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Thread: 3D Printing: Tutorials, Tips and questions.

  1. #1
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    Smile 3D Printing: Tutorials, Tips and questions.

    3D printing is quickly becoming a game changer for both creating customs and dioramas.
    I thought it would be helpful to have a dedicated thread to showcase the possibilities and have Q&As regarding it.

    I'm a novice at it but I am lucky that my library has a Luzbot 3D Printer which is free to use and only costs $0.10/Gram.
    One can buy files to print, create their own, or go to places like Thingiverse.
    I'm on there, also under the name Utinniii.

    Here was my first successful print.



    Until one gets the hang of it, it is probably better to print one item at at time since if one goes wrong, ALL of them get aborted.



    It is also good to watch, until you know enough. Otherwise you are wasting filament.

  2. #2
    This is a great idea. So at your library, do they have someone there to help you with the printing, or do they basically turn you loose? For the models that don't come out right, they still make you pay for the filament, though?

    Here's a link to a troubleshooting guide that has been pretty helpful to me:

    https://all3dp.com/1/common-3d-print...rinter-issues/

    I own a Hictop Creality CR-10 because it has a huge build area (11 inches width and length and 15 inch height) and is considered a really good all-around printer for its price range (got mine on amazon for around $440). I joined the CR-10 user group on facebook, and you can get some really good info there, but they don't like it when you ask basic questions like how to level the bed, etc.

    I've found youtube to be the most helpful source for most troubleshooting issues. This guy has some pretty good tutorials, and in fact I followed his videos to get my printer set up for the first time:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC55...ArS4MV1x9FT9nQ

    To anyone wanting to learn to create their own files, I recommend starting with blender, which is free software and should have all the functionality you need:

    https://www.blender.org/download/

    Obviously there are tutorials all over youtube.

    Learning 3d modeling can be a steep learning curve if you're new to it, but it is very rewarding, especially when you see an object you designed starting from little pixels on the screen come to life on your 3d printer. It got me back into 3d modeling, for sure.

    I'll post some more later on, maybe some pics and stuff. I have a few more models that I've printed for my Death Star project that I haven't shared yet.

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Commander
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    Here is another model I designed and printed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZvInF2GAqk

  4. #4
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    My library has a worker that oversees the area. Some of the workers are really helpful (and ordered colors I suggested), but one wasn't.
    I've always paid for my misprints but I could have thrown them out probably (depending on who was working). I think people should pay though since the money goes back into buying filament and they just upgraded the computer for the 4 3D printers.

    Another newbie mistake I made was when downloading files, I deleted the instructions. They are really important for knowing if supports are needed and if a brim, raft or the 3rd one is needed.
    This was helpful to me.

    I haven't watched these yet, but they look promising.

    The thing I want to learn is how to slice existing .stl files so for example, I like this queen head but don't want the torso. Or I just want the claws of a creature.

    I'd also like to know how to cut and graft different things together. For example, I want to make a Plonk. I know it can easily be done by someone that understands how.

    I've played around with Sketchup, but only a little. It seems good for geometric shapes.

    At this point, I's rather still do most things by hand and the Luzbot isn't great for fine details but it is still fun to do and I'm happy with my few successes.

    We have a coffee maker at work and I tried pouring water on some support material but it wasn't hot enough to either melt it or soften it up to move. I'm hoping I can melt the scrap and use it in my molds.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by izzymel View Post
    Here is another model I designed and printed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZvInF2GAqk
    Beautiful work as usual, izzy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Utinniii View Post
    My library has a worker that oversees the area. Some of the workers are really helpful (and ordered colors I suggested), but one wasn't.
    I've always paid for my misprints but I could have thrown them out probably (depending on who was working). I think people should pay though since the money goes back into buying filament and they just upgraded the computer for the 4 3D printers.

    Another newbie mistake I made was when downloading files, I deleted the instructions. They are really important for knowing if supports are needed and if a brim, raft or the 3rd one is needed.
    This was helpful to me.

    I haven't watched these yet, but they look promising.

    The thing I want to learn is how to slice existing .stl files so for example, I like this queen head but don't want the torso. Or I just want the claws of a creature.

    I'd also like to know how to cut and graft different things together. For example, I want to make a Plonk. I know it can easily be done by someone that understands how.

    I've played around with Sketchup, but only a little. It seems good for geometric shapes.

    At this point, I's rather still do most things by hand and the Luzbot isn't great for fine details but it is still fun to do and I'm happy with my few successes.

    We have a coffee maker at work and I tried pouring water on some support material but it wasn't hot enough to either melt it or soften it up to move. I'm hoping I can melt the scrap and use it in my molds.
    Thanks for the resources, I'll have to take a look at those when I get some time. I agree it's good to pay for your bad prints anyway, as it helps support the library, which is a good thing. If it's a maintenance issue, though, that would be on their end, as I assume they don't want people fiddling around with their expensive printers when they use them.

    So as far as knowing what type of adhesion is best, I've found that brim works fine for items that have a flat bottom, or a lot of surface area contacting the bottom. With a giraffe I tried to print, I had to use a raft, as his leg kept coming off when being touched by the nozzle during printing since his little feet were such a small surface area contacting the heat bed. That solved the problem.

    So on the printer you use, what kind of surface is the heat bed? Mine is originally glass but I replaced it with a mirror, which is supposed to be more flat, though I don't really notice a difference. I also use a glue stick and apply that directly to the bed before printing. Sometimes I can get away with printing a few items back to back without applying more glue. Some people use masking tape, but I just don't see the practicality of it, and had no luck with it at all when I used it.

    I don't know for sure if there is a way to edit files once they are in .stl form. Though if I remember correctly, you may be able to import them into a program like Maya or Blender. Cutting off the queen's head would be a very simple thing with something like that. I definitely recommend spending a little time getting familiar with those programs and just finding some basic tutorials.

    I don't know anything about sketchup other than my son has used it in school, and he seems to think the same thing, that it's good for geometric shapes, but I don't know how detailed you can get with it.

    It would be awesome to find a way to re-use extra filament in some way, as between all the support material and bad prints, this couple save money. I'll let you know if I figure out anything on that and you do the same! Oh and congrats on sticky status!

  6. #6
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    Today all 3 printers were having problems as they would stop mid print. I didn't pay for the crap that didn't work. I managed to print a FNAF security badge although some of the letter parts and details failed to print.

    I used Pebeo Cerne Relief to fill in the missing details.

    I think the bottom is ceramic but I'm not sure. Today, someone else's think lifted but I haven't had that problem unless it was super tiny (a 3.75 scale candlestick).

    I think Sketchup would be good for making jabba's dais or tables. I really don't know enough yet.

    With regards to the scrap, I think a lot of it makes good Jawa junk, and some parts can become greeblies for dioramas.
    I'm going to either dig out or buy a second smelting ladle (for melting lead) and see if the filament melts again. Then I will see if I can pour it into molds or sculpt it like clay. A fine Soldering iron (or Doodlepen or gluegun) might soften it up as well.

    Thanks! I'm hoping this thread becomes the go to place for questions and tutorials.

    I'll be posting what I'm doing once I retrieve my camera from the cottage.

  7. #7
    Grand Admiral Utinniii's Avatar
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    I was so delighted to find a Dingbot on https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:389130.
    I had one when they first came out but always wanted on to scale with my Star Wars figures.

    I'm not sure about the scale though. I may make an even smaller one. I'd love to have an accurate 1:18 scale one but I know the Luzbot won't print it that small with enough detail.

  8. #8
    The best advice is to print a successful first layer and know how to slice.

    And it's easy to 3d print, it's just frustrating at times because the first layer either didn't adhere properly, a clogged nozzle, or the slicing wasn't thorough.

    I hate long prints. Longest print I've done is 11 hours. It's because I didn't mess with the supports enough. Had I spaced them out a little, I would save time.

    The RGC landspeeder took 24 hours total time for 8 prints. I'd say that's the longest total print time on a model for me so far.

    As far as small goes, I printed a Duros head bust in 1/18th scale and to me, it looks really good. Better than an 80's JOE headsculpt, but still has the layer striations.

    What I love most is making models of my own design and printing it. Feels great.

    And then I also love looking at scenes from the films and modeling background stuff to print for dioramas.

    I'm slowly learning to model more organic things and hope to start making creatures like Voxyn and Gundarks soon. Simple arm/leg swivels are definitely possible and ball joints are too depending on size.

    I'll be posting some pics on my threads in the next few days of some of this.


    And if anyone is interested, I'm willing to print stuff for a printer use fee. I only print in PLA's though. And most models can be scaled up or down and can always be adjusted. :{J
    Disney? "Canon" you say? You must unlearn what you have learned...

    If you need anything 3d Printed PM me. :{J

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander
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    Here is my latest project. A 1:12 scale Rebel Hoth Turret. I was asked by a fellow Star Wars fan if I could commission it with a follow on Hoth Dish Turret later to follow. Here is the result of the 98% finished print. Thanks for looking:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO8Vp1qFnQc

  10. #10
    Fantastic! I've always found the 3.75" scale turrets to be undersized and would love to add one of those to my 3.75" Hoth diorama.

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