Models with a 3d printer or desktop cnc router?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Kailani, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Kailani
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Kailani Senior Member

    I'd like to learn about model making with a desktop 3D printer or cnc router. I don't know where to start. Some years ago I looked at a 4' x 8' cnc router kit that routered out wood or foam. The foam sheets were expensive. The software was complicated and the output had strokes. It didn't rotate the router, it only plunged it and cut away pass by pass. Now these new 3d printers print up 3d shapes using wax or liquid plastic. Are they more capable than a desktop cnc router? Is the model stable? Where do I start?
     
  2. BobR
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    BobR Junior Member

    Plastic shrinkage is an issue.
     
  3. mselle
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    mselle Transportation Designer

    Since I'm working as freelancer for car design studios, I do a lot of preparations for 3D printing. After printing, the parts are extensively prepared to look good on the model. Some rules have to be followed to keep the shape of larger parts over a certain time.

    Privatly, I've done a few boat models with a 3D printer. I choosed scale 1:43 to compare them with model cars in that scale. The output was purely for design reasons. No structural or mechanical test was carried out.

    The first models, I did in 2004 are looking quite crude compared with the latest one, done just 2 month ago. It happened a lot with this technology in the past few years.

    Have a stroll over to Shapeways to check what can be done for a reasonable money.

    With so many other things: you first have to know what you want the models for and if you share it, I might can help you a bit further.

    Cheers, Marco.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The advantage of the printer vs a 5 axis CNC is that you can make a model with closed cavities.
     
  5. Kailani
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    Kailani Senior Member

    Thanks for the shapeways link. Most of the models there are smaller than what I was imagining. Some of the plastic models are furrier than I expected too.
    I was imagining being able to 3d print 24 - 36" concept models from rhino.
    The low-cost desktop 3d printers are only capable of 8 x 11" models. Would it be conceivable to slice the model into modules the way a large ship is built and 3d print each module and then glue them together (or even print keys in each module to interlock?)
     
  6. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

  7. Kailani
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    Kailani Senior Member

    Another question. Is it possible for a 3d printer to build a model out of both opaque and clear plastic in the same model?
     
  8. mselle
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    mselle Transportation Designer

    To use some sort of simple interlocking geometry is common practice and there are preparation software out there which have automated tools for this.

    Yes, its possible but not with the low budget printers, off course. The edges can be a bit fuzzy, though. I think its better to make seperate parts and assamble them. The more advanced a model you want the more you have to pay for. As Always.

    But again, in 10 to 20 years from now we might find a 3d printer in every houshold. If there is a garden party, you just print some china. :)
     

  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a project that may be interesting to you. They combined a laser scanner with a 3D printer. Check out the website. It was in beta testing last semester.
     
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