Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Latest from Shapeways

I just got a few more models from Shapeways, and I've taken some photographs of them, and processed those photos in the most unflattering way possible to bring out as much detail as possible.

Frankly, it's not really fair to be looking at them like this, because in real life the models are very small and many of the faults aren't really visible. However, it's good to know exactly what you can expect from 3d printing.

First up, the 1/100 scale Fiat 2000 in WSF nylon. This is the first WSF model I've done on which all of the rivets have printed visibly. I thought that I had gone overboard  by using 0.8 mm diameter icospheres; in the renders they looked like footballs glued to the hull of the beast, but in the flesh they actually look pretty good; though actually grossly over-scale, they don't look horribly over-scale. 0.7 - 0.8 mm seems to be the sweet spot for SF nylon printing.

That means that it's not really possible to replicate the exact rivet patterns on specific vehicles; they'd be far too crowded. I just have to apply rivets in such a way that it gives the right impression of how they were laid out.

This is the Benz-Mgebrov armoured car, again in WSF nylon. From memory, I think these rivets used 0.5 or 0.6 mm icospheres, and though some are clearly visible, others in problematic printing areas are quite indistinct. Also, the limitations of the material means that the sharp edges between the various angled plates have been softened quite substantially.

I haven't hollowed this model (yet), so I haven't offered it in FUD resin — it would just be too expensive. If there's a request for it I'll do it, but not until then; I'd rather be making new models than revisiting old ones.

Lastly, the Vickers Light Tank Mk.III, this time in FUD resin. The rivets on this model are 0.5mm diameter, and they've all printed clearly, plate edges are clear and sharp, and surface detail is all nicely visible (though terrible to photograph, being translucent).

The FUD resin is much, much more expensive than WSF, but if you want a sharp, clean finish, it's clearly much, much superior. Shapeways charges by material volume for FUD, so hollowing out anything that can conceivably be hollow is imperative to keep costs down