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The view from my workbench - 3D printed ship models
Posted by Roger Dawson on January 22, 2022, 22:04:41
The main reason why you have had to wait so long for me to get around to the most important part of 3D printing is that I have not completed any ship models from the CAD designs from my printer. A filament printer performs well on waterline ship models because the printer requires a flat base to build up from and a waterline is flat by definition. So far, I have prints in 1/1250 scale of Queen Mary (WW1 battlecruiser), Bouvet (French Pre-Dreadnought), Batch II River-class APV all from Thingiverse and the Dutch cruiser Sumatra (bought from Martin Brown along with assorted master models some years ago). Beginners luck meant that the Queen Mary turned out very well but we removed the foretopmast with a slicing tool and found out that we needed to use Pritt Stick on the steel bed of the printer to keep the baseplate flat at the bow. The design does not print anchors, so I have added those to the hull of the second print and and I am going to repair the damaged-bow print and add torpedo nets to make the ship as built when I have time. Detail is good with separate main turrets which I shall make to rotate but I will replace the clunky secondary gun barrels and rough main topmast with Plastruct rod. Bouvet was not as good because the design had to be scaled down from (I think) 1/700 scale and some details were then too small to print but a little traditional model making will solve that. The River was fine but both that and the Queen Mary had mesh lines on deck which a couple of coats of paint will probably hide. Sumatra needs rather more work because some of the boats need external support and the bridge deck which wraps round the front funnel would not print. I am minded to make that and the masts by hand and fit boats from stock castings.
So these will all progress when time permits. Many designers have sent their designs to Shapeways for printing and they get paid for the prints. I do not see them moving to Thingiverse to give the design away except to advertise (the Queen Mary write up says as much). It would be nice to hear of other Docksiders experiences.