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437 hits since 2 Jan 2019
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aynsley68302 Jan 2019 10:21 a.m. PST

So I've been looking around the forum here on 3D printing.

Could someone post a few links to 3D printing for dummies type things please ? Have looked around on here and the web but haven't been able to get a clear picture of what's what.

Would like to do ancients type stuff, fortifications, buildings , walls etc in both 15 and 25mm.

Any help would be much appreciated, thank you.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 11:34 a.m. PST

Are you talking about digitally designing your own models for printing? There are usually specific forums online for each software package.

For more general discussion, Shapeways has some decent user forums:

If you're looking for software recommendations, there are plenty of us on TMP who do digital sculpting and would be happy to discuss the relative merits of various software suites.

Walking Sailor02 Jan 2019 12:11 p.m. PST

Note that anything about 3D goes out of date rather quickly.
TMP link

SeattleGamer02 Jan 2019 6:50 p.m. PST

@aynsley683 … As you could be asking about several things, I will give it a shot, and you can then clarify.

#1 – Do you mean "I am thinking about getting my own 3D printer and know almost nothing about them. My intended purpose is to print my own terrain for ancients in several sizes. How do I learn more about 3D printers in general?"

Google is your friend. Go searching for 3D printing tutorials. You will find loads of blog posts and articles. Some generic, and some written by people who got a printer for the same reason as you … to print gaming terrain.

But in general, there are a couple of different types of printers. The most common (cheapest) is one that lays a thin layer of hot plastic down, and builds up the desired item one layer at a time. Those are FDM printers. A number of types of plastics can be used, but the standards are PLA and ABS. One is easier to work with but more fragile, the other is harder to work with (requires an heated enclosure to do properly), but hardier. There are other types as well.

Another type of printer uses resins. Those are more expensive, harder to work with and clean up, but can provide a better final product. Those are usually called SLA printers.

So go look for reviews of top FDM or SLA printers, get a feel for the terminology, the costs, and the final product produced.

Side Note: I went with FDM. I am interested in terrain, not actual humanoid figures. I don't think the tech is there yet to produce a good looking 30mm figure with a face, etc. But the tech is easily there to make dungeon walls, caverns, brick houses, roads, fences, etc.

#2 – Do you mean "I want to print terrain for ancients, in both 15mm and 25mm. How do I find people who have designed the .STL files so I can buy them, and then print my own?"

Many people with talent have been designing files for a few years now, and more are joining in. I started out by thinking maybe, just maybe, I would learn the complicated software, and design my own stuff. I quickly realized it was far easier and cheaper to pay someone else to do a much better job for me.

You can again goole looking for terrain files. They are generally called .STLs (at least for FDM printers). There are kickstarter campaigns all the time offering new sets of terrain files for relatively cheap, considering how much you get.

Go check out Printable Scenery. They have lots and lots of terrain for many periods. It will give you an idea of what is out there and the detail available.

A recent campaign was All Roads Lead To Rome. Check out that campaign here. Lots of photos. You can find their web site too.

If you are getting a printer, you can try out free files by going to Thingiverse. Once there, type in something like ancients and see what pops up. If you enter something like Dungeons you will find loads of free files to make dungeon (or fortification/castle) walls.

Without paying to buy something specific, you can download these files for free, and get used to playing and calibrating and working your printer, so you can get an actual "product" in your hands, and see just how cool it is.

You can track down more "ancients" files over time.

#3 – Do you mean "I want to learn how to make my own files" then others will need to chime in. Several good (and free) cad programs, but learning how to make a square might be easy. Texturing it, and making connections, then adding a doorway, plus a door, etc … that is when it gets harder. Not my thing. But others here like to do that sort of thing.

So please clarify what you meant by your initial posting, and helpful people can jump in with more pointers!

aynsley68303 Jan 2019 5:46 a.m. PST

A mix of question 1 and 2 I suppose, looking at printers in general and to be able to buy the files/plans of what I want made and have printer make it.
For instance the samurai wall set a few posts down from mine on this board would be the sort of thing I'm looking at.
Yes I've done the youtube, google and blogs thing but they all have different printers etc. so it's difficult to get a handle on what's good or overpriced.

UshCha03 Jan 2019 7:18 a.m. PST

OK some lessons/facts. I am a rabid printer enthusisat. I have a Replicator 2 and have had it about 3 years. On average it runs about 2 hrs a day for every day we have had it. thses are the things I would bear in mind.

Key issues:

1) The printer really needs to be indoors as it needs a stable temperature. Ours is in the dinning room and it can play up if the room is not at room temperature.

2) Runs take a long time 1 1/2 to 2hs is a typical minimum even for a relatively small print like a 1/144 vehicle. So wherever it is make sure folk will tolerate it for hours on end, some are quieter than others.

3) Printers mine was £2,000.00 GBP new – but they are much cheaper now. A friend has a Wanho I3 Mini and its results are as good as ours but the print bed is small (about 150 by 150mm). I have seen good reports and models from the Wanho I3 which is the mini's big brother. You need the latest version. There may be lots of other good printers but I will dare only to mention ones I have seen results from.

4) The printer is only as good as the slicer, Cura is not bad. We have just moved to Simplify 3D,certainly a step above many incuding Cura for ease of use particularly generating supports. However its expensive about $150 USD but to us well woth it.

4) Make sure you get a printer that does take 3rd party fillament. Manufactures filament can be twice the price of a good standard fillament like rep rap.

5) ABS should not be printed in the house! It stinks to high hell and the accuracy is not as good as PLA. PLA is ok for models and most low load DIY. There are now other materials like PETG which is tougher than PLA but prints more or less on the same settings. However its typicaly twice the price. Yes I have run a few test prints.

6) My suggestion is don't spend to much to start with. Twin Head printers and colour printers are on the way but not yet at a good price point. Cut your teeth on somthing like I suggested and upgarde If/when you really need to and they will have improved twin head printing.

aynsley68303 Jan 2019 7:32 a.m. PST

Thank you, am currently looking at filament type like the CR10s on youtube, just as a starting point before moving onto other models and types.

As there are so many options within each printer it's a bit overwhelming, especially as all the youtubers when describing anything use a lot of acronyms, which then requires me to find out what they mean to understand the whole thing.

But it's a learning experience.

SeattleGamer03 Jan 2019 12:21 p.m. PST

Definitely go with a well know printer. Getting the best deal ever on a printer that nobody out there has means you have no support.

You go with any number of well-known printers and you ahve an instant community of other people who have that printer, and are happy to share their tips. Prusa has a HUGE community. Wanhao has a large community, as does Monoprice (which sells a Wanhao clone). Both Creality and Ender printers have been selling like crazy. Large print beds (something that was hard to get just a few years ago), good printing results.

Terrain pieces are often large, so going bigger can be a help down the road. I went with the Monoprice Maker Select which has a 200 x 200 mm bed, and it has been handy at times. Some of the newer printers have even larger beds, and that can really help.

If your budget is under $500 USD look for reviews of the Crealty and Ender models. I've watched some recently and they were very well liked. Good features, good price.

olddat Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2019 8:54 p.m. PST

I can verify what SeattleGamer has said. Depending on your budget, you can find a printer that you can operate quite easily. I have an Ender 3 pro and i have had the teething issues everyone goes through. A friend has a Prusa and has some issues that he attributes to the newness of operating a 3D printer. There are a number of reasons to have one but it boils down to will it do what you want it to?

One last thing, if and or when you get one you will definitely like what it can do.

Charles M.

aynsley68304 Jan 2019 4:29 p.m. PST

Thank you one and all, just needed the general pointers.

Still looking at the CR-10 , as it seems to be very popular and has a large building area , also like the look of the Prusa because of the excellent support. Will shop around some more then just dive in and see what happens.

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