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Monday, July 25, 2016

3D Printing

The Printable Scenery Kickstarter for Apocalypse Ruins having delivered, I shopped for a 3D printer and ordered a Flashforge Creator Pro from Amazon, kind of a midrange hobbyist printer, with a 4.5 rating a a good reputation for quality, ease of setup, and tech support from the company. Haven't used the support yet, but I can attest to the other two.

I set it up Monday night and learned to print stuff over the course of the week. Two aspects have been particularly tricky, getting the model to stay stuck down and managing curl from differential cooling of layers of bigger objects.

I have a reasonable solution for the first one, melting some of the waste ABS plastic in acetone and painting/smearing it over the print area of the platform to give good adhesion to the first layer of the print. It was the suggestion from online that seems to best match my printer's print bed, though I haven't yet tried kapton tape.

I have some ideas from online and my own thinking re solving the differential cooling issue, will have to work through them over the next week.

Here's my first painted 2x2" scenery tile from the Kickstarter models collection. I like the result and can see working through a lot more of the set.

Quality has improved a lot from the first 3D printers I saw some years ago at Maker Faire.

Here is the first miniature figure I have printed. He's a 28mm Elf Ranger v2 print, a free model by dutchmogul, downloaded from Thingiverse, printed at 0.1mm resolution, the
highest resolution rating of my printer. It's a simple, low detail figure, printed out really crisply. I feel the layer texture with my nail, but I couldn't really see it on the raw print without reading glasses. It's more visible in this after-priming photo, especially on the flat expanse of cloak.  It took minimal clean up effort with my fingers first and then a bit of Xacto knife work. Primed him with a gray mixed from Americana black and white craft acrylics.

Also pictures of both a good small print and a larger one with cooling curl problems on the print bed. The larger roof piece also has secondarily thrashed support material that got stuck to one of the hot nozzles and dragged out of place, some of it sticking through the roof. It's about two thirds of the way through a poor print. I'd already cleared away some of the dragged support mess before thinking to shoot the photo.

5 Photos - View album