • Pliocene survivor
  • ********************
  • Posts: 4368
  • I'm not slow! That's just my moe!
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Fratercula arctica
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 10:49:11 PM »
As a draftsman I use SolidWorks, but it's pricey as a software (just the standard package for the latest edition WITHOUT support is $4,000 USD). I'm able to do organic shapes but my branch of the hobby is for making poseable figures, so the geometric shapes used for joints are easier to do in the software. If I have a mesh file of a design I can reverse-engineer the shape into a solid form like what I did with my Andrewsarchus project. It's tedious, but then again I'm OCD to begin with so it's fun for me.

*snip*

Holy moly, not an option for most hobbyists then... :-\
Professional programs aren't going to be strictly necessary unless you want to make 3D models from scratch. Flashprint and Cura are both free and are in theory all you'll ever need for printing.

Solidworks in particular is intended for creating articulated or mechanical parts, a very complicated program with features far beyond the scope of typical 3D modelling or 3D printing. That's the top of the line option.

Megalosaurus

  • Cambrian survivor
  • *******
  • Posts: 1077
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Tyranotricerankylostegospinoraptor
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 11:05:17 PM »
Thank you very much stargatedalek and Papi-Anon.

I'll look for more 3D printer reviews before make my purchase.
Any advice is really helpful.
Sobreviviendo a la extinción!!!

Papi-Anon

  • Full member
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Allosaurus fragilis
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 02:15:19 AM »
If you have the time to wait for orders to be mailed to you, outsourcing to Shapeways could be a cheaper option. Depending on the material and purpose (static figure verses articulation) you can skip the printer-purchase and use printing processes that are more consistent without needing to fine-tune your own printer. Plus bulk-orders with a single shipping charge are a nice feature (1st Class is just $5 flat-rate on Shapeways).


“They said I could be whatever I wanted to be when I evolved. So I decided to be a crocodile.”
-Ambulocetus, 47.8–41.3mya

stargatedalek

  • Pliocene survivor
  • ********************
  • Posts: 4368
  • I'm not slow! That's just my moe!
    • View Profile
  • Dinosaur: Fratercula arctica
Re: 3D Printers advice & discussion
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 03:02:39 AM »
I strongly recommend against Shapeways at more or less any cost. It will be cheaper in the long run no matter what. It doesn't matter how many things you order on bulk, or how many concessions you make in terms of material, it is always cheaper in the long run to buy your own printer if you want more than a handful of models.

And frankly, I don't even recommend using resin except under very specific circumstances (all Shapeways prints, even WSF, are done using resin and not PLA or ABS). Any FDM (AKA "non-resin-plastic") printer, even the cheapest models available, will always give results that are almost as detailed and a lot more durable than resin, so resin is really only worth the extra cost and work if you want incredibly detailed small models.