I thought I'd share some of these photos with you. This model I've been working on was going to be diecast but now for various reasons I'm not so sure. The design work was undertaken by a very capable person in China. Anyway, as part of the review process I decided to get some 3D prints done of the model at Shapeways. I have to say getting 3D prints done has saved me $$$ before committing to tooling which would have not been up to scratch, and should I decide to make the thing at a later date the money spent on 3D printing has been money well worth spent. And 3D printing also highlighted the tricky centre of gravity issue too during the design process, which seems now to have be resolved.
The silver and green paint printed examples are the first print I had done before the latest revision.
As you can see, although the shape of the aircraft is correct, there was rather limited detail on parts such as the wings.
The latest version has panel lines on the wings and detail on the tail (you can see the detail on the top and underside of the wing in the following photo) and nose of the aircraft. I've just received the latest parcel from Shapeways and hope to have the model assembled shortly. This model will be left in a grey primer finish, as the extreme frosted detail Shapeways use is a horror to work with, extremely brittle, its porous like sponge, and doesn't take really take the paint like a plastic or resin model does. For model aircraft, I would only use the 3D printed material to make detail parts or masters for white metal or resin casting. Not for completed assembled models. To assemble this latest model, I'll be using canopy glue, as its much easier to undo something on brittle material.
Mind you, I had some one piece 1/200 military trucks printed and they turned out great due to their compact size.
A 3D picture of what the latest version its supposed to look like. If I do eventually make the tooling with somebody, there will be some further adjustments to be done to the 3D model.