Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More 3D Prints and a first attempt at a casting

When I came home last night, I was happy to find a box from Shapeways on my doorstep.  I was excited to see how well, another USA based 3D Printing service had done, so I quickly opened the box.  I was very happy with the detail and the price was much cheaper than the previous two “high detail” prints I have received. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

3D Printed Space Elf DLP, an Actual Comparison.

I got my second pylon from a 3D printer back today.  I thought I would take a few pictures and then give my impressions of the comparative quality and value of the "prints".  I will eventually gather all of this information into a single page one all my items come in.  Now onto the comparison.
We can see that when placed together they initially appear identical other than their color.  I'm still sad about the dimensional mistake on the powerfields, but the angle is correct and both pylons match it exactly.

The greenish pylon is from Ponoko and uses their Durable Fine Plastic.  The white pylon is from Sculpteo and uses their Detail Resin.  Both of these materials are resins extruded from a print head that are then cured with UV light. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First 3D Print has Arrived

If you have been following my Eldar Aegis Defense Line posts, you would know that when I tried to cast a second set of pylons, I was very disappointed by the ever decreasing quality of the casts.  In order to fix that I undertook a journey into the realms of CAD and 3D printing.  My first hobby related 3D print arrived today, and I am overjoyed at the quality.  I am making the pylon available at Sculpteo, although the price is quite high.  I may allow the lower detail plastic to be used once I see how it looks, which would reduce the price considerably.

The surface has a slight texture on the curves, but as can be seen in the pictures, it is hardly noticeable at normal viewing distances.  The flat sections feel very smooth and the panel indentations are quite crisp and sharp.  The bottom edges are extremely clean and sharp.  I would expect that after a gentle washing I could paint this with no additional prep required, but a quick once over with some very fine (300 or 400) sandpaper would enhance it's appearance.

The pylon appears different from the original sculpt, but this is by design.  The dimensions I created in Autodesk Inventor were replicated exactly in the fine detail resin.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Printable Eldar Aegis Defense Line Updated

So I took the Eldar Aegis Defense Line that I am having 3D printed and made it into a printable and do-it-yourself product.  Unfortunately, as you can see in the image above, I didn't think things through very well last night.  And of course I hadn't tested it at all.

A Cardboard Eldar Aegis Defense Line

I've gotten a bit ambitious as I wait for my 3D prints and such to get finished, so I thought I would put together a quick do-it-yourself PDF.  This PDF will allow you to cut out the various pieces and put together your own Eldar counts-as an Aegis Defense Line for your own personal use.

This is a pre-production and very untested product.  Use it at your own risk.  I have not printed it out and tested it, but I have included some reference dimensions in inches on the PDF.  I also had to make a guess at the thickness of the cardboard you might choose to use, adjust the tab slots accordingly if you use thicker cardboard.  I have assumed that the cardboard would be .025 inches thick, or about the same thickness as a breakfast cereal box.

If you do download it and discover problems or just want to share your thoughts, please feel free to comment or send me an email.

And you can get our own copy of the PDF here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Small Powerfield Design Work Complete

I did some more work on the design while waiting for some paint to dry.  Sadly the paint was in my kitchen and not on one of my miniatures....  My initial design for the short sections was limited by the fidelity of my cutting instrument which was a simple jigsaw.  This time around, with the ability to have virtually any shape cut into the plastic, I've gone with a more complex design that borrows a bit from the Jackal hand held shield in Halo, but that still covers the area that a small Aegis section would cover.

I present the Small Powerfield 2.0

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Digital Eldar Defense Line Section

I did some CAD work and was able to put together a nice picture of what a section of the new completed defense line will look like.

I have to admit, it looks pretty darn good.  I am anxious to see how the various 3D printers do in capturing the detail.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Space Elf Defense Line in Prototyping Stages

While I was struggling with sculpting my Eldar Aegis Defense Line, I had the idea that if I could make a 3D model of it, I could just print out as many copies as I needed.  The best part was that it would be symmetrical and not suffer from my poor clay and greenstuff sculpting skills.  To that end, I took a course at the community college on Computer Aided Design or CAD and learned how to use Autodesk Inventor with a fair degree of skill.  As a bonus, I got access to a Dimension 3D Printer.
My final project.
I have bitten the bullet so to speak and ordered a few test prints of my "Space Elf Defense Line" pylon from 3 different 3D Printers.  I have also chosen a variety of materials that I think will work best.  I used Shapeways, Ponoko, and Sculpteo.  All three offer a variety of materials, and easily accepted my uploaded .stl file that I exported from Autodesk Inventor.  They all offer a variety of 3d design tools or services to help young designers get their concepts into a 3d file and printed. 
Edit:  As it turns out I also ordered a print from i.materialise.  So that makes 4 different 3d Printers.
Expect excited posting when they come in (near the end of the month).  Based on the price of printing each individual item, trying to sell a set of twelve pylons may not be feasible.  At close to $20 per pylon, a full 3d printed set would be over $200, but at least you'd get free shipping!  However, if I like the quality, I will put them up for sale.
So what will I do with my newly 3D printed goodness?  Well, assuming I have one pylon that is in excellent condition, I may re-attempt casting it with more care this time.  If there are more than a few orders, I will make additional molds to speed my casting process.  If interest continues in "Space Elf" fortifications, I would continue to design various terrain items to be printed then cast and sold.


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Digital Sculpting and Eldar Plylon for Defense Line

After some more work in Autodesk Inventor, I have a model of an end pylon that I am happy with.
Next up is to export it and then get a test 3D print of it.  If it looks good, I'll work on the power fields and the pricing. 
What do you think?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Rebirth of an Eldar Aegis Defense Line

If you've been here before, You have likely seen my Eldar Aegis Defense Line that I sculpted, cast and then subsequently sold.

Sadly it was not the cash cow I'd been hoping for.

I decided to take a stab at reproducing it digitally, and if I am satisfied with the results, I may put it up for sale on some 3D printing service. 

I'm choosing a service because it will be easier for them to accept more types of payment, handle international shipping, and reduce time from order to shipment to the customer.

Here is a picture of the original pylon and a digital sculpt-in-progress.

I'll keep you updated as I continue to work out the details, and then I will start looking at 3D printing services, and see if the pricing would be feasible for my fellow players.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave comments on the sculpts, the state of 3D printing and digital distribution.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

What to Keep When Selling an Army

     I have sold a few armies via eBay, and have learned a few lessons.  Some of these lessons might be helpful to other players who are parting with well loved miniatures.  This information only applies to armies that you have a significant emotional of time investment in.  You may have spent hours collecting classic range miniatures, days converting a HQ miniature, or countless hours perfecting a paint job on your units.  You can and should be proud of the work and effort you put into making your army even if it was never finished or fought in a single battle on the tabletop.

    The act of selling an army can be heart-wrenching, but also cleansing once the sale is complete.  But, as I found, if you fail to keep something from that Army, you can feel a great sense of loss.

In my case, this first happened when I sold my Tau.  I had done a great job converting a Metal Shadowsun mini to be a Generic Command Suit.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Don't miss out on these Guardians

/begin shameless promotion

I just can't believe that no one has jumped on the chance to own these or these well painted Alaitoc Guardian Squads.   Considering that GW wants $36.25 for them, $15.00 for a squad (with 2 extras) seems like a pretty good deal.

/end shameless promotion