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"Testing files for 3D printing" Topic

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407 hits since 12 Sep 2017
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MechanicalHorizon Inactive Member12 Sep 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

I've been working on building several sets of scenery for wargames and was planning on a Kickstarter for them.

I've seen well over 20 KS for similar things, just selling the files rather than resin castings.

I'd like to do the same, since I'm designing the models to be used for multiple scales, so the backer can print them for 6mm, 15mm, or larger heroic scales.

But I can't afford to print out a test print for every single piece, there are too many models right now and it would be ridiculously expensive. I can print out a few to have painted and pictures taken, but not all of them.

Would testing the models out in software like Meshmixer, Netfabb or Tinkercad be enough to assure they would print properly?

I know you can't account for everything since there are variables like the printer, material and software used to print. Most of the Kickstarters I've found have a disclaimer stating such.

I'd just like to be able to make the files as useable as possible.

Lupulus12 Sep 2017 2:12 p.m. PST

Hmm, tricky one.
I'd say you don't need to, provided you guarantee that you will update the files of unprintable models (for a certain, stated value of "unprintable")

If you're making modular buildings, will you be using openlock? That seems to be more-or-less standard now.

Zagloba12 Sep 2017 9:06 p.m. PST

You need to check in as many slicers as you can-at least Cura and Slic3r.

The more prints you can show the more likely I am to back. Though to be honest I'm having trouble of thinking of a period that hasn't already been covered.


Personal logo Fergal Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 7:06 p.m. PST

I'd invest in a mid-range 3D printer and start printing away. I'm pretty sure your supposed to have more than 'renders' available when you run a KS. There is no substitute for actually printing the models, you'll find things you can do better with everyone, thereby increasing your skill. You could find out each of your files is not printable for Joe average, that would be a disaster.

UshCha14 Sep 2017 11:07 a.m. PST

Feral has got it right. You proably want a very basic printer, one of the Wanhoe I3, person clones as your punters may only have this. Plus unless you are an expert or very simple models they may need support. You may need to draw these to make a decent job and they definitely need testing.

MechanicalHorizon Inactive Member14 Sep 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

Unfortunately I can't afford to buy a printer right now.

From what I've gathered from TMP, other forums and other Kickstarters for 3D printable scenery having a few samples printed is enough, you don't have to print out every single piece. If some of the parts print out well, it's likely the other will.

I've seen several successful KS for 3D printable scenery that didn't have any printed samples at all, and no complaints from backers about printing issues, since all the parts were checked in various software packages.

UshCha15 Sep 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

You would have to watch out, ther is a long way between what can be printed at places like Shapeways using laser sintering and what you can produce on a cheap fillament printers and I would not think many of your customers will use laser sintering. Surely a Kickstarter is there so your buyers fund up-front a printer so you can check all the parts and test any problems your customers find at the end.

MechanicalHorizon Inactive Member15 Sep 2017 11:33 a.m. PST


I can print out a few samples to make sure they work and my sculpting style works, but I can't print out all the parts, since there will be almost 100 of them.

I've seem many successful KS that don't show any test prints at all, and some that show a few but not all.

SeattleGamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2017 7:22 p.m. PST

@MechanicalHorizon … Perhaps you entice some people who do have a printer to print some of your designs and report back with photos? You get five people to volunteer to print 3 items each and you have 15 printed samples to show. Might also help your campaign, because the volunteers could also share the printer they used, and they would probably all have something different.

Might be nice in your campaign to have a piccy that shows "Thing A printed on a Wanhao Duplicator i3" and then "Thing B printed on a Monoprice Maker Select v2" and so forth.

I don't know what sort of terrain items you are talking about (buildings, scatter terrain, rivers, etc), but I would be willing to give a few of your files a trial.

It would of course be on the honor system, I would agree not to share the files with anyone, ever, nor post any photos until after your campaign was launched.

MechanicalHorizon Inactive Member15 Sep 2017 9:20 p.m. PST


I have asked around and can get some parts printed.

I also found out that the college I'm attending has a "dirt lab" with several 3D printers, but I don't know what kind. They don't charge anything for their use either.

So I will be able to get a number of sample buildings/models printed, most likely in ABS. They do have a resin printer, but they only have 1 and it's usually booked.

I think most backers would only have access to one that prints in ABS or PLA, unless they use an online printing service.

UshCha16 Sep 2017 2:35 a.m. PST

I would suggest you print in PLA. It is the cheapest and by all accounts prints with better accuracy than ABS. Many of us have printers in our house and ABS is unsuitable for a house as it STINKS when printing. Plus some cheap printers are really PLA only as they do not have a heated bed.

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