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Old 07-28-2021, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Let's talk 3D printing?

It seems that, sometimes we as collectors (especially the more niche collectors, who appreciate the older, more classic stuff) get frustrated seeing companies like AV400, JCW ect pump out new 787, 777, A350 and A380 mould's as oppose to considering a mould which has never been done when there is more than enough of a healthy supply of these models to the market - but hey, they sell and make the companies money right?
But what can the collectors that don't have that much of an interest in purchasing multiple 787 or A350 models do about this?
Well, If they don't mind doing a bit of custom work, and getting their hands dirty, they could try the 3D printing path.
As many of you know, 3D printing has improved exponentially in the amount of detail it can replicate, while it is currently still best to 3D print with plastic, 3D printing with metal has also come a long way too, and I have no doubt that one day it will be up to par with the current plastic detailing.
Which brings me to my next question.
Could the model manufacturing companies, one day use 3D printing, as opposed to the mould path?
What if, as opposed to investing $10K into a new mould, manufacturers such as Gemini, or NG, could just design a new aircraft model (one with limited livery options such as a Dash-7 or a Shorts Belfast), release the model and add the livery details as they normally do?
I see that the mould route would still be more economical for the mass produced moulds (for the foreseeable future at least) but when 3D printers become more efficient and cheaper to run, could this change?

Advantages of 3D printing:
1. Very easy to make changes and perfect models, the only costs to this is the human labour and electricity costs from the computers.
2. Much easier to create 3D models as opposed to new moulds, so there is less risk in 'thinking outside the box' and making something that has never been done before, again the only real costs will be the human labour, software/computer hardware and electricity usage.
3. Cheaper for lower production runs (100 or so)
4. Potential for more detail.
5. It's not always necessary for the model to be printed in parts, and assembled. In many cases, the models can be printed as one piece, meaning hours of labour are reduced, no more seams and glue issues with models arriving in pieces.

Distadvantages:
1. Sometimes, the printing process can be inconsistent, and the finished model can have defects.
2. Not as cost affective for mass production.
3. 3D printing with metal needs more development.

So I decided to bite the bullet and order a number of models from Shapeway's and received them a few days ago, I was quite happy with them so I made another order which should be arriving in a week or so, among them will be 1 model, which has a mould in the real collection world, will be interesting to put them side by side and compare them (I will take more pictures when I receive them).
I have attached photos of my recent arrivals.
What do you all think, could 3D printing one day, be the future of model aircraft manufacturing?

First off, 2 C141B's (the one with the rear ramp closed is tail heavy, and can be fixed with some ballast). The model looks very good, and there are cockpit markings which can't really be seen in the photo's. Also, no aerials (AK would be happy ) but beggars can't be choosers.
Shapeways also shipped me a model that has a defect, which I can use to test which paints will work best.
Attached Thumbnails
Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1717.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1719.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1720.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1721.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1722.jpg  

Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1724.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1725.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1727.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-csc_1734.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1735.jpg  

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Old 07-28-2021, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

More pics of the C141's.
Falcon 8X, the bizzjets look great! (Fine detail plastic).
Attached Thumbnails
Let's talk 3D printing?-csc_1764.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-csc_1765.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1736.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1728.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1743.jpg  

Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1744.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1745.jpg  
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

Gulfstream G650,
Citation 550, the nose gear is wrong on this.
The big boy, An22 (for some reason I picked a model without props, will probably get another one though).
Attached Thumbnails
Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1747.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1748.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1749.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-csc_1738.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-csc_1740.jpg  

Let's talk 3D printing?-csc_1742.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1752.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1753.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1754.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1755.jpg  

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Old 07-28-2021, 03:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

And finally, the B-52. I've always wanted someone to do a 1/400 B-52, whether it happens or not, time will tell.
Attached Thumbnails
Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1756.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1757.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1758.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1759.jpg   Let's talk 3D printing?-dsc_1760.jpg  

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Old 07-28-2021, 05:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

Those are very nicely shaped C-141Bs! I thought about ordering a bunch of these a while back too, but I just don't have the time to finish them with paint and decals.

My hope is that one of these diecast manufacturers will produce these with the ability for those cargo doors to open and close. I've walked through those rear cargo doors many times back in the day!

Harvey
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

I think you are right insofar as this is the future. I got a pair of 1/400 B1900Ds several years ago (they arrived in kit form - requiring assembly, but I have yet to extract digit and assemble them) and they were pretty good even back then. Very detailed and nice and smooth, with no ridges to sand back. They even came with a small hole hidden under the nose just after the nose-gear for adding a weight so they wouldn't tail sit! Sourcing decals from the plastic modelling community was surprisingly easy too. I found Tamiya acrylic and Humbrol enamel model paints worked just fine (as long as you remember to be careful if using both on the same model.)

I should get and assemble them but I don't really want to use superglue as it doesn't allow much margin for error.
In any case, metal 3D printing is advancing at a great rate and I must admit I think it will be sooner rather than later when we see the first factory assembled and finished 3D printed metal model.
Watch this space.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

Very nice. I have ordered from Shapeways before and have the Cessna 172 in 1:400 scale. It’s so small it easily fits on a quarter hoping to add more to my collection before the end of the year!
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

tried to print a 707 in a library printer once but end up with a bowl of spaghetti. Either way, those look neat! 3D printed GSEs are already a thing and models won't be so far away
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

One thing on the costs though:
It's not just the human labour and electricity.
The (larger scale pro-) 3D-printer I have at the office certainly is not THAT cheap if you consider its total design hours (wear), and the printing materials certainly aren't for free either

From a scale modeling point of view I'm really afraid of the hobby going down the drain, particularly with what can be done with multi-million color 3D-inks.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Let's talk 3D printing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom II View Post
One thing on the costs though:
It's not just the human labour and electricity.
The (larger scale pro-) 3D-printer I have at the office certainly is not THAT cheap if you consider its total design hours (wear), and the printing materials certainly aren't for free either

From a scale modeling point of view I'm really afraid of the hobby going down the drain, particularly with what can be done with multi-million color 3D-inks.
Interesting, will add that to the list. Do you use the 3D printer while creating or editing a design?
Any idea how much the materials cost? I comparison to zinc used for diecast?
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C141*Lifter View Post
Those are very nicely shaped C-141Bs! I thought about ordering a bunch of these a while back too, but I just don't have the time to finish them with paint and decals.

My hope is that one of these diecast manufacturers will produce these with the ability for those cargo doors to open and close. I've walked through those rear cargo doors many times back in the day!

Harvey
Sounds awesome man.
You should give them a try, just try and work on the painting and decals for 30 mins or whatever time suites you a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty-114 View Post
I think you are right insofar as this is the future. I got a pair of 1/400 B1900Ds several years ago (they arrived in kit form - requiring assembly, but I have yet to extract digit and assemble them) and they were pretty good even back then. Very detailed and nice and smooth, with no ridges to sand back. They even came with a small hole hidden under the nose just after the nose-gear for adding a weight so they wouldn't tail sit! Sourcing decals from the plastic modelling community was surprisingly easy too. I found Tamiya acrylic and Humbrol enamel model paints worked just fine (as long as you remember to be careful if using both on the same model.)

I should get and assemble them but I don't really want to use superglue as it doesn't allow much margin for error.
In any case, metal 3D printing is advancing at a great rate and I must admit I think it will be sooner rather than later when we see the first factory assembled and finished 3D printed metal model.
Watch this space.
Thanks for that info! I will try those paints out when I get around to painting them.
I also ordered a Tupi114 in my next shipment, will post plenty of photos when I receive it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ Skippy View Post
Very nice. I have ordered from Shapeways before and have the Cessna 172 in 1:400 scale. It’s so small it easily fits on a quarter hoping to add more to my collection before the end of the year!
Yeah, I've been wanting to make an order from there for a while now, I saw your video and was impressed, and seeing that you can pretty much get every aircraft type in 1/400 I couldn't wait any longer!
Did you end up painting or customising them at all?
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Old 07-29-2021, 03:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Interesting, will add that to the list. Do you use the 3D printer while creating or editing a design?
Any idea how much the materials cost? I comparison to zinc used for diecast?
Mainly rapid prototyping of toolings or machinery parts. Here 50$ and 12h of printing is a lot cheaper and faster than 500-1000$ and a week of waiting for the machined part.
The printer is a dual FFF which is absolutely not suitable to get decent looking 1/400 parts.
Here the high res. resin printer is the way to go.
No matter which one, with prices of around 50€/kg 3D-printing isn't exactly cheap for series production.
For 50€ you get a lot more alloy for casting, but the reach/kg is a lot smaller of course.
And lets not forget: printed parts need some post-processing to get at least closer to the surface quality of injection moulded or die-cast stuff.
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just be aware if brush painting Tamiya acrylics that there is a trick to it and that is many thin coats. Dilute the paint to the consistency of skim milk and let dry thoroughly between coats. The first few coats will look rubbish. In many ways enamels are easier for beginners, requiring fewer coats, but acrylics do away with all the nasty solvents (turps) etc. If airbrushing, Tamiya acrylics are great. Most brands of model paint work just fine. Using a primer beforehand may help but I didn't find it necessary.


Wait, did you say someone has a Ty-114 in 1:400???
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Old 07-30-2021, 05:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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... Using a primer beforehand may help but I didn't find it necessary.

...

While that usually should work, the proper primer increases adhesion which is desireable particularly on resins.
Back in the days when I did my own resin casts I had a case where an applied masking tape peeled off all the coats down to the resin even though I thoroughly cleaned.
Of course that was a 2c-resin. UV-resins might not be that much of a problem if thoroughly cleaned and prepared.

Btw, talking about those UV-printed models:
Hide away from sunlight or they will faster desintegrate than a zinc-rotting die-cast.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a couple of 1:400 Beechcraft 1900Ds, Jetstream 31s, EMB-120s, a Jetstream 41, Metro III, Dash 7, and a DC-9-10 that I ordered off of Shapeways earlier this summer. Did the highest quality print I could do for them (Smooth Fine Detail Plastic), and they actually turned out pretty nice. I've been working on very carefully sanding them smooth and adding weights to the props since they are all tail heavy. The DC-9 is at the primer stage and is looking very smooth now. I was even able to drill out the engine intakes and exhausts a bit more to thin out the rims more for each. I intend to develop some photo-etched brass parts for these little models (e.g. wing LE fences, antennas, gear doors), as well as decals. The potential is very much there with 3D printing to make even 1:400 turboprops look just as good as the diecast stuff...if you're willing and able to put in the work!
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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While that usually should work, the proper primer increases adhesion which is desireable particularly on resins.
Back in the days when I did my own resin casts I had a case where an applied masking tape peeled off all the coats down to the resin even though I thoroughly cleaned.
Of course that was a 2c-resin. UV-resins might not be that much of a problem if thoroughly cleaned and prepared.

Btw, talking about those UV-printed models:
Hide away from sunlight or they will faster desintegrate than a zinc-rotting die-cast.
What do you think is the best coloured acrylic primer to use for this scheme? Atleast there's no straight lines.
(2nd photo down, the one in the camo):

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us...tory/c141.html
I will order myself a grey spray if you think it will turn out better.
Managed to nearly finish the other side of the Heavylift 727, got it a lot straighter.
RE the 3D printed models needing some tweaking after production, I mentioned that the printers can be very inconsistent, leading to that or the output being thrown out.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Wait, did you say someone has a Ty-114 in 1:400???
Yep, You name the aircraft, 90% chance there will be a 3D model of it on Shape ways, it's very cool.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a couple of 1:400 Beechcraft 1900Ds, Jetstream 31s, EMB-120s, a Jetstream 41, Metro III, Dash 7, and a DC-9-10 that I ordered off of Shapeways earlier this summer. Did the highest quality print I could do for them (Smooth Fine Detail Plastic), and they actually turned out pretty nice. I've been working on very carefully sanding them smooth and adding weights to the props since they are all tail heavy. The DC-9 is at the primer stage and is looking very smooth now. I was even able to drill out the engine intakes and exhausts a bit more to thin out the rims more for each. I intend to develop some photo-etched brass parts for these little models (e.g. wing LE fences, antennas, gear doors), as well as decals. The potential is very much there with 3D printing to make even 1:400 turboprops look just as good as the diecast stuff...if you're willing and able to put in the work!
Very cool, can't wait to see the results when you're done!
I have all the time in the world atm due to lockdowns, so I will be able to spend as much time on them as I want.
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Old 07-30-2021, 06:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What do you think is the best coloured acrylic primer to use for this scheme? Atleast there's no straight lines.

A neutral, pale grey seems to be the go to primer for most schemes. Unless you are aiming for natural metal, then a lot of modellers I know swear by gloss black!
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Old 07-31-2021, 04:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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What do you think is the best coloured acrylic primer to use for this scheme? Atleast there's no straight lines.
(2nd photo down, the one in the camo):

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us...tory/c141.html
I will order myself a grey spray if you think it will turn out better.
Managed to nearly finish the other side of the Heavylift 727, got it a lot straighter.
RE the 3D printed models needing some tweaking after production, I mentioned that the printers can be very inconsistent, leading to that or the output being thrown out.
As much as I loved the Euro/"lizzard" camos, I get a cold sweat whenever I think about painting/airbrushing one. I'd much rather do straight lines than blurry camo lines - I'm not an airbrush virtuoso on this.
Go with any good primer (I'd prefer a light neutral grey) and apply the camo over it step by step after you sanded out all the stuff that gets vissible after priming.
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:28 AM   #21 (permalink)
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As much as I loved the Euro/"lizzard" camos, I get a cold sweat whenever I think about painting/airbrushing one. I'd much rather do straight lines than blurry camo lines - I'm not an airbrush virtuoso on this.
Go with any good primer (I'd prefer a light neutral grey) and apply the camo over it step by step after you sanded out all the stuff that gets vissible after priming.
Is that mainly because you were trying to get it as accurate as possible, or are the 'wavy lines' really hard to get them to look good?
I'm also thinking of these 2 schemes:
https://contentzone.eurocontrol.int/...&GroupFilter=5
(2nd/3rd photo down).
I also have an A model coming and I want them all to be in different schemes, so I may do that in the last photo (Paul Goddard).
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:59 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Is that mainly because you were trying to get it as accurate as possible, or are the 'wavy lines' really hard to get them to look good?
I'm also thinking of these 2 schemes:
https://contentzone.eurocontrol.int/...&GroupFilter=5
(2nd/3rd photo down).
I also have an A model coming and I want them all to be in different schemes, so I may do that in the last photo (Paul Goddard).
Trying to get it as accurate as possible is my usual problem.
Those "lizard" schemes were airbrushed on and often had very soft color transitions. Simply masking and painting would give sharp lines which wouldn't look great IMO. On larger scales some freehand airbrushing with a fine needle would work, but 1/400 is getting too small for this (for me) while sharp lines still might not look desireable. But I think that up to trial and error.
I still have to finish a 1/400 custom I started a decade ago (Luftwaffe C-47D) where I intended to mask with some clearance to the model so that it would allow the spray mist to lay down as desired. Given the time I currently have for custom modeling/artwork design/CAD/3D- and dedal printing - Zero - this will take some more time...
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:29 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Phantom II View Post
Trying to get it as accurate as possible is my usual problem.
Those "lizard" schemes were airbrushed on and often had very soft color transitions. Simply masking and painting would give sharp lines which wouldn't look great IMO. On larger scales some freehand airbrushing with a fine needle would work, but 1/400 is getting too small for this (for me) while sharp lines still might not look desireable. But I think that up to trial and error.
I still have to finish a 1/400 custom I started a decade ago (Luftwaffe C-47D) where I intended to mask with some clearance to the model so that it would allow the spray mist to lay down as desired. Given the time I currently have for custom modeling/artwork design/CAD/3D- and dedal printing - Zero - this will take some more time...
The issue of being a perfectionist.
Soft colour transitions seem to be something I get when I'm not trying/don't want them, no doubt when I'm trying to get a soft colour transition, it won't happen.
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Regards, Brad.
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