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Old 12-31-2020, 01:28 PM
sreinmann sreinmann is offline
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3D Model Printing Services

So, I've had a running project for a few years now to build the active duty US UAV drones. This has been a multi discipline project including plastic, resin and paper all in 1:48 scale. So far I've completed the MQ-1A, MQ-8B and MQ-8C, MQ-9, RQ-4, RQ-7, and CQ-10 and RQ-170 (although I'm still tweaking those last two as they are my own designs). There's a few that I'm missing but really want to include: the MQ-1C Grey Eagle, RQ-2 Pioneer, MQ-5 Hunter specifically. There are few options if any in these kits except in 3D printing.

There are several examples available online of digital 3D models, some better than others. In addition, I do not own a 3D printer, so I would need to have a service print the model for me. Since this is uncharted territory, I'm very hesitant - AND there is a huge cost for some of those services. I was quoted a range of $20USD for a RQ-2 of basic quality or $100+ for the fine print version from a seller on Shapeways. Not that $100 will give me panel lines or fine details on the landing gear/instruments though. It just means, I guess, less sanding and shaping.

I'm just not convinced that this option make sense. Have any of you had experience with 3D printing services?
Happy Crafting - Scot
On the Bench: GSLV F09
Under Design: CQ-10 1:48, RQ-170 1:48, Chandra X-Ray Observatory 1:48
On the Back Burner: ISS Mission 3A
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Old 12-31-2020, 01:37 PM
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CharlieC CharlieC is offline
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There may be an alternative.

Recently there has been a thread on papermodelers of browser based software called "Papermaker" which can take a .stl file and unfold it to .svg and .pdf. You could use Inkscape to colour a model or print and build it white and paint it. It may be worth a look if you can access the .stl files of your desired models.

It seems to me that the limitations of 3D printing are a big downside to using it for accurate models. The primary limitation would seem to be the minimum thickness a part can be without the print failing because of strength constraints of a part.


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Old 12-31-2020, 02:00 PM
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rickstef rickstef is online now
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Check to see if you have a MakersSpace nearby, or a library that has a 3D printer, those maybe cheaper alternatives to having a company print it for you
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:37 PM
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ShadowCory ShadowCory is offline
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The quality and detail of the mesh itself is very important to the finished product. Shapeways does make excellent prints if the mesh is good. I've had a couple of custom prints made there in the past. If you have a good, detailed model, they will make a good, detailed print.
Do you have the mesh already? I have both a filament and resin printer and would be happy to print for you if you have the mesh available. I'll do it for the cost of a roll of filament, or bottle of resin. $20 to $40, plus shipping. PM me if you want to hash out the details.
You can see some examples of my prints here:
and here: Cory Collins
My other life:
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:17 AM
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ShadowCory ShadowCory is offline
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I replied to your message, but I am not sure how that system works. It doesn't show anything in my reply I am not sure if you'll get it or not. Let me know if you do.

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