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03-10-2017, 07:29 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2017
3D print of a life size digital mannequin sculpt made in zbrush
I want to cut a life size mannequin digital hollow sculpt that I made in zbrush into even size parts and then print them out in 3D and then glue them together. I do not own a 3D printer nor have I ever used one. I have a Fab Lab available in my area, but alternatively i have the option of building or buying a printer (budget: 2000 $ max).
Does anyone here have any experience or knowledge about printing out human-sized objects in parts (like 40 individual parts?) using a small or medium-sized 3D printer? Could there be any loss of accuracy and precision which would prevent a perfect re-assembly of all the parts?
I have googled to try and find if someone has done 3D printing a human size object in parts, but with no luck.
Thank you for reading.
03-11-2017, 02:56 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2014
- Oakland, CA
I suppose it could be done, but getting all those parts aligned correctly would be a challenge. If I had to do it, I'd figure out a system for the edges which would allow them to self-align before gluing. Wide flanges with tabs and slots would help. Study the way molded plastic model kits solve this problem, especially the ones that snap together.
03-12-2017, 12:34 PM #3
I know some people have printed full suits of armor (I'm thinking stormtrooper mainly, but some medieval ones too), and assembled those similar to how you propose, So it has been done in one form or another. I also saw (somewhere) some printing company had a couple printers the size of large fridges, but I think they were one off PR things, but they did print human sized stuff.
Getting the parts to line up for gluing shouldn't be a problem, Assuming your body parts are going to be printed as solid structures, not just quarter or half shells (As in, each printed section would be able to "hold water" if you cut a hole in the top, not just "armor plates"). Anytime I have had to make multiple parts for gluing, I would add half spheres on the top of parts, that would nest into half sphere recesses on the bottoms. The half recesses are easy for the printer to make without supports, and line up nicely. Slice up your model into sections a bit smaller than your printer's capacity, and add registration marks (in the CAD) to the sections so the spheres line up correctly. Get a couple cheap harbor freight grip clamps (I think they come in sizes upto 36"/1m, so you should be good, and they're only a few bucks each, 2-3 should do ya fine), and lay on the epoxy or CA, and clamp the pieces in place when they're printed. You'll want to use a low infill to save on material though.
If you plan on printing it out "Armor plate" style (as in somebody could theoretically be inside the piece when it's done gluing), you'll have to plan a little more. You'll have to add tabs that stick up from each piece that would register the piece above it, but they would have to be contoured to fit the matching piece. Clamping and gluing would also be a bit more impractical, and extra hands would probably be required. The finished piece would also be more fragile too, but you'll save on time and material this way.
As for outsourcing vs buying a printer. Well, if this is a one off project, or you rarely plan on printing much, then outsourcing may be your best bet. But I'm guessing that an outsourced print of this size may run up a good chunk of your budget anyways. I don't know, I've never had to use an outside printer. If you do plan on printing again, or just want one for the heck of it, then get a printer. You'll save money in the long run, as you are bound to get pieces not line up correctly on the first try. But outsourcing would be quicker, as they can produce your parts in batches, not one at a time. Prints like this will take (guessing) couple hundred hours of print time, so that translates to a couple weeks of your time trying to print on one machine, vs a few days outsourced.