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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:09 pm 
Hi folks

I'm just getting back into model ship building after 30 years and have been happily building 1:700 models of HMS Rodney (Meng) and HMS Prince of Wales (Tamiya).

However, my real desire is to build custom models such as the unbuilt HMS Lion of 1938 or HMS Hood after the much-needed refit she never got.

I know about traditional methods such as kit bashing and scratchbuilding, but what really fascinates me is 3D printing. I look on Shapeways and there are so many interesting bits to buy, but the prices are way too high for me and I would prefer to print my own, as it allows me to create my own custom pieces.

However, I know nothing about 3D printing, so before I spend any money I wanted to canvas for opinions on what sort of printer to buy that is best suited for printing 1:700 or 1:350 scale ship pieces?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:27 pm 
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talk to ModelMonkey as besides being 1 of this site's moderators, he also does 3D printing.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:37 pm 
Cheers, I shall drop him a PM.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:38 pm 
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The reality is nobody will teach You 3D printing for free, is up to you to get a good 3D printer ( prices are AFAIK from $500 bucks and up) But the most important thing,you will need to pay somebody to learn 3D design or go to a specialized school and learn by yourself ,I know this is not impossible but 3D printing is not so simple ,it is a process and believe me, you will end expending good money and a lot of time before you'll start to produce your own designs.At the end depending on how often you will produce your stuff maybe be worthy ,but for just make a few pieces IMO is better to buy them from a proper designer/shop.

Hardly an amateur will reach detail levels as mentioned like Steve Larsen ,Simon Percival and Sasa Drobac to name a few.


Finally is your choice on what will be your quest.

My advice

First learn about 3D design and later make your choice about a 3D printer

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:48 pm 
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I used to be fairly skilled in 3D modelling, many moons ago I worked with Newtek Lightwave making animations so I wouldn't be starting from a total lack of knowledge.

It's the actual 3D printing that I am clueless about, there are so many different printers on the market, I have read loads of round-up type reviews, what I am seeking is more specific information relating to their use for making model ship parts. I can think of many other things I would make other than scale models, but my understanding is some types of printer are better at the fine detail needed for scale models.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:05 am 
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There are also size limitations, especially relevant for models of large ships like battleships. You can find on Shapeways some models of battleships divided into 10-15 sets of parts to have each set inside of the size limits - for sure combined these parts are not cheap at all.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:31 am 
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iangreenhalgh wrote:
I used to be fairly skilled in 3D modelling, many moons ago I worked with Newtek Lightwave making animations so I wouldn't be starting from a total lack of knowledge.

It's the actual 3D printing that I am clueless about, there are so many different printers on the market, I have read loads of round-up type reviews, what I am seeking is more specific information relating to their use for making model ship parts. I can think of many other things I would make other than scale models, but my understanding is some types of printer are better at the fine detail needed for scale models.


I know an Ian Greenhalgh who would be fairly skilled in 3D modelling by virtue of his day job. Not a particularly common name where I live (Aberdeenshire, Scotland). You're not the same guy by any chance? I had no idea the one I know was interested in model ships so this could just be a coincidence!

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Current build:
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http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=167151


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:29 am 
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No, I'm down in Cumbria, on the coast near Barrow-in-Furness.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:53 am 
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iangreenhalgh wrote:
I used to be fairly skilled in 3D modelling, many moons ago I worked with Newtek Lightwave making animations so I wouldn't be starting from a total lack of knowledge.

.



Then You have almost everything to start your designs, the easiest thing is to pick a good printer, in Youtube there are a few clips that can give you a lot of information ,also a fellow modeler PetrOs just bought a new printer,maybe he can share some thoughts and there are several very knowledgeable guys here that can step in.

I really wish to have some 3D design knowledge, IMO printing will be the future on modeling. 3D Printers are getting cheaper and better but knowledge is always an uphill road

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:59 pm 
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I just bought an Anycubic Mega S for 150ukp, which is a nice discount over the usual price. It's the smaller version of this, with a 220x220x210 area:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErRhc5JTNE&t=902s

I've also ordered some gray PLA filament, which seems the most logical colour for battleship parts. I might get some 'wood' filament to try printing a 'wooden' deck.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:45 pm 
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Is it too late to cancel your order? FDM is the cheapest, but also lowest resolution, option for 3D printing. While that's fine for figurines and the objects you see in the comments at the bottom of the Anycubic page for that machine, notice the stepping/layering that's apparent: these will be made all the more obvious for objects in 1/350 and 1/700 scales. Most of the high quality prints you see here, such as those printed by ModelMonkey, are printed on machines that use liquid resin, which start at around the $500 mark.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:03 pm 
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I would echo Timmy’s comment, FDM would only be practical to print maybe a hull that will need a lot of sanding and filling to refine the shape. I have a Photon by Anycubic which runs around $250usd and it’s been a fun little printer to cut my teeth on. The layer lines are tricky to manage but with some refining can be made useable. You are talking around $3600usd and up for consistent details. If you use Facebook, there is a group specifically for printing 3D parts for scale ships and there is some very helpful folks there and even ones offering printing off your designs.

HTH
Matt

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:27 pm 
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I almost bought a Photon but the toxic aspects put me off as I don't currently have anywhere to operate something that uses toxic resin.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:35 pm 
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Just some thoughts:

Chemical safety is a very important consideration, not only regarding the resin itself, but also any cleaning fluids needed. A well-ventilated work-space reasonably free of heat sources is required. If using a printer that cures resin with UV light, your work-space must be protected from UV light.

In other words, you need a windowless room with no significant heat sources, and no light sources emitting UV light, that's also well-ventilated. Not an easy thing to come by for many.

Some better-quality printers, most notably SLA printers, create models in a tank of liquid resin using a laser (e.g. Formlabs) or LEDs (e.g. B9 Core). When models come out of the resin tank, they are soaked in liquid resin which must be cleaned away before final curing. The kind of photo-reactive resin I use requires isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to dissolve away the liquid resin from the models. The mechanical alcohol bath my process uses holds 8.6 liters of IPA which must be replaced every 3-4 weeks as it becomes saturated with liquid resin. 8.6 liters is quite a large volume - think nearly 4.5 two-liter soda bottles.

Some IPA considerations:

1. IPA is very difficult to obtain these days given COVID 19-related disinfectant demand. Price gouging is common.
2. IPA is highly flammable.
3. IPA gives off harmful vapors.

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Catalog of over 2500 products for scale modelers, most in 3D-printed gray or black resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:23 pm 
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I work with IPA often, so I have a few litres. I use it in my electronics hobby and for cleaning old camera lenses, which I collect.

Breathing the vapour is not nice, I use the extractor hood above my cooker but it isn't sufficient to allow me to work in my kitchen with toxic resin. I don't have any room in my garage to install anything either, nor to fit the printer itself, hence I went for the non-toxic option as I do have space in the spare bedroom for the printer and my router happens to be in there which is handy for networking it.

I truly grasp the better quality of resin printing, but for a guy like me, it's just not feasible. Maybe one day I'll be able to setup a dedicated work area with fume extraction, but right now, not gonna happen.

BTW I have been perusing the Modelmonkey website. Once this damn pandemic is over, I shall be ordering some of your lovely parts such as the 4.5" turrets as fitted to HMS Renown etc. I have a post-refit Hood model in mind.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:58 am 
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iangreenhalgh wrote:
I work with IPA often, so I have a few litres. I use it in my electronics hobby and for cleaning old camera lenses, which I collect.

Breathing the vapour is not nice, I use the extractor hood above my cooker but it isn't sufficient to allow me to work in my kitchen with toxic resin. I don't have any room in my garage to install anything either, nor to fit the printer itself, hence I went for the non-toxic option as I do have space in the spare bedroom for the printer and my router happens to be in there which is handy for networking it.

I truly grasp the better quality of resin printing, but for a guy like me, it's just not feasible. Maybe one day I'll be able to setup a dedicated work area with fume extraction, but right now, not gonna happen.

BTW I have been perusing the Modelmonkey website. Once this damn pandemic is over, I shall be ordering some of your lovely parts such as the 4.5" turrets as fitted to HMS Renown etc. I have a post-refit Hood model in mind.


I would love to see a fully refit properly built hood. good luck with your efforts!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:30 am 
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ModelMonkey wrote:
The mechanical alcohol bath my process uses holds 8.6 liters of IPA which must be replaced every 3-4 weeks as it becomes saturated with liquid resin. 8.6 liters is quite a large volume - think nearly 4.5 two-liter soda bottles.


Hi Steve,
As a regular user of Form2 printer for three years now I've managed to extend the use of IPA by about 25-30% by allowing decantation of the first bath : dissolved resin sinks in the bottom and clear IPA can be spared and used again about four times without noticeable degradation. And by chance their V4 gray resin no longer needs UV curing, speeding up and making it easier to handle.

_Bruno

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:58 am 
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pascalemod wrote:
I would love to see a fully refit properly built hood. good luck with your efforts!


Cheers, I am in two minds how to do it, either a Renown/Warspite type with the 'frying pan' 4.5" twin mounts or more like a Duke of York/Vanguard with the 5.25" twin turrets. Either way, I think she would have received a large 'Queen Anne's mansion' superstructure like Nelson/Rodney and the refitted Warspite.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:59 am 
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bgire wrote:

Hi Steve,
As a regular user of Form2 printer for three years now I've managed to extend the use of IPA by about 25-30% by allowing decantation of the first bath : dissolved resin sinks in the bottom and clear IPA can be spared and used again about four times without noticeable degradation. And by chance their V4 gray resin no longer needs UV curing, speeding up and making it easier to handle.

_Bruno

Hi Bruno, yes, good advice. Decantation helps a lot!

With supplies of IPA becoming very hard to find, I recently bought a "Chinese Moonshine Still" (really!) from Amazon to distill waste IPA and try to recycle it. Not easy or convenient but it works. Distillation permits me to recover about 2/3rd of the IPA in a very pure form. It also permits being able to improve 70% IPA to 91% or better. Lately, the only IPA I can find is 70% so the "still" makes it usable.

Had the "Chinese Moonshine Still" not worked, I'm sure my college-age kids would be able to suggest other uses for it to help us get through the pandemic. :cool_2:

I don't own an Anycubic Photon but people who do seem to like it a lot. I have no experience operating FDM printers so can't offer any opinions about them.

We have two Form 2s and one Form 3. The Forms 2s are our workhorses running basically 24/7. They are difficult to clean and maintain but are very reliable and their print quality is excellent. Form 3 print quality is "not quite ready for prime time". It is based on an entirely new "low force" technology that is still being refined. The firmware needs further development from the manufacturer. It does not yet print as well as the Form 2s.

Many of you are familiar with fellow MWS sponsor "Micro Master" from New Zealand. For those who aren't, Micro Master focuses on Royal Navy subjects. His amazing models are produced on a B9 Core printer, the 550 if I am not mistaken. That machine is probably one of the best available for small, exceedingly detailed models. The B9 Core 550 is also very, very expensive. But as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for".

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-Steve Larsen

Catalog of over 2500 products for scale modelers, most in 3D-printed gray or black resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/


Last edited by ModelMonkey on Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:21 am 
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Oh my, the B9 Core Med 500 is $12k! The 550 is "only" $9955. Wow.

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