Switch Theme:

Adventures in 3D printing - Currently doing: Battlemechs  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Battletech mech: Raven RVN-3L



Hey guys, I finally decided to pull the trigger on a 3D printer. I had been waiting a long time for a resin printer to finally be affordable and relatively reliable, and I think that day has come. There are 2 fairly similar models I had considered: the Wanhao Duplicator D7 and the Anycubic Photon. Both are DLP printers that use 2K LCD screens. Both are about the same price - $500 for the D7, $550 for the Photon. I settled on the Photon because I could get it on Amazon directly (and hence easily return it if there was a problem), and because I joined the biggest facebook user groups for both; the Photon group is substantially better in terms of resources and helpfulness, I think.

If you don't know much about 3d printing, I will give you a really fast explanation. All 3d printers take a 3d model and cut it into slices; imagine a loaf of bread standing on it's end. They then print one slice at a time and move the print bed. Plastic extrusion printers do this via molten plastic and a print head, just like an inkjet printer. This works well for cheap or large prints but you don't get very good resolution, you will see lines all over the final model because the nature of the plastic doesn't lend itself to microscopic movements like that. You can get one of these guys for like $200 now.

DLP printers do this via a bed full of UV reactive resin. The bottom of the bed is transparent, and under it is either a projector or an LCD. The projector or display shows an image of the slice for x seconds, where x is how long it takes the liquid resin to solidify (just like the resin exposed to UV light at a dental office). The bed then moves a tiny bit and the process repeats until you have a finished print. The advantages of doing this are that you have much finer control; the stepping lines are much, much smaller. With careful cleanup you can get decent minis out of one of these. The downsides are that it's a pretty messy process, the liquid resin is expensive ($50/liter) and can cause allergic reactions on bare skin (wear gloves), and it smells pretty strongly. One of these guys runs about $500sh now.

SLA printers work nearly exactly the same as a DLP printer, except instead of a projector or display, it uses a laser. This is the best print quality you can get right now and is what studios will use to make masters if they sculpt them digitally. The pros are you'll have amazing quality minis, the downsides are all of the DLP downsides, and they also cost about $3,500 for the good ones. Much like all of these printers, that will be dramatically cheaper in a few years. IMO the DLP is the sweet spot now for a hobbyist.


So, printer arrived with no substantial issues. I did the first test print, and it came out great! I'm not posting any pictures of the test print because no one cares about it.

I then went to what I had really wanted to do: print some Mechs. Piranha Games has a game called Mechwarrior Online, which is a first-person Mechwarrior game. The models can be relatively easily extracted from the game , and PGI has given permission in the forums to print their mechs for personal use, so long as they aren't sold or distributed.

So, first I printed a Raven up. I used the default printer settings because they worked OK for the test print.

After printing the surface isn't 100% cured with most resins, they need a little post-print UV curing. You can just leave them out in the sun for a bit, but I instead made a UV curing box out of a string of UV lights and a shotbox. It cost $14 and looks it.

Spoiler:


Spoiler:









I was really happy with how it was able to pick up some of the tiny details. Those handles by the window are much nearly hair width, tiny! I was less happy with the stepping marks, which can be removed with light sanding but were pretty visible.

I tried again, just the torso. I decided to test a different resin brand, as well as different slice settings - going from 0.05 layer thickness to 0.01 layer thickness. This took the time from 5 hours to about 21 hours, but I think it was worth it. The quality was much better, in some parts of the model almost injection molded smooth.

Spoiler:


I chose not to reprint the rest of the model with that setting because while it was notably better with the finer setting, it was good enough, in my opinion, with the larger setting.

You'll see that I removed all of wire structures from the back and nose of the mech. They printed fine, but such thin details are pretty brittle in resin, and I was sure they would break with normal handling. I replaced them with pins that I shaped into place and then soldered together.

Spoiler:





I also drilled some holes to add antennae.

Sanding, primed, and basecoated:

Spoiler:




The shiny part is clear gloss to protect the ghost tint I used on the cockpit, which smudges easily:

Spoiler:



So, at this point the Raven is very nearly done. I'd have started a showcase thread for it but I want to add some decals and those haven't arrived in the mail yet. So here it is, almost done:

Spoiler:












Automatically Appended Next Post:
Battletech mech: Mad Dog/Vulture "Streak Dawg"

The next one I decided to print was one of my favorite mechs. I always knew it as a Vulture in Mechwarrior 2, but when MWO came out it got a new, beefier frame. While it had generally been used for long range damage, one of the more popular builds is kitting it out with a ton of short-range missiles and hunting light mechs. This giant blast of missiles, shotgun-like, has very little range but is absolute murder up close; they are enormous damage and they lock on so do not miss. The Streak Dawg is very fun to play and less fun to fight against if one surprises you up close.

So, taking what I learned from the Raven. Despite what this screenshot shows, I changed the final slice depth to 0.01, and I also made sure all the support structures were touching. You don't need to do this, but it can be hard to get the model off the bed, and if they're all touching, you only need to get the scraper under a single edge once and you can unroll everything.

Spoiler:


There is a problem in that preview picture, by the way. I didn't catch it and I bet you don't see it either but it's actually a big problem.

Printing this took even longer:

Spoiler:




There were 2 problems with this print, one minor and one a little more serious. The first is that I hadn't yet learned how to do supports correctly. You see that latticework in orange to support the model? That's auto-generated by the slicer application, and it doesn't always generate it intelligently:

Spoiler:


In this case, whenever you see a part of the model that is delaminating or warping, there should have been a support there and wasn't. I now know that you should do the auto supports for a baseline and then tweak them; adding them where needed. It only takes a few minutes. The more exposed or heavier the section of model is, the more it needs to be supported - the build plate is using a lot of suction to move the part, and if there is no support, the not-yet-100%-cured part will warp, or seperate.

The bigger problem is some of the faces aren't sealed! Oops.

Spoiler:


I didn't want to fix it and reprint the entire model, so instead I whipped up a fix kit. This kit did two things: it made some sections to patch the holes, and I also made a plate to add another SRM section to each torso, to accurately represent 6x Stream SRM 6s. So, happy accident.

The patch kits worked OK. Here is where I am now with the Streak Dawg, as well as a size reference:

Spoiler:




I've just got to fix those tiny little gaps in the back and then paint it up. Unfortunately I am starting a 6 day long streak at work so I won't have any more updates for a week, minimum :(











This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2019/03/27 13:20:17


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in gb
Leader of the Sept







That looks pretty good quality to me. How long did the sanding take on the 1st gen version?

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
51st Dunedinw2;d0;l0
Cadre Coronal Afterglow w1;d0;l0 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

I think I spent 30 minutes maybe. Since I'm not selling or casting it, I just got it to good-enough-for-me. It also helps that the mechs are big, flat spaces so really just a few seconds with some 220 grit glued to a popsicle stick is enough. If you look at the legs you can still see some stepping where I missed some spots.


Man looking at this with fresh eyes, I also need to fix up the Raven's feet pretty bad. it's still not 100% done yet though, no dullcote or decals. Once you see that pitting on the toes, you can't not see it.


This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/05/30 22:23:18


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in nl
Did Fulgrim Just Behead Ferrus?





The Netherlands

Wow...this is amazing!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Hmm...and not grimdark these mechs up a bit!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/06/02 13:58:31


Bits Blitz Designs - 3D printing a dark futuristic universe 
   
Made in ie
Resentful Grot With a Plan






Wow, that is amazing. It's great to see that resin printers are almost close to be cost effective for home users! I've toyed with the idea of getting into printing but up till the cost of one plus the fact you still need a lot of clean up work to have a decent model just didn't seem worth it. This however, is just over my price point and the clean up work looks to be expectable. Thanks for writing up about the curing process as well, that was an interesting bit I'd not seen before!

   
Made in gb
Xeno-Hating Inquisitorial Excruciator




London



Really good, informative post, Ouze
You have all the cool toys, dontcha ...

Love both mecha, but very taken by the chunkier Vulture.

I am a bit surprised the game models are suitable, tbh. Don't designers make them as low-poly as possible (i.e. really lacking detail) and then use hi-res texture maps to create the effect of detail? Or was that like 10 years ago? (last time I played a video game...)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/06/02 15:53:04


 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

The mechs in MWO have been slowly upgraded over the course of the game, a few mechs at a time. So the poly count really runs the gamut.

I wound up buying some mech models from a site online and am printing them now. I hope to have something to show for that tomorrow.

I also hope my decals come so I can finish that Raven!


Right now here is where I am:

Raven - awaiting decals to 100% finish

Mad Dog/Vulture - ready to prime

Catapult - printing. This is doing to require 2 sessions and the first session is like 27 hours so it's going to be a while even if there are no issues.

Mad Cat Mk II - pending

King Crab - pending


After I finish my mechs (and there is a hard stop after the ones listed above) I have a lot of Warhammer related stuff that I have been kicking around in my head forever. About 3 years ago, I had an idea for an Orky landing craft, like the WW2 ones, but trukk sized and I've never made it happen. I also have some Necron drones I want to make (like terminator HK's almost) and all kinds of weird gak that I can probably do in my 3d app but I can't do with my hands. A Blood Raven sword with the logo as the hilt. I have an MDF drop pod that I'd love to make some Iron Warrior armor skin for. Stuff like that.

But for now, mechs.






This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/06/04 10:28:26


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Some progress and some failures with the Catapult print.

First, the success: I'm getting better with setting up supports in general. Much like Master Wayne, you have to keep getting up, and eventually you learn not to fall I guess.

For my printer, there is a companion piece of software called a slicer. The purpose of the slicer is to take a 3d model file, and slice it into thousands of layers that will be a single layer of resin deep. The more layers, the finer they are, and the harder it is to see them, just like the staggering between sheets of cardboard is more readily apparent than sheets of paper. Note also the thinner the layer, the longer it takes since there are way more of them; the print I made of the raven at .05 thickness only took like 6 hours vs 22+ hours for the ones I am doing now.

The slicer can automatically generate supports. Supports are little structures that hold up overhanging parts. A lot of the success of a print happens during the support creation stage. Here are 2 errors:

Spoiler:


At the bottom of the photo is delamination. You can see that the bottom layers started peeling away from each other. You can also see there are no supports under that section. That's a preparation error - pieces that are heavier will have layers seperate when moving if there is inadequate support. The fix is to put supports in that spot.

Now if you look diagonally, that is another piece of bad prep - there is a thick support running so close to the model that it is going to difficult to remove. Worst case, the snips are going to shatter the resin - it's brittle - in an unpredictable way and take chunks out of the leg. Best case it's going to obscure detail. The other 2 spots where it looks like a problem are actually OK, they're just barely not touching the model.

The fix for this is to delete these badly autocreated supports in the slicer. In this case I have now become aware that this happens and just missed this one - oops. I am considering completing abandoning auto supports and doing them manually - you basically just point at where you want a support and click, and now that I've got a bunch of prints under my belt I'm pretty clear where they will be needed.

Here is another piece of bad prep:

Spoiler:


The feet were placed flat on the build area. I do this because this is how I would make a mold for casting, it's best if all the bad parts, where the gates will be, are on the bottom. That is the opposite of how it should be printed, though. When you leave this big a piece of model on the bed, then the weight can cause it to seperate from the supports - especially if there aren't enough of them - and stick to the clear film between the screen and the resin. The result is a little lump of cured resin.

The fix is, again, better prep. I have added the feet to the print with the torso and missile boxes like this:

Spoiler:


I've also learned from my mistakes, hopefully, by eschewing auto supports on the feet this time and manually placing them.

We'll know how it came out in 23 hours!

Also note that red panel which indicates the model is outside the bounding box for printing. I did move the model before I printed it. That would have been another prep error, a really obvious one.

I also am not sure to what extent some of these issues are related to the resin itself. There are a bajillion brands of resin and they all have their own little quirks even from bottle to bottle, let alone brand specific. I think I have this specific bottle of Nova3D grey dialed in but I wonder. Well, I also have some Anycubic White I will try at some point.







This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2018/06/05 01:29:29


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord





Lookin' good so far, and glad to know some decent printers are in the suitable $500 range. I've spent far more on computer components for a gaming rig, so a creative tool is well within reason at $500. Love seeing the mechs come to life.
   
Made in us
Blood Angel Captain Wracked with Visions






Fantastic work. What other projects do you have in mind?

 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

OK, I've made some more progress. Once again I've had some successes and some failures.

First, the Raven is totally done. I'm pretty happy with how it came out despite some minor issues with the print - not too bad for the first non-test-print I ran off.

Spoiler:








Beyond the problems with the prints I've already discussed, the big problem is I can't find any good decals in this scale. Fighting Piranha makes Battletech decals, but they are much too small. I bought some decals off ebay for $5 a sheet and they were in the right scale but they absolutely sucked. I wound up not using any on the Raven; the decals you see are some kind of 40k EG decals. The Kurita decals were so bad I tried to just print a 3D one and paint it with mixed results. It doesn't look terrible but it doesn't look great.

Moving on, I screwed around so long that the Mad Dog \ Vulture is now totally done.

I was going for a scheme sort of like this:

Spoiler:


I didn't get it 100% but it's in the neighborhood, at least.

Spoiler:





As you can see the Ghost Bear decal is just terrible. It was transparent, so I had to paint under it white, and then block in the rest of the colors to fit, and even then the print quality is poor - the white areas are light blue with dark blue speckles.

Side by side:

Spoiler:


With a sneaky boi for size reference:





I tried putting a bid in on a ALPS printer, $200 + $100 shipping from Japan. Unfortunately turns out they're going for around $700 shipped. I will need to shop around some more for someone who does decals to order but in the meantime I am just going to omit decals when I can't get by with using 40K ones.

The bad news is, that on the last print, I somehow managed to crack the glass cover that sits atop the printer display.

Spoiler:



When I wipe down the bottom of the vat after using it, sometimes it's a bit staticy - I think it might have picked up a grain of grit or dried resin or something, and when I leveled the bed, the pressure crushed a little section there. It wasn't that bad, just a little crack in a corner. I ran off another print and after that the crack has spread enormously.

At this point I don't think I can use the printer. It prints OK, but if a drop of resin gets on the broken screen, it will leak through to the actual display proper and cure. Replacement glass is like $15USD, but a replacement display is like $75. Even then it wouldn't be the end of the world - the display is considered to be a consumable item (the UV emitted degrades over time) and I'd have to replace it eventually but I should be able to get another few months out of it.

So, awaiting a response from the manufacturer - I put in a warranty claim. It probably won't be (and shouldn't be) covered by warranty, broken glass is always user error - but I am hoping then can at least sell me a cheap one because I can't find a vendor in the US - the only screen I can find for sale is in Europe and it's 10 euros, which is fine, but 25 euros in shipping which is less fine.

The good news is I have 2 models totally printed:

The Catapult is printed and cleaned up. The only reason I haven't started it is I don't like the way the feet connect. It has some kind of ball and socket design that just doesn't work well, so I broke all the balls off, I'm going to pin the parts, and I am going to fill the visible gaps with some gubbins I made in my 3D CAD application. The improvement kit was in the very last print before the screen broke and it came out OK.

The Mad Cat Mk II is printed and needs to be cleaned up. The torso is curing in my UV box right now. I did something different with this model - it's quite large, much larger than the others. So, I got an app called Meshmixer, which lets you do various things to the 3D model. Specifically, I used the app to hollow out the entire inside of the body and pelvis, which saves a lot of resin (and makes it lighter). The app also automaticallty suggests drainage holes so the uncured resin in the cavity drains out as it prints. Very cool stuff, I wish I had used it on the prior models... but you don't know what you don't know until you know it, I guess.







 Dreadclaw69 wrote:
Fantastic work. What other projects do you have in mind?


Here is where I am currently:

Right now here is where I am:

Raven - printed, painted, done

Mad Dog/Vulture - printed, painted, done

Catapult - printed, cleaned up, awaiting improvement kit install and then ready to paint.

Mad Cat Mk II - printed, awaiting cleanup

King Crab (and all other projects) - awaiting screen glass replacement.


After I finish my mechs (and there is a hard stop after the ones listed above) I have a lot of Warhammer related stuff that I have been kicking around in my head forever. About 3 years ago, I had an idea for an Orky landing craft, like the WW2 ones, but trukk sized and I've never made it happen. I also have some Necron drones I want to make (like terminator HK's almost) and all kinds of weird gak that I can probably do in my 3d app but I can't do with my hands. A Blood Raven sword with the logo as the hilt. I have an MDF drop pod that I'd love to make some Iron Warrior armor skin for. Stuff like that.

 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Battletech mech: King Crab KGC-000

And a mere 7 months later, here we are.

Spoiler:


I finished the next in my "Mechs" series; one of my wife's favorite mechs - the King Crab. I don't think it's actually a KGC-000, it has some extra weapon, as well as AMS which i don't think the KGC-000 has.

Spoiler:












There are two major problems with this model, the first of which is probably pretty obvious - I totally screwed up the scale. It's much smaller than it should be, and I am going to have redo it if I am going to display it with my other mechs.

Spoiler:


The second one is a hard lesson that I learned. For my models that I print on my DLP printer, I have taken to hollowing out the models with an application called Meshmixer (which is free!). This serves 2 purposes - first, it obviously saves resin. Second, it makes the models lighter and makes them less lightly to get torn off the build plate while printing.

The default setting is 2mm thick, and for this once I think I thinned it futher, perhaps 1mm or 1.5mm. I don't really know why, it just felt right. It was not right, though. It was actually very, very wrong. Thinner skins worked OK for smaller, one piece models OK. But the King Crab is much bigger, and also much heavier. This meant there was an awful lot of weight on some very thin, fragile joints. As a result I would estimate I broke and hard to repair various parts of this mech a minimum of 8-12 times. Even just handling it is difficult.

So, another valuable lesson learned through pain!

One brought spot though: I did something pretty swell with one of the lasers. I painted it a brought green, and put a drop of water clear gel over it. I think the effect looks very lens-like. I'm pretty proud of that.

Spoiler:



I also found a vendor with an ALPS printer, so I got a bunch of waterslide decals done. They're pretty... OK. Some came out great, some came out very jagged. I think the ones that came out very jagged are more of a relic of resizing the images than the capablities of the printer itself. I tarted up the raven with some Pin-Up art, and you can see here how it's kind of ragged:

Spoiler:


The "Lucky Lucy" script looks amazing, though.

Anyway, right now here is where I am:

Raven - printed, painted, done

Mad Dog/Vulture - printed, painted, done

King Crab - printed, painted, done

Catapult - printed, awaiting paint

Mad Cat Mk II - printed, awaiting cleanup and paint

King Crab (scale corrected) - pending print

Locust: I haven't yet bought this model but I am lusting after it.




This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/03/27 13:20:39


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in us
Destructive Daemon Prince





Albany, NY

Despite the setbacks / learning moments, the King Crab looks pretty ace Fan of that mech myself too.

Happy to see this project continuing, look forward to KC Part 2 and the next stompy green mechs.

KOW BATREPS: BLOODFIRE
INSTAGRAM: @boss_salvage 
   
Made in us
Walking Dead Wraithlord






I am so sad to have not seen this before now. Your bots are amazing. Thanks for sharing the learning process with us, trials and tribulations and all.
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

 Boss Salvage wrote:
Happy to see this project continuing, look forward to KC Part 2 and the next stompy green mechs.


Thanks!

I am printing the KC v2 now and it will take a few days at a minimum. Each set of prints takes about 8 hours, so I am setting it up before I go to bed, and then checking when I get home from work, and doing reprints as needed. The body is done, and it looks like the feet are done (but I won't know until I get home). The legs didn't come out right and need to be reprinted.

Anyway it's probably going to go to the back of the queue; I have a perfectly good Mad Cat Mk II, a MWO style Mad Cat/Timber Wolf, and a Catapult printed and ready to start painting, I don't think I want to slide from "painting a king crab" to "painting a slightly larger king crab"

 youwashock wrote:
Thanks for sharing the learning process with us, trials and tribulations and all.


I hope someone else learns from my mistakes. The biggest one was not checking the vat between every print. Some people never check their vat as long as the print was a success, but all it takes is one little nugget of broken-off support to get a broken screen. Filtering the resin between every print only takes 5-10 minutes and is a lot faster than waiting 3 weeks for a new screen from China.

I also have now obtained a FDM (plastic extrusion) printer, so at some point this series will segue into those challenges. I am going to print an enormous Mad Cat at some point soon.



This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/28 15:52:51


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in nl
Did Fulgrim Just Behead Ferrus?





The Netherlands

Amazing stuff, this is really inspiring me to keep on developing my grimdark 3mm mechs

Bits Blitz Designs - 3D printing a dark futuristic universe 
   
Made in gb
Nimble Pistolier





United Kingdom

It's simply amazing what people are achieving now with 3D printers. These mechs look awesome, your paintwork is really adding value to what is already a great looking miniature.

I've recently got myself a anycubic photon and I've been printing some 6mm scale miniatures off, I may have to try and go larger as you have and push myself and the machine.

Look forward to seeing your future antics.

   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Battletech mech: Catapult

Another 3D print that was inspired by a piece of art. Specifically, this wallpaper from Battletech for the PC:

Spoiler:


I knew I wouldn't be able to match it exactly, but maybe I could get close.

First, I needed to find a pilot. I didn't find exactly what I wanted, but I found a Titanfall model on Thingiverse and swapped the head with a different model, also from Thingiverse. This is what I got:

Spoiler:


Don't get too excited, i'm going to lose most of that detail when I reduce it. This is what I wound up with:

Spoiler:


I think it was about the same size as one of those model railroad guys I could have probably done better with the paint, but it is what it is.

So, here is the actual battlemech. The model is intentionally rocked back a bit, to indicate it's shut down.

Spoiler:















On the one hand, I feel like I did an OK job painting it. I tried to make it more of a mercenary mech than I had been going, and I think that was alright.

The downside is I still don't really have a good source for waterslide decals. Fallout Hobbies took my money, and then never responded and I had to do a chargeback. Fighting Piranha never responded at all. The guys I did go with seem to have gone a great job on script:

Spoiler:


but all the art looks pretty terrible.

Spoiler:


At mini sizes, all the edges are really ragged, and it's clear it was printed with 3 color dots like an old comic book. Is this the nature of ALPS printing? Or are the edges ragged because of being resized repeatedly, or the conversion from psd to ai? I do not know. What I know for sure is I paid $60 for a sheet of art that I mostly can't use.

Anyway, this one is in the can; here it is with the others. Marvel at how out of scale the King Crab is.

Spoiler:




This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/03/27 13:20:57


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in us
Tail-spinning Tomb Blade Pilot






These are pretty awesome. As someone who likes Battletech and is interested in 3D printing, I'm definitely following this. Fantastic work so far.

I'm not really in line to get into the 3D printer market just yet, but in a couple years I probably will. I have the space, just need the time and money to be able to do it right and mess with it.

I'm curious though, do you think it would be harder or easier to print these in the more typical scale of the board game? Or would it not really matter?

"Wir sehen hiermit wieder die Sprache als das Dasein des Geistes." - The Phenomenology of Spirit 
   
Made in gb
Leader of the Sept







What a great catapult. The colour scheme works brilliantly. Regarding the waterslide, have you tried printing your own? Laser decal paper is pretty cheap.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
51st Dunedinw2;d0;l0
Cadre Coronal Afterglow w1;d0;l0 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

H wrote:do you think it would be harder or easier to print these in the more typical scale of the board game? Or would it not really matter?


It wouldn't matter. Scaling is very trivial, you just click one button in the slicer and change the percentage up or down. Keep in mind that much with my 28mm pilot, scaling down will lose you detail. However that doesn't matter because there are about a bajillion of the files for these mechs, vehicles, and so on in the "normal" scale (6mm?) out on Thingiverse, many with bases already included. Extracting the files from MWO is (allegedly) pretty easy although I have not done it, and the game developers have said they are good with this as long as it's personal use and you're not selling the prints. So, tons of tabletop scaled minis literally ready to print.

'
Flinty wrote:Regarding the waterslide, have you tried printing your own? Laser decal paper is pretty cheap.


Yes and no. I have done inkjet waterslides, but no longer have an inkjet printer. I have tried doing a laser print with my home black laser printer but it didn't come out very good, and I would be limited to black only. With how badly the paper fed at home, I am not sure I want to take the chance of jamming up my work color laser... but if you guys have specific product recommendations I am all ears!


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in au
Ragin' Ork Dreadnought






Albany, Australia

Lovely. Just gets better with every Mech.

   
Made in be
Liberated Grot Land Raida






Belgium

Really gets me itching for, some more battletech... Great work!

A Squeaky Waaagh!!

Camkhieri: "And another very cool thing, my phones predictive text actually gave me chicken as an option after typing robot, how cool is that."'

Meercat: "All eyes turned to the horizon and beheld, in lonely and menacing grandeur, the silhouette of a single Grot robot chicken; a portent of evil days to come."
From 'The Plucking of Gindoo Phlem' 
   
Made in nl
Did Fulgrim Just Behead Ferrus?





The Netherlands

*mindblown* really amazing!

I really need to get working on some grimdark battletech!

Bits Blitz Designs - 3D printing a dark futuristic universe 
   
Made in au
Fixture of Dakka





Melbourne

 Arakasi wrote:
Lovely. Just gets better with every Mech.
Agreed.
I'm finding myself quite taken with that crab-mech. Something about it just hits a chord with me.


It's interesting reading your thoughts on the printer as well. This sort of programming/computing thing is well beyond my technological bailiwick, so I find it all very impressive.

My Blogs -
Hobby Blog - Currently lots of stuff
Terrain - Currently Middle Earth ruins.
My Instagram - I don't post much. 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Battletech mech: Locust LCT-1V

So, I'm actually not a huge fan of the Locust in gameplay at all. However, I have so many beefy bois that I wanted one really small one to accentuate the scaling difference between some of these mechs, and the Locus is a very visually striking mech.

From SARNA:

The Locust was one of the most common BattleMechs in existence, having been in continuous production since the design was first introduced by Bergan Industries in 2499. One of the smallest 'Mechs ever built, the Locust was designed exclusively for reconnaissance and quick strike missions, using its then-phenomenal speed to outrun most enemies. In a situation where it was unable to outrun its enemies, the 'Mech did have a light array of weapons with which to defend itself, but the Locust lacked the firepower or staying power to be a true front-line combatant and as a result few MechWarriors enjoyed piloting Locusts. Within its weight-class though the Locust was considered an excellent 'Mech, overshadowed as a scout only by designs which mounted jump jets. Often when a Locust engaged in combat it was as a holding action until reinforcements could arrive, although when operating in groups of three they could swarm lone enemy 'Mechs which became separated from friendly support


This was a really smooth print. I just printed each part totally solid, it's so small that there was no real reason to hollow it. The only hitch was one of the feet, which kept printing with errors for some reason. The way the stl was delivered, there is this complex system of clips to connect the feet, but I just used a pin.

Spoiler:






For the foot I didn't split the toes in software - I just carefully cut them with my hobby knife, then reposed.

Spoiler:


Another size reference shot. He's really as little guy, Sentinel sized.

Spoiler:


From this angle you can really see the disparity in how the waterslide decals done on an ALPS printer came out. Remember, these were literally on the same sheet and more or less scaled the same. The script looks great, but the nose art looks like absolute trash when you get this close. It looks OK from an arm's length so I am using them anyway for now.

I really do need to look into doing my own color laser waterslides.

Spoiler:


Here is my current mech lineup. The King Crab looks hilarious incorrectly scaled at this point...

Spoiler:



But I am making progress on the reprint. It's not at the top of my list though and won't be for a while.

Spoiler:


Current progress:

Raven - done

Mad Dog/Vulture - done

Catapult - done

King Crab - done, but incorrectly scaled

Locust - done

Mad Cat Mk II - printed, pending cleanup, assembly, and paint

King Crab rescale - printed, pending cleanup, assembly, and paint

Timber Wolf/Mad Cat - printed, pending cleanup, assembly, and paint

Classic Mad Cat (XL print) - pending

Stormcrow - fixing the stl file

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/03/27 13:21:11


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in gb
Leader of the Sept







Ooooooh bring on the madcats. The locust looks great.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
51st Dunedinw2;d0;l0
Cadre Coronal Afterglow w1;d0;l0 
   
Made in us
Destructive Daemon Prince





Albany, NY

New crab progress really drives home the difference

Locust is a cutie, nice work. You've got me digging through Sarna now, updating what I remember about BT from the 90s / my brief return in mid-2000s

One thing that I might have missed: What scale are you printing at? 25mm maybe? GeeDub scout marine is of course weird because of especially bulbous heroic scale.

KOW BATREPS: BLOODFIRE
INSTAGRAM: @boss_salvage 
   
Made in us
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Pleasant Valley, Iowa

So, I want to talk a bit about where I am getting the models from. There are 4 sources for STL models of Battlemechs.

1.) Model your own. I actually am OK at making mechs in Rhino, but I can't make them look exactly right, only similar. I'm not going with this option because I can't do it well.

2.) Extract the models from the game Mechwarrior Online and do various stuff to make them print ready. The developers of the game have explicitly said they are good with this for personal use. I haven't been able to make this work well - extracting is not that hard, fixing is quite a bit harder.

3.) Download the models from Thingiverse. These are almost always Option 2, but fixed by someone more competent than I. Maybe.

4.) Buy the models from a commercial site that sells STLs. There are a lot of these. The one I buy them from is Gambody. A good mech STL will run about $26 there. I tend to be able to get a discount because they give you coupon codes if you post prints to their facebook group, which I do, so lets say $17. These models are also very highly detailed, much more than the free options tend to be.

Thingiverse:


Gambody:


Sometimes the Thingiverse ones are good enough - for example, I didn't buy the Mad Dog \ Vulture. For actually playing Battletech I think ALL the Thingiverse ones are good enough, they're going to look amazing at 2" tall. But I want much larger, so I want detail.

The first 3 options are free, but you kind of get what you pay for. The models that are done by the commercial sites, like gambody, are reviewed by an editior for common model errors and fixed. My Mad Dog\Vulture had missing faces I had to make and print a fix kit for. That won't happen with the commercial sites. Additionally, they have detailed instructions for how to position the model for optimal printing, and they update the models upon request to make them easier to print. For example, when I posted that the teeth were very difficult to print well for my Godzilla, a few weeks later they updated the model to cut the head up a little differently so the teeth could be printed better. This isn't a love letter to Gambody, some of their models have very bizarre poses and I question the site's legality. I imagine it will just disappear one day. But I'm not pulling that string too much, I have no idea what the royalty situation is and it's not really my business.

I have a fair bit of disposable income now, and I don't really buy much Warhams anymore, so I don't mind spending cash on files. However, I can't buy what they don't sell, and as far as I can tell, there are no commercially available models of my favorite mechs - no Uziel, or Stalker, or Cataphract, or Jagermech, or Marauder IIc. Bummer.

So, I found a Stalker on Thingiverse. I was kind of able to make it work.


Spoiler:


Here are some of the challenges I faced:

1.) The model is all one piece. This poses quite a few problems, "being too big to fit on the bed" being the most obvious - but it's also hard to position supports when it's one giant-ass brick of resin. I tried chopping the model up in Meshmixer, with mixed results. I was able to split the body, and the side pods no problem. The feet have some kind of error I absolutely cannot figure out or fix and my only option was printing the legs as one piece. I've never printed legs this big before, and it led to some problems. I'll get back to those, but the takeaway here is the only way I could get the feet to print is by printing the entire bottom half of the model in a single piece.

2.) Errors in the model. In addition to the problem with the feet, there were some parts of the model that were just plain missing - missing faces. These are geometry problems, not "bad print" problems.

This is what they look like when they print:

Spoiler:




3.) Complications from printing the legs in one piece.

Spoiler:


Kind of a smorgasbord of errors here. First, there are some spots where either I could not place supports because of slicer restrictions, or there were bad faces in the model where the supports didn't render. There is a spot where the calf warped because even with enormous supports in the area, it was just too much weight. I learned from the king crab and made sure that even though the model was hollowed, the walls were thick - 2.5mm - but still, asking a lot of one little spot. Finally one error on the right leg where I honest am not sure what happened. Either I didn't support a chunk and it misprinted, or it's a model error.

Ultimately though, none of these are serious issues, that is what greenstuff is for and these are trivial fixes. A bigger issue is the lack of detail - there is just a lot of bling not present. No handles or vents or hatches or rungs, just lots of big, flat areas. I'm going to try to model up some detailing bits and bling it up a bit.

I'm going to let it sit for about a week anyway to make sure any uncured resin is really purged from the insides of the model - those big holes you see are intentional, they're drain holes. I patch them with Greenstuff before priming. I'm not sure I've yet shown a model where the holes were visible, but every larger model I've printed in resin has these drain holes.

Anyway, it's going to sit for a week as I mentioned because I had a model once get ruined early on. I didn't rinse the insides as well as I should have, and when I left it out, it bled some resin from inside all over some details below the drain (and then being light sensitive, the uncured resin hardened in the daylight). Now my hollowed models sit for a while atop a shop towel in a dark area. Any resin bleed is easily washed away with alcohol, as long as it isn't allowed to cure. I also try some other tricks, like doing a post-print wash in a ultrasonic cleaner full of 99% isopropyl alchohol, blasting the insides with a syringe full of IPA, etc, but ultimately there are a lot of nooks and crannies up in there sometimes.



 Boss Salvage wrote:
One thing that I might have missed: What scale are you printing at? 25mm maybe? GeeDub scout marine is of course weird because of especially bulbous heroic scale.


My dude, I have absolutely no idea what scale these are. I have had a hard time finding scaling data for Battletech in general. Tons of info out there on weight, but exact heights are very hard.

I found this art online and I have been eyeballing heights based off of it since the beginning, using my Raven as a baseline.

Spoiler:


Are those scales right? Shrug, I have no idea. I'm just trying to keep them more or less consistent with each other, and aside from the KGC, I think i have mostly done OK. The KGC I think was a math error when I was converting the size in came in to the size I want - I am quite bad at math.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2019/03/05 02:02:49


 lord_blackfang wrote:
Respect to the guy who subscribed just to post a massive ASCII dong in the chat and immediately get banned.

 Flinty wrote:
The benefit of slate is that its.actually a.rock with rock like properties. The downside is that it's a rock
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





IL

Loving the work on these. I've been in a bit of a slump with gaming and the new Battletech box has re-lit some interest in doing some models and I'm itching to work on some mechs both 3d and the new plastics.

Paulson Games parts are now at:
www.RedDogMinis.com 
   
 
Forum Index » Dakka P&M Blogs
Go to: