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  1. #1

    Question Doing my first 3D print.

    Hello! I am a student who works with Zbrush whos working on a sculpt which will hopefully get turned into a personal figure of close to professional standard. I have done a lot of research into this process and since my budget is limited I want to get this right on my first go with hopefully just one test if possible.
    So here is the current process I hope to use and questions concerning the process:
    Finish sculpt and make it print ready (hollowed and split up with gaps in bottom), send to either imaterialise or digits to widgets for a SLA grey resin print which when put together I hope to be full 30cm3 statue, Once it comes back I will remove all supports and submerge all peices in strong alchol to remove excess resin (I dont know weather the UV light step is then necessary since it will have made the journey back from the manafacturer), once it looks like all excess is gone I hope that the method and material will mean there will be no layering and therefore no need for sanding. then apply primer to the full model (Dont know what type or how many coats) then move onto painting (I dont know weather this comes after the priming or weather another primer coat is necassary is after the paint job), once all peices are either airbrushed or hand painted I will super glue the peices together and done?

    Please if you know anything that I should know when trying this process please let me know also is grey resin a bad choice for material? I do want to use resin because the layers are practically invisible and the extremely high degree of accuracy. Also its what all the figures that I hope to acheive a similar quality use.

    Thank you any help is thoroughly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Depending on the topology of the model, you appear to be on the right track by providing drain holes in the model. I'm not sure why you feel it necessary to split the model, unless you expect it would not fit the expected build volume.

    Do you know that the service you are going to use will not properly wash and cure the model? I would expect that such post-processing is part of the service for which you pay. They can confirm this, of course, prior to your contract.

    If your plan includes priming and painting the model, the resin choice should be aimed at physical characteristics rather than color. There are resins available for flexibility, for low temperature melting point (casting) and other characteristics, which should also be provided by your service choice.

    It's likely you won't have to sand the model if your layer height selection is high enough resolution, as the primer is going to fill the gaps. You should expect light sanding to be required for the primer.

    Good luck with your project. You appear to have done much of the necessary homework to ensure success.

  3. #3
    Thank you so much for your reply, I've been in the dark to weather i'm doing this right and you've been a massive reassurance so thank you!
    So I thought splitting the model would be enevitable because my final model will be somewhere around 300mm3 and the sla printing services I've looked at generally have a limit of 230mm3 however if you know a trustworthy sla resin printing service that does larger prints that would be incredibly valueable info.
    Thanks for the heads up on the post process, I didn't even consider it being apart of the service but now i'll definetly keep it in mind when choosing a service.
    And when ilisted my choice as grey resin that was simply one of the types of resin available on i . materialise the website (im not allowed to post links yet) as it was listed as being good for figures however if you know a more suitable resin type that would be very appreciated.

    Thank you for your reply it was a massive help!

  4. #4
    Another aspect of your service selection would not be the overall volume of 230 cubic centimeters or 300 cubic centimeters, but rather if your model will fit within the build box. There is a resin printer currently on kickstarter with a build volume of 120 x 68 x 170 mm, which translates to a much larger volume than 300 cc. My calculations show this to be 1387200 cubic centimeters. Is it possible that the services you've found have a limit of a 300 mm cube? That would make it 27,000,000, quite a bit of a difference. A quick hop to shows a build volume of 250 x 250 x 220, also quite large at 13,750 cc. In Imperial terms that's approximately 10" x 10" x 8".

    Additionally, the page shows a purchase option of a sample pack containing the results of the different resins from which you can select. It would be a suitable investment of your funds to purchase one of the sample bundles to ensure you have the desired results.

    The photos of models created with "standard resin" show clearly that layer lines are visible. The photos of models with grey resin show no layer lines and the ad copy also references a smoother surface. I'd expect also that the price for a model in grey would be more expensive than that from standard.

    If the kickstarter campaign completes to fruition, I may have a resin printer in the future, but I won't be holding my breath!

  5. #5
    Hey thank you again for your insight! The build volume I'm hoping to print will be 13" x 15" x 13", so far I've only considered the grey resin due to the qualities however on their materials list still on i . materialise they list another 3 resins mammoth, spray painted and translucent which all have a build size of 2100mm x 700mm x 800mm which seems kinda unbelievable in terms of size difference. Although I can not figure out what the 'Spray painted' option is directly below grey resin. I thought it was just spray painted grey resin but the size is so much larger so can you help me make sense of that and weather the translucent resin is worth looking into.
    Also yes I was considering the sample pack however I am still a student so money is always tight so I think I'll just save for the actual print which will probably be in the hundreds but we'll see, if I get really fickle as to what resin to pic then I'll definelty buy a sample pack.
    Thank you so much for your help again!

  6. #6
    Your model is quite large! It's certainly a good thing that you've allowed for drain holes, to keep costs down. It might be practical to not reject other methods of printing. I have a couple parts that have been created using SLS, a laser sintering system that effectively melts fine grains of nylon powder. The surface is completely layer free and has a very fine grain texture. A single coat of primer would flatten that texture easily. It may also be less expensive than SLA or other resin printing technologies. I see that the service provides for a much larger build capacity in that method, allowing for a single piece, although I don't think that's a show-stopper or a major factor.

    Have you also considered that some filament types will perform well with post processing? PolySmooth uses vaporized alcohol to remove layer lines, while ABS can be easily smoothed with vaporized acetone. I've done just that with wonderful results. If you want to create a small test model, I'd be happy to build a print in ABS, vapor-smooth it and send it to you for shipping and material costs only. There is some dimensional loss with vapor smoothing but it appears that your model is not a technical item as much as an artistic one, yes?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    lmao - nobody else would leap from 300mm height to a volume measurement.

    Other than that - fred's spot on :-)

    Have you looked at other print services.

    And sls would make more sense. No supports, much larger build volumes and readily available.

    It will be expensive, no matter what method you go for.

  8. #8
    Hey I had a good look into all the filements and methods you've suggested and it's simply wonderful that there are just as reliable options out there that I will definelty consider for the final print however since I am still in the design process I think I will finish the model and then upload them with the suggested model types. although I do still want to price check the grey and translucent resins before anything else because I have seen 3 outstanding examples that have all gone through resin printing. But yes cost could be a massive deterant for choosing this material and Im glad I now have some more great options.

    Regarding the size, I think I'll just have to reduce it to a 9" build for grey resin because it's not that small and if i print the stand seperately it should still be 11" in height when put together. Also in terms of you're offer I must say I would love to and appreciate you going to such lengths but since I'm still placing my bets on resin so I think I'll wait for a price check and if it's out my budget which is roughly ?300-?500 (is that delusional or should that cover a resin print) then if it's too expensive I'd love for your help in finding a new material.
    Once again man thank you so much, you've given me a lot of hope and excitement for this project and 3D printing in general so thank you man!

  9. #9
    Yeh the price will probably be a large determining factor in the material I choose however it is also one of the only things I have no idea of as most descriptions and sites describe pricing as very or not expensive and with no frame of reference it's pretty difficult so in your opinion how expensive roughly would a 10"3 print be in grey resin.
    If this is somehting you can only gage with the volume of the actual model then sorry looks like i'll just have to finish the model and get an estimate.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    3-500 just for the print !
    Christ, I hope it's cheaper than that !

    Never actually used a print bureau - but you could buy your own resin printer for that !

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