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  1. #1

    Can anyone make this model printable?

    I have a model of Disaster Area's stuntship from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It's intended for onscreen use, not printing. It's hugely detailed and huge (scaled at over 3 metres along the long axis).

    I'd like to print it at 200mm or so along the long axis, but the model is borked and I don't know how to fix it.

    Is there someone who could fix it for me, or can someone recommend a tool that can do so relatively simply? Some of the bits are very delicate (e.g. the dish on top) and might need beefing up a bit. I have NO idea how to do this and would be prepared to pay a reasonable amount if I can get two printed copies at the size I want. Any ideas?
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  2. #2
    You are correct about the borked. Pretty amazing failure on the model, but Windows 10 has 3DBuilder with a surprisingly good repair facility. First photo shows Meshmixer's Analysis/Inspector results, while the second one shows the results in Meshmixer after 3DBuilder did its thing.

    You're also right about the dish. I chopped it off to get a fast easy measurement and it's tiny compared to the 200 mm overall length of the vessel. That's a part better suited for resin printing.

    This is Meshmixer's analysis. It looks like a sea urchin, with all those "spines." I didn't even try using Meshmixer's built-in repair facility. I felt the entire model would disappear as a result.

    The "after" version shows no problems at all.

    Here's the dish after it's been excised.
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  3. #3
    I've cut the ship in half and removed the dish at the original location (I hope), which would allow you to print with the smallest amount of supports. It might be necessary to sand away some of the hull where the dish attaches, but this was a "quick and dirty" sort of approach.
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  4. #4
    That's amazing! Thank you so much. I'll try to get it printed and let you know how it turns out...

  5. #5
    If you aren't in a screaming hurry (and are US based), I can probably print it for you. I'd print the ship in PLA and the dish in semi-flexible resin, to reduce breakage. I haven't done a cost assessment, so I don't have a quote at the moment.

  6. #6
    I'm not in a hurry (been trying to work out how to get this done since about April...). Sadly I'm in the UK. I'm just looking at quotes from Shapeways, and realising that 200mm along the Y axis is BIG and therefore expensive (like several hundred quid even for the "value" materials). Right now I'm pricing a 125mm long version. Would you recommend Shapeways, and if so what material(s)?
    Right now, printing the entire model as one piece, dish and all, they're offering Multi Jet Fusion Plastic at (round numbers) £70, TPU at £160, SLA Plastic at £500, PA11(SLS) at £135, Fine Detail Plastic at £175, and aluminium for £1400 (!).

    Getting so they'll even give me a quote is a massive step forward so thanks again.

  7. #7
    If you shrink the model to 125 mm length, the dish may become problematic, as the individual strut components will become proportionally smaller.

    I have no experience with using a service, although the prices are quite amazing, but not surprising. A miniatures modeling friend had a 25 mm figure done with the MultiJet method for US$45, I think, barely a thumb's size.

    I've a question or two, not suitable for open discussion, sending via message system.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    not a problem - my resin printer arrives wednesday and I can print the ship in 2 halves no problem.

    Also in the uk :-)

    pm me for details.
    Definitely cheaper than shapeways :-)

    I can make some line up sockets and glue the two halves together
    You'll need to paint it yourself - artistic I am not.

    Plus I've already got the files :-)

    Had a quick slice - I could make it a lot larger than 200mm if you wanted.

    Up to 400x427 (weirdly it's wider than it is long).
    Although that would involve about 76 hours printing - so, not cheap.

    the 200mm model would only be 18 hours printing.
    So much cheaper :-)

    it also looks like |i could make one 100mm long as a single super detailed model on the resin printer - possibly a little larger.

    But obviously i'll have much better idea when I've actually got the machine and had a play.
    The slicer says it'll work :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-10-2022 at 04:03 PM.

  9. #9
    @curious aardvark, as I've been working on this project from the point of creating the split files, etc, other problems have arisen. The individual members of the dish and tower are too fine to be printed, which resulted in me creating the solid equivalent of the tower with visual details as a replacement. It printed fine, although I used the wrong resin!

    With the tower sliced away from the top, the entire model will fit in my resin printer without splitting it. The split dropped in the middle of "disaster area" text which is itself exceedingly small detail. Any split in that area would be near-impossible to sand smooth to invisibility. It would be more practical to find a different plane to perform the split, if that's the direction considered.

    I'm working with SonOf at the moment to complete the project, although I recognize that shipping is going to be better on your side of the pond.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    tell me about it.
    postal costs to the states have trebled in the last 18 months.
    And from what I have seen - it's gone up by even more to send something from the states to the uk.

    If i end up doing it I'll send you some of the money :-)
    Can't say fairer than that.

    But look into the postage properly before you decide to send it.
    And bear in mind that what you declare on the customs label can also make a lot of difference.

    From the USA: a commercial package valued over $10 will incrue 20% vat plus a £10 processing charge (might have gone up since i last had someone daft enough not to listen to me).
    A package listed as 'gift' has the vat and charge kick in at $20 value.

    If you were to send one or two models with tracking - I reckon you'd be looking at a minimum of $60-100.
    I got a small package (about 300gms weight) from the states 2 years ago - that cost over $60. And that was pre-pandemic when it was still relatively cheap.

    It's always been stupidly expensive to ship from the states to the uk.
    I dropped out of a couple of gift exchanges on forums because I just couldn't justify what the poor sods were paying in postage, kind of spoiled the whole thing when you saw the postage cost and just felt guilty. .

    The usa is currently the most expensive place to send parcels from or to that I know of.

    Canada and australia - are both about 30% cheaper for me to ship too.
    As I've done all three recently :-)

    It's crippled my international market in moulds.

    So I haven't offered to print the models in any way to spite you - just to try and save the chap some money :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-11-2022 at 07:30 AM.

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