Friday, January 25, 2019

Adventures in 3D (Re)Printing Update

My initial 2018 review of Shapeways printing for wargaming (link here) ended up with some nice figs for me although there was a misprint on the weapon of the most prominent figure.  I contacted Shapeways over the holidays about a reprint for just that miscast figure and they got back to me fairly quickly.  It turns out that the wall of the fins on the weapon were too thin and this wasn't caught by either their automated systems, the pre-production manual check, or the post printing Q&A.  Their support staff was quite helpful and even sent this picture to show the exact areas that were too thin.

I only hoped for a reprint of the initial figure but apparently, since the error wasn't caught at any of the steps, they instead gave me a full refund as store credit.  They offered to change it to a refund via my credit card but I figured I'd partly redo the figs and reorder them instead so kept the store credit.  I opted this time to "extrude" the models to avoid any potential issues like the one above as well as to give the figures a bit more bulk.  For example, my sniper rifle alien had three very fine head protrusions of equal length but with just normal (and careful!) handling I've already broken off the tips of two of them.  Here is an example of what I mean by "extrusion" with the original model and three additional successive levels.

I incorrectly stated that the process would make the facial details more prominent in my last review based on my memories of ordering back in 2012.  My 2012 model had even more bulk added than the most extreme shown here; this time, I decided to just use the first level as it was enough to thicken fragile areas on both figures and to avoid any automatic "patches" added by Shapeways like with the glob on my miscast model's hammer.

I didn't opt for expedited shipping and it took about a month to get it this time as well so the Christmas rush wasn't responsible for the extended delivery time.   While I didn't get extra detail from the extrusion, I'm definitely happier with the increased overall bulk compared with the previous proportions.  Previously dangerously thin sections are noticeably thicker like the sniper barrel find and there are no misprint errors this time.  I made sure to resize the two new models (in their hard to see clear form below( to the same height scale as the previous prints  despite the variant poses.

I did a quick primer coat (this time in their intended individual base colors) and took a scale pic with some other figs (40k primaris and Star Wars prepaints human).    I hope to finish these two latest figs this upcoming week and will post a quick update when I do.  Just like these models have their individual facets hidden by textures, I hope that the polygons won't be visible once painted as I don't see them on my initial 2012 3d printed model.

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