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3D printing

Started by Stuart, December 24, 2023, 01:17:46 PM

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I have not posted much of anything for several months.  My efforts have been diverted (for the time being) toward learning to print in 3D with my own resin printing equipment.  It has been a bit of a steep learning curve with understanding the slicing process and how to properly support the items being printed.  To do so, I purchased some prepared 3D figures from an Etsy vendor and have been working with them in my learning process.

My choice of using the Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles may not be what you would expect to find included in this forum but there is a purpose in it.  My granddaughter has developed a rather keen interest in these rambunctious characters so I thought I would provide some additional fuel to the fire and let her have and enjoy the fruits of my learning process.

Eventually I intend to prepare my own models in a 3D program and then produce them for my own model building projects. 

Here are a few photos showing what I have accomplished and the amazing detail that 3D resin printing is capable of.  But, of course, any of you who are already acquainted with the capabilities of 3D printing will not be surprised.  I'm just excited that, with practice, I should be able to produce detail items for my models which would be difficult to create using more conventional methods.

  Leo 1.jpgLeo 3.jpgRaph 1.jpgRaph 3.jpg


I am glad to see you adding cutting edge technology to your prodigious talents. What software and printer are you using and what is the scale of the figures? -- Russ


My 3D resin printer is by Elegoo, a Saturn 2 model.  Elegoo provides a slicing program called Chitubox but I have opted to use a program called Lychee slicer by Mango 3D.  Originally I downloaded their free version but found that their pro version is a much better choice.  It has many more advantages over the free download at the yearly subscription price of $70.00 US.  I am using Elegoo's standard grey resin which seems to work pretty well for what I have been doing.

For actual 3D model building I have been using Sketchup.  I have been successful with that program for what I have been doing up to this point.  However, I want to graduate to Blender, a free 3D modeling program used by many 3D model creators. 

The standing Ninga Turtle figure shown above (Leonardo) measures about 9" from table surface to tip of sign post.  The crouching character (Raphael) stands at about 6 1/2".

Below is a photo of my printing station --- printer, isopropyl alcohol washer, and UV curing unit.

3D printing station.jpg


I am familiar with the Saturn 2 and, from what I've read, it's a top choice and capable of cranking out prints at least as fine as the best injection molded HO and N scale styrene models. I have used SketchUp and you could do a lot worse. If Blender has advantages it's probably with compound curves, something awkward to draw with SketchUp. We used to have a couple of SketchUp gurus on the forum but they both wandered off; even Chuck Doan's appearances seem fewer and farther between.

Your printer station is disgustingly clean and organized. I would expect all kinds of spills, stains, and detritus to adorn the area.

Please post your 3-D creations.



Well, I do try to keep a clean and tidy environment.  My work/shop space is quite small and if I let things get too chaotic, work gets difficult.

And yes, SketchUp has served me well and I have no complaints so long as I don't need to (as you suggest) create something with compound curves, difficult geometry or of an organic nature.  It appears Blender will answer those needs.

After I finish a couple more Ninga Turtle characters for my granddaughter I will turn my focus to my typical model building projects as it relates to my Luke's garage and gas station.  Gotta get that bad boy done!  I'll get some photos posted as I go.


Bill Gill

Stuart, Neat to read that you are experimenting with 3D printing. Looks like the printing of the predesigned Nina Turtles went very well. Looking forward to see samples that you designed.