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    Advice about 3-D printer and software

    Hi,

    I recently decided to go it alone with designing and selling my own scale model kit range, after designing for other companies for 25 years (and doing stuff I had zero interest in)

    The designs I do are always in CAD, but 2-D, as the kit parts are laser cut and photo-etched parts. I have always used a freelance carver to carve the decoration masters like figurehead and stern decoration, but would like to try and start doing this myself via a 3-D printer

    The problem is that I have only ever used CAD in a 2-D environment (TurboCad).

    After doing some research into what potential printer to get, I came across this one:

    https://uk-shop.3dsystems.com/fabpro...491.1546086041

    I have attached a picture of a figurehead that I would need to have laser printed. What I need to know, before spending thousands, is - would that printer be viable for such work and what software would be required to draw such objects in order for the printer to recognise the parts? Are there any 'intuitive' software packages that perhaps come with tutorials.

    Alternatively, would it be cheaper to have the work sub-contracted out

    The sort of printing I would need to do Click image for larger version

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    Thank you,

    Chris

    #2
    if you want real fine detail you may be better off with a resin type printer but the printers and resin are more expensive than FDM types most use here. To design something like that you would be better off using BLENDER and probably somebody who is a master at it. Also look at 3D scanners that can take an image of that part and turn it into a printable object

    Comment


      #3
      Check out the Formlabs section on here there may be somebody there to help also.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you guys for your replies.

        This really is a mine field for me, as I need to make sure I invest wisely for the developments I intend to do. It would not only be decoration, but also things like cannon barrels, anchors etc. But the main reason for looking into this is the decoration.

        Do you think it would be wise, for now at least, to have the work sub-contracted out to professionals (who could no doubt do a much finer job than me at this stage)? If yes, are there people on here who would like to quote me?

        Thank you,

        Chris

        Comment


          #5
          To replicate that kind of detail, I think the best way (and the way most kit manufacturers do it) is to have them injection molded, but the original mold is very expensive.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by haroldj1956 View Post
            To replicate that kind of detail, I think the best way (and the way most kit manufacturers do it) is to have them injection molded, but the original mold is very expensive.
            I will not be producing enough to warrant such a cost! I have three choices, it seems - 1) do it the old fashioned way and have a carver produce the master carvings for me, where the master is used to produce the production moulds in either white metal or resin, 2)sub contract someone who can draw the parts in 3-d for me, give me the completed file and then use another company to have the files 3-d printed to produce the master part, or 3), teach myself to draw the parts in 3-d and possibly 3-d print the files myself with an appropriate printer.

            It is the latter I needed advice about, as I do not know which 3-d software would be best for my needs, and how intuitive would it be for me to learn. I am very proficient using 2-d CAD, but I know 3-d is a different ball game altogether. I do not want to waste a few thousand Pounds only to realise what I bought isn't really what I want. hence the asking for advice regarding 3-d software and appropriate printers.

            I am now even more confused than before, so I may, for now, find a professional to 3-d draw the parts I want, and then work out the costs between that and investing in the equipment and software to learn how to do it myself.

            I will attach a picture of a hand carved figurehead from one of my older kit developments to show what detail I would like, it is from the 74 gun ship HMS Bellona (1780), and the figurehead has been production cast in resin. I had assumed that developing stuff like that would at the very least be as good as this hand carved (and then cast) version?

            Comment


              #7
              After thinking about this for awhile, I think that if it were me, I would try to contact a designer through one of the 3d sites such as "cults". If you could have someone design it for you you could have it printed through on of the companies that will 3d print things on the internet such as 3dhubs. Once you have an original, then you could make a rubber mold and resin cast it with no problem.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by haroldj1956 View Post
                After thinking about this for awhile, I think that if it were me, I would try to contact a designer through one of the 3d sites such as "cults". If you could have someone design it for you you could have it printed through on of the companies that will 3d print things on the internet such as 3dhubs. Once you have an original, then you could make a rubber mold and resin cast it with no problem.
                Thank you for that, I think that's what I shall do as it make the most sense for now. I have sold a few of my assets to fund these new developments, so spending wisely in the right places is very important, I do not want to waste a penny.

                Comment

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