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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:25 am 
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I've been working with 3D printing for model ship parts for a couple years now... anything from a single anchor, to those tricky cowl vents, to major portions of an upgraded model. See some of the items at my 3D printing thread on RC Groups:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthre ... st23219786 (with some 11 pages already).

3D printing is NOT the equivalent of a Star Trek replicator, where you can just push a button and get a perfect medium-rare burger, or a finished ship hull. You need to do a lot of work first in the design stage... and then when you get the parts, they may well be usable, or not! You will usually NOT get parts equivalent to well-molded bits from Tamiya... more like parts from HAWK, salvaged from under a garbage pile after 20 years' exposure. Really, parts are ROUGH, even from the finest processes available... and forget about these cheap desk top machines that get all the hype, you can't print a usable model part (much less a working gun!) with these things.

That said, parts designed in a way that allow for secondary finishing (filling and sanding) can be wonderful. The link above goes directly to a complex modern pilot house which has flat sides everywhere, no projections... this allowed me to rough sand the striations down, then fill the porous sintered nylon powder structure with polyurethane, then finish sand that... all in preparation for future coats of primer-surfacer before I even think of a finish coat.

This project also give me confidence that I can tackle my new job with nearly 100% 3D printed parts.


Attachments:
File comment: 3D printed pilot house
d_7014.JPG
d_7014.JPG [ 134.9 KiB | Viewed 8574 times ]

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MWS Gallery: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Pat-Matthews/user-index.html


Last edited by PATMAT on Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:07 am, edited 4 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:42 am 
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Location: Michigan
So my new subject? Canada's new "Hero class" patrol boats:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero-class_patrol_vessels

This is the Daman 4207 design, with modifications for the CCG. The Canadian boats have a number of visible differences from 4207's used in other services... there's a bustle on the transom with rear-exiting exhausts, longer forward bulwarks, and a number of other unique details scattered about the boats.
Plans are not available (we've tried!)... but with a lot of web-sleuthing (thank you, Google Translate, for help with the Czech and Dutch sources...), I've been able to develop reasonable lines. And with a number of fairly high-res images from various sources (like Mac Mackay's Shipfax), I've been able to work out a lot of the details in CAD.

If there's one thing I've learned from my day job (automotive engineer), it's that you don't start a big project until you know you can finish it. Believe me, we design complete new cars all the way through details of the assembly process before we get authorization to spend billions on tooling. It's not so critical with a model boat... but I'll still do all my CAD work before ordering the first printed part.


Attachments:
File comment: Concept image (already out of date, missing numerous details found on the real boats)
msvp-concept.jpg
msvp-concept.jpg [ 27.75 KiB | Viewed 8571 times ]

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Get your boats wet!
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MWS Gallery: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Pat-Matthews/user-index.html
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:52 am 
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Location: Michigan
How's the CAD coming along? Pretty well! I'm nearly done with the major structures, and am adding all the little stuff... like hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree. But even that needs to be done, as the design work on some detail often points to the need for mounting features on the main structure.

Note that I have no intention of creating a photo-realistic rendering... that's a job in itself. So my images here will be pretty basic, just showing those components that I plan to print (or will investigate for printing). But all items visible here are designed with feasible geometries for printing, finishing, and assembly.


Attachments:
File comment: Half-hull image showing interior details for the pedestal mounts.
17MAR3.JPG
17MAR3.JPG [ 82.08 KiB | Viewed 8570 times ]
File comment: Detail work to-date.
23MARb.JPG
23MARb.JPG [ 89.91 KiB | Viewed 8570 times ]
File comment: Hero's can carry two 8m Zodiac H753s, powered by twin 200hp Evinrudes. The crane has a special head to engage a grab structure in the boats (not shown yet)
23MARa.JPG
23MARa.JPG [ 146.07 KiB | Viewed 8570 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:13 pm 
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If you haven't seen them before, here are the 3D-printed cowl ventilators I did for a 1:32 Foundation Franklin:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthre ... st15413788

I also make them available through Shapeways... linked from:
http://matthewsmodelmarine.wordpress.co ... del-ships/

.


Attachments:
File comment: 3D printed cowl vents
N_2620.JPG
N_2620.JPG [ 113.49 KiB | Viewed 8526 times ]
File comment: Hybrid construction
N_2616.JPG
N_2616.JPG [ 141.99 KiB | Viewed 8526 times ]

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Get your boats wet!
Blog: [redacted]
Shapeways Shop: [redacted]
MWS Gallery: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Pat-Matthews/user-index.html


Last edited by PATMAT on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Nice begining.Looking forward to more .

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:06 am 
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Interesting indeed. At one of our resent model seminars a tutorial on 3d printing was given by a professional in the subject , the results where amazing and the quality stunning .However one of the participants asked the pertinent question , Is it scratch building? .I embraced the whole concept having seen the results of an entire crane for a G3 battleship down to the finest detail making even the best handmade equivalents appear basic by comparison . Also having discussed the subject with those in the trade is seems that the value of 3D printing lies more towards pattern making than mass production . The answer to the original question would be, no it's not scratch building in the traditional sense but neither is the use of PE yet PE has become a major part of what we like to call scratch building . Of course the tenor of the debate on this side issue was more the gradual loss of basic constructional skills; in fact will we need those old skills to generate the patterns of the future when a CAD program can produce the fitting in infinitely finer detail? Food for thought on this one?
Dave Wooley


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:53 am 
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Dave-
It’s a general issue that likely deserves its own forum thread. But frankly, I don’t give a rat’s behind, as it’s a technique that I choose to use regardless. This is a commission build, and I want to use the most efficient AND precise methods available. The buyer wants a great model... but not (hopefully) a great model created with the maximum of sweat and toil from the builder!

The subject was allegedly addressed some years ago by the Nautical Research Guild and the Mariners’ Museum. I say allegedly because I only have the link below, no original source documents. From http://shipmodeling.net/vb_forum/scratch.htm :

“Photo-etched, laser-cut, cast, or similar parts mechanically or chemically duplicated by others from the entrant's original master or pattern, shall be considered as scratch built.”

I’d take this as allowing 3D Printed parts from your own design as "scratch built" in a contest… although there may be enough controversy over the perceived “easiness” of 3D Printing, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the issue is revisited. But as I tried to point out above, good 3D Printed parts DON'T come easily. I have many hundreds of hours invested in learning to use professional level CAD tools... and many many hours invested in creating these specific models. It may be a different skill set than spiling planks and hand carving casting masters, but it's a skill set nonetheless.

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MWS Gallery: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Pat-Matthews/user-index.html


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:03 am 
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Hi Pat thanks for your candid reply. My questions were intended to be an observation on trends and changing skills not in any way critical. I'm no luddite and I personally think this new method has much to offer especially as the 3D printers are now well within the reach of what may be called the serious model builder. As you say you have invested many hours into the skills needed to generate the primary information package. Sadly my CAD skills are zero but I admire the results of your work.
Dave Wooley


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:17 am 
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Thanks, and sorry if I was a bit TOO candid!

I also wonder about "lost skills"... but should I bemoan the fact that my horsemanship skills are lacking? Or be happy in the air-conditioned comfort of my car as I drive on into work every day? :cool_2:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Hi Pat and Dave
As you know I have a T3 Tanker fiberglass hull listed under online scratch building .I made this for my friend Bob and he will be doing the rest of the build .I showed how the hull was made from scratch using wood , foam , resin and matt .I did that thinking that it would qualify as a scratch build because the hull was scratch built but have wondered would it be concidered a scratch build because the hull was fiberglass and not wood .
It realy dosen't matter to me or him as it is a RC project and fiberglass is the best material for that .
The Modelwarships sight is full off the best scratch builders I have seen .
Dave if I show how the hull is made from scratch would the build be concidered a scratch build ?
I am also doing a hull of the IJN Mogami for a person who I consider one of the best scratch builders I know .The Mogami has a complicated superstructure that he has done a super job on .I will post pictures of it later on the Mogami build .He will be using watertight doors made on a 3D printer from a CAD program .As you can see ,if you had a scale hand you could wrap your fingers around the handles and dogs.

These are made by Nelson at " Nelcads ".

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Richard- The material matters not at all! If you made it, it's scratch built. If you bought someone else's bits, it's not.

The door models look great, but don't expect too much from 3D printing. First, fine details may not be printable... anything under 0.5mm is dubious, especially long skinny structures.
Next, the parts WILL have rough surfaces that require sanding. If the details keep you from sanding the parts, then forget about it!

"Just because it can be drawn, doesn't mean it can be printed!"


Pat

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Hi Pat /Richard 3D printing is such an amazing subject that as Pat has said it deserves perhaps either a specific heading on the board or a new thread as I would not want to overlap Pats excellent build with a subject , whilst being directly associated with the build could easily drift off topic.
Richard as for those two words scratch build , for me no matter how the hull is made it's always a delight to see how others modellers like yourself approach the same tasks and solve the same problems with slightly different methods , it all makes for interesting modelling , and yes a thread on the Mogami build would most certainly add to that interest.
Dave Wooley


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Yes, another thread where actual 3D printing experiences can be documented would be great. But until then, see my post on printing window glazing, where you can see what typical surface finishes look like for a 1:72 scale part:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthre ... st23504201

Now, this particular material is not the finest for detail, but was the only clear stuff available at Shapeways. Their "frosted ultra detail" does better for detail, but still requires cleaning (it's covered in a waxy/greasy slime), and still some more sanding.

In this case, the very rough clear blanks were sanded and polished to near optical quality... but again, if you can't sand the surface for the included details, than all hope is lost.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Aha, there is a 3D Printing thread, on the main board:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=148935

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MWS Gallery: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Pat-Matthews/user-index.html


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Here's the sort of thing you can do with a good CAD program. I designed the forward bulwark stanchions 0.5mm into the wall of the bulwark/hull. Then the stanchions are Boolean subtracted from the hull, leaving perfect little locating grooves.


Attachments:
File comment: Each stanchion is designed 0.5mm into the 1mm thick bulwark.
25MARc.JPG
25MARc.JPG [ 41.94 KiB | Viewed 8380 times ]
File comment: All the stanchions...
25MARa.JPG
25MARa.JPG [ 76.87 KiB | Viewed 8380 times ]
File comment: Stanchion subtracted from the hull, leaving precise locator grooves
25MARb.JPG
25MARb.JPG [ 70.54 KiB | Viewed 8380 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Neet stanchion locating .!
Here are the Mk 9 R4 depth charges that Nelson makes . They are in 1/96 scale . Dave ,Ron , Bill and others could make them but I wouldn't want to .

Image

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 Post subject: 3D printing project
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Dear Pat,

Richard mentioned this thread as one I should read. I've been working with a Rapid-Prototyping (RP) Shop in Research Triangle Park, NC for a while now. They have a 3D printer with a resolution of 0.007 mm. Yes, that's correct, and no, I didn't sliide a decimal. The USN watertight doors I make at 1/96 have the rivets around the frame that can be seen with a magnifying glass or small microscope. Of course, that printer costs $85,000.00. They just bought a better one that prints like glass, like buttah!, like babies' skin. That one cost $188,000.00.
Now, I'm not going to own my own printer anytime soon. Technology is being progressed so fast that, in the words of Mark Twain, you'd need three men to say, "Here it comes/there it is/there it goes!". He really could write. By making my own files and having them printed at the shop, I can produce some great stuff. Plus, having a working relationship with the staff, I can resolve problems face-to-face, usually with donuts. They like Dunkin Donuts, although Krispy Kreme is big here. I hope this helps, or at least entertains. As they say, "you get more vinegar than honey by squeezing flies", or something like that. Heh.

Sincerely,
Nelson
NELCADS


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:20 am 
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Nelson-
Thanks for the info, and welcome to the thread!

I've clearly had my expectations set low by the typical part resolutions offered at Shapeways... they are very convenient to use, with reasonable pricing... but their best resolution on offer isn't close to what you're describing.

I'm curious- is your source "publicly available"? Web site?


Thanks,

Pat M, who is searching for better printers!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:52 pm 
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I got my USN WT doors (in 1/72 of course!!) from Nelson too when I got my laser cut Superstructure for CGN36. His doors are so detailed you will never go back to resin doors for USN ships after!! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:

Bruce


Attachments:
PA260020.jpg
PA260020.jpg [ 37.51 KiB | Viewed 8298 times ]
File comment: primered
PA260022.jpg
PA260022.jpg [ 54.63 KiB | Viewed 8298 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:21 pm 
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OK, I'm getting ever more hopeful about fine detail parts. I haven't heard back from Nelson, maybe his source isn't publicly available. But I did contact another modeler, TBowman at RC Groups, who has been getting some incredible parts for his large RC scale-sail HMS Scorpion:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost ... tcount=128

Those parts come from APP (American Precision Prototypes), and are off of a true SLA machine. Quick reminder, there are several types of 3D Printing commonly available (and others, not so common):

SLA: Stereolithography... a laser is steered around on the surface of a pool of liquid polymer, curing the stuff as it goes. Provides the finest parts.

Inkjet/Polyjet: Just like an inkjet head, but either a photopolymer or a support wax are applied in layers by a printhead. Each completed layer is hardened by exposure to UV light. My experience- depending on the machine and material, can be as bad as FDM (below), or pretty fine (Shapeway's "Frosted Ultra Detail").

SLS: Selective Laser Sintering: A laser is steered around on a box of fine plastic powder (often nylon). Reasonable resolution, gritty porous surface. Often the lowest cost for big parts, needs sanding and filling.

FDM: Fused Deposition Modeling. Squirts out strips of molten plastic, like building parts with a hot glue gun. The worst for resolution, might be ok for 1:6 scale wicker chairs.


So I got a sample set from APP of a bunch of their materials, some photos below. I wish they had printed round or angled parts... surfaces square to the machine tend to come out the best, but the real test for the "jaggies" is a rounded surface.

Nevertheless, the Acurra Xtreme SLA material that TBowman used looks fantastic... really, no visible strata, virtually like an injection molded part. This has promise.

APP does have a $300 minimum... reasonable for a big ship model, but a pain if you're ordering small lots here and there.


Attachments:
File comment: Acurra Xtreme SLA sample... very nice!
a_7290.JPG
a_7290.JPG [ 157.63 KiB | Viewed 8225 times ]
File comment: FDM example... too gnarly for me.
a_7289.JPG
a_7289.JPG [ 190.83 KiB | Viewed 8225 times ]
File comment: SLS nylon powder... you can see the grit in the foreground.
a01778.JPG
a01778.JPG [ 172.41 KiB | Viewed 8225 times ]

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Get your boats wet!
Blog: [redacted]
Shapeways Shop: [redacted]
MWS Gallery: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Pat-Matthews/user-index.html
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