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So finally, after many years of wanting one, I got a 3D printer for Christmas this year. This has much to do with the ever decreasing cost of them, especially the Creality Ender 3, which is what I got.

This isn't so much about set up or using the printer (other than to say that Tom from Fat Dragon Games and his Tomb of 3D Printed Horrors made the whole process so so easy, his instructional videos on the Ender 3 made it all easy, and his Cura setup files for printing minis worked for me straight away) but the minis stuff I'm printing and (hopefully) painting.

So, got the printer set up yesterday before going to a friend's for supper.  Later got the bed leveled (ish) and printed off one of the free models Fat Dragon gave away this year with their newsletter.

skeleton_with_halberd.jpg.db93466a23c7ff0056852b269c03e4ae.jpg

I used the stock print bed cover for this and it really stuck on quite hard.  I later snapped the head off the halberd trying to get it off.  Eventually had to heat  the bed up to get it to come off.

So this morning I switched the the glass bed I'd ordered with it and got that all leveled.  Tested it out with another FDG skelly.

skeleton_with_mace.jpg.ac74399d2b435c922dfaec3802ae25b6.jpg

Nova Corps colour scheme test guy included for scale (he was the only thing within easy reach).

I'm looking forward to cleaning these up, slapping some primer on them and seeing how they paint, but expect that will be a few days.

 

FYI, these skellies print out in a little over an hour.

 

Now on to something a bit more complicated, to see how it comes out.

chicken_tank_in_progress.thumb.jpg.c71e7c73fe38bc5f6732018c25a73005.jpg

 

This should make a 65mm talk bipedal "chicken tank". Design by Radek Szczepanczyk, available on MyMiniFactory for free.

This will take about 8 hours to print.

 

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Thanks for posting!

 

I'm definitely interested in a 3D printer, so appreciate your personal experiences with it. I'd like to see what you end up thinking about using a 3D printer, including uses outside of miniatures!

 

The first use of a new technology is to substitute for an existing one.

The first mistake of a new technology is to substitute for an existing one.

-- C's first and second rules of technology adaptation

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Does the Ender have a glass bed? If so if you let it cool to room temp the finished minis just slide off (at least they do on my Anycubic). 

 

And those skeletons look great for first minis. And I agree that Tom with Fat Dragon is putting out some really useful videos for operating a 3 D printer. 

 

And welcome to a new aspect of our hobbies madness. ::D:

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Standard it doesn't have a glass bed, but I ordered one when I got mine, which I'm using now.

Print just finished so I'll see how they come off in a bit.  Print looks pretty nice though.

chicken_tank_printed.thumb.jpg.f99a07bdd5b7db73549577e61338b826.jpg

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Started some assembly on the Chicken Tank tonight.

chicken_tank_ready_for_assembly.thumb.jpg.2ed35c0c071079d7752cb81546274b8d.jpg

All the parts laid out.

So observations.

Detail on these is pretty good.

Gluing mirrored parts with just a flat surface between them is a bit annoying.  I understand why they do them like that, the flat bed makes flush surfaces easy and avoids having to use supports or anything, but getting them perfectly aligned is trickier.

The bottom layer can bulge a bit, so you have to watch for that.

The plastic I have files pretty easy.

If you screw something up, just go print another copy!

 

I got to here:

chicken_tank_partial_assembly.jpg.172bd923ae504b6663efc6c44100b8a6.jpg

At the top you can see the original prints of the "tail" pieces.  I didn't realize the lefts and rights weren't identical until after I glued them on, and of course I glued the wrong ones together.

20 minutes later, new ones were printed.

After these are good and set, I need to do some filing, find a base and figure out how I want the legs.

 

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Had no time to work on the Chicken Tank today, but that didn't mean the printer was idle.

Found a battletech scale (6mm) Airfoil Tower on Thingiverse, so tried printing out the base portion of it to see how it looked with CAVs.

airfoil_base_6mm.thumb.jpg.bd9d28b5373840677eafc06a61d0193f.jpg

Wasn't bad but looks a little small compared to the Dictator. Looks much more in scale with the Robotech fig, which is 6mm.

 

So I scaled it up to 10mm scale.  This unfortunately meant it took 6 and a half hours to print instead of 2 and a bit. But I like the size of the scaled up version more.

airfoil_base_10mm.thumb.jpg.f57f592f8b38289bd781527eb1d526e9.jpg

 

The first section of the airfoil part should complete shortly. And might get the next section printed tomorrow (I don't like leaving the printer completely unattended).

The last section will be over 4 hours so will likely have to wait for next year ^_^

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Got the 2 larger sections of the airfoil printed.  There is a smaller (30mm tall) section that goes between them.

airfoil_10mm_3_of_4.jpg.8f3fb8549dbbc64a2ebae91225b9bea1.jpg

Time to go out for New Years Eve festivities, so that will get printed tomorrow.

 

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6 hours ago, Corsair said:

You are really tempting me to get one of those printers! How much of a spool does a big building like that take?

According to Cura, the slicer software I'm using, scaled to 10mm, it will take 169 grams of plastic to print the whole thing in 4 pieces (they are pretty much full of air, with just some infill for support). As a standard spool is 1 kg that's 16.9% of a spool, so around $5 CDN in plastic.

BTW, he provided an all as one piece file as well.  Printing it would only take 151g. But I'm not comfortable with doing a 13+ hour print.

 

 

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Last piece printed.

airfoil_10mm_4_of_4.jpg.b4ea1fe8dd4c50a58fea312f60e93214.jpg

If you wanted an even taller tower you could print more copies of the middle part and just keep on stacking.

I'm going to print some more links for the cable chains I should be installing one my printer next.

Then maybe start on another building. Ordered 2 more spools of plastic yesterday. I do have a 4' x 6' city boart to eventually fill....

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That is impressive! You are not helping convince myself to wait a while longer......

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I agree, it's rather hard to not bump a 3D printer up much higher in the desired list with all these goodies.. 

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How did you come to the decision for getting the Ender?  I've been eyeing that model myself, but have become a bit apprehensive.  Something of analysis paralysis.

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