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Blohm & Voss BV-138 "A Study In 3D Printing"-or, what you can get away with...

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I see that HPH isback on their BV-138, looks really nice !


So I figured I would post a project that I started(yes another...) about 2 months ago. I have been doing alot of experimenting with my ANYCUBIC PHOTON MONO X 3D printer for about a year now seeing what large formats that I can get away with, lots of successes also failures !!! I also have been doing alot of 3Ddrawing to make printed parts, the learning curve is enjoyable and tedious at times... all good though !!!

So I search the internet for potential projects to print that already exist but that can be made into a different scale by putting them into the printer's slicing soft ware. I have also learned to use the cutting feature in the slicing program which alows you to cut a model into pieces which alows me to make much larger parts that can be assembled into the complete item.

Lots of trial and error, some designs don't take kindly to being cut, the parts sometimes get odd splayed out chards sticking out of the parts, you can see them while veiwing it in the slicer, but I have found that if you experiment you can sometimes cut a item in a different order i.e. cut the back off a part first then the front, if it doesn't work cut it the other way, front first then back.. it takes some messing around but you can usually get it to work...

On to this project, this is the 3D file I purchased, it cost about $18.00 U.S. it was drawn at 1:56 scale and is now 1:32 scale at my house...



If you have been wondering how big the BV-138 is, here it is next to the 1:32 scale HK Lancaster....





To fit the model onto my printer I had to cut the fuselage into 3 pieces, the forward fuse is cut just aft of the wing's leading edge, the rear tail cone is cut just aft if the rear turret mount.

The wings are cut into 4 sections each, the engine nacelle with inner wing and outer root and then the rest of the outer panels in 3 pieces(you can see the glue joints in the photos) also I cut the booms off of the engine nacelles aft of the trailing edge of the wing on a panel line just pass the wing root fillet.


The horizontal stab I cut in half in the middle to make it an 11 hour print versus a 21 hour print...

The big reason for cutting most of the wing portions into smaller parts was not for print time, but was so the parts could be angled on the build plate for a better finish in the printing.


After I printed most of the main components I had to start looking at what needed to be made to improve the finished model, I have to say the purchased files printed really good, it has alot of panel lines which look good but are very large when scaled up, kind of looks like an old Matchbox kit....

First I saw that the 3D file canopy had to be re-made so 3D drawing it was...


New Canopy Frame,(printed)

Also had to add intakes to the engine nacelles under the propellers(printed parts)




Next was the gun turrets, the 3D file comes with the Mine Sweeping magnetic ring, I thought about putting it on but was afraid of breaking it all the time, but really preffer the look of the power turret up front of the cockpit which isn't there on the minesweeper... drew the turret frame and a pattern to make a vac form clear dome, the printed frame fits over the vac formed clear piece, i drew up the interior works of the turret and cannon body printed, barrels are brass tube ,also had to draw and print the open air machine gun ring that is aft of the center engine nacelle, above the rear power turret.








The purchased 3D file only has a basic flight deck of 2 seat shapes and 2 basic control yokes. So I found some photos on the internet of the flight deck and instrument panel, didn't find any photos looking back into the area directly behind the pilot's seats but I got a basic idea of what it's sort of from pictures taken from that area looking forward, I wasn't too worried about it since not much of it will be seen. So I drew up an instrument panel some side walls and floor and ceiling then drew up some radios and printed everything, pretty happy with it so far, have to add some "AIRSCALE" instrument dials !!!








I have drawn up and printed some bomb racks and bombs for under the right wing, an oddity of the BV-138, it only carried ordinance on the one point of the airframe.




I have also drawn and printed some louvers for the bottom of the outboard engine nacelles as well as some radiator faces, more photos to follow and ground some hole for exhaust pipes which are not present on the model, again I have drwn the pipes and printed them...


Hope you like the project !!!










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4 hours ago, Dandiego said:

I have thought about doing the same thing. Buying a file online and cutting/ resizing it. How difficult is it to manipulate the purchased file? Is there any computer Voodoo involved?



The files purchased on line can't be altered(not by me at least) so what I do is bring the parts into my slicing program for the printer. Sometimes there are multiple parts on the same file, I have found that sometimes you can cut one part away from the others to make it easier to work with but sometimes you can't remove the other part or parts so I have been moving the other parts into"cyber space" which means that I move the unwanted parts off the build plate layout in the software, you still slice the file as normal and the other parts simply don't print being in "space". 

The most important step in cutting the parts in the slicing software is to keep the cutoff ends square to each other, the best way I have found to achieve this is to use the placement tools in the slicing software. The Slicing software I have used has 2 placement tools one is to move the part vertically, horizontally,left, right , front and back, the other tool can rotate the part on x,y,z axis. 

The objects in the drawing files are drawn in space all level and square in their presentation, so what I do once I decide where I want to cut something is to import the part into the slicer, if the part doesn't have to  rotate to fit on the build plate but is too high, I simply select the placement tool that moves the part vertically and then submerge the part into the build plate to the height that I need, then I bring the build plate on the screen directly up into eye level so you don't see the plate anymore then select the cutting tool, you line up your curser where the cut line starts click and drag to the end of the cut, keeping the cut line right on the visual top edge of the build plate on the screen, it's a must top keep the line horizontal in order to keep the cut square. Then you can process the cut part as normal, rotate it, angle it put supports on it, etc.

Like I said the key cutting square is to download your files but do not move the part "free hand" so it doesn't get knocked out of plumb. Use the placement tools that will move the at perfect 90s. You can cut at angles as the software shows angles in degrees that can be noted in order to cut matching part ends.

This all based on resin printing not FDM.

Hope this helps a little,


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