Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Anne

3D Printing General Discussion (merged)

Recommended Posts

I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in the off topic area? To me it seems more related to sculpture, but I can repost it elsewhere as need be. :)  A friend of mine shared this site with me after one of his friends had a figurine made of a photo of herself in one of her cosplay outfits and it came out really great. The process is fascinating to me, sculpting and painting entirely done digitally from a photo, particularly with pertaining to games and by extension minis.  I could imagine it could be taken further and terrain could be produced this way, perhaps even replicating special effects / set ideas too. I'm curious as to people's impressions. Once again apologies if I'm posting in an odd spot.

 

hmm please disregard, I wasn't advertising them, just was intrigued at the scope of the technology

Edited by Anne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like commerce to me, we aren't allowed to link outside commerce sites in the forum per the rules.

 

3D printing is coming along very quickly though and maybe some day it'll be common place to print out own figures at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh ok! I didn't realize, I'll edit the above, just was curious about others perspectives on the topic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like commerce to me, we aren't allowed to link outside commerce sites in the forum per the rules.

 

3D printing is coming along very quickly though and maybe some day it'll be common place to print out own figures at home.

 

Possibly.  I can see people doing it, but I'm not sure if I'd say commonplace.  You'd still have to have the machine, and materials to feed it, so it would become a question of whether the person will produce enough custom product to justify that effort and expense, or if it will remain easier to just go buy the product in question. 

 

Like with the example here (I followed the link before it was removed) it's a process where a 3D photo render is done of a person and then their likeness is printed out.  Either as-is, or as part of a product like a custom figure.  Neat idea?  Sure.  Neat enough to have your own machine?  Probably not.  You probably won't need it more than a couple of times, so you could go to the 3D photo studio and pay them to scan and print your family.  Or make a niche gift.  Or something. 

 

Unless somebody needs to produce enough of something custom to be worth doing at home, I'd expect 3D shops on-demand to be the dominant market form.  Let them have to store the materials and have the machines and the other ancillary hassles and just pop in when you need the scattered thing done up.  For most people, that will likely be the much easier option. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For figures at our scale I don't think they're quite in the practical cost yet. That being said there are some for about 3k that would do terrain at 32mm very, very well

with the new technology that I've seen just this year alone I think well be 3d printing things very quickly.

 

There's a new printer that's hitting kickstarter soon that can print a baseball sized object in under 10min. Not only that it can do multiple at the same time and they don't have to be the same. I can post a video in a few hours once I get home.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if its ok to post the info to her photo or no, but her outfit was really well done, and the resulting figurine came out amazing, and all from a photograph. The idea of taking digital illustration and being able to print it out in three dimensions blows my mind a bit is all :)  And taking that to another level the same I imagine could be done with landscapes etc as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3D printing will advance and advance, and like any technology, is likely to end up in people's living rooms or garages.

 

What a lot of people don't understand (too many judging by the idiot dialogs I have with non-customers at every single convention where I show off my own handmade work) is that it is not yet the quick, easy, perfect day-to-day solution they want it to be.

 

People come up to my booth/table all the time and say, "Your stuff is awesome - is it 3D printed?" When I say no, they say "well, why not?" When I say I can't afford one, and that the technology is not yet up to snuff for a small time maker like myself, they go on and on about how "cheap" they are on eBay, blah, blah, blah...

 

Well, firstly, ignoring the hypocrisy in first telling me my stuff is awesome, but then refuting that and refusing to buy it when you discover it was not made on a computer (as if sculpting a master by hand suddenly turns a good piece into a bad one), the cheap 3D printers make crap.

 

If you have any experience with them (and I do; I sold them for awhile), you know that any printer not in the thousands prints poor representations of your sculpts that have terrible trailers (flash) that cannot be removed without damaging the piece, are filled with holes, and worst of all, are covered from top to bottom with layered lines that simply cannot be smoothed in any practical way. Add to that the stuff does not sand well and is very, very difficult to cut/carve without cutting yourself - and the edges of your piece are likely to be blade-sharp.

 

Filament is prohibitively expensive, and printing time can literally take days. And the cheap machines are apt to break down in the middle of a print. (Our display models did it all the time.)

 

There's a reason that, for the time being, most commercial users are using these machines to print masters, which they then mold in more traditional ways; and why their minis tend to be very expensive. It's because they are either using the services of a professional printing service (which is pricey itself) for their masters, or they have invested in a very expensive machine, and are recouping the cost and saving filament by printing only masters, and then proceeding traditionally.

 

Will the technology improve and cheapen to the point where it becomes superfluous and of high quality at low prices? I am sure the technology will improve to the point where guys like me can finally invest and get a good print for our tiny, ever-broke businesses, and I'm sure that will coincide with it being something any average Joe would have in his house. I don't know that every average Joe NEEDS a 3D printer, but that's fine.

 

How quickly that happens is the question. Right now, a majority has the wrong idea about these things. They think that for a few hundred bucks, you can hook a tiny, noiseless, stinkless machine right up to their computers, press a few buttons, and then run Wyrd-quality prints off in the hundreds quick and easy, all day long with absolutely no overhead or hidden cost. And none of that is true.

 

And speaking of ongoing costs, I am sure as the prices drop for the machines themselves, the cost of the filament will too-quickly stabilize, and as with ink for your standard printers, the average Joe will find his machine sitting for months without any work as he avoids having to go to Staples to shell out half a day's wages to get it running again.

Edited by Bruunwald
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it'll be like shirts and mugs.  20 years ago I used to make shirts and mugs with a graphic design guy in his basement.  Like zazzle or cafepress.  The material barrier to entry was pretty low even then.  And all of us have mugs and shirts with stuff printed on them.  But even with these two considerations, most people still aren't making their own shirts and mugs at home, two decades on.  There's nothing those places are doing that people can't do themselves, it's just easier to pay them to do it.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the market will broaden quite a bit but that you'll never quite see it go fully mainstream.  Take for example photography.  Most people can now afford a quality photo printer and yet CVS and other drug stores still do a brisk business in printing photos and its simply because its easier to rent someone else's equipment for a little while.

 

The big application I think will be in the building and repair business.  Plug in your specs and out pops a part.  However, its still going to be the realm of enthusiasts and DIY types.   It will also lower the barrier to entry on small manufacturers.  It will considerably democratize the means of production.  It won't make everyone a cottage industry but it means that the barriers to the innovative will be lower.

Edited by Dontfear
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought my first laser printer, about 1992 I think, it was a 300dpi A4 monochrome postscript machine that printed about three pages per minute and cost me about $8,000. The best photo quality I could get out of it was a 60lpi half-tone, which frankly sucked, but it was a good machine for its time.

 

My current printer is a 4-colour 1,200dpi CMYK laser that cost me about $200, and these days pretty much all the image processing is provided by the computer instead of the printer. That's a massive leap in image quality and a massive drop in price over twenty years or so.

 

I fully expect a similar process to occur — in fact, is already occurring — with 3d printing. It will get much, much cheaper, it will get more idiot-proof, quality will get much better, and eventually most people will have one because why not? Even if they only use it as often as they now use their inkjets to print the funny cat posters that Grandma emails them on their birthday.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, it does strike me if one was to invest in one at the moment, an expensive route to follow for sure. What excites me is the potential of the tool and further directions and applications it will open up. Back in the day I used to work in a photo printing house that ran orders for professional commercial photographers, a now archaic industry that was literally taken out at the knees by the introduction of digital photography. The printing house has since closed down. Even professional photography as a career is now pushed further into niche realms such as special occasions or as fine art, etc. Digital photography and traditional each have their pluses and drawbacks for sure. And when photographing (and video) capabilities were tied in to the mass production of the must have cellphone, the potential for photography followed further avenues of everyday application. I think despite the expense of the moment involved with 3D printing,  it will revolutionize the way we see the world, in unexpected ways. For example Facebook thrives on digital photography and connecting people, an interesting product of the introduction of a new tool. I appreciate the perspectives shared, I'm very intrigued by the topic! :)  Also I do think there will definitely always be a place for things made by hand, people do connect to that characteristic, and I'm by no means knocking it. Just curious to see what happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apart from the developing technology, there is also the fact that part of the hobby ( well for me at least) is scrounging the internet and stores for nice minis.

Somehow if I could just print anything I wanted at home, it would loose some of the joy.

 

does that make sense to anyone?

I like "discovering" a nice sculpt and buy it.

 

But who knows , maybe in the future things might change.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apart from the developing technology, there is also the fact that part of the hobby ( well for me at least) is scrounging the internet and stores for nice minis.

Somehow if I could just print anything I wanted at home, it would loose some of the joy.

 

does that make sense to anyone?

I like "discovering" a nice sculpt and buy it.

 

But who knows , maybe in the future things might change.

I believe it does.

 

It's just like book buying through Amazon or a brick and mortar book store. Online is great when you know what you want, but physical stores can show you a big selection of stuff you never even thought of looking at or didn't know existed and go "Huh, that looks interesting."

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was at a science fiction convention last month and in the dealers' room was some sort of 3D printer portrait booth. I didn't look too closely at its setup.

 

They had little colored demonstration figurines of people in several sizes. I think the smallest may have been about four inches tall, way larger than our scale.

 

They looked a little weirdly plastic to me. But maybe it's just having to get used to the new technology. After all, I hear daguerreotypes were visually startling to people used to painted portraits.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're a long way from 3D printing being viable at our scale.  For minis.  For terrain on the other hand, I think it's going to be huge.  A friend has printed a ton of pieces for me... I just haven't had a chance to get them from him yet.  I'll post 'em up when I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...