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Asp
29-04-2012, 22:57
http://cubify.com/cube/index.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iesVgYfBWFI

Toadius80
29-04-2012, 23:35
I want.... !

Sent from my God Like Device using TapaTalk

UberBeast
30-04-2012, 02:10
And everyone's first thought: "Could I make my own minis with this?"

librerian_samae
30-04-2012, 07:12
seems nice, will be great to see what these things are like when they hit mass market consumers (ie us) in availability and affordability.

Trasvi
30-04-2012, 08:10
The resolution appears to be 250 microns, (1/4 millimetre, or 1/100 inch). Does anyone know how that stacks up against other printers, and if that resolution is good enough for miniatures? My gut feeling is that it is still too low res for organic shapes, but I would like to be surprised ;)

Symrivven
30-04-2012, 08:40
Good news now it wont be to log before we can print our own designs

Trasvi: Shapeways frosted ultra detail has a resolution of 0.1 mm. If I'm not mistaken we need a bit more definition for truly smooth organic shapes. I'm also interested in how brittle/ strong the material is.

sigur
30-04-2012, 16:01
Eurch, that means all we'll see in the future is these computer-generatedmodels? Seems like we'll have to say goodbye to any well done, interesting faces for a looooooong time then. :D

de Selby
30-04-2012, 16:27
Like I said the last time we did this thread, I'm really looking forward to printing my own city terrain. This is a gift for STC buildings (or it would be a gift if it didn't still cost thousnds of dollars for the machine and materials).

stroller
30-04-2012, 17:01
Soooo... $1300 for the printer $50 a pop for the cartridge, more for the pads, films and other gubbins and no (obvious) information on how long the consumables last - someone's idea of affordable is sightly different from mine....

Symrivven
30-04-2012, 17:05
Eurch, that means all we'll see in the future is these computer-generatedmodels? Seems like we'll have to say goodbye to any well done, interesting faces for a looooooong time then. :D

Don't worry there'll be 3d scanners to, so you can sculpt your models the old fashion way and ten print copies.
Despite the smiley I'm not suer you are sarcastic or not, but do you really think computer sculpted faces are inherently worse than putty sculpted ones?

gunmnky
30-04-2012, 17:18
The resolution appears to be 250 microns, (1/4 millimetre, or 1/100 inch). Does anyone know how that stacks up against other printers, and if that resolution is good enough for miniatures? My gut feeling is that it is still too low res for organic shapes, but I would like to be surprised ;)

Really horrible. Companies like moddler use a 16 micron process, and shapeways FUD is around 50 microns.

I actually just did a short write-up about this in my blog (http://fracturedmesh.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-is-3d-printing.html). And no, these aren't going to replace a trip to the hobby store any time soon and probably never will.

sigur
30-04-2012, 18:21
Don't worry there'll be 3d scanners to, so you can sculpt your models the old fashion way and ten print copies.
Despite the smiley I'm not suer you are sarcastic or not, but do you really think computer sculpted faces are inherently worse than putty sculpted ones?

The smilie was mainly meant to make me look less like a mean old guy. ;) Faces on GW's plastics have been really disappointing to me in the past seven years or so and I have yet to see a company do any better with their computer-sculpted faces on plastic miniatures.

Mr Ogre
30-04-2012, 21:13
I'm more concerned with the properties of the material than the finished product.

Naff all point in printing a model if it's going to react badly to a spray underecoat...

Spectrar Ghost
30-04-2012, 22:03
You wouldn't want to print an army at this point anyway. Shapeways FUD is about $10 a cc. Print one and cast it is the way to go. It also avoids any concerns about the material.

Mr Ogre
30-04-2012, 22:11
Starting to sound like rather a lot of arsing around now!

Not for me I'm afraid!

Spectrar Ghost
30-04-2012, 22:15
Hopefully cost will get there eventually, but for the next few years I'd guess you're still looking at a rapid prototyper instead of a true 3d printer. It's the difference between a commercial printing press and a desktop printer.

Sean_OBrien
01-05-2012, 00:10
The material is described as a "tough recycled plastic" - most printers that I have seen which use this particular method of printing use a plastic that is either nylon or ABS. If you check the FAQ, it does actually say it is ABS though. ABS is very similiar to the hard plastic GW uses, and you can actually use solvent cements to glue parts together (and to HIPS used by GW and other plastic miniatures).

The cartridge efficiency is described as "13-14 mid sized creations". They don't specify what midsized is, though I would guess in 40K terms it would probably be the size of a dreadnought or something along those lines (bigger than a miniature, but much smaller than a vehicle). Of course, you are dealing with volumes - so you can hollow things out in order to get more prints per cartridge.

The resolution is only 250 microns. That is very rough for miniatures (might work for structures and some vehicles though). Remember, for something like a face - it might only be a few millimeters from top to bottom. Each layer will be close to the thickness of a miniatures eye - which of course will pretty much make printing the eye out of the question.

The cost makes it pretty well right out for doing an army still. If you figure the $1300 for the printer and the cost of the cartridges (figure 40-50 miniatures per cartridge) you end up with a cost of $14 or so per miniature for really, really rough looking figures in an army of a hundred or so figures.

Now, I know it was mentioned above that Shapeways FUD runs $10 or so per figure, but that isn't quite right. I have been using it for doing armatures for several months now, and each figure costs about $2-3 depending on the specific size and stuff which I model into the armature. Granted I am doing them in 20 figure batches - but then again, that is more useful for my purposes and much more cost effective (as opposed to doing them 1 at a time with the $5 start up fee for each one). If you purchase a model someone else sculpts from Shapeways, they generally add in their commission of whatever they decide to add. That might be a dollar or two, or it might be $20 - Shapeways doesn't control that aspect.

gunmnky
01-05-2012, 05:53
I'm more concerned with the properties of the material than the finished product.

Naff all point in printing a model if it's going to react badly to a spray underecoat...

The plastics used in rapid prototyping are suitable for all kinds of paint, even those that use chemical propellants. My bolters primed just fine with stock GW spray primer.


The material is described as a "tough recycled plastic" - most printers that I have seen which use this particular method of printing use a plastic that is either nylon or ABS. If you check the FAQ, it does actually say it is ABS though. ABS is very similiar to the hard plastic GW uses, and you can actually use solvent cements to glue parts together (and to HIPS used by GW and other plastic miniatures).

The cartridge efficiency is described as "13-14 mid sized creations". They don't specify what midsized is, though I would guess in 40K terms it would probably be the size of a dreadnought or something along those lines (bigger than a miniature, but much smaller than a vehicle). Of course, you are dealing with volumes - so you can hollow things out in order to get more prints per cartridge.

The resolution is only 250 microns. That is very rough for miniatures (might work for structures and some vehicles though). Remember, for something like a face - it might only be a few millimeters from top to bottom. Each layer will be close to the thickness of a miniatures eye - which of course will pretty much make printing the eye out of the question.

The cost makes it pretty well right out for doing an army still. If you figure the $1300 for the printer and the cost of the cartridges (figure 40-50 miniatures per cartridge) you end up with a cost of $14 or so per miniature for really, really rough looking figures in an army of a hundred or so figures.

Now, I know it was mentioned above that Shapeways FUD runs $10 or so per figure, but that isn't quite right. I have been using it for doing armatures for several months now, and each figure costs about $2-3 depending on the specific size and stuff which I model into the armature. Granted I am doing them in 20 figure batches - but then again, that is more useful for my purposes and much more cost effective (as opposed to doing them 1 at a time with the $5 start up fee for each one). If you purchase a model someone else sculpts from Shapeways, they generally add in their commission of whatever they decide to add. That might be a dollar or two, or it might be $20 - Shapeways doesn't control that aspect.

A huge factor in cost is hollowing the design and knowing what thickness you can work with. If you just want to shoot off some miniatures, then it's entirely possible to create cheap minis. If your objective is to cast them, I recommend using a solid model that can survive the vulcanizing processes without imploding. It will cost more, but resin casts should then run only spare pocket change per casting.

However, FUD still has striation problems, despite its higher cost. This is something to plan on before ordering. Going with a smaller process like moddler's 16 micron will make outstanding miniatures, but you're going to pay the price for it.

blongbling
01-05-2012, 12:46
3D printers are interesting, I think they are a long way of from printing models (but long in terms of tech is arguable) however you can be printing scenery and objective markers right now. 3D printers are being used more and more in the computer modding areas as well with people custom printing bits they want instead of getting them cast in metal and the results look ace

Sean_OBrien
01-05-2012, 13:51
Not to get into the weeds of things - but when you are looking at the various 3D printers and printer technologies, you need to understand the resolution to make better comparisons.

250 microns refers to the layer thickness in this case. With this printer, each layer is layed out sort of like a soft serve ice cream machine or a caulk gun in a single long thread. This creates a different problem with print artifacts, as all exposed surfaces will have noticeable banding (whether it looks coarse like denim or something like a silk shirt will depend on the thickness of that string). Botmill uses the same technology. Other technologies apply small blobs of the plastic and build it up something more like building with legos. That results in a texture which is more readily obscured since you don't have the patterns which the eye finds.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the other varieties of printers generally have two different resolutions. Each layer might be able to be built of blobs which are 50 microns in diameter, but each layer is only 30 microns thick. This is due to the plastic material settling slightly before it cures. One of the more popular printers for example are the Objet24 and 30 models. These printers are capable of printing at 600x600 dpi on each layer with 900 dpi for the layer thickness. That ends up being 42 microns and 28 microns respectively. FUD from Shapeways is actually printed at 39 micron resolution on each layer with the layer thickness being 31 microns (656x656x800 dpi). Moddeller uses an Objet Eden printer for their printing. That particular model does print in 16 microns for each layer thickness, but the resolution on each layer is only 42 microns (so it ends up being both better and worse than FUD).

Rick_1138
01-05-2012, 14:41
Faces on GW's plastics have been really disappointing to me in the past seven years or so and I have yet to see a company do any better with their computer-sculpted faces on plastic miniatures.

Oh i dont know, the SW plastics bare heads are quite good and take painting well. The worst faces GW did were the P.fist clad veteran sgt they released in the all metal box a few years ago, he looked like he was taking a particulaly stubborn poo in his armour! and the plastic scout heads were awful, but thanfully they seem to have backed away from the cube headed grimace look! hehe

gunmnky
01-05-2012, 18:13
3D printers are interesting, I think they are a long way of from printing models (but long in terms of tech is arguable) however you can be printing scenery and objective markers right now. 3D printers are being used more and more in the computer modding areas as well with people custom printing bits they want instead of getting them cast in metal and the results look ace

Really?

So this isn't acceptable for a model? http://www.moddler.com/index.php?p=model&id=15

Or any of these, for that matter? http://www.moddler.com/portfolio

I swear people are looking at legos when talking about 3d printing :eyebrows:

TheMav80
01-05-2012, 21:17
Really?

So this isn't acceptable for a model? http://www.moddler.com/index.php?p=model&id=15

Or any of these, for that matter? http://www.moddler.com/portfolio

I swear people are looking at legos when talking about 3d printing :eyebrows:

That first one is about 8 inches high though. I'm not saying it doesn't look great, but there is a big difference between making something that is 8 inches high and making the same thing at 2 inches.

Sean_OBrien
01-05-2012, 21:51
12" high actually.

And along those lines, a regular figure is somewhere around 1 1/4" tall (give or take a few millimeters here and there). If you use somewhat squat proportions of 5 heads tall that gives you a head which is 6 mm tall and 4 mm wide. If you figure normal proportions for the eyes and stuff on that head the eyes are 0.8 mm wide and significantly shorter (even if you model them wide open and bugging out).

If you compare those figures with the resolutions used (taking the Moddeler example) you would have 19 "blobs" across the eye and something like 20 or so layers. While you can make something work with it - it requires a lot of clean up before you move to casting or painting. The resolution limits become exceptionally pronounced on certain types of surfaces (things like flowing capes have been problematic with most printers).

Now you can get them printed at higher resolutions which are actually useable with minimal clean up, however most of those services make Moddeler look like Legos (and have the price point to match it).

I like the printing a lot, however it works better for me as something which is creating a frame to use traditional sculpting to provide the finished surface.

Trasvi
02-05-2012, 00:13
Really?
So this isn't acceptable for a model? http://www.moddler.com/index.php?p=model&id=15
Or any of these, for that matter? http://www.moddler.com/portfolio
I swear people are looking at legos when talking about 3d printing :eyebrows:

As discussed before, the resolution of Moddler is 16 microns, or 15 times better than the printer in the original topic, and costs ~$25 for a single humanoid figure or $80 for something dreadnaught-sized.

prowla
03-05-2012, 00:02
I agree that the 3D printers are interesting. Maybe they're not good for much at miniature front at the moment, but the thing is - resolution is only going to get better and the prices cheaper. My estimation is that small miniature businesses will grow to love them soon - it doesn't matter if a single miniature quality print costs $100, if you're going to make casts out of it.

I'd also be interested to see how micro-scale 5 axis CNC machining is doing, pricewise. The CNC has a lot better resolution in general - this is the way GW etc. are getting their plastic molds, 3-ups etc., right?

Sean_OBrien
03-05-2012, 12:32
Most CNC machines still function in a largely analog method (that is if the design calls for a circle, it cuts a circle as opposed to a series of small cuts which represent a circle), so their resolution is limited by the tools you are using on them. We have a large CNC mill (used for engine work and milling other automotive parts). The only real limit to it in terms of detail is the size of the bit used.

Actual tooling for plastic molds will be cut generally using both regular CNC machines and also using an EDM process (should be able to find a video over on Youtube if you want). With that a copy of the model or part of the model is cut out of something like graphite and used to...I guess you could say melt the mold cavity. EDM is very slow, but very precise. With CNC - it can be very quick (depending on tool quality and metal being cut) but as you get smaller and smaller in scale it becomes slower due to speed limits and you will almost always have some scalloping which will need to be polished by hand or using other more labor intensive methods.

frozenwastes
03-05-2012, 17:42
Give this industry time. I bet resolutions will get better and costs will go down. We're still in the spend a lot or be a disappointed early adopter stage.

Cxt
03-05-2012, 19:03
Considering how quickly computers progressed from 8 bit color games to World of Warcraft (or Dawn of War 2), that took what, 20 years? Take a look at 3d printers 20 years from now, and you'll have one in every home (Computers went from monstrosities taking an entire room to fitting in your pocket in what, 50 or so years?) The technology isn't there yet for the common consumer, but I see no reason to think it won't be given time.

xxRavenxx
03-05-2012, 21:55
Considering how quickly computers progressed from 8 bit color games to World of Warcraft (or Dawn of War 2), that took what, 20 years? Take a look at 3d printers 20 years from now, and you'll have one in every home (Computers went from monstrosities taking an entire room to fitting in your pocket in what, 50 or so years?) The technology isn't there yet for the common consumer, but I see no reason to think it won't be given time.

You say this, but can you name... five? applications for it in a home that doesn't include gaming.

I suspect that while the technology will improve, and probably become home-available to some extent, it wont ever be for the common consumer.

Sean_OBrien
03-05-2012, 23:23
I suspect that while the technology will improve, and probably become home-available to some extent, it wont ever be for the common consumer.

I agree with your conclusion as well (much like large format printers/plotters which have been around for decades, vinyl cutters and the rest of that type of equipment). However, might as well just get the Star Trek replicator scenario out of the way since that seems to be where most of them seem to think this is going.

Eventually, but I doubt that will be happening anytime within the lives of anyone who is reading this right now. The 3D printers will be something that is neat for a few users, and something that your average consumer might find actually useful once every few years (like a large format printer or vinyl cutter). Technology that would actually make them useful for most consumers doesn't exist yet and would involve doing things like printing electronics or complex objects that would need dozens of different materials (printing a shoe that would actually be comfortable to wear).

Until we see something like that on the horizon, I wouldn't expect to see them become common place...at least not any more common than a large format printer (which isn't hard to find - but I can count on one hand the number of individuals I know who have one in their house).

shelfunit.
04-05-2012, 08:22
You say this, but can you name... five? applications for it in a home that doesn't include gaming.

I suspect that while the technology will improve, and probably become home-available to some extent, it wont ever be for the common consumer.

1) Making costume jewelry
2) Childrens toys (admitedly miniatures fall into this bracket too)
3) Making brackets and other similar fixings (for hanging things on walls etc)
4) Making general objets d'art
5) Cutlery.

Seriously the list goes on and on - you can make essentially anything that is non-electrical and can be made from plastic to a certain maximum individual part size - I worry more for people who can't think of more than 5 things to other than make miniatures for wargaming - it's like asking someone to name 5 things a computer can do other than making a word document...

TheDungen
04-05-2012, 10:11
I think this'll be more in the line of photoshop and a printer than a large format printer. its a thing for people who like to be creative and i think it'll become fairly common, but it wont become smart phone common.


I dont supose it could be used to make any CAD object i have to render it in their own program?

Erazmus_M_Wattle
04-05-2012, 16:18
I don't think it would have such a wide appeal if you could only use their program. I expect it would accept any 3D file.

xxRavenxx
05-05-2012, 08:27
1) Making costume jewelry
2) Childrens toys (admitedly miniatures fall into this bracket too)
3) Making brackets and other similar fixings (for hanging things on walls etc)
4) Making general objets d'art
5) Cutlery.

Seriously the list goes on and on - you can make essentially anything that is non-electrical and can be made from plastic to a certain maximum individual part size - I worry more for people who can't think of more than 5 things to other than make miniatures for wargaming - it's like asking someone to name 5 things a computer can do other than making a word document...

You essentially put "art" three times there.

As for cutlery, I suspect the trend for metal will continue on, and toys would be dangerous. The price of a printer, and the lifespan of products made on it if being used in a tactile manner, does not outstrip good old fashioned metal.

shelfunit.
05-05-2012, 11:56
You essentially put "art" three times there.

As for cutlery, I suspect the trend for metal will continue on, and toys would be dangerous. The price of a printer, and the lifespan of products made on it if being used in a tactile manner, does not outstrip good old fashioned metal.

Twice, three times if you include the toys. Metal is fine, but the prices of it are going through the roof, hence why the majority of 28mm scale miniatures are turning to resin and plastic nowadays. You go on about the price, the current price, yes, but initially home computers were several thousand pounds, now they are in the low hundreds - I can see the 3-D printers soon(ish) leveling out at 100-200, but only when they are mass produced. As for the life span of the products made by the printer - completely irrelevent - just print out a new one when the old one breaks. If you want a more extensive list how about keys, plates, cups, bottles (and bottle tops), plastic tubes (quick plumbing fixes), covers and plastic housing for Iphones and other devices (like remote controls), glasses frames, cable housing, etc, etc - are you really trying to tell me you can't think of anything like this that is useful from a household point of view? Just type in "3D printer uses" into google and there are a ton of them.

Trasvi
05-05-2012, 13:16
Twice, three times if you include the toys. Metal is fine, but the prices of it are going through the roof, hence why the majority of 28mm scale miniatures are turning to resin and plastic nowadays. You go on about the price, the current price, yes, but initially home computers were several thousand pounds, now they are in the low hundreds - I can see the 3-D printers soon(ish) leveling out at 100-200, but only when they are mass produced. As for the life span of the products made by the printer - completely irrelevent - just print out a new one when the old one breaks. If you want a more extensive list how about keys, plates, cups, bottles (and bottle tops), plastic tubes (quick plumbing fixes), covers and plastic housing for Iphones and other devices (like remote controls), glasses frames, cable housing, etc, etc - are you really trying to tell me you can't think of anything like this that is useful from a household point of view? Just type in "3D printer uses" into google and there are a ton of them.


How many times have you been sitting around at home wishing you had a new bottle top? And when you now have that bottle top, how long until you need another one? For each of those applications you've said, you're needing a different type of material in the cartridge (not to mention you'll want different colours as well). I'm all for the idea that we don't know how we'll use the technology. I can see people starting to print all kinds of amazing things. But I think the cost of the equipment and the cartridges will be prohibitive considering the rare amount of times it may get used. What I can see happening is print shops being set up in every medium+ sized mall where you can get it printed easily in high quality. We have internet stores (shapeways et al) doing this now, and it seems to work.
Consider it like printing glossy 6x4 photos at home. It is possible, but you need a decent quality printer and the paper is expensive - much easier to just print them at the mall for a quarter of the price of buying the paper. Pretty much anything you could print at home on a 3D printer will be easier and cheaper to buy mass-produced.
Honestly, I'm seeing a trend of houses and families without even normal printers these days. The majority use for my family at least was school assignments, and even schools are moving towards electronic assignment submission these days.

I would love to be proven wrong, but I see the 'print shop' thing as much, much more likely.

shelfunit.
05-05-2012, 14:39
How many times have you been sitting around at home wishing you had a new bottle top? And when you now have that bottle top, how long until you need another one? For each of those applications you've said, you're needing a different type of material in the cartridge (not to mention you'll want different colours as well). I'm all for the idea that we don't know how we'll use the technology. I can see people starting to print all kinds of amazing things. But I think the cost of the equipment and the cartridges will be prohibitive considering the rare amount of times it may get used. What I can see happening is print shops being set up in every medium+ sized mall where you can get it printed easily in high quality. We have internet stores (shapeways et al) doing this now, and it seems to work.
Consider it like printing glossy 6x4 photos at home. It is possible, but you need a decent quality printer and the paper is expensive - much easier to just print them at the mall for a quarter of the price of buying the paper. Pretty much anything you could print at home on a 3D printer will be easier and cheaper to buy mass-produced.
Honestly, I'm seeing a trend of houses and families without even normal printers these days. The majority use for my family at least was school assignments, and even schools are moving towards electronic assignment submission these days.

I would love to be proven wrong, but I see the 'print shop' thing as much, much more likely.

Bottle tops break and/or get lost all the time, but don't let your focus on a single example from an long and incomplete list get in the way of a "this will never happen" argument.
You seem to be looking at this very short sightedly. Currently the price of the hardware is expensive - I agree, and specifically included it in my post. The price of the material is however currently very cheap, and as these devices become more prolific, like the devices themselves will drop due to competition. Indeed you will need different types of plastic for different applications, just like you need different colours on a colour printer - amazingly they solved that minor issue, switching out plastic cartridges is unlikely to be any greater of a hassle. As for print shops, look at digital cameras and the effect that has had on photo printing shops - once the capacity for doing the same thing at home, for a much lower price became widely availible they collapsed - see Kodak and their problems of an example of this in action. You seem to be confused as to the relative costs of getting photos developed - it's certainly cheaper if you only do a couple of dozen photos a year or so, but for a larger quantity it most certainly becomes cheaper to print out at home. You may see a reduction of printers, but that is because the majority of things that need printing have now been transfered to electronic form and carried around on memory sticks - were the 3D CAD models being used solely on computer then yes, home printing would not expand, as all of the things a 3D printer can do are specifically for physical interaction this will not be a problem.

Trasvi
05-05-2012, 15:30
Bottle tops break and/or get lost all the time, but don't let your focus on a single example from an long and incomplete list get in the way of a "this will never happen" argument.
You seem to be looking at this very short sightedly. Currently the price of the hardware is expensive - I agree, and specifically included it in my post. The price of the material is however currently very cheap, and as these devices become more prolific, like the devices themselves will drop due to competition. Indeed you will need different types of plastic for different applications, just like you need different colours on a colour printer - amazingly they solved that minor issue, switching out plastic cartridges is unlikely to be any greater of a hassle. As for print shops, look at digital cameras and the effect that has had on photo printing shops - once the capacity for doing the same thing at home, for a much lower price became widely availible they collapsed - see Kodak and their problems of an example of this in action. You seem to be confused as to the relative costs of getting photos developed - it's certainly cheaper if you only do a couple of dozen photos a year or so, but for a larger quantity it most certainly becomes cheaper to print out at home. You may see a reduction of printers, but that is because the majority of things that need printing have now been transfered to electronic form and carried around on memory sticks - were the 3D CAD models being used solely on computer then yes, home printing would not expand, as all of the things a 3D printer can do are specifically for physical interaction this will not be a problem.

In terms of cartridges, I agree that it would /should be / is easy to change over. Is was more meaning the cost of keeping multiple different types of cartridges on hand. Currently ink is the most expensive part of a home printer, and I can only see that increasing as one needs to have a cartridge each of many types of plastics, rubbers, ceramics and metals on hand to print out anything. A dedicated print shop seems like it would be better able to stock multiple materials than a home printer would. Perhaps dedicated photo printing shops might not exist any more, but (around here at least) they do feature in most office supplies, electronics and department stores.
As for the cost of photos currently I can print photos at 10c per photo plus ink. Or, I can get it done at a office store / print shop for 10c per sheet, no ink or hardware costs... I don't think any significant amount of people buy packs of over 100 sheets of paper at a time? A quick search for suppliers didn't find me anywhere local that sold sheets for significantly less than 10c per sheet.
The other argument I see against 3D printers is the inability for a large number of people to create decent content themselves. This may be a skill learnt over time, and the market in downloadable meshes would probably explode if this did come to fruition, but I think it is unavoidable that realising a decent 3D model for printing is significantly more difficult than a 2D print.

Are there really things that you would use this for every week outside of Wargaming? I must admit, I don't find myself missing bottle tops ever, and the only times I'm short enough on cutlery to need some printed it would probably be cheaper just to wash the stuff I already have ;) I've used shapeways for wargaming, and I can definitely see the use of 3D printers in spare parts for various things, but on a weekly or even monthly basis, not so much.

shelfunit.
05-05-2012, 16:03
In terms of cartridges, I agree that it would /should be / is easy to change over. Is was more meaning the cost of keeping multiple different types of cartridges on hand. Currently ink is the most expensive part of a home printer, and I can only see that increasing as one needs to have a cartridge each of many types of plastics, rubbers, ceramics and metals on hand to print out anything. A dedicated print shop seems like it would be better able to stock multiple materials than a home printer would. Perhaps dedicated photo printing shops might not exist any more, but (around here at least) they do feature in most office supplies, electronics and department stores.
As for the cost of photos currently I can print photos at 10c per photo plus ink. Or, I can get it done at a office store / print shop for 10c per sheet, no ink or hardware costs... I don't think any significant amount of people buy packs of over 100 sheets of paper at a time? A quick search for suppliers didn't find me anywhere local that sold sheets for significantly less than 10c per sheet.
The other argument I see against 3D printers is the inability for a large number of people to create decent content themselves. This may be a skill learnt over time, and the market in downloadable meshes would probably explode if this did come to fruition, but I think it is unavoidable that realising a decent 3D model for printing is significantly more difficult than a 2D print.

Are there really things that you would use this for every week outside of Wargaming? I must admit, I don't find myself missing bottle tops ever, and the only times I'm short enough on cutlery to need some printed it would probably be cheaper just to wash the stuff I already have ;) I've used shapeways for wargaming, and I can definitely see the use of 3D printers in spare parts for various things, but on a weekly or even monthly basis, not so much.

It all really depends on what form the "cartridges" take - if they are like printer cartridges on a 2D printer then they will potentially become expensive as many of those are single use, but if the 3D ones were reusable - the plastic being granules and not liquid going into the printer makes multi-use (and therefore far cheaper) cartridges more probable. Also as they are solid granules you could concievably have a single removable cartridge that you just emptied out, washed and the filled from whatever bulk container you required.
For home printing costs in the US seem higher than those in the UK - we can get photo 6" by 4" paper for about 5p a sheet - about 20-30% cheaper than it seems you can. As I said, if you only print out a few photos a year it will work out cheaper, but for a large amount home printing can be significantly cheaper and easier.
For the content I agree - it all depends on how freely availible the digital designs are, but even today filesharing sites provide a large number of designs which can be downloaded in seconds.
The things you will be (and mostly already are) limited to are essentially anything that isn't electrical and size. Incredibly complex designs have already been printed out involving moving parts and, as long as the individual parts are of a size that can be printed - limited by the conveyer belt length - you can build pretty much anything.

ElBeaver
22-08-2012, 08:32
What's your take? Image a world where you simply print your minis instead of going down to the shop and pick up the box. There are also some interesting copyright issues (GW already took down design for a tank made by some kid) - especially if we get 3D scanners soon (cram your minis into the scanner and hit copy :D)

Food for thought (3D printers just hit 500$):

http://www.g4tv.com/videos/59451/solidoodle-2-3d-printer/
http://www.wired.com/design/2012/05/3-d-printing-patent-law/

I myself think it has great potential if handled correctly by companies like GW. Instead of paying for the physical model you could buy a license for printing one. They could seel single minis, even single parts. It makes it a hell lot more achiveable to put pieces from different model-types together, and opens up a whole new world for modders - don't like this or that mini? Just create one yourself and print it. Maybe you could also get to buy a license for editing existing schematics (for your own use, obviously) - hell they could even build some software that would allow you to buy parts and stick them together and view them in 3D before printing.

Moderators: Not sure where this thread belongs. Feel free to move it :D

Jim Bowen
22-08-2012, 08:35
yes and don't forget all the sculptors who get to loose their jobs that would be great

ElBeaver
22-08-2012, 08:37
yes and don't forget all the sculptors who get to loose their jobs that would be great

Yeah, lets not forget all the musicians and actors who lost their jobs because of Napster, oh wait. BAZINGA!!!

Mithras69
22-08-2012, 08:38
Ever since I saw a real life demo of a 3D printer 2 years ago I've been thinking the same thing. It would also make it possible to draw your own 3D design and produce your own mini(s)!

Charax
22-08-2012, 08:58
Oh goody, we can rehash this topic again:
- 3d printers need materials and high quality 3d models. Who has high quality 3d models of their products? The companies already making them!

- Any time a disruptive technology appears the existing businesses cry about it. The successful ones adapt

- like companies, some customers will not adopt the new technology. Some people will prefer the quality of products made in a factory, some people won't want the expense/hassle of a home 3d printer.

- Industrial facilities will always be able to produce higher quality products than personal ones. Some technology only become financially viable on a large scale

Urgat
22-08-2012, 09:29
Yeah, that's nothing new. No doubt it's going to change a lot of things once it's been democratised, but for now it's way too expensive.
ElBearer: choosing one example doesn't make your point true. When is the last time you've been to a shop to develop the shots you've taken with your camera during summer? Don't know about you, but those shops have all disappeared from the local towns besides a couple specialised one for professionals. New technologies certainly can kill jobs. Noticed how smithies have run discreet lately? :/

ElBeaver
22-08-2012, 09:31
Oh goody, we can rehash this topic again:
I'm sorry, but I was unable to find this topic posted before.

Jim Bowen
22-08-2012, 10:13
Yeah, lets not forget all the musicians and actors who lost their jobs because of Napster, oh wait. BAZINGA!!!

Yeah fair point

Antipathy
22-08-2012, 11:39
Considering that Sculptors can now make their own sculpts, scan them in using a 3D Scanner, and then fine tweak and "explode" a design on a PC, it allows multi-part kits, faster workflow, and an increase in the number of "add-on" packs which work akin to Hardpoints. An example could be you purchase a Land Raider, and then can purchase the Land Raider add-ons - either the Crusader/Redeemer/Achilles/Helios/Prometheus, etc. Increased work flow = faster design process = more models = more sales = more commission.

I have a couple of sculptor friends who work for GW. I'll ask and see what their opinion on using a 3D Workflow process would have - whether it should stay as it currently is, or instead using a 3D High Poly design tool like ZBrush, or Sculptris. For example, instead of being limited by a "3-Up" Green, they could simply create a model in the Software as large as they want - perhaps several Gig's in size, before shrinking the model and then baking or smoothing extraneous details for the 28mm scale.

These models could also be used as the basis for new GW Computer Games; with "True-TT Scale" models - Dawn of War without MHSM Syndrome (Massive Head Space Marine), Call of Warhammer with the Brian Nelson/Colin Grayson Chaos Warriors...

Urgat
22-08-2012, 12:11
I have a couple of sculptor friends who work for GW. I'll ask and see what their opinion on using a 3D Workflow process would have - whether it should stay as it currently is, or instead using a 3D High Poly design tool like ZBrush, or Sculptris. For example, instead of being limited by a "3-Up" Green, they could simply create a model in the Software as large as they want - perhaps several Gig's in size, before shrinking the model and then baking or smoothing extraneous details for the 28mm scale.
It obviously depends on tastes. I'm quite proficient with Mudbox (Autodesk's alternative to Zbrush) and it's awesome for me, but someone who likes his greenstuff may not like it at all. Oh, and the "size" of a 3D mesh (which is totally subjective and can be changed on the fly) has absolutly nothing to do with the file size :p
Finally, "smoothing" extra details is either a tremendous job on very high polycount models, or, if you let the software do it, a very messy one, so you'll have a big amount of clean up to do. It's always faster to start from scratch when wanting to use lower details. Making a low poly 3D model isn't that complicated anyway when it's your job, most of the old requirements (no face clipping, very low polycount, must triangulate faces, no 2-sided options, etc etc. Brings me back to when I was making ships for Freespace 2, we were all trying to push backs the limits of Volition's 3D engine, hah the memories...) have disappeared years ago because the current engines can all deal with this easily, so it's pretty straightforward now


These models could also be used as the basis for new GW Computer Games; with "True-TT Scale" models - Dawn of War without MHSM Syndrome (Massive Head Space Marine), Call of Warhammer with the Brian Nelson/Colin Grayson Chaos Warriors...
These models have millions of polygons, so you can forget using them in a real time 3D engine like the DoW one. Not that there would be much point in having such details from so far a range. I mean videogames already look kickass now w/o needing all these details, they can use texture, bump, displacement and reflection maps that real models cannot. There will never be any point in using very high poly models for a 3D game, it's much faster to just rebuild from scratch.

Antipathy
22-08-2012, 13:07
Note I said "basis" - valid points though on the time required to smoothe down. I've not done much High Poly modelling other than for making high quality unwraps and bump maps for texturing in games like the Total War Games and Dawn of War, which were then put onto Low Poly models. And yes, the LoD's at a distance don't require the same detail, but as hardware becomes cheaper and more effective, so does the need for higher quality models, to prevent them being shown up on the upcoming Ultra HD 2160p Screens.

zoggin-eck
22-08-2012, 13:26
This has been discussed plenty of times. You'll get more of a response posting in GW general, as it doesn't only affect fantasy (or GW, for that matter, but it's still more appropriate than fantasy general).

t-tauri
22-08-2012, 14:06
Merged to existing.

xxRavenxx
22-08-2012, 21:49
Increased work flow = faster design process = more models = more sales = more commission.

Or...

Increased work flow = faster design process = more models = less staff needed = fired.


Welcome to big business :p

teheuax
23-08-2012, 17:14
Its supposed to take a few hours to print something using these devices. Still faster to just go the hobby shop. I don't see 3D printers as the future for consumers. Though it could be for producers.

Shadey
25-08-2012, 10:15
yes and don't forget all the sculptors who get to loose their jobs that would be great

Will someone please think of all the lamplighters!

You adapt, society cannot progress otherwise.

So do GW use a CnC miller to turn their digital designs into masters?

I wonder if it would be economical to use some of these printers to create terrain masters as people suggested earlier, with the intention of selling the components, not unlike the cities of death style panels.

rich1231
25-08-2012, 10:28
Don't worry there'll be 3d scanners to, so you can sculpt your models the old fashion way and ten print copies.
Despite the smiley I'm not suer you are sarcastic or not, but do you really think computer sculpted faces are inherently worse than putty sculpted ones?

There are already very hi resolution 3d scanners out there.