A 3D printing database?

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Warrior
 
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A 3D printing database?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Okay, so this suggestion may well be rather long-term.

3D printers are, I'm told, the latest (probably very expensive) useful gadget, and it's possible to make just about anything using them. Now, I'm not sure if they are available to the public at the moment - almost certainly not at anything like a decent price - but in 6 months or a year, who can say where they will go?

I personally plan to design terrain and maybe even custom models using software that can print through 3D printers, and I can definitely see applications of this kind in other areas of modeling. Broken a sword? No problem, cast a plastic replacement, with all the detail a computer-aided printer can give you. Of course, legal issues mean that we can't just go around casting GW models left right and centre, but who's to say we can't design our own?

Where am I going with this? Well, as I understand it, 3D printers will be able to read and print from design files generated by modeling software. I think it would really set TLA apart as a forward-thinking community and a hub for SBG and modeling in general if we had some kind of database to share these blueprints with the community; that way we could share our latest terrain or model cast with the click of a mouse.

I know that 3D printers could well be a long way off yet, but I have hope that they will be in mass-production by the end of 2013. Obviously this suggestion is not immediate, but it is something to bear in mind for the future of TLA.

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Warrior
 
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Re: A 3D printing database?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:49 pm

Sound awesome! I don't know a lot about these printers but I know we can use one at our university for free :D Ofcourse you pay the plastic yourself etc.

What's the program you make these 3D images with?
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Warrior
 
Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:19 pm
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Re: A 3D printing database?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:56 pm

I've not yet invested in a printer, but I've been looking into it for a while, and things like Rhino 3D look pretty good. I'm holding off on buying expensive modeling software too - I currently use a lite version of Cinema 4D to practice - as I'm not sure whether the printers are able to read current formats or have specific software.

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Re: A 3D printing database?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:23 pm

That's a very interesting idea, yet to have a 3D printer with the right resolutions to print well detailed models will be very expensive.

However you may find a place where you can use a 3D printer at a small price, so you don't have to buy one yourself (a new 3D printer easily costs over 2000€). Tha fabrication labratory (FabLab) at my university has one we can use for free, yet we have to pay the cost of the printing material ofcourse, wich is also not that cheap.

Anyway our printer doesn't require any specific software. You just have to make sure that your design was saved in a .stl file, wich can be done with almost any CAD-programs. I myself use Solid Edge but I think you could use google sketchup aswell.
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