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Thread: Using a 3D Printer to make a scale sheet?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Prince Calypso's Avatar
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    Using a 3D Printer to make a scale sheet?

    So My Fiances has fallen into the 3D printing craze and plans to buy one with the help of my father in law.
    or course i rolled my eyes when he told me this but indulged him to continue trying to sale me on the idea which he was failing miserably at till he brought up the idea of using it to make mold for scale sheets and other mermaid tail parts.

    is this even possible?
    is he just trying to get me interested in letting him buy something expensive as shit that we really don't need?
    Cause the idea according to him is plausible on at least some level
    Little Sailor, Little fool, your better heed the golden rule
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  2. #2
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
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    You could use it as the "sculpt" use a flexible mold material like urethane rubber and then cast in silicone


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  3. #3
    Or you could even print the mould, I've thought a lot about doing this myself! It all depends on the material that it prints with and the print area. Some kinds are much more detailed than others, so that will also affect it a lot.

  4. #4
    I wasn't too excited about 3D printers until the class I am in right now. We are using the 3d printer and then the CNC machine which is a subtractive machine rather than an additive one like the 3D printer.

    I think there are a lot of possibilities with 3D printers. Here is some art we have been looking at in our class that was very inspirational:
    http://www.materialecology.com/projects

    http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/pro...e=1&color=0#18

    It may even be possible to 3D print an entire tail without using a mold. You would probably need a large machine for this, but yeah pretty crazy stuff.

    Wow yeah looks like they have learned how to print using silicone: http://3dprint.com/88316/wacker-3d-printed-silicone/

    I know the 3D printer you will be getting probably won't be very big, but there are still many possibilities! The only setback I can think of though is the small 3D printers at my school don't print objects perfectly smooth. To print a 3D object, the machine turns that object into many layers. You can easily see all of the layers. So it might need some sanding once printed. 3D printing even a small object can take a lot of time, but that is time you can spend working on other projects while the machine does the work for you.
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  5. #5
    Oh, I think it's totally feasible. I was actually just thinking about this today. I have a few ideas about how it could work, but I kinda want to play with them before I mention them. However, I definitely think you can use a 3D printer to print the "sculpt" that you then mold off of. If you know how to use 3D modeling software (which isn't that hard to learn honestly), then it can be a huge time saver.
    Mermaid Jewel

  6. #6
    If you get an additive printer though, you could print a small mould (like for individual scales) if the resolution is fine enough. Some of the newer generation resin printers would be easily able to do that, the surfaces are incredibly smooth! Given so much can go wrong in the moulding process and the use of generally expensive materials, being able to print a mould would be awesome!

  7. #7
    I would just love the ability to model one scale and have SolidWorks repeat it for me
    Mermaid Jewel

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Bad people have been using the 3d printers to make working plastic guns.

    I see its possibilities for the medical field where in 3rd world countries, those instruments won't be so expensive and its readily available. Even when training new doctors and other medical staff there, they won't have to do without, they'll have state of the art plastic machinery and tools to work with.

    If you make a tail from it, will it be flexible enough to swim in?
    Formerly known as ireneho

  9. #9
    3D printing/CNC and all that jazz is amazing. My major in college was product design - you can do a LOT of things with 3D printers, but I don't think the ones that are currently affordable for home-use can do anything crazy just yet. Using services like Ponoko or Shapeways will still give you better quality than anything you can buy and print from your garage (for now).

    If you do get one and you're not too concerned with super good detail, I can see you printing stuff for accessories and figurines pretty easily. Does your fiance have any skills in 3D modeling or CAD drawing? If not, it will probably just sit in the corner for a long time. I don't think you can print a whole tail from a home printer yet. The materials for home printing is limited and the space is not large enough.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Prince Calypso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
    3D printing/CNC and all that jazz is amazing. My major in college was product design - you can do a LOT of things with 3D printers, but I don't think the ones that are currently affordable for home-use can do anything crazy just yet. Using services like Ponoko or Shapeways will still give you better quality than anything you can buy and print from your garage (for now).

    If you do get one and you're not too concerned with super good detail, I can see you printing stuff for accessories and figurines pretty easily. Does your fiance have any skills in 3D modeling or CAD drawing? If not, it will probably just sit in the corner for a long time. I don't think you can print a whole tail from a home printer yet. The materials for home printing is limited and the space is not large enough.
    he's planning on taking classes for all that here soon, before we even consider getting the printer.
    as cool as it would be to just 3D print an entire tail lol I was more concerned with just printing out the molds and stuff, the scale molds at least. if not the scale sheet and the flute and fins designs
    Little Sailor, Little fool, your better heed the golden rule
    do unto other just as you, would like to to have them do to you
    you think you can just walk away,but no, it doesn't work that way
    see once your mine, your'll always be
    I never give anything for free...

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