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  1. #1

    Help understanding what printer I would need

    Hello, I'm Michael and I own a company called Dirty Knights Sex Dolls ( www.dirtyknights.com ) and we are in the process of trying to learn 3d modelling software in order to EVENTUALLY produce a new line of sex doll heads for the bodies that we import. We would need to create life-size heads with the printer so that we could use them to make molds for our pouring process. Can anyone here help me with the selection of the printer I would need to accomplish this?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    DirtyKnights.com

  2. #2
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    You are asking the questions in what I would consider a reverse order. You should become proficient with the modeling software and if you intend to scan real human beans, the software associated with that bundle. Once you have a handle on the model creation, you'll likely have a good idea of printer requirements.

    Even with that in mind, I'm a big fan of the Prusa MK3 printer for reliability and top quality printing. If you are not on a budget, you can buy a fully assembled and calibrated Prusa, or purchase the kit and learn how the thing goes together, in case you need to service it in the future. I can attest to the ease of assembly of the MK2s and a fellow makerspace member recently purchased the MK3. His description of assembly indicates (as expected) that the assembly of the MK3 is an order of magnitude easier than the MK2.

    Users of other model printers will have recommendations for their model printer, I'm sure, as that's how this area of technology works. The key feature for your requirements would be overall capacity. You won't want a printer with a 150 mm (per dimension) build volume. Consider to measure a typical head and allow a few cm extra space and you'll have the numbers you need.

    With every FFF type printer, there will be post-processing, to remove the layer lines. You can use a filling primer paint and light sanding and get good results in removing the lines. Silicone molding will pick up fingerprints on a glossy surface, so I know they will show layer lines easily. For your production method, a couple hours spent to smooth out the layer lines will go ten times as far in the final result.

  3. #3
    I realize the question is a bit out of order, and I want to thank you for your detailed response!

    I am interested in the equipment because I'm trying to research the cost involved in the production process to evaluate whether the ROI is worth our projects advancement.

    There are very few sex doll manufacturers, with the exception of Realdolls and a couple select others, that focus on ultra-realistic sex doll head design. For this reason, we are looking at our options to help with company growth. These type of doll heads sell for $1500 on up depending on customer needs, whereas a typical doll head will range from $200- $400 on average. I'm pretty confident I can learn the process and become proficient with the software, but at this time, I'm more interested in the cost of the equipment that would be required. Your information gives me a great starting point and I will begin researching what you have provided me, to get a better understanding!

    Thanks again,
    Michael Knight
    https://www.dirtyknights.com

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    to start with prusa mk3 is a great printer - but not a large build volume. You'd have to split a human head in 2 or 4 pieces.

    Ideally you'd want to do a mould in a minimum of 2 pieces.
    were I you I'd look at the formbot t-rex 2+
    large enough build volume to print a head in one go. Dual independant extruders let you use soluble supports or dual material/colour prints.
    https://www.formbot3d.com/formbot-la...ize_p0018.html

    Depends on what way round you want to do it. Print the head and make the mould from that. or direct print the moulds themselves by removing the head from a block in cad software to produce the negative mould.

    2 ways of doing the heads.
    you could get a decent scanner: https://www.scaninabox.com/

    https://www.imakr.com/us/936-scan-in...d-scanner.html
    scan in a box is probably the cheapest scanner it's worth getting and would do a very nice job
    seriously do not bother with anything cheaper or anything that is NOT a structured light scanner.

    Guess you'd have to pay people to use their heads - that said it does open up a whole range of options to tie in with porn stars.

    The other way is to get a digital artist and have them 'sculpt' virtual heads that can be used to print the 3d models.

    But either way a printer that can make a human sized head in one go is essential.

    So for a full scan and print setup you're looking at less than $5000.
    Or 5 heads.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 11-25-2018 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
    by removing the head from a block in cad software to produce the negative mould.

    How difficult is this option? That seems to be the one that makes more sense, at least from my perspective, but I don't know much.

    Thanks!
    Michael

  6. #6
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    That's an interesting idea, if you've made the negative print in two pieces, with alignment pins. Fill the mold, pop the halves apart and your head is in your hands!

    Almost any 3D modeling program will allow boolean subtraction. Create the original model head, create a cube that represents the size of the negative mold, center or align as needed and subtract. Use a plane cut to split the negative mold into two pieces, keeping both (Meshmixer does this easily).

    I would caution, though, that it will be substantially more difficult to remove the layer lines in a negative mold, even one printed in two pieces. You might get away with an epoxy wash/slosh to fill the lines, though.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    I use openscad - and it's really easy in that :-)

    I've made a lot of moulds using this technique.
    The hard part is always going to be getting the model of the head in the first place.

    Layer lines will be an issue. most 3d plastics sand fairly easily. Just remember to sand by hand. dremel type sanding drums spin too quickly and the friction melts plastic.
    I have yet to sand fast enough by hand to melt pla :-)

    As fred says - an hour or 2 sanding a mould is well worth it, as you can get lots of head moulded from one printed mould.

    The other way would be to make a head and create a mould with plaster of paris - or whatever the modern stuff is.
    One head will let you make a lot of moulds.
    So 6 of one and half a dozen of the other really :-)

    But it is viable and the kit isn't that expensive. Relatively speaking :-)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    I use openscad - and it's really easy in that :-) I've made a lot of moulds using this technique. The hard part is always going to be getting the model of the head in the first place. Layer lines will be an issue. most 3d plastics sand fairly easily. Just remember to sand by hand. dremel type sanding drums spin too quickly and the friction melts plastic. I have yet to sand fast enough by hand to melt pla :-) As fred says - an hour or 2 sanding a mould is well worth it, as you can get lots of head moulded from one printed mould. The other way would be to make a head and create a mould with plaster of paris - or whatever the modern stuff is. One head will let you make a lot of moulds. So 6 of one and half a dozen of the other really :-)But it is viable and the kit isn't that expensive. Relatively speaking :-)
    Thanks to you and the others, I feel much better about this project now, much more informed.

  9. #9
    Now another question. How much would something like this cost, to have someone do all this for me EXCEPT the Sanding and the acquisition of a model with model release. Just want to weight my options vs buying all the equipment and having to learn the software.

  10. #10
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    The scanning of the model will be one challenge. You'd have to find a hobbyist with a quality scanner, or someone using photogrammetry to do the conversion from multiple photos to digital model.
    Beyond that, it's a less difficult task to find someone with a printer capable of the size required. Of course you'd have to consider that the model scan/digital conversion is a location-based process. If you find a model in the eastern part of the country and your resource is in the western part, there's travel costs. All of these factors are able to be solved.

    I've attended a maker faire at which one booth was scanning cosplayers using a 3D scanner mounted on rails. One button push and the turntable rotated, while the scanner moved vertically. The resolution was lower than you'd want for a model head, but it's an example of the home-spun level this technology has reached.

    Perhaps you can cast about in your area for makerspaces to see what resources are available.

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