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By Rob Dean
I'm out and about with my travel paint kit again. This time, for some variety, I switched up projects and am working on some figures for my "modern" figure skirmish games.
The two figures here are now awaiting base completion.
First up is Erick, Paladin Initiate (03715). I got him as a prize last year at Gencon, for winning a speed painting round. I'm thinking that I'm going to end up with a little war band all out of speed paints, free figures, and prizes.
I'm not entirely happy about the eyes, but they won't really show in a tabletop game environment.
The second figure was a freebie from Shapeways from Gencon this year. I was favorably impressed with the surface finish they were able to achieve. I've called him "Mr. Spiky" while working on him. With the general look of the gear, I decided to interpret him as a half orc, and decided that the shield was formed out of some sort of dragon scale.
And they* said 3D printing poses no threat to traditional miniatures...
well maybe not yet, but still:
There are a few more pics at my blog.
This is a 3Dprint I printed out myself on my cheapo Flashforge Finder. Printed in PLA with .01 layer height. I scaled it a bit randomly to make a large one.
The original model is by Axolote Gaming, an unexpected bonus item from their second Kickstarter, and also one of the better models of a Beholder I have seen yet.
You can see the stepping from the printing process if you look closely. This is particularily obvious in the teeth and the eyeball as.the gloss varnish I used on the eye really made the stepping apparent. It was not half as bad before.
At any rate, the stepping is really only apparent when looked at closely, or when magnified such as in the pictures. The fangs are a bit misshapen here and there, mostly from my printer not being all that great. I have not used a file when prepping, just clippers and a sharp hobby knife. Maybe a file would have straightened those teeth out properly. Something to try next time.
The tentacles are hollow as their cross sections are to small to include any infill. This means they are quite brittle and prone to snappin off. Luckily only one of them broke during the removal of the supports though.
My printer also left a lot of extremely fine hair-like strings attached to the finished print, so together with removing the print-supports there was quite a lot of prepwork.
At least I did not have to wash it to get rid of the mould's release agents, as I have realized the truth: there is no mould.
A note about painting 3D models: Neither drybrushing nor washes are good techniques for them, as the stepping will get accented and more pronounced. (and here I am with drybrushing and washes as my favorite techniques... argh!)
I used a 50mm lipped base with a paperclip to make the stand.
model by Axolote Gaming
3D printed at .01 layer height
*They still being Tom Kirby CEO of Games Workshop in the 2014 GW Chairman’s Preamble to the Games Workshop CEO annual report.
My name is Ben. I’ve been on an extraordinary journey over the past two years which started when my son was born. Sadly, Sol lost most of his lower left arm due to a blood clot following an injury at birth.
I responded as any parent would have. I looked into how Sol would be treated and what support we could expect. I quickly learned that many toddlers abandon prosthetics early on and I wanted to know why so Sol would stand a better chance. Calling on my psychology background and my passion for engineering, I started doing my own research. I noticed big gaps in what was being offered and saw lost opportunities at several key stages. Rather than complain, I decided to do something about it and set up Ambionics.
(Above) Dressing change at Alder Hey Children's Hospital post-amputation
We deliver a totally new kind of online service and are currently developing unique functional prosthetic solutions (including our world famous hydraulic technology) for children with upper limb differences everywhere.
Our first press release (March 1 this year) went viral. The response was truly out of this world and our story was covered in every Country and in every language. Most of the media attention centred on the hydraulic prototype we are working on.
It's inspired by the way spiders use fluid to move their legs (to find out more please follow the press links below). However, there is much more to Ambionics besides this. Let me explain...
Children are usually given their first prosthetic arm between 6 and 12 months of age. We introduce prosthetics much sooner - one month after an amputation (as in the case of my son) or from the moment a child with a limb difference arrives home from hospital. The director for innovation at NHS Wales described our research based approach as ‘potentially revolutionary’.
Replace casting with scanning
Normally parents must take time off work to attend appointments at specialist centres which might be hundreds of miles away from where they live. A prosthetist then creates a plaster cast mould of the affected arm and this is used to make a crude socket. Young children often find this stressful. They can wriggle and resist when the cast is taken and any sudden jerk can result in a poor fitting socket and a poor first experience of prosthetics.
At Ambionics, parents simply scan their child’s arm while they are asleep then upload the file to our online platform. We do the rest and deliver the prosthetic through the postal service! Simple! It takes about five minutes to do the scan and 40 minutes for us to model a socket. It’s worth noting that within two years all phones and hand held devices will come with a scanning application built in.
(above) The first 3D printed prototype, April 2016
5 Day Turn Around (compared to 6 - 11 weeks)
A traditional prosthetic can take as long as 11 weeks to make.
From a fresh scan, we can produce a new arm within a matter of hours
If a traditional prosthetic is misplaced or damaged it can take five weeks to get an appointment for a re-mould, and another 11 weeks before the replacement arm arrives (that’s four months without an arm!). At Ambionics we just print another from the digital copy we keep.
Traditional prosthetics are discarded after use. To help keep costs down and reduce our carbon footprint, Ambionics only replace parts that need replacing or upgrading – this is usually just the detachable socket.
Managing Growth Rates
Traditionally, children receive two arms per year (based on NHS service) which means that for a lot of the time the socket is either too tight or too loose. Plaster cast arms are designed to be slightly oversized so children can grow into them. This is a false economy in our opinion because loose or unsecure arms and ones that are too tight don’t inspire confidence. It’s easy to see why so many children stop wearing them. We recommend at least four or five sockets per year depending on the needs of the child.
Making Devices More Accessible
In most cases, cosmetic arms are made of fibre glass coated in varnish with a functionless silicone hand (often described as creepy looking). These are surprisingly expensive for what they are! In the US, a cosmetic arm can cost as much as $5,000! Our knowledge of 3D printing and scanning has the potential to seriously reduce these costs, making prosthetics accessible to children everywhere (and anywhere!)
We also believe in customising the look of the hand. We want to help break the stigma of 'cosmetic' prosthetic devices by offering bold colours and a choice of designs for infants.
We even encourage older children to take part in the design process. What better way to meet a young person's needs than to enable them to produce their own assistive devices and accessories!
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