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emmagine

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While christie is learning z-brush, I"m printer shopping.   We've narrowed it down to two 3d printers.   Both companies offered  to run a test print for us.   That said, Christie is still learning 3d sculpting, and 2 we would have no idea what to expect out of a printed model.   Could anyone recommend a good test print for a 3d printer, to put it through the  ropes of printing out heroic scale miniatures?

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You could try out Fat Dragon Games' line of minis. They seem to print out quite well regardless of settings.

 

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I would strongly recommend waiting on the printer until she actually needs one.  It is still a developing field and the printers are getting better and cheaper every year and even faster. The longer you wait, the better printer you will be able to get with the same money. Gene and Bobby say that learning Zbrush is about a year process in the first place, so...

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1 hour ago, TaleSpinner said:

I would strongly recommend waiting on the printer until she actually needs one.  It is still a developing field and the printers are getting better and cheaper every year and even faster. The longer you wait, the better printer you will be able to get with the same money. Gene and Bobby say that learning Zbrush is about a year process in the first place, so...

Indeed.  I'm certain they are correct that it took a year for Gene to be able to do professionally in Zbrush what he could do in clay.  That said, Christie says she believes by next month, she will need to be able to see how the print comes out from her 3d sculpt in order to continue to advance her skill.  I'm not convinced in my ability to run a 3d printer for her in that time frame, if I don't get started soon.

Edited by emmagine

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I'd have to agree that it takes about a year of dedicated practice to get the basics of ZBrush, but much longer to truly master it. I've been working with it almost daily for the better part of two years and I am still constantly learning new tricks. The trick for us is we don't get to use the cool shortcuts that animation and videos game guys get to use- our models need to be printed out in a small but exaggerated scale. So I'd also mention that I recall Bobby also saying that he had to do about 30 models before he felt that he had down the difference between what you see on the screen vs what you see when the model gets printed. Unfortunately the only way to really do that is to keep sculpting models, then see good quality prints of what you sculpted. Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

I think this is what caught a lot of digital sculptors who work for other mediums off guard when they tried to sculpt miniatures. You can make something look intricate, gorgeous, and anatomically correct on your screen- and it will be completely useless as a printed master. Hands still need to be huge, ankles need to be huge, heads are massive, swords need to look like cricket bats, buckles/buttons/stiches/chainmail links need to be giant with space around them. When you are sculpting by hand you naturally exaggerate these things simply because there are limits to how small you can physically make details and you can see if something is scrawny. For digital you have to learn to look at your sculpts that way...and it's hard. 

 

So Christie (I am guessing the awesome Rainbow Sculptor?) would actually benefit from either seeing her sculpts sooner rather than later. If I could have afforded a good 3D printer a year ago I would have totally bought it, it would have been very useful! Call it an investment in learning, write it off on your taxes, and even if it is not cutting edge in 2 years it would still have been useful to get you to where you want to be.

 

Just my 2 cents!

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On 1/4/2019 at 6:30 PM, emmagine said:

Could anyone recommend a good test print for a 3d printer, to put it through the  ropes of printing out heroic scale miniatures?

 

On 1/4/2019 at 7:01 PM, haldir said:

You could try out Fat Dragon Games' line of minis. They seem to print out quite well regardless of settings.

 

 

I will second the Fat Dragon figures. I have printed a couple out on my PLA printer, and while I have the typical layering issues that comes with filament printing, I don’t remember having any issues with the files themselves.

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I have a Creality Ender 3 FDM printer, which was very cheap (about $US200) and has served me very well, and relatively speaking, has run pretty painlessly and trouble-free. However, 3d printing is not yet a plug-and-play technology; you're going to have to do quite a bit of tinkering even with quite expensive machines.

 

2018-07-15-DragonlockSkeletons-002.jpg

 

Here's an example of the output from the Ender 3, using a Fat Dragon supportless 28mm skeleton model in three quality settings. The best quality (0.04mm layer height) took about 4½ hours to print, the lowest (0.12mm layer height) took just over an hour. So, it's not instantaneous Star Trek replicator technology by any means.

 

If your main focus is going to be miniatures rather than terrain or other larger pieces, then you'll want to end up using a resin printer for the higher resolutions that are achievable, and the Anycubic Photon is probably the best bang for a beginner's buck at the moment. However, I'd highly recommend that you start out with an FDM machine, as filament printing is much, much cheaper to learn the ins and outs of designing for 3d printing, not to mention less messy and toxic. 

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for the first couple she does, you could always use Shapeways to get a print. 

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I have a request!

As Christie is learning, I wish to beg her to continue to sculpt with the understanding that someday someone will want to paint her creations. :wub:

 

This may not be the correct place to discuss this, but there isn't a thread on digital sculpting that I can find quickly.  Having bought minis from a bunch of companies and watched a trend towards the new medium of digital design, I have discovered something frustrating.  When some sculptors play with the program, they change the proportion size of the head and hands to something approaching real anatomy. This makes sense, and as someone who loves anatomy, I should approve of the realism.  But in truth...

 

I HATE THIS!!!!

Ahem.  I need to make a new years resolution to try to lessen my emotional outbursts.

 

What I mean, is that while it looks pretty on screen and looks just like a nice miniature person, it will translate to being incredibly difficult to paint.  If the proportions are exaggerated, it is much easier to put detail in the face that adds a great deal of personality to the figure.  I won't name company names, but I've decided not to paint a good bit of my collection because it just becomes frustrating to put the detail I'd like into a piece. I've bought pieces based on 3-d models and been disappointed when they arrive in hand.  It has made me wary of digital sculpts in general. I've painted enough to realize what I do and don't like when it comes to sculpting style.  This is something I wish I'd discovered earlier, so I wanted to share it.

 

It may not be anatomically correct to increase the head size, eye ratio, hand size, etc, but I will love to paint it more and thus buy it.  Just my 2 cents on a business model... ::D:

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@Corporea I have noticed similar differences between what the 3D renders look like and what actually gets delivered to your house. I assure you that the collaboration component of miniatures being half me and half someone else is at the forefront of my mind. I love painting minis and I want other people to love painting my minis. Towards this end I've been working with Gene Van Horne (one of Reapers sculptors) and several other sculptors I admire and who's minis I enjoy painting, to make sure I'm putting the exaggerations where they need to be and to the extent that they need to be. I still have much to learn and will likely make many changes after seeing things IRL instead of on the screen but we have the same goal my friend, fun to paint minis!

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For Zbrush, I'd recommend to load Dirty Blue from the Pixologic download center, you can find it at the end of Matte directory. It's a material that gives a very close impression of what you'll get when you print the design and it's a color that's very easy for the eyes. Problem with other materials are, that all those nice brushstrokes that you spend hours to refine and look beautiful on screen, simply disappear when the model is printed. For the same reason, zoom out often and view the model in it's actual size (I have calipers next to my screen, so I can check how it looks when it's printed.)

 

I design, print and cast jewerly, so just like with miniatures, I need a printer that is able to achieve some serious detail. Most of the pieces are no bigger than 10-15mm, which means the detail can be 0.25mm. That's tiny. Last year I decided to take a risk and bought a cheap resin lcd printer for prototyping and it's been priceless for the reason that I can print and change the pattern during the same day if there's something wrong with it. It's great for prototypes, but the plate is small, so if you're planning on mass-producing minis, choose the printer wisely. The technology is new and there has been problems with some units for both the printer I'm using and with others that share similar components; buying one now is sort of like playing lottery. I got lucky, but if I were you, I'd wait for an extra year. Not only the printers evolve, but the price of printing material goes down with high competition.

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