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Orchid_Noir

Order Mini... Print Mini

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So how long until I can order my minis online and print them up?

 

 

Pretty interesting news:

Desktop 3D printer

 

 

Can't wait until the technology prices down into regular consumer market levels (10 grand is a bit rich for me). ::):

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Just looked through all the literature. It doesn't say what that actual material is, and it doesn't say what the resolution is. The very few sample works look to have a _lot_ of excess texture, more so than the ZCorp machines I've seen run.

 

this could be a break through, but I think we'll have to wait and see what the actual output is.

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If you guys pop on down to the Sculpting threads, Crusoe has been working with digital 3D printing to do his alien space dudes. Also, if I'm not mistaken, 3D printing is how things like CAVs get turned from digital models into prototypes for mastering. Pretty cool stuff.

 

It is very "Fifth Element" in possible future applications too...

 

~v

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I saw this in action when I worked in injection molding. Back then, it was strictly for prototyping, and it was nowhere near the desktop level that it's at now. The material is a very malleable plastic, and the stuff I saw showed evidence of where the material had been "stitched" together. I'm sure it's improved since then though.

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Matt - remind me on Sat to show you the samples I have from the $25k Zcorp machines I looked into buying a couple years ago.

 

I've been following Crusoe's work on the sculpting threads, plus we've had a discussion about this in the Plastic vs Metal minis debate thread.

 

Anyway, if this $10k machine matches the quality and durability of the ZCorp machines (which I think are now down to $20k), this will be quite a breakthrough. If they aren't, I'm not sure how useful they'll be in the hobby sector at this point in time.

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Saw one at SolidWorld...didn't take any notes, but I think they used a nylon compound for their "ink", and if memory serves the production resolution was .002 inch build layer with a .01 inch minimum particle size. I may be off by a bit on the dimensions, but the models are very smooth (remember computer images have a bad habit of developing jaggies when edited).

 

As far as durability goes...I have never had the chance to really beat on them yet, but most plastics which are heat cured like this tend to be a bit on the brittle side.

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We have one of these at my work. The material it uses to build the object would not be good for mini's but it's still cool. The one we have uses this ultra thin plastic cord like strip. Think tooth paste but really really thin.

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There are several different types of 3D printers out there, some have a lot of promise for miniatures - others are pretty close to worthless. The style you are talking about has limited use (maybe for terrain or something). The resolution is just too coarse...and you tend to get a lot of stray filaments. Ones like this and others which use liquid (or powder) material are much more detailed in their end product. Each layer is built up of thousands of tiny blobs of liquid that get fused into place with a laser. They also have ones which work with metals - same principle, just the material used is a very fine powder of the metal being used.

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The ones I've seen use a modified ink jet head to fuse a powder together in layers. Straight from the printer, it's fairly porous and brittle. However, it can then be infused with a super glue like chemical, which makes it pretty strong and workable. It does have a rough surface, so it wouldn't be suitable for high detail painting without a lot time spent smoothing the surfaces. But they can also print in color - basically, the "glue" that fuses the powder together can be colored, and applied as a color inkjet printer does. If that technology comes down to below the $10k mark, download and print minis will be very viable, even if they aren't up to the quality we expect from pewter and prepainted plastic.

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The tech center I used to go to had one of the big ones, and the resolution seemed to go from fairly smooth to very ugly.

 

Seems like a cool thing; in the future maybe we can actually have these things print out smooth models. I'd make my own dining set.

 

M.

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