I have been meaning to purchase a 3D printer for a while now. I have been holding back for a while to see how the various 3D Printers that are available to the consumer market are progressing in their development. And finally, I bit the bullet and acquired myself an Anycubic 3D Resin Printer. Here is what I have been up to over this past month.
Justification In Getting My Own 3D Printer
Up until now, I have been sending off my 3D Drawings to Shapeways to produce the 3D Printouts. I have been satisfied with the 3D Printed products that Shapeways have produced for me. But the main challenges faced is the cost of the Print as well more to the fact that if the model looked good as a drawing, the printout may not have produced what I hoped for. For example, the 3D Drawing of Muttama Curtin for the waiting room entry looked good as a drawing but not as a 3D print. Which meant a corrected reprint at Shapeways was needed which came at a cost where the postage was going to cost way more than the print itself. Luckily, I was able to combine a Shapeways order with one of my model rail friends which reduced the postage cost in getting the corrected model posted to me. This is not the first time that this scenario has happened to me. Furthermore, the costs in getting 3D prints done through Shapeways have been much higher since I started 3D Printing Models a few years ago due to several factors such as, Shapeways increasing their overheads and not having special deals on a regular basis, GST being added onto imported goods and the AUD Dollar being weaker to the US Dollar. But the most expensive overhead is the postage. Hence, having a 3D Printer that can be used even to do test prints to see how they turn out and if they have turned out well, then it would eliminate some unnecessary costs.
Its Finally Here
After seeing an Online Deal and taking into account that anything that has electrical components in them are said to be going to be up to 25% more expensive in the not too distant future due to component shortages, I decided to purchase the Anycubic Photon Mono X with the Wash and Cure Station Plus.
Resin 3D Printing is a new deal to me and thankfully I had a helpful source to guide me through the methods on how to print on a Resin Printer. I decided to print off my first 3D Print that a specifically drawn up to be printed on this particular 3D printer. First, print failed, not because of a bad print job, but the resin prints are brittle and were breaking up when I was removing them from the build plate. This issue was simply resolved by pouring hot water over the models on the build plate which have made the resin material flex a bit and with a hobby knife with a chisel type blade and a Stanley knife blade, I was able to remove the 3D prints without breaking them.
In my opinion, the Wash and Cure Station is a must as the 3D prints do need have a decent wash in order to clean off uncured resin residue and the model will also need to go through the curing process to fully cure the model. Also uncured resin can make a mess if not cleaned properly and it is highly advised to avoid skin contact.
First NSWGR Resin Printed 3D Model The Royal National Park Signal Box
When waiting for the postage of the 3D Printer, in that time I decided to draw up in kit form the Precast Concrete Signal Box that remains at the Royal National Park. Not only it still exists in a derelict state, it was within my LGA so I was permitted to venture out there. Therefore I was able to determine and confirm measurements to make up this kit as close to prototypical.
Prints turned out ok. I did need to make a few minor refinements to the model to make it work out. This Printer has saved me cost of prints and postage from Shapeways. Money saved can be used for making moulds to cast this model.
Making The Royal National Park Signal Box As A Flat Pack Kit
The final prints came out in ok state, meaning the non scenic parts of this model did not print out ideally to my expectations, but the sides of the model that had the detail turned perfectly well. Therefore I decided to bypass Shapeways and get straight into the making moulds to cast this model Kit.