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Gregsed56

3D printer for Modeling

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Hi all. First off, I apologize if my question has already been posted but since I'm new to the forum and the IPMS, having just becoming a new member maybe you all will cut me some slack....LOL...

Just kidding of course. My question is this...I just purchased a 3D printer, hoping it would help me in my modeling. Is anyone aware of sites, people, etc. that post STL files or other 3D printer files for modeling? Such as aftermarket parts for models. I'm definitely not that artistic and just a newbie when it comes to CAD programs and such. There might even be a place here in the forum for such things but being new just haven't discovered it yet. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide to help and point me in the right direction. HAPPY MODELING!!!

 

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To me, this is the great roadblock, at least for now, to 3D printers as practical modelling tools.  The creation of the program to make the part requires learning to use CAD. If one already has substantial computer skills, perhaps this would be quick and easy. But for the rest of us, time taken to learn such skills is time that could be spent modelling. My idea of the ideal 3D printer is one that scans a part and copies it. Such devices exist,  but must be still more expensive. Another alternative, I suppose, is to give someone with CAD skills the part or specifications and let them create the program- if that is even the correct term. There are companies on the Internet that will do such work and make the parts, but they will expect to be paid.

I admit that I get jazzed every time a Micromark catalog arrives with a 3D printer for sale. But they are expensive and I do not have the skills to program it nor the time to acquire them. Even if you paid someone to make the 3D parts for you, it would be a long time before you have spent more than the cost of the printer. 

I think the time will come when all these issues will be worked out in a much more cost friendly way for we modelers. However, is this really modelling? Assembling parts by hand or creating parts or molds for parts with handheld tools that carve and shape and refine is what modelling has historically always been. With 3D printers "some machine will be doing that for you." (Apologies to Zager and Evans.) 

 There is a particular satisfaction in taking a block of balsa or styrene and liberating a fuselage or a hull or a canopy mold from it!  Good luck.

Regards, Nick Filippone

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Go to Shapeways.com.  I had someone design the 1/192 scale American civil war figures I sell on my web site and I was very pleased.  There is a whole section there containing folks who can design the STL files for you.

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