Questions regarding 3D printing

Joined: August 18th, 2014, 7:34 pm

March 10th, 2018, 7:49 pm #1

I'd like to try out making my own figures and details through 3D printing (especially figures, since most commercial figures look like toys compared to the precision and detail of vehicles). I've never done this before, but I'm fairly conversant with design software like Photoshop, and willing to pick up the skills necessary -- plus, I think in my case it would be the easier path compared to traditional sculpting. What I'd like to find out, from anyone who has experience in this field, are two things:

1. What 3D design program would you recommend, and why (must run on Mac); and

2. What service would you recommend for the final output?
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Joined: April 27th, 2005, 6:41 pm

to get you started

March 10th, 2018, 10:31 pm #2

1: you might want to start looking into options here:https://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives ... hoose.html
Can't comment on software for figures since I only do mechanical subjects.

2: Regardless of what service you'll use, look for SLA printers.

Reedoak does some great figuring prints (3d scanning actual people). They are usually very helpful in explaining what kind of printer they are using. Getting your own printer is expensive, but still more affordable than many people think. $3000-4000 gets you a long way.
BTW, if you go over to the Constructive Comments page you'll find a topic from someone using a 3D printer to build a lovely Sd.Kfz.9/2

Good luck, half the work will be learning the software, the other half learning to make it do what you want (which includes thinking in 3D) If you pick the right printer I do not expect much issues in learning how to design for it.

Niels
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Joined: August 18th, 2014, 7:34 pm

Thanks, Niels

March 10th, 2018, 11:06 pm #3

To clarify, I don't expect to be buying a printer…this is just a hobby, not a business, and $3000 is WAY too much to be spending on it. All I want to do is to be able to create my own 3d files and have someone output them. (Actually, I expect that to be only a first step -- the second stage to consist of refining the figure and then making a mold, to cast it in resin.)
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Joined: June 19th, 2014, 7:58 am

Sorftware

March 11th, 2018, 12:08 am #4

Steve,
For figures the pretty much go to program for most figure sculptors is Z-Brush with a touch of Mudbox(Autocad) There is a free program called Sculptris which is a simplified version of Z-Brush it works nice to get your feet wet with sculpting before dropping the money on the full Z-Brush ($700 -$1000 last time I checked) Mudbox is a Pay as you go. $10 a month.

There is also another free one I just remembered called blender.Only Dabbled with it so really can't comment good or bad on it.
I am like Niels and only do Mechanical..(I use Rhino3D) I tried my hand at 3d Sculpting..Wasn't pretty..

On thing you will definitely want for freeform sculpting is a Tablet(Wacom is the most common)

I have seen and printed some Amazing Figures for people but be prepared for a steep learning curve and many hours of designing.. I am the one doing that 16th scale SdKfz 9/2 "Famo" which is a blown up version of my 35th scale kit and I had over a year just in the design of that kit (not including 20 years worth of collecting information)

Hope this helps.. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me and I will try to help you out the best I can.
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Joined: December 10th, 2012, 11:06 pm

it's a big step t go 3D...

March 11th, 2018, 4:09 pm #5

I'd like to try out making my own figures and details through 3D printing (especially figures, since most commercial figures look like toys compared to the precision and detail of vehicles). I've never done this before, but I'm fairly conversant with design software like Photoshop, and willing to pick up the skills necessary -- plus, I think in my case it would be the easier path compared to traditional sculpting. What I'd like to find out, from anyone who has experience in this field, are two things:

1. What 3D design program would you recommend, and why (must run on Mac); and

2. What service would you recommend for the final output?
The above mentioned software is what I've seen for figures. I have tried the free version Scuptris and I didn't get far, it is a lot to learn.

I think sculpting physically by hand is likely more easy than using software, and I've seen at least one artist state 3D main selling point is when eye site begins to fail, you can blow up the details on the screen and see things much better. Also, once you have designed a figure, you can use it as a master for future projects, and of course you can print out in any scale.

You can also check out the digital forum section at PlanetFigure:

http://www.planetfigure.com/forums/digis-3d-modeling/


regards,
Jack
Last edited by Jack Geratic on March 11th, 2018, 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 21st, 2008, 8:35 pm

I'd love to read the folks at Alpine, Evolution, Stalingrad and many others think

March 11th, 2018, 11:08 pm #6

I'd like to try out making my own figures and details through 3D printing (especially figures, since most commercial figures look like toys compared to the precision and detail of vehicles). I've never done this before, but I'm fairly conversant with design software like Photoshop, and willing to pick up the skills necessary -- plus, I think in my case it would be the easier path compared to traditional sculpting. What I'd like to find out, from anyone who has experience in this field, are two things:

1. What 3D design program would you recommend, and why (must run on Mac); and

2. What service would you recommend for the final output?
I'd love to read the folks at Alpine, Evolution, Stalingrad and many others think when they read your opinion of their work, which I assume you are going to do far better....

"especially figures, since most commercial figures look like toys"

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Joined: August 18th, 2014, 7:34 pm

Actually...

March 12th, 2018, 12:10 pm #7

...it's the ones you mention that inspired my questions, especially Evolution, but even more especially Reedoak. But they're expensive, difficult to modify (compared to styrene), and a lot of them are the wrong period or service for me. So I'm stuck in a dilemma: keep trying to modify styrene figures, or do my own from scratch. And for me at least, given my experience with graphic design software, "scratch" involves a computer.

The ones I was referring to are the styrene sets, that never look like the box art. That grungy, weary youth slumped against the side of a turret winds up looking like a mannequin sitting stiffly in a department store window wearing inappropriate clothes. I fully appreciate that sculpting 1/35 figures is a difficult task (boy howdy); what I don't understand is why the same hobbyists who criticize a vehicle for having the wrong tow shackle or a barrel that's six scale inches too short will people their dioramas with what look like mannequins; or why they go to so much trouble making the millionth Panther look as unique as possible, then plunk the same figure that everyone uses in the cupola. Maybe that's just me.

It's very possible that this is something I can't pull off; but I mean to try, hence the questions.
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Joined: March 16th, 2009, 3:59 pm

Well

March 13th, 2018, 12:09 pm #8

I have used Sculptris and Blender, to do figures. Both of which as said are free, but and it is a BIG BUT,
the learning curve for Blender is huge.
my advice start of with Sculptris and see how ya go. there are plenty of tutorials on you tube and also the Sculptris site.
On various sites like Thingiverse there are plenty of downloads that can be remodelled in Sculptris.
You could always try 3D scanning. Not joking here as Reedoak use this to capture some of their models.
A 3D scanner can cost from £200-300 upwards.
Hope that helps and good luck.
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Joined: August 18th, 2014, 7:34 pm

Thanks to everyone for the input

March 14th, 2018, 1:56 am #9

I'd like to try out making my own figures and details through 3D printing (especially figures, since most commercial figures look like toys compared to the precision and detail of vehicles). I've never done this before, but I'm fairly conversant with design software like Photoshop, and willing to pick up the skills necessary -- plus, I think in my case it would be the easier path compared to traditional sculpting. What I'd like to find out, from anyone who has experience in this field, are two things:

1. What 3D design program would you recommend, and why (must run on Mac); and

2. What service would you recommend for the final output?
I think I'm going to go with Blender. Yeah, it looks like the learning curve is steep; but there's also a ton of resources and a big user base.

Don't know when I'll be able to show anything, but I hope I'll have something on Constructive Comments in the near future.
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Joined: April 27th, 2005, 6:41 pm

Good luck

March 14th, 2018, 3:15 pm #10

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

Not having 3D experience might actually be a good thing when starting with Blender. Having used other software before, I found Blender incredibly frustrating. I gave up after a week to return to my trusted Sketchup.
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