Thanks guys! I'm curious myself how this will turn out at the end
Wow! Alex, this is pure awesomeness! Have you considered turning this into a kit? It certainly looks good enough!
Haha Kevin, that would be a challenge. But never say never Unfortunately the technology (at least of my printer) isn't ready yet that one pushes the print button and gets a perfect clean part. I'm playing around with different materials, and it seems they all have their pros and cons.
Here are some examples of the floats.
The one in the background was one of my very first prints, printed with a material called PLA in silver-grey color and very rough resolution (0,2 mm), where even after some sanding the layers are still very visible. The next one was printed with grey PLA in a higher resolution (I think 0,1 mm). After some sanding, it looks OK but I guess that after some painting, the layers would be still visible, requiering more sanding.
PLA seems to be one of the most common materials for that kind of printers. It prints reliable, sticks good on the printing plate, and tends just little to warp when cooling down. If you have luck there is no warping visible at all. But PLA has also a rather low melting point, which makes sandig tricky. And once cold, it is very hard and difficuld for scribing on the surface.
The halve float on the foreground was printed with a material called ABS. The edges turned out pretty sharp, an it "feels" similar to our well-known polystyrene. It can be easily sanded, and should be good for scribing. With the right glue, it can be "welded" like normal kit parts. But it has a higher tendency to shrink when cooling down, what can tourn out into warped parts, expecially at the lower area. It ist difficult to peruade ABS to stick on the printing plate. And finally, there appeared lots of stress cracking all way up during the print, probably due to shrinking. I filled those cracks with putty, but this float is not usable for a model. I also tried a material from another manufacturer called smartABS, which has a lesser tendency to shrink/warp. It's definitly better, but cracks can still occur.
Finally, the full float on the foreground was printed with a white material called HIPS, what stands for High Impact Polystyrene, indicating that it is the same/similar material like normal kits. The edges turned out less sharp compared to ABS. It is even harder to persuade to stick on the printing plate, and there can also be some warping on the lower area. But on the float, no stress cracking appeared. It is rather soft, and good to sand. Scribing should be no problem. After some sanding, the surface felt pretty smooth. But after a coat of grey Mr. Surfacer, it turend out that there was more cleaning up necessary. At the edge between the lower and upper part of the float, I glued some Evergreen stripes to achive a sharp edge.
So for the moment, whenever possible, I would use HIPS or smartABS for modelling.
Edited by AlexM, 02 July 2017 - 08:58 AM.