Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Defensive Walls & 3D Printing 5a

Just a small update really, barely warrants an update in fact. I'm beginning to wonder if I update too often and whether people would prefer more spaced out update with more content rather than posting every couple of days (or sometimes every day). Should I post less...?

Anyway, in the last post I said I was going to order the Plinth piece this evening.

This hasn't happened. When I uploaded it is as pretty pricey as it is rather chunky, far more material than the original wall pieces. As such I deciced to have another play today with the model to bring down the price.

I initially built a recess into the bottom of the plinth to reduce the material and this brought the price down by about a third. But I decided that there was no reason why the plinth was the same length as the wall piece.

So the final design for the plinth is this...

It is 25mm long, so half the length of the wall piece. As such the printing cost is less than half that of the original plinth design.

I can't seem to stop playing around with designs though and after doing that piece I thought 'why can only the straight walls have plinths?'. Not too long after that I also had a corner plinth...

This will give me more set up possibilities - not only for having tanks behind better protection, not having any pesky missiles fly through the gap between tall walls but also will allow me to have two lines of defensive walls, with the second wall firing over the first wall.

It should look pretty good.

Tomorrow, for certain, I will be ordering the two plinth pieces. I will combine them into one file and thus cut down on setting up costs. I have also done a quick model of the mounting plate which I will get printed in a Fine Detail material, I will compare it to the scratchbuilt plate and see which looks best before choosing which one to cast up for the walls. It shouldn't take long for the prints to arrive so in a couple of weeks time I should have a big set all cast up...


  1. My experience of 3d printing tells me that if you make the models hollow shells, then the powder will fall out of the bottom and reduce the cost significantly...

    But that's working with an actual printer, rather than an online service.. Still might work tho.

  2. I get where you are coming from but I checked the Shapeways site and they have this article regarding hollowing out models to reduce the material costs

    So in principle I think simply having a recess in the bottom face shouldn't be a problem...however i'm still on a learning curve so I guess i'll find out when the parts arrive...

    1. Though in hindsight I may do something closer to that tutorial itself and hollow out the part but keep much of the base surface. I may do both just to see what happens.

  3. Like it.

    If you are planning to create moulds to cast things yourself then I wouldn't worry about hollowing the shapes. Consider the 3D prints as your masters...

    1. The prints will be master for moulding, however the savings from hollowing out the parts are well worth going to the extra trouble. For example I have just done a comparison price between a solid straight plinth (as shown above) and a hollow version. The costs in basic material was 16.72 to 10.21, a very nice saving.

  4. So Rictus, what software ARE you using for this? I need to move to something less crap and more worthwhile than Wings, hah.

    1. I use AutoCAD Inventor. I use it in my day job which is a benefit as I couldn't afford to buy for myself, on the other hands it is limiting as I can only use it while in any free time I get while at work (lunch for example). Ideally I would like to get something allowing me to do the same at home.

    2. I wonder if they can print from SketchUp? worth investigating...

      Also, with a saving that big just for hollowing a piece out it's definately worth doing!

    3. As long as you can save/export the model in a file format they can print (such as stl) you can use any programme.

      Sketchup is mentioned on the Shapeways website so I am sure it is my case it'll just mean learning a new programme...


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