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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Adventures in 3D Printing

 Its been a busy couple of weeks! I spent a week whale watching and then the past couple of days in the aftermath of having a seriously infected tooth extracted.  In the middle of that the SnapMaker Kickstarter delivered a 3D printer to my doorstep!

Assembly was straightforward and, after a couple of false starts with leveling the print bed, pretty easy to start exploring. The machine is performing pretty well although there doesn't appear to be any kind of auto shut off when a print is finished.  The nozzel and bed cool but the machine otherwise idles and the fan volume is not insignificant... which will hopefully be compensated for when the enclosure gets installed.  It's not hugely loud or poorly pitched its just a PC component fan running all the time the machine is on.


 The SnapMaker software is a beginners set.  Its simplified and requires little to no experience with 3D printing to get started.  Its also sized for the SnapMaker's relatively small print bed which was a big help already.  Once I get a little more up to speed I'll likely look into a more advanced  program.  Snapmaker supports several of these.

The enclosure... seen on the right... was kind of an afterthought and it shows a bit.  I'm assembling it but will probably wait until I finish my large model test print to install it.
 My first job was to print some scenic 40mm bases as my Knights of the Chalice (Raging Heroes) is in the paint process and needs bases badly!  These came out ok and taught me a lot about PLA as a material.  First... the heat from filing a rough edge will melt the PLA so be careful about that... that makes me think that I might want to be aware of the climate when moving, storing and using models and accessories made from this material!  I think the SnapMaker supports a couple of other materials and I'll have to experiment a bit to see what options are available.
 Next up are some scenic bits to make the Kingdom Death Monster board a bit more attractive.  3D replacements for some of the terrain types and a 25mm round with a Kingdom Death stone faces theme.  I'll have to experiment with adjusting these to serve as inserts in the 30mm Kingdom Death bases but I'm happy to have a couple of ways to mount Kingdom Death models on themed bases for use in other games.

I've also printed some blank 25x50mm bases to stabilize some of the more floppy furniture in Star Saga.  I think I'd still prefer to use clear Plexiglas for that because its stiffer at less thickness but ... experiments!
All of these types of bases etc... took about two hours each to print at high quality.

Finally... since I was going to be out of it for a couple of days with the tooth... I hit the start button on a "Dice Box of Death" to have a cool Kingdom Death(ish) theme container for the table!... Since it is forbidden for me to touch my wife's dice... due to understandable fears of "Cursed Dice" transfer ... I *may have to make two of these boxes...

At the time of this photo the print is about 12 hours on... looks like about that much longer? and then the lid will need printing.  After which... it'll be time to tackle the enclosure!

Off to see how the bases paint up!

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