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  1. #1

    Help with the right printer

    I'm a scale modeler in both auto and military medium. The better the detail the more realistic the model. I would like to my own car bodies and accessories. My first question is is it possible to print the car bodies and in which process would give me the best possible detail. Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Atlanta, GA
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    Look at SLA printers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    What size models are you looking to produce? Most domestic printers work to a resolution of 0.1mm, which is OK for larger scale, but anything under about 1/76 and you will start to lose detail.

    All printers - including SLA resin printers build up the model line by line, so the accuracy of the print process is important in terms of the visibility of the layers. Don't confuse resolution with accuracy, as a well made 0.2mm model will look better than a lower accuracy 0.1mm.

    SLA looks much smoother, as the process avoids extrusion, which produces a round profile material - which of course gives a serrated appearance when building up flat surfaces! The cost per print is significantly higher with SLA however, and there is usually a degree of cleaning up to do - both on the model and also the machine itself.

    ABS printing and post finishing with acetone gives a smooth appearance, but it requires practice to not overdo things, leading to a "melted" appearance.

    You can of course file, fill and sand both ABS and resin models, but PLA is more tricky, as it tends just melt and go stringy a bit like nylon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    You'll want a resin based printer for fine detail. I've used my fdm printer for models, but it takes a ton of cleanup (sanding, smoothing, adding small details later with sculptey).

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