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With the aid of many, many YouTube videos, I'm gradually coming to grips with the way supports work in resin printing, and I'm slowly learning how to use Chitubox (in between crashes).

 

I haven't yet attempted anything too ambitious, but I'm starting to get more successes than failures.

 

2021-02-04-Witcher3Hag.jpg 

 

This was a good figure to start with, since it only required minimal supports and is bulky enough to be worth trying out hollowing. It's a crone from the Witcher 3 video game (of which I know nothing).

 

Hollowing models in Chitubox is very easy, and so is punching holes to let the resin out and reduce suction forces, but you have to remember that islands on the inside of the model also need to be supported so as to avoid having little bits of exposed resin floating around in your vat, getting in the way of things.

 

2021-02-05-VesselOfAgony_DutchMogul-001.

 

This one is a figure by Dutch_Mogul, and is called Vessel of Agony. It was a lot more challenging in terms of supports, because I printed it angled back at 45 degrees and pretty much every single chain link needed a support. I suspect that it would be more (though not totally) self-supporting if I printed it standing up.

 

2021-02-05-jeep.jpg

 

This is a 1:100 scale (15mm) model. The Jeep is by Bergman, and the crewmen I modeled myself: I'm fairly happy with the way they turned out, though they're a bit too clone-like for my taste. Some small differences in pose would be good I think, and I'm in the process of designing some variants for populating trucks and what-not. 

 

Supports of geometric shapes are generally no more problematic than for organic, though there are more likely to be long skinny islands on some edges. The thing is to notice how much mass those edges will be supporting as the print progresses; I've been caught out a few times using light supports where at least one or two heavy ones should have been included. Learning how to do tree supports in Chitubox has been a boon, and in the most recent version of the program (along with increased crashiness) it seems to have improved its auto-support algorithm quite a lot.

 

Finally, the nail polish curing station I ordered arrived, and I've been learning how to make use of it.

 

2021-02-05-UVstation.jpg

 

I'm having to learn how to expose models for curing by trial and error, as I have no idea how much UV it produces with its array of LEDs. Nor do I know how deeply the UV penetrates into the surface of a model -- I would guess that transparent resins would be better than opaque for that, and I've bought a couple of bottles of eSun water-washable transparent red and green. I can start printing models that look like boiled lollies.

 

 

Edited by MojoBob
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I've downloaded and installed LycheeSlicer, and it does seem to have many excellent features, but I don't find it as easy to use as Chitubox, and the free version includes some pretty intrusive nagging.

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1 hour ago, MojoBob said:

I've downloaded and installed LycheeSlicer, and it does seem to have many excellent features, but I don't find it as easy to use as Chitubox, and the free version includes some pretty intrusive nagging.

 

The latest version of Chitubox, is stable & shouldn't crash. I think it was 1.6 that was the bad version. I just wish they'd move 1.8 into stable as I've got mine set up to look for the latest version & yah it's nag ware right now. I don't want to turn that off cause I know I'll forget to turn it back on.

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3 hours ago, haldir said:

 

The latest version of Chitubox, is stable & shouldn't crash. I think it was 1.6 that was the bad version. I just wish they'd move 1.8 into stable as I've got mine set up to look for the latest version & yah it's nag ware right now. I don't want to turn that off cause I know I'll forget to turn it back on.

 

It was 1.8 that I just installed, and it was marked on the download page as stable.

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4 hours ago, MojoBob said:

 

It was 1.8 that I just installed, and it was marked on the download page as stable.

 

They must have just moved it over, then. 

 

Hmmmm, I hope the crashing isn't anther 1.6 issue all over again. 

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I've been doodling again in Blender's sculpting mode, making this toothy grabby burrowing worm thing.

I was originally going to also sculpt a scenic terrain base, showing it bursting up out of the earth, but then I realised that it would be a lot quicker and easier just to model one by traditional means.

 

2021-02-16-BurrowingWormPrint-001.jpg

 

As usual, Sergeant Measureby is present to provide a sense of scale.

His spear is marked in 5mm graduations.

 

2021-02-16-BurrowingWormPrint-002.jpg

 

I'm slowly (so slowly) learning how best to orientate objects for efficient supporting. This guy is pretty obvious: all of his arms and fangs project more or less forward, so I just had to flip him up so that they were all pointing more or less straight up. It does mean that the main weight-bearing supports connect right in the middle of his smooth, pulpy back, but most of them were easily trimmed away with clippers before curing, and the ones that did break away left just a few easily fillable pinhole pock-marks. Pock-marks that, in light of the disgusting nature of this creature, might actually add to its repulsiveness, so I might just leave them be.

 

I've also just learned the trick about tilting non-organic flat-plane objects in two axes instead of just one, so I'll be interested to see how that works out.

 

2axisTilt.jpg 

I'm wondering, in the case of this Westland Whirlwind model (and similar models), if it might not be useful to print it completely vertically, perhaps cut into two pieces fore and aft. It would need a lot of supports along the bottom edges of the planes, but most of them could be very light, with just a few weight-bearing supports. Sme experimentation is clearly called for.

Edited by MojoBob
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The Whirlwind suffered multiple failures: both of the engine nacelles came away from their supports at the nose and pancaked, and the lowest point — the port wing tip — also pancaked out a bit, which surprised me a bit as I thought that if anything I had over-supported it at that point. So, that's five hours of printing wasted.

WhirlwindFailure2.jpg

WhirlwindFailure1.jpg

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I did my first FEP change today, and only screwed it up one and a half times.

 

The first disaster was when the head of my 2mm hex-key broke off inside one of the FEP frame screw heads when I tightened it up — I wasn't even applying all that much torque, so it must have been an even crappier hex key than I'd thought. I couldn't get the bit out of the hex socket (though in trying I did manage to punch a hole right through the FEP, so scratch that piece) but fortunately I did manage to get the whole screw out by rotating the upper frame half, pulling up against the screw head to apply tension and rotation. Also, even more fortunately, Elegoo wisely provided a few spare screws, because otherwise I would have been, well, screwed.

 

My second almost-disaster was when I was tightening the last couple of screws, and the hex-key slipped out of my klutzy fingers and dented the FEP down at one end. I'm almost sure that it didn't actually puncture it though.... fingers crossed. I'd better test that before I put any resin in the reservoir.

 

Oof.

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Yet another print failure. Or at least, a partial failure, followed by a success.

 

2021-02-23-HanomagAmbulances.jpg

 

The skate of first print of this model (the painted one, on the left) came partially away from the build plate, and as a result the nose of the half-track printed quite distorted. The wheels looked like little rugby balls (and also they fell off when I took the supports off).

 

It may have been the fault of the resin: I was using the very last dregs from a bottle, and it may not have been well mixed. More likely though, the build plate may have been pushed very slightly out of level. I re-levelled it and tried again with some fresh resin, and it (the base-coated one on the right) printed perfectly.

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9 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

You could use that one as a wreck with a little modelling on a small base it could still be of use then

 

My plan is to use it on a little first-aid post vignette base, with its nose parked inside a little shed or up against dense shrubbery or something with some stretcher cases lined up alongside. When that will happen, anyone can say, but it's a plan.

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Just now, MojoBob said:

 

My plan is to use it on a little first-aid post vignette base, with its nose parked inside a little shed or up against dense shrubbery or something with some stretcher cases lined up alongside. When that will happen, anyone can say, but it's a plan.

 

Sounds good!

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11 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

You could use that one as a wreck with a little modelling on a small base it could still be of use then

 

With my 1/285 minis I have a bunch of test minis and ones that broke loose from the plate when 80% finished. I'm saving them for wrecks blocking roads or little dioramas of destroyed vehicles. It'll be a little odd that most of them are missing the front end and wheels though.

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6 minutes ago, Zink said:

 

With my 1/285 minis I have a bunch of test minis and ones that broke loose from the plate when 80% finished. I'm saving them for wrecks blocking roads or little dioramas of destroyed vehicles. It'll be a little odd that most of them are missing the front end and wheels though.

 

You can damage them even further if you're going to use them like that.

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