Posts Tagged 3D Printing

Sometimes, it just does not work out…

I’ve experimented with a variety of 3D prints for terrain.  Generally the results have been sucessful with the various smaller files that I’ve printed at the local library.  A few months ago, I backed Real 3D Fantasy Printable Scenery on Kickstarter.  For a reasonable price, I received files for four small medieval style buildings.  The test files printed without issue, but I the full scale buildings just don’t measure up.  The building comes in 5 pieces: roof, 1st floor, 2nd floor and 2 support pillars.  The print grain is rough, and the large flat sections warped during printing creating large gaps between the sections (and a funny looking pillar on the left).  A second, smaller building failed to print at all.  And worst of all, I paid more than $30 for the printing.  At that price, I can get a sharp looking MDF building from any number of companies.

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Kickstarter Report

Like a number of gamers, I’ve bought into a number of kickstarters.  My most current pledge is a set of 3D files for a medieval village from Real 3D Fantasy Printable Scenery.  During the campaign, they provided a number of test files which include an outhouse and a dog house.  The prints came out well and should paint up nicely.  The Brave Bricklayer will give me enough files to create a small village good for Saga or even WW2.  One of the advantages of a 3D file is that the kickstarter will be able to deliver in a reasonable time frame.

3D outhouse

Speaking of unreasonable delivery times, 18 months after pledging, I will finally be getting my paints from the Reaper Miniatures Cav kickstarter this month.  The Bones kickstarter was a phenomenon, sadly the follow up kickstarters from Reaper all fall short.  I have a handful of figures in Bones 3 that will be my last kickstarter with Reaper.

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Cargo Container Casting

Working with expanding foam is a project I started on a few years back – it seemed to be the perfect hobby terrain solution, light and cheap. A few months ago, I was approached by Mike from Dragon-Fall asking for help in creating large terrain items for the 40K tournament.  It was the perfect motivation to restart work on the project.

Masters were printed at the local library using files from Thingiverse.  Three file sets were used in the project:

Files used under Creative Commons non commercial license.

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Masters were gap filled with putty to prevent the mold rubber from encapsulating the cargo container.

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Tried out a new Mold Max product – NV14.  This rubber is super stretchy and is also super smooth.  It was able to penetrate the Lego mold box at nearly every point.

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First cast with Foam It 8.  Its always a bit of a trial to find the right mix amount.  Here the foaming resin is lifting about 30 lb of paint and rubber.

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Eventually the magic number of 72g/36g was found.  The final product takes detail well.  You can see a few air bubbles along the back ridge.  Because the rubber mold was so flexible, I was able to open the mold wide and treat with talc to fix the bubble problem.

 

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After a fall with a stack of paint cans, it was time to get serious with the mechanical restraint.   The mold is enclosed in mdf boards on all sides.  Duck tape holds the sides in position.  The top board is inside a plastic bag to keep the resin from sticking.  Once the resin is mixed, there is about a minute of working time to get the clamps in place before the mix spills out of the box.

 

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3D Printing

3D printing has found it’s way to my local library.   I found these three objects online at Thingiverse – the barrels are for a 40K terrain project.  The unicorn and cat are for my daughters.  The detail on each is pretty good with the most obvious print lines on the horizontal barrels.  The unicorn was delivered with a bit of flash – the plastic is stiff (just short of being brittle) but cleans up with knife and clippers.   Printing cost is minimal, running 10 cents per gram or about $1.50 per item.  Tinkercad is an online 3D object creator, although I may be hard pressed to come up with anything more than a simple set of geometric shapes.   Even with basic skill, 3D printing will have its uses for creating game tokens and terrain masters for resin casting.

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