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Rapid Prototyping Minifigures

Discussion in 'Digis - Digital Miniatures 3D Modeling' started by magicmodel, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. magicmodel New Member

    I have worked in rapid prototyping bureau for many years.
    But have always wanted to make miniatures.
    Just wondered if I were to buy one of these would anyone be interested in trying out some imagination creations?

    You might want to explain what it is and what it does. I guess that means I am not interested enough to hit google for myself :)
    Scotty likes this.
  3. magicmodel New Member

    Sure! Here goes...
    This my friends is a high resolution 3dprinter which allows for the physical creation of digital objects.
    It is capable of re-producing most, if not all, of the fine details that all you talented people put in to your beautifully sculpted, and precisely executed digital models.
    Check out Robert Vignone's work and the superb result he is getting.
    These rapid prototyping machines are no longer reserved for product design and Formula 1 wind tunnel testing, they are available now on your desk.
    But if you don't have the skills and can't be doing with all the messy resiny stuff then leave it to magicmodel to bring your creations to life.
    MalcC likes this.
  4. pokrad A Fixture

    Is the formlab 1+ (pic on the first post) good enough for miniatures? 300 micron details make me suspicious...we are talking mostly of 1/72 to max 1/16 scales.
    If you can make good quality within reasonable price - you could get very busy...as for now there are two types of prints available:
    1. cheap and unusable,
    2. very expensive with good quality
    renarts, napoleonpeart and Scotty like this.
  5. magicmodel New Member

    Thanks for the reply pokrad.
    The Formalbs 3dprinter I would advise for 1/32 to 1/16 but for anything smaller than 1/16 I would recommend having the model created on a b9creator which uses a slighly different tech but essentially the same principles apply, only even higher details are achievable.

    If there is enough interest in this then I will certainly consider purchasing a Form1 to cater for this industries needs.
    Prices of models would be affordable, although would vary from figure to figure depending on:

    1. Integrity of digital file (STL or OBJ format)
    2. Level of detail
    3. Volume of figure i.e. big figure means using up more resin!

    Hope this helps to encourage the planetfigure crowd and fills them with more confidence and hope.
    Any more questions welcome.
  6. 1969 A Fixture

    I think it's only a matter of time before figures are printed in mass rather than cast in rubber and resin from a printed master, as is the norm now. I can see it being viable if you can match the price of a traditional cast figure in resin. Would be very interested in seeing a print from the printer you have shown to see the quality it can produce.
  7. magicmodel New Member

    I think you have a point Steve, as originally that was what stereo-lithography was known for - making a really good master for a silicon tool.
    Now that the machines and materials are more affordable it makes sense to do small batches directly on the 3dprinter.

    As far as examples go I have included a typical photo of results from both machines which relate to the figure printing industry.
    The grey one is Formlabs and the red one is B9Creator.


  8. pokrad A Fixture

    I think there is a misunderstanding, 1/16 is the largest scale -aprox. 120mm , 1/32 is aprox. 54 mm, - there are some variations, but more or less this is it.
    "Standard" for the bust is more or less 1/9 or 1/10 /they are big scale but small in height and require also high level of detail.
    As I said, I think "FormLab 1+" is not enough for neither of those scales,
    for example FUD material on Shapeways is more or less 300 microns, and I know for a fact that it looks terrible.
    Off course, I might be wrong, It would be great if someone has actual experience in printing miniatures on this model...
  9. magicmodel New Member

    Sure pokrad, apologies for the wrong scaling factor. Which also brings me to another extremely useful advantage of this technology. Scalability is a piece of cake because once you have the digital file scaling up or down is as simple as clicking a button. Although the supports may need to be regenerated, but that's about it.

    I agree FUD is poor and at the moment the technology is still no match for the injection moulded plastic kits which are made using a cnc'd tool (I believe) boasting higher tolerances and smoother surfaces, but it depends really what your expectations/requirements/standards are.

    Saying that I guess the majority of users of this forum have really high standards when it comes to quality, which is perfectly understandable.
    I realise that many are still sceptical of the technology due to the media hype of the last two years but for the figure making it really does put the power in your hands.
  10. pokrad A Fixture

    Look for the "hand sculpted" pieces here on the forum and You will see that the level of details is insane:
    Check this one for example (click on picture to enlarge):


    OK, we might not get that much details from printer, but it should be as close as possible ;)
    mandreas and Gra30 like this.
  11. Jerry_Groschke Active Member

    so far i know the form 1+ can print in 25 mircons resolution, but i only know the reults of 100 microns - looks good
  12. pokrad A Fixture

    Yes, You are right, 300 microns on the Formlab 1+ is for "feature size" (the thinnest wall size or thinnest point), and the resolution is 25 microns (thickness of one layer).
    It's sometimes hard to compare those data, as every producer has it's own way of showing tech characteristics.
    Shapeways FUD has minimal wall thickness also 300 microns, but resolution is 100 microns (4 times lower than Formlab 1+),
    so it's logical to expect much better results from FormLab 1+, but I do not see it:


    It would be great to see Formlab 1+ miniature print in high res pic, primed (non transparent) and in known scale - that would show all we need to know ;)

    BTW: It is interesting, You say 100 microns is enough (0.1 mm), FUD has that resolution (at least they said it has), but my print was not usable...
  13. Pathos Miniatures Active Member

    Hello guys,

    Do not confuse layer thickness with micron resolution.
    From my personal experience Formlabs is nowhere good for miniatures.
    B9Creator is far better in all aspects cause simply the technology he uses is better .
    Form uses laser ,b9 uses hd projector to project the light
    This means that as projector technology advances you can simply buy a better projector (like 4k) and have a "new" upgraded 3d printer.
    Where with formlabs you are "married" with the laser for a life time.
    I am attaching a photo of both of them together so you can see the difference in size.
    And yes size do matters even in 3d !!!

    3d Prototyping its not so easy as many people think.
    You don't just buy the printer and you are done.
    You need to be a "machinist" and "master" a lot of things before and if you can achieve high quality.
    This translates also to a lot of money in experimenting with different settings,resins,encapsulation silicons e.tc
    until you can adjust the printer to your needs and have consistent quality prints.
    I am attaching also some photos of a 3d prototype that I recently did with my printer which uses the technology of B9
    Notice the leather texture in the hat also the head is primed to see better the details.


    b9 creator.jpg Hat.jpg Head 1.jpg
    kaz6120, Tommys War, mandreas and 2 others like this.
  14. Jerry_Groschke Active Member

    b9 creator looks good but far away from a envision tec ;-)
    andreas do you have a b9 printer?
  15. Pathos Miniatures Active Member

    Jerry I have used a B9 as the basis and machined new parts in CNC to make him fit to my needs.
    not an easy task but its doable if you really try..
    so in a way my printer is a hybrid.
    Regarding Envisiontec I agree BUT if you look at the money you need to buy one you will reconsider !!!
    Gra30 likes this.
  16. pokrad A Fixture

    Finally a "fair" print picture: large and primed !
    Pathos, I did not even think that printing is easy, just wanted to warn a man not to buy something that will not fit the needs - and You just approved my suspicions : FormLab 1+ is not the printer for the miniatures ;)
    In the other hand your prints look fine - with that quality I would be satisfied...
    martin tabony likes this.
  17. Pathos Miniatures Active Member

    That's my point exactly Pokrad .
    The only think that matters it the quality you are getting from the printer
    all the other are just benchmarks and theories...
    martin tabony and Gra30 like this.
  18. vince wai Active Member

    Thanks for the insight, Andreas. This is really very useful advice:)

    Really like your recent releases and they shows how much the technology has reached so far.

    Keep up with the good work!

    Gra30 and Pathos Miniatures like this.
  19. magicmodel New Member

    OK then, in which case, if I buy a b9 would anyone b interested in working with me?
    Gra30 likes this.
  20. pokrad A Fixture

    As I said, most of us here do not own a printer, and if the quality-price ratio is good, there is interest for sure.
    To be more accurate, most of us tried some sort of printing service with the results I explained before:
    1. Good but expensive
    2. Cheap but crappy
    Only few have it's own printer (as Pathos Miniatures), so if the good and affordable service specialized in printing miniatures exist, I would be using it for sure...although you won't pay back your investment from just one customer,
    and certainly not from amateur like me ;)

    That is just my opinion...but I'm sure there are more that think this way...
    peedee, martin tabony and Gra30 like this.

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