Tuesday, October 1, 2013

3D Sculpting too coarse?

By Chambers
H. R. Giger eat your heart out

In many of the debates I have read here, and elsewhere, regarding 3D printing one of the most common criticisms is the inability of 3D printers to achieve any kind of fine detail.  While this is not ready for prime time yet we might have turned the corner, an entire room was sculpted using 3D printing.

A computational architect-designer by the name of Michael Hansmeyer has produced an incredibly detailed and complex room/ alter completely from digital sculpts.

I found this while reading the latest issue of ASCE SmartBrief.
Also a Link (look for the Civil Engineering version)

I won't go in depth on what if any impacts that this has on our hobby, I will leave that to Sandy.  Having said that I think that this an interesting read that shows the quality that can be achieved with digital printing.

Seeing as I have been absent for a long while I guess I should post something about the hobby as well.  I hate the fact that GW gave the inbred lapdogs a better way to represent the traitor legions than we got in CSM, and I don't think that tau are all that bad.  But I do run a lot of cover denying weapons, so your experiences may differ.

So maybe not the best picture to express my
all consuming hatred of the various flavors
 of Smurfs, but what can I say I am lazy and this picture was easy to find.


  1. Problem is the cost of the printers that can achieve this kind of high detail. You need toner based printers or at least laser-lithographic printers. Thing is...


    This $100 one seems viable... :O

    1. That's a VERY interesting design. I like its inherent simplicity.

  2. More GW hate ...

    So it only requires a PhDs to use a 3d printer. So practical plus the cash.

    1. I know a number of guys that have used both the home filament models, and the large high-detail powder models. None of them have a PHD. Seriously, these things aren't any harder to use than the first dot-matrix paper printers. Or a large-format poster printer. They're fussy to use, but not impossible.

      The stumbling block for most people will be the creation of the model in the first place. But even if you've never used a 3D modeling package, easy scanning solutions exist already. All you need is a 2D camera and a turntable.


      I've personally helped set up a pipeline for the scanning of consumer products using Strata Photo 3D. With a dedicated turntable and a good lighting setup, we got the process down to just 10 minutes per model. At a much higher quality than the example in that video.

    2. Things that qualify as GW hate these days:

      Valid criticism of GW, invalid criticism of GW, saying you don't like something made by GW, saying you like something made by GW that is no longer made by GW, saying you like something not made by GW, saying that another company might possibly do something better than GW, displaying anything other than fawning appreciation for anything GW does, mentioning "3D" and "Printing" within the same blog post, and of course actual GW hate.

      It's like the internet magically erases all nuance.

    3. Leave Britney ALONE!!!!!

  3. BBF;
    I actually like GW, in fact if I am going to be truthful it kinda borders on a creepy obsession..... you know in a perfectly healthy/ normal type of way...

    I will admit to not liking GW legal and Fincast, but on the whole I like what the company puts out, both in terms of product and rules. And while I don't read as much as I would like to, I absolutely love the fictional universe that they have put together.

    What I don't like is that Chaos always seems to play second fiddle to the loyalist. But when (baring the 3.5 dex) has this not been the case? Truthfully what we have now is loads better than what we had in 5th. While I might wish that it was more developed I am not unhappy with the rule set that we have.

    I don't want to speak for you so please correct me if I am wrong. It seems like you missed the point of my post. Let me try again.
    This new process for 3D printing where you use sand instead of plastic is cool. Alot of the quality problems we see now with the plastic printers could possibly be overcome by switching the medium. Nothing more. Will there need to be a lot more work done on this process before it will be ready even for the industrial market? You bet, I never thought that this was in question and I am sorry if that is the impression that I left you with.

    1. LOL Chambers! Good to hear from you man! I understand full well your feelings of second fiddle. As a Nid player I feel your pain. Until recently the Xenos have had a hard time. After Eldar and Tau I have a feeling that GW just might not hate us Xenos after all.

    2. The tech will get there. Right now we're in early 90's of 3D printer development.

    3. Hate to mention the Black Legion supplement, seems silly to pay that much for the single paragraph of rule changes (OK, a bit more than than :-))... But we have a few locals playing Chaos Marines doing fairly well. Simply declaring his Army "Black Legion" makes one particular player's force a LOT better with Chosen as Troops. Not the uber competitive Tournament force, but fun to play locally at least...

      We have a few good 3d printers here atht e U of I, but I haven't actually used any of them... Guessing a 40K force could be mass produced in these conditions if someone had the time... Betting that at least some of the locals forces are being supplemented by printed models... Just a matter of time I think until this becomes widespread I think... SandWyrm's comparison to the early 90's seems quite apt as one who was involved in the IT industry back then :-)

  4. a new start up company has recently started doing 3d printing of chibi miniatures. I cannot remember the name. Its not Soda Pop. Anyhow, I bought some at gencon, All I had to do was clean them off and sand them down just like any other miniature. The detail is phenomenal and according to them each miniature only cost them $1 to print. They sold for $8 a miniature. So yeah, 3D printing is here to stay and to be honest its gotten good enough to make great copies of detailed miniatures. Soda Pop also seems to be delving into this form a lot more as well as Malifaux. Just food for thought.

    1. There were a LOT of new miniature boardgames at Gencon. Some of whom were only showing prototype 3D printed models. Painted up, I couldn't tell the difference.

  5. Chaos is strong and has all the tools it needs. If you want EZ win play eldar or Tau .

  6. The days of Star Trek's replicators are coming....

  7. Detail is only a problem for hobby-level 3d printers. While production machines can't quite produce the detail of an injection-molded plastic model, they're well on their way. To me, 3d printing simply isn't fast enough to produce even small runs of anything. Combine that with trimming of printed supports to hold a model's weight as it prints, and you've got yourself a bit of a roadblock, so it'll remain a tool for prototyping.

    Hell, even a good filament hobby-level 3d printer can put out some solid detail as long as you're reasonable about your goals and ask the machine nicely. Gun emplacement? No problem, my friend! Tiny skulls on each of the bullets in the ammo feed? Might want to leave that one to the pros.

  8. Poor example. Printing a room is the opposite of what we need from 3d printers (even if it was block by block); what we need is some tiny bitz (like a gravgun) printed that don't look like they're covered in horizontal lines. You can see it more & more as the 3rd party manufactures produce pieces with details and recesses that can't be reached with a sanding tool, even with the pro level printers they're using.

    Having said that you're absolutely right about the printers being in their infancy. Even well into the development of color printers I wouldn't have thought that they would ever look as good as traditional prints. Now, it's hard to tell the difference.
    The tech will get there, it's just not going to be tomorrow.

    1. The room-printing is a bad example of the physical end-product. At that scale, you can print anything. But I think Chambers was more taken with the digital sculpting side of the project.

      I know what someone can do with a copy of ZBrush and some time. So I tend to take that part of the process for granted. But to folks who aren't used to working in 3D, or who don't know the sculptural tools that exist, it can be pretty impressive to see an intricate 3D sculpt. Plus most of the 3D printed bitz and minis out there right now aren't as intricate or as well designed as they could be.

    2. +1, that and the change in mediums.


out dang bot!

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