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While others have explained it, I'm going to use pictures:

 

This is the stl of the front hull of my Rottweiler Grav Tank  in my slicer software:

image.thumb.png.56c34d8dcee3854b49af716bb8474b09.png

image.thumb.png.840346dc0889788b90f3c636bc89b567.png

 

In this orientation, it has problems.  Note from the rearview that I designed it hollow.  As I have it oriented on the build plate, the front and top won't come out very well without supports, because on the front the overhang is too steep, and on the top it has no support.  Over those unsupported distances, the hot plastic will sag over the large unsupported distance. If a layer sags, the layer above it may not adhere as well, and before you know it, you just have a string of spaghetti being printed.  Here's what it would look after slicing in this orientation:

image.thumb.png.e758da0995e4a0f47687e7c606322bb3.png

The Red and Orange lines indicate how the printer lays down it's lines of plastic. It's not shown on the screen, but the slicer gave me an error because of lack of support.  So I turned supports on, and resliced it:

image.thumb.png.969e3f7d021209ac0c46e31f8270f81b.png

 

The parts in green indicate where the slicer has added supports.  Now, in this case, it basically fills in the entire hull to support the top, defeating the purpose of me making it hollow in the first place, which was to use less plastic. 

 

So let me flip it to the orientation I designed it to print in:

image.thumb.png.bea78d7f350f2d448347c7521f693518.png

And here it is sliced again, using supports:

image.thumb.png.c0180e6aeab0beaa4042ada54b95a31d.png

Notice how much less green there is?  In this orientation, the slicer didn't feel as many supports were needed.   I didn't screen shot it, but there are now no supports on the inside, because the angle of overhang is much less than 45 degrees. (Technically, the slicer warned me that I only had supports coming from the build plate - I think it wanted more support for the globes on the sides)

I don't even print the piece using supports, even though the slicer says I need them.  I have my printer dialed in well enough and the areas needing the support are small enough that there is little difference between the unsupported areas not printing precise, and the "damage" caused by removing the supports:
image.thumb.png.8118089429c1576ccc10b7c341d8c6d2.png



 

Edited by kristof65
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So, I was on the line with an EPAX rep the other day trying to determine if the X1-k would meet the print quality needs we are looking for to produce master copies (close but probably not quite).  Any

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And that brings us to a trick that can be done on some FDM printers; they can print with 2 different materials, and print the supports in one type, and the desired object in another.  

One material dissolves in water... So using that for supports means youjust wash the supports off...    

Another can be dissolved with Acetone. I belive PLA is resistant to acetone, so that can be used as a combination, also.  

But you have to match the thermal characteristics of the materials. 

PLA doesn't shrink noticeably when it cools while ABS does. If the support doesn't behave similarly, it can get messy...   

 

Slicers often have a function to 'hollow' an object. This is of course to lighten it and reduce the amount of material used.  

On a Resin print that also introduces a new issue; the potential of 'captured' uncured resin that can slowly leak out and keep it sticky for a long time. 

For that reason and to avoid vacuum issues, the slicer will also have a function to add holes.   

 

The vacuum issue;

Remember the old trick with a glass of water, a coaster and turning it upside down without spilling anything?    

Resin printers needs to lift the print between exposures, to make space for the next layer of course, and to allow resin to flow into the space just vacated to have something to build the next layer with...   

If the suction of the part being printed is too great, it won't release from the bottom of the resin vat, and instead lift the bottom of the vat, or pull the print off the print bed. 

So, we either poke holes, of if that's not possible(making a wine glass, a display dome or anything that will either not work or be marred), we try to tilt the object to reduce the suction.   

The tank part is a classic 'problem' part. place it with the open end 'up' and the closed end towards the print bed, and it'll suck the resin tray with it. 

Lay it flat, and the bottom or top side will have so much surface area that sticktion will also be an issue. 

Print it with the open end towards the print bed, just 'lifted' a couple of mm, and besides removing a few small supports, all that needs done is pouring out whatever resin was trapped in the tip whe it sealed at the end of the print job.   

(Pour it back into the resin tray, it should still be good)

 

If a Resin printer doesn't come with a small rubber squeegee or something, nick one from the kitchen. 

I scrape off resin from the print bed as soon as it stays above the resin in the vat. And I gently scrape off any resin on the outside of the printed object as soon as it  has finished printing.  Tliting and letting resin drip out of the printed part is also good...  

Resin costs money, so recycle as much as possible. 

Besides, more resinleft on the printed part means that you will have to replace your IPA baths more often. Another expense.

Edited by Gadgetman!
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Thank you all for explaining!

I'm learning, like I said it will probably take a year or two before I buy one, but I like to know what I'm going to deal with.

Maybe I can get one earlier depending on how the moving and decorating the new house goes..

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One more noob question.

 

Now I have gotten a few STL files for free with Kickstarters.

One is a 28mm Goblin and the others are busts.

 

Suppose I get the 3D printer, and I upload that STL for the Goblin, the Slicer program gets involved.

How do I make sure it will become a 28mm mini?

Does it read the file and print it according to the original stats, In other words, it will be a 28mm automatically because it was designed that way?

Or do I need to adjust and calculate measurements and such?

I wonder how..

 

 

Oh I was surfing the web, and if you search for free fantasy stl you can find a lot.

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Normally they will default to the correct size, as the creature will scale them before distributing.

Sometimes you want to rescale them, which is a breeze in the slicer normally.  There is a scale button and you either adjust it by typing in (I rescale stuff from 6mm to 10mm scale for CAV, so I scale by 166.6666 percent).

Someone recently made a scaling tool for D&D and the like, it is on thingiverse but I haven't grabbed it yet.

For it, you don't print it, you load it into your slicer along side your model, and it has all the base sizes marked, then you resize your model until the bases match.  So if you want a dragon on a 2 inch base you just scale into it fits the 2 inch circle.

 

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1 minute ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

Normally they will default to the correct size, as the creature will scale them before distributing.

Sometimes you want to rescale them, which is a breeze in the slicer normally.  There is a scale button and you either adjust it by typing in (I rescale stuff from 6mm to 10mm scale for CAV, so I scale by 166.6666 percent).

Someone recently made a scaling tool for D&D and the like, it is on thingiverse but I haven't grabbed it yet.

For it, you don't print it, you load it into your slicer along side your model, and it has all the base sizes marked, then you resize your model until the bases match.  So if you want a dragon on a 2 inch base you just scale into it fits the 2 inch circle.

 

 

Thanks.

Now I've seen many gritty minis but also smooth ones.

Are the smooth ones, highly detailed something one can print from for example a Flashforge Finder?

Or does that require a printer in the $1000 and up range?

I was thinking about one around €350/€500 max.

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16 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:

 

Thanks.

Now I've seen many gritty minis but also smooth ones.

Are the smooth ones, highly detailed something one can print from for example a Flashforge Finder?

Or does that require a printer in the $1000 and up range?

I was thinking about one around €350/€500 max.

 

You can get decent minis out of the current gen of FDM printers.

But for really detailed minis resin printers are definitely superior.

That said, you can get the FDM printer like the Ender 3 Pro for under  €200 and an resin printer like the Elegoo Mars for under  €250,

so if you want one of each you can get there for under  €500 ::D:

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9 minutes ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

 

You can get decent minis out of the current gen of FDM printers.

But for really detailed minis resin printers are definitely superior.

That said, you can get the FDM printer like the Ender 3 Pro for under  €200 and an resin printer like the Elegoo Mars for under  €250,

so if you want one of each you can get there for under  €500 ::D:

 

I will look into those.

First we need to move and I will have to buy a lot of stuff for the new house, when the dust settles down it's time for a reward.

This might be it.

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Have been playing with my settings and doing a bit more printing.  Had a couple failures with the regular resin as well so did some more research and tweaked my settings, re-leveled the build plate, and so far, it's good again.  Some slime monsters and spell effect minis were successfully printed yesterday, and while I'm at work, the first part of a custom Tau vehicle is printing away (these kept failing prior to tweaking the settings).  I'll throw some pictures up tonight which will hopefully include a successful Tau spaceship part.  I still feel like I'm over-supporting my builds, but would rather have a bit more cleanup to do than having things fall apart.  

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Another question.

Is it actually worth it?

 

What I mean, price of resin/filament, how many minis 28mm could one print, so what would a 3D printed mini actually cost then?

Excuse my asking, trying to get a full picture here.

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6 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:

Another question.

Is it actually worth it?

 

What I mean, price of resin/filament, how many minis 28mm could one print, so what would a 3D printed mini actually cost then?

Excuse my asking, trying to get a full picture here.

 

In my opinion, it's less a matter of the cost of consumables (or money), and more about how you want to hobby.  3D printing is not a silver bullet for acquiring minis, but it's a fun outlet for creating things.  You definitely need to decide whether the effort is worth the fun.

 

I'll also add that 3d printing is just a tool in your box.  Use it when it makes sense, and all the other techniques are still valid.  I'm working on a project where part was printed, and I'm in the process of augmenting it with a bunch of foam, cork, and other traditional terrain stuff.

Edited by Clearman
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12 minutes ago, Clearman said:

 

In my opinion, it's less a matter of the cost of consumables (or money), and more about how you want to hobby.  3D printing is not a silver bullet for acquiring minis, but it's a fun outlet for creating things.  You definitely need to decide whether the effort is worth the fun.

 

I'll also add that 3d printing is just a tool in your box.  Use it when it makes sense, and all the other techniques are still valid.  I'm working on a project where part was printed, and I'm in the process of augmenting it with a bunch of foam, cork, and other traditional terrain stuff.

 

I get that.

I'm just wondering so I can think about it.

If a mini comes down to a normal price range I'm okay with it, but if a 28mm exceeds the €25 mark it's quite expensive.

On the other hand I've come across some neat free stl files.

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13 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:

Another question.

Is it actually worth it?

 

What I mean, price of resin/filament, how many minis 28mm could one print, so what would a 3D printed mini actually cost then?

Excuse my asking, trying to get a full picture here.

 

Printer resin (in the US) seems to mostly be running in the $20 - 30/500ml range, which is to say $0.04 - 0.06/ml. The volume of a 25mm mini is probably in the 1 - 2 ml range, plus some amount for supports and other wastage. (The amount of wastage can be affected by how many figures you print at once in a variety of ways.) So that part is pretty inexpensive by comparison to buying minis in a store. But the cost scales directly with volume, which store-bought figures don't, so the comparison is less obvious for larger figures.

 

For a truly fair comparison, you should also amortize the cost of the printer across the number of minis it last for (seemingly a large number, so probably that part of the cost will be small), the cost of IPA for rinsing, the cost of paper towels, the cost of the UV curing light (if you use one), the cost of gloves, the space it takes up that could be used for something else, ....

 

This is without considering whether the time you spend should be considered a cost or benefit of the process (arguments could be made both ways).

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