Friday, 26 February 2016

White, strong and flexible frosting

At long last the first examples of Shapeways' "White Strong & Flexible" 3d printing has arrived. It's the cheapest medium available from them, and the only one that would be affordable for 15mm vehicles for the penurious likes of me.


Shapeways' own material render
(enhanced for contrast)
My opinion: it could be worse. It does show quite a decent degree of detail, but the surface is very granular, more so than I was expecting, and it shows nowhere near as much detail as their material render would suggest.

The surface can be polished, using steel burnishing tools, to mitigate this granularity somewhat. It doesn't get rid of it entirely though. Shapeways can do this themselves, but they do it by tumbling the item with little plastic balls, which (of course) pummel out not only the surface granularity, but also any small raised details, so it's no good for my purposes.

New turret and wheels for
Battlefront's 15mm Rolls Royce
armoured car
The final proof of the pudding will be in the painting, of course. I'll be interested to see how that turns out.

I suspect that the material would be fine for wargaming pieces, but it's certainly not fine enough for general scale modeling purposes.