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Old 05-21-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
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Default 3D printers and custom airplane

Hi all,

I have been really interested in purchasing a desktop 3D printer for various uses, however what I thought would be great is the ability to make own 3D plane without the need to put up with cheap, inaccurate and low quality kits.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with 3D printers? or is aware anyone attempted to make any custom made planes with them?

The end results ( taking into the account that the 3D image is accurate) would be outstanding! and far superior to any kits, Cost won't be too much ( Except the printer cost ).

Share your knowledge and experience
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

I guess it depends on which scale you are looking at. 3D printers have a fixed length x breath x height limit, as far as i know they will be great for 1:500 and below. I forgot where i've seen 3D printed 1:500 scale F-18 fighter jets and they look fantastic for their size!
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

my main concern with printing planes would be, How good are you at painting and setting decals?
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

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my main concern with printing planes would be, How good are you at painting and setting decals?
You probably want to 3D print them in white or grey, then paint and add decal as desire. You don't want to take away all of the challenge just to produce highly accurate, detailed and easy to work with models.

Wasn't aware of the fixed scale though, i thought there was certain flexibility around the size. I guess it depends on the printer itself.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

3D printing of 1:200 GSE should be possible. We just got a 3D printer at work that is available for personal projects. Time to break out the 3D modeling software...
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

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Originally Posted by ukjohna View Post
3D printing of 1:200 GSE should be possible. We just got a 3D printer at work that is available for personal projects. Time to break out the 3D modeling software...
Oh Lucky You !
Certainly share photos with us if you end up printing any thing.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

i worked with 3d printed models a few times. be aware that the surface will be very rough and will need a lot of refinish (sanding&putty several times) before you can even start with a primer paint.

it depens on what 3d printer you will purchase. most home 3d printers use extrusion method with a plastic yarn.

results will look like this:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3624/...ef6b8f9b_b.jpg


theres also a method of injekt printing on several layers of powder.
models will appear like that:

http://s3images.coroflot.com/user_fi...xzCO6mwZoZ.jpg


if you look closely you will see the roughness of the results. basically 3printing is NOT useful for very small models with extreme details.
so think about it before purchasing that printer... i personally would always prefer injection moulded kits over 3d printed planes. way more precise!
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

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Originally Posted by SgtMoody View Post
I guess it depends on which scale you are looking at. 3D printers have a fixed length x breath x height limit, as far as i know they will be great for 1:500 and below. I forgot where i've seen 3D printed 1:500 scale F-18 fighter jets and they look fantastic for their size!
I've got some 1:500 MiG-29s.






If anyone has any advice on how to paint something this small, i would very much appreciate it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

cool. as far as i can see, these migs are made by stereolithography, which is way more precise than 3d printing (unfortunately nothing for home production).
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

AFAIK they're 3D printed. I ordered them through Shapeways, but i don't know what techniques they use to make them.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

Quote:
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I've got some 1:500 MiG-29s.

If anyone has any advice on how to paint something this small, i would very much appreciate it.
Ah yes! You're the guy! seems like i mixed up the type of jet
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

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Ah yes! You're the guy! seems like i mixed up the type of jet
Easily done in this small scale.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

3D printing gives a result that takes an awful lot of cleaning up. If you are looking to do this, I would strongly suggest CNC milling. It works in the opposite way, instead of adding resin, it cuts and removes it, using a 3D model as reference. Here is an example of my own 1:200 scale model being produced with the help of CNC. As you can see, there are no "steps" like you get with 3D prints. It requires considerably less cleaning up.

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Old 05-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

I've actually started a thread about this on wings900:

New Mould making; project a320 - Wings900 Discussion Forums
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

Excellent posts guys!
I am glad there are people who have already experienced the 3D printing. I didnt think the surface would be rough and needs lot of sanding, I guess as the printing technology improves we achieve better results.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

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Originally Posted by jkwan12345 View Post
I've actually started a thread about this on wings900:

New Mould making; project a320 - Wings900 Discussion Forums
Sweet , Looking forward to see it completed
Hows the quality ? What method of printing was used with what type of material?
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:36 AM   #17
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Lightbulb 3D printer <$100

FYI, found this article very interesting;

3D printer by Sask. man gets record crowdsourced cash - Saskatchewan - CBC News
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

I ordered a few 3D printed aircraft off Shapeways. They're in 1:600 scale, so they go nicely with Schabaks models. These aircraft are intended to be used as game pieces for miniature wargaming. They come without gears and are pretty fragile (the material according to Shapeways is called Frosted Ultra Detail, or FUD). The level of detail is not much, but then you have to remember two things: these aircraft are tiny (see the pen in the pictures?) AND these are designed by individuals and uploaded onto Shapeways for production, so the level of detail you get depends on the designer. With larger scales and more solid materials, I'm sure someone could come up with something good eventually.



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Old 04-23-2014, 12:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: 3D printers and custom airplane

3D Printing can offer a wide range of materials and surface finishes. We sell 3D printed aircraft at 1:144, 1:200, 1:400 and 1:500 scale without any problems with aircraft size. We print using an SLA process (we produced the fighter jets shown earlier in this post) and this material can show detail as small as 0.1mm so its very accurate. Its true that some prints can require some polishing or sanding but on our machine we print at 16-25 microns so its incredibly good surface quality compared to most machines. While its easy to model and print aircraft the real issue is the painting and decaling them so if you have the time and skill then custom models would work. FYI our online shop is located here:

Shop - PrintedPlanes

and our gallery is located here:

Gallery - PrintedPlanes

with new images added each week
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