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3D Printing… Where do I start?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  blinky465 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #1665580

    pagan8th
    Participant
    4867xp

    I’m considering delving into 3D Printing and need some advice.

    I want to print some miniatures and some terrain features.

    Can the community recommend a good, yet not overly expensive 3D Printer?

    And where can I get some free STL files to experiment with?

     

    #1665609

    jamescutts
    4646xp
    Cult of Games Member

    👋@pagan8th

    While i wont claim to be an expert im happy to offer a few pointers.

    First of theres two main types of 3D printers to go look into.

    • FDM, the type that uses a roll of filliament and extrudes this through a nozel
    • Resin, you pour a bath of resin, a build plate moves up and light activates each layer.

    Both of these have their pro’s and cons, and it depends on what you mainly want to do, resin is more expensive but more detailed results can generall be acheived.

    • If your wanting to print high quality minis, lots of minis in a go, or small sized terrain pieces (barrels etc.) then a Resin printer is the way to go.
    • If your wanting to print large terrain pieces then FDM is the way to go.

    I’ve yet to use a resin printer but I’ve had some great results with a FDM printer for large terrain pieces.

    One great piece of advice would be get good at waiting around, these things are not quick, even small prints take hours and some might take a day or more!

    Your best starting point for free STL files just for convience and ease of use is https://www.thingiverse.com/, but theres a huge range of sites that im sure others will recommend aswell. You’ve also got https://www.myminifactory.com/category/tabletop which while it has a lot of paid items has a lot of free ones too.

    Printable scenery offer some good free samples and are of a good quality for experimenting. https://www.printablescenery.com/product-category/free-3d-printable-wargame-files/

    #1665613

    pagan8th
    Participant
    4867xp

    Thanks.

    I think we’ve all got used to waiting around in the last year and half…

    I’ll look into FDM probably and see what I dig up on review sites.

    Read that getting an autolevelling 3D printer helps the noob. The Flashforge 3D on Amazon looks ok. Anyone got experience with this model?

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  pagan8th.
    #1665671

    blinky465
    15712xp
    Cult of Games Member

    If you want to print miniatures (and even fairly decent sized bits of terrain) a resin printer is the way to go. I got my AnyCubic Photon about 18 months ago, and love it. Even in such a short period of time, the technology has come on leaps and bounds (and “better” resins have been developed too).

    Sure, it’s a bit messier than FDM, but the results are incomparible. My FDM printer hasn’t been switched on since I got my resin printer. The mono-screen ones aren’t much more expensive than the “original” ones, but if you’re looking to get started the AnyCubic Photon and Elegoo Mars (first gen) were being sold off pretty cheaply over the last few months. If you can stretch to a mono screen, I’d say go for it, but if you can get an “original generation” model at the right price, you won’t go too far wrong either.

    For .stl files, Thingiverse is the obvious place to start. Or Yeggi. Check out myminifactory for cheap files, and there are plenty of free/pay-what-you-like minis on there too. Same for Gumroad. And of course, once you’re ready for your wallet to be emptied, there’s always Patreon.

     

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