3-D Printers

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illyad2

New Member
Good morning all. I have become interested in 3-D printing and the things it can bring to my HO scale layout. I would like to find out more and get as much information as I can. Specifically, I would like to make figures, buildings and items with 3d printer. I would like to take items such as vehicles or figures and change their scale (making them larger or smaller and them printing them out. I would also like to know if 3d images can be made from one dimension surface. I have other questions but perhaps a 3d printer primer might be a good idea. TIA.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
My son has a 3D printer and it works ok. IMO it prints a little rough for much of what I would like to use it for, that is, it takes more cleanup that I think it should. There are lots of models out there that you can download.
 

GeeTee

Active Member
Good morning all. I have become interested in 3-D printing and the things it can bring to my HO scale layout. I would like to find out more and get as much information as I can. Specifically, I would like to make figures, buildings and items with 3d printer. I would like to take items such as vehicles or figures and change their scale (making them larger or smaller and them printing them out. I would also like to know if 3d images can be made from one dimension surface. I have other questions but perhaps a 3d printer primer might be a good idea. TIA.

I am assuming your referring to a flat surface like a photograph ? All surfaces are two dimensional by definition , a surface cannot exist in only one dimension .

You need three dimensional data for the printer, The third dimension has to either be defined or extrapolated somehow.

My impression of 3d printing has been that the costs (time and money ) usually outweigh the benefits , base material and equipment to produce high quality results are a significant capital investment. Most 3D printing is done by creating a 3 dimensional "solid" model in a CAD program and the data is then sliced into layers and each layer "printed" like a 2d image. The easiest way to think about a 3D printer its a 2D printer with a Z axis stepper motor , only instead of ink you have a hot glue gun .

The easiest way to get the best results is to create the model in the 3D CAD package and then send the data off to a printing house for the final model or production run. The same way you would if you were designing a PCB .

I haven't looked at this stuff in several years so things may have changed. Someone else may have a different opinion or take on the subject.
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
In reference to the issues Patrick reference, filament based printers can only provide resolution to the thickness of the filament and can require a significant amount of cleanup to make useable. I've been eyeing the resin printers which offer much greater resolution than the filament-based 3D printers can. Specifically, I've been eyeing this one: https://www.micromark.com/Anycubic-Photon-S-SLA-3D-Resin-Printer-White. It can be found cheaper elsewhere, but I am still struggling with the ROI of investing in one as I find that most things that I would use that for are things I don't need, or can find fairly cheap on Shapeways.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
My son does a lot of his stuff at work and took courses last year in catia. He got his filament printer as it was one that was recommended. It has had its issues in the 6 months he's had it. I though there were better ones out there, but I didn't buy it so...I am on the lookout for something different though. And as for ROI, unless you need it for business, don't expect it to pay for itself anytime soon.
 

goatfarmer

New Member
I have the Sovol SV01 printer and at its price point I am very happy with it. I've printed several n scale buildings and vehicles and yes they can be quite a bit of work to clean up as there is a minute void on the surface of every layer. However, once primed and sanded the surface is smooth. I guess what I think makes them handy for model railroading is the fact that you can print something for pennies and have it in your hand in a couple of hours. Whether this option is used to see if a certain item is fitting for your layout before you go out and buy an expensive kit or just to be able to have more available more quickly and much less expensive. Everyone's opinion will vary but I am pleased with mine.

As far as printing 3d from a 2d image I think that would require more skill and investment than I have. I've only designed a few simple items so far but if you are familiar with 3d cad software then the sky is the limit. There are several people who design and share their files for free or for a couple of bucks and its fun to scroll through these and decide to try something new. Good luck on you decision and I do agree that the resin printers offer much better detail, but at a higher initial cost.
 

wvg_ca

Active Member
In your question you mention buildings, which can be easily done with a filament printer, which costs from $150 and up, but figures, which you also mention, are better done with a resin printer, which costs more, and has a greater cleanup routine ...
For reference, I only have a filament printer, which is a Prusa I3 clone, was a semi kit at $160 [Canadian even], and came withe a heated bed and auto Z ...
 

GeeTee

Active Member
In searching the Prusa line I found my son's printer:


His has yet to print as nicely as what the people are showing on the comments.....
I was looking at one of those the other day , can you post pics of some of the results ? it looks more or less like the Sovol , I see so many of them with different branding , I am thinking they must be an open source hardware/software platform? Right now they're about $180?
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
I have both a Creality CR-010S and an Ender 3 Pro. Both are excellent printers for their price point.

Patrick: The Ender is capable of very fine detail. If your son is having problems, here are a couple of things to consider. Both the brand and color of filament make a BIG difference. So do the printer settings in the slicer. For the latter, check out the YouTube channel CHEP.

illyad2: wvg_ca touched on the main consideration: FDM (filament) or SLA (resin). Much, much finer detail can be achieved with a resin printer. But resin printers are more complex, messier, and smellier; though one is on my list of "to gets", probably around Christmas. And if you want to design your own "objects", you will need to learn to use a CAD program. Thankfully, there are a number of free or low cost CAD programs, but they ALL have a fairly steep learning curve. To see what a resin printer can do, check out Luke Towan's YouTube channel.
 




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