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3D Printer

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  • 3D Printer

    Hi
    Im a total newbie to 3d printing and don't have a printer yet but am wanting to buy one to print a sub. What size print area is suitable and recommendations for which printer is a good place to start.

  • #2
    I got the Ender 3 Pro and it is very useful for printing subs. Doing the 1/48 XXI and a 1/32 Type II on it. Interestingly the parts just about fit onto the build platform, which leads me to believe this is no coincidence and the creators of these models deliberately chose a size that fits a very common printer.

    Also found an I-400 online and it too is broken into segments just big enough to fit the platform. All you need is a lot of patience as these builds can be easily 200 hours + in total.

    Comment


    • #3
      I saw an Ender advertisement on my Facebook feed. Looked interesting. My first thought was printing scale figures.

      Comment


      • #4
        For figures, I would go resin, like the Elegoo Mars Pro 2
        If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

        Comment


        • #5
          My problem is, so little time, so many boats I’d like to build, and I need to keep at it. Apprehensive about a long learning curve on this subject.

          Comment


          • #6
            Regarding scale: 3d printing is your savior on that one. As a long time model builder scale always plagued me, especially when building dioramas etc. Often the one piece you need is in the wrong scale. 3d printers definitely can help here, but there are some caveats:

            - First you need a good source. Scanning, especially of small and edgy stuff is still a bad solution. A better approach is to find an existing 3D model online, download and make it print ready, which often is not that hard to do.
            - Printing tiny stuff is difficult too with regular printers. In those cases I rather use an online service. Pricey but great results. Just ordered that way 1/48 figures for my sub.

            There isn't that much of a learning curve with 3d printing if you select one that comes ready made/assembled. Ideally one that is in an enclosure (Dremel makes one of the best, pricey but superb).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tifosi12 View Post
              I got the Ender 3 Pro and it is very useful for printing subs. Doing the 1/48 XXI and a 1/32 Type II on it. Interestingly the parts just about fit onto the build platform, which leads me to believe this is no coincidence and the creators of these models deliberately chose a size that fits a very common printer.

              Also found an I-400 online and it too is broken into segments just big enough to fit the platform. All you need is a lot of patience as these builds can be easily 200 hours + in total.
              Can you share the link to the I-400?
              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Here is the link:
                https://www.stlfinder.com/model/i-40...PRqQ2/1745357/

                Actually a 401, not 400. Not that I would know the difference. The model apparently has some flaws in the details and the creator promised to come up with a new version. Quite frankly it looks good enough to me. That said it does need some work: He made the tail section with rudder and dive planes as one piece, so you need to take this apart with some CAD program. Also the interior is a bit rough, I would have added the support for the WDC in there. And he designed it for bajonett, which I'm not a fan of, especially not when done with plastic instead of metal parts (this is where I could start a tirade about a kit I bought from a manufacturer who is clearly out of his mind with that stupid design, but I won't name any names).

                So at some point I will have to clean this up and start printing.

                BTW: the 3D print files for the other two subs can be bought from the Drydocks

                Comment


                • #9
                  My print area is 12 x 12 x 12", which can handle 99% of the work I do. Depending on the scale of what you want to print, YMMV. The larger the boat, the longer it takes to print.

                  Printer recommendations are going to be all over the place since there are so many to choose from. You get what you pay for, but it doesn't make sense to spend >$1000 if you are just getting started.

                  If you only want to print only PLA, (especially when first starting out) you don't need an enclosed printer, but if you want to print with ASA or ABS (increased heat tolerance if the boat is exposed to direct sun for very long) you'll need an enclosure and a heated print bed that can support those types of filaments.

                  Features like print resume after power interruption, and filament sensors that pause the print until new filament is loaded are very nice to have.

                  A low-budget printer will likely generate very visible layer lines which require a lot of filling and sanding to remove. Poorly-designed models yield equally poor results; the printer only does what it's commanded; it cannot compensate for a bad model.

                  Unless you want to be totally dependent on other people to create the objects you print, the ability to create (or modify) 3D files is a valuable skill. It takes years to get good enough to start from scratch, but you get true freedom to create. Simple mods like extending a flange or building WTC supports do not require as much proficiency and can be learned quickly.

                  Outside of that, master the slicer software. Start small - like printing lots of test cubes and other test objects before tackling something like an RC boat to understand and work with the limitations of your printer.

                  A set of digital calipers will get a lot of use.

                  CCC
                  Last edited by CC Clarke; 12-24-2020, 06:20 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CC Clarke View Post
                    My print area is 12 x 12 x 12", which can handle 99% of the work I do. Depending on the scale of what you want to print, YMMV. The larger the boat, the longer it takes to print.

                    Printer recommendations are going to be all over the place since there are so many to choose from. You get what you pay for, but it doesn't make sense to spend >$1000 if you are just getting started.

                    If you only want to print only PLA, (especially when first starting out) you don't need an enclosed printer, but if you want to print with ASA or ABS (increased heat tolerance if the boat is exposed to direct sun for very long) you'll need an enclosure and a heated print bed that can support those types of filaments.

                    Features like print resume after power interruption, and filament sensors that pause the print until new filament is loaded are very nice to have.

                    Unless you want to be totally dependent on other people to create the objects you print, the ability to create (or modify) 3D files is a valuable skill. It takes years to get good enough to start from scratch, but you get true freedom to create. Simple mods like extending a flange or building WTC supports do require as much proficiency and can be learned quickly.

                    A set of digital calipers will get a lot of use.
                    Agreed with most. My comment about an enclosed printer is more to the point that it could be hard for a newbie to assemble a non enclosed printer. E.g. the Ender 3 comes in bits and pieces. They go nicely together but it is not always straight forward. An enclosed printer normally comes fully assembled.

                    I would also recommend a self leveling printer. The ender requires manual intervention which is doable but gets tedious after a while and is not super precise, which will then cause warping of the object.

                    Finally take a close look at the feeding mechanism for the filament: The one in my Ender is a pain to deal with. Expensive designs like the Dremel make that a lot easier.

                    Then there is "remote sensing" where you can hook your printer up to the internet so you can monitor its progress from your iPhone. Might sound a bit over the top but once you start printing something big (like a sub made of a dozen pieces each requiring 16+ hours of print job) you would like to check in to the print job from time to time. Nothing is more annoying than checking in after a day and see a pile of filament spaghetti instead of a nicely printed object. Then again you might roll the dice and take that risk. It doesn't happen very often.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just buy a prusa......yeah you pay gold but it works every time you select print.
                      Built area does not matter.....slice your design you made, downloaded or bought in pieces and assemble them afterwards.

                      Be aware that printed pieces need to some (a lot imo) afterwork to make tem presentable.

                      I own a prusa MK3 and a anycubic proton.

                      Grtz,
                      Bart


                      Practical wisdom is only to be learned in the school of experience.
                      "Samuel Smiles"
                      http://scale-submarine.com/index.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tifosi12 View Post
                        Here is the link:
                        https://www.stlfinder.com/model/i-40...PRqQ2/1745357/

                        Actually a 401, not 400. Not that I would know the difference. The model apparently has some flaws in the details and the creator promised to come up with a new version. Quite frankly it looks good enough to me. That said it does need some work: He made the tail section with rudder and dive planes as one piece, so you need to take this apart with some CAD program. Also the interior is a bit rough, I would have added the support for the WDC in there. And he designed it for bajonett, which I'm not a fan of, especially not when done with plastic instead of metal parts (this is where I could start a tirade about a kit I bought from a manufacturer who is clearly out of his mind with that stupid design, but I won't name any names).

                        So at some point I will have to clean this up and start printing.

                        BTW: the 3D print files for the other two subs can be bought from the Drydocks
                        Thank You for the link for the I-401 files
                        George

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by george View Post

                          Thank You for the link for the I-401 files
                          George

                          My pleasure. In case you do something with them as improving, I wouldn't mind getting your update. Likewise I could keep you posted once I get around to do this.

                          Japanese WW2 boats are so rare, pitty.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lindberg made one BUT it had design issues to a sharp eye BUT if looked at from a distance, would be usable. Still see them on ebay from time to time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use Cura slicer software, which is free, and works very well for me with my much modified Creality Ender 2 machine. I think Creality have ironed a lot of bugs out of their machines since i got my Ender 2. I found the mechanical hardware reasonable (not perfect but serviceable), but the electronics had issues, and i ended up replacing he mainboard, PSU and cooling fans on my machine. The board on my machine seemed to lose its firmware, resulting in a blank display, i wasn't alone with this fault. The fans went very noisy, and oiling only temporarily relieved that, so i replaced them with old computer fans I had laying around. The PSU put a ticking noise on the workshop intercom system, which suggested poor noise suppression- I replaced it with a secondhand xbox PSU.

                              I expect that's thoroughly put you off, but there are plenty of people with totally stock Creality printers that haven't missed a beat, and I think they have reviewed their quality control since the days when i got mine.

                              I've only worked with PLA until now, but recently purchased a reel of ABS to try out some experiments with. Cura has a mode which prints a draft shield around the item being printed, and this is specifically for plastics with a higher melting point that suffer from warping on open frame type printers. No experience yet, but have feedback from others it works well, and have seen a video of it in operation, so I'm hopeful of a successful outcome- we'll see.
                              DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

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