Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

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Seret
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by Seret » 25 Oct 2018, 14:06

cartfc wrote:
25 Oct 2018, 12:31
I have tended to get 3D prints from Shapeways for rare stuff that you can’t get elsewhere, like the Marmon Herrington CTLS Light tank or Panzer IC.
I think that's where the niche is. Anything that isn't available elsewhere at all or is only available in resin at higher price seems a sensible place for 3D printed models to aim. But like the OP I just can't see much sense in producing stuff that's already available in plastic at higher quality for a similar price. 3D printed 75 or 76mm Shermans seems silly, but something like Sherman ARVs? Game on.

To me paying someone else for 3D prints just isn't going to be economical anyway. Surely the advantage of the technology is being able to print them yourself? You avoid postage and the price per print is so low you offset the cost of the printer fairly soon. Paying for time on someone else's printer to produce a model covered in striations seems bonkers when you could just pay a similar amount and get a nice injection moulded or cast one.

Panzer21
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by Panzer21 » 25 Oct 2018, 17:22

While I understand what people have said, the fact that BPM will print in ANY scale is a great bonus for those of us who use 1/87.
My "moderns" collection is all in this scale as it was once the best bet for post WW2.
However, you occasionally need WW2 stuff such as Shermans for Arab-Israeli or Indo-Pakistan. Surprisingly, while there's a Roco model, to get other variants requires hunting down Schuco or Boley models and even then anything else needs converting unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for expensive resin models.
Besides which, I'll bet Shermans were one of the most requested items; I've heard manufacturers report the strange phenomenon that the most common and widely available models are often the most requested.
Neil

cartfc
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by cartfc » 26 Oct 2018, 21:11

Being able to scale up or down to print whatever scale you want is a big advantage of 3D printing. The technology is improving all the time and the resolution get better so the quality will improve. I think we are at the equivalent of the home computer stage of the 80’s where you could see the potential, but affordable machines had low res graphics, poor sound and crude peripherals. Anyone remember the ZX printer? lol! I can see lots of advantages for the hobbyist. You could print parts for conversions, tarps or stores for vehicles and basic hull shapes and add the detail yourself if you find the detail too crude on the print.

Cheers Fred.

granty101
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by granty101 » 27 Oct 2018, 09:49

cartfc wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 21:11
The technology is improving all the time
Agreed Fred, but for me right now, as a modeller and not a gamer, the fine detail isn't quite there in 1/76th - 1/72nd scale...but it will get better :D

Grant
Vot is your Name? Don't tell him Pike!!!

Seret
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by Seret » 29 Oct 2018, 08:44

cartfc wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 21:11
The technology is improving all the time and the resolution get better
Yes, but not in a linear way. When you're looking at FDM, you're butting up against the laws of physics. There is a maximum resolution you're going to get from squeezing melted plastic through a nozzle, and that's limited by the physical properties of the materials.

There are a lot of competing additive manufacturing technologies, maybe something like SLS will get cheap enough for the home user, who knows? But it's not guaranteed. If you look at really, really high resolution additive techniques such as used in the semiconductor industry, they've been around for decades and are still highly technical and expensive.

Technology change tends to follow an S-curve, with rapid change at the start but then the pace of change slows as the technology matures.
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Just look at PCs, they used to be obsolete within a year, but now you can easily use a 5-year old machine and it's almost as good as a new one. Small arms even more so, we've had no significant changes in technology for a hundred years. Once a technology is mature and there's little scope for substantive improvement you're waiting for a major step-change into an entirely new technology.

I think FDM is most of the way up its S-curve and further improvements will be fairly small. There will need to be a change to a different technology to get resolution anywhere near what you can achieve with casting.

cartfc
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by cartfc » 29 Oct 2018, 18:57

I think you are assuming FDM will remain the low end tech. Anyone remember dot matrix printers? They were the affordable option before laser printers were around and when laser printers cost a few thousand each. There are already technologies that produce higher resolution than FDM. The key to getting the better tech at an affordable price is going to be the transitioning of 3D printing from a hobbyist activity to a plug and play technology. So everyone has one and they can print whatever widget they need when they want it. Another question is how accurate do you need to be before you can no long tell the difference? Colour monitors these days can display more colours than the human eye can distinguish. There are FDM printers that will print at 0.05mm already, but very slowly. At what resolution can the eye no longer perceive a step?

Cheers Fred.

cartfc
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by cartfc » 29 Oct 2018, 19:53

Interesting. Just checking my email and spotted Indiegogo has a KS for a SLA resin printer with a resolution down to 0.01mm. I am betting that is getting to the sort of res where it would be difficult to spot any step in a sloped surface. It is $1,000 which is not dirt cheap, but a lot cheaper than you would pay for a similar spec printer.

Cheers Fred.

Seret
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by Seret » 29 Oct 2018, 21:02

cartfc wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 18:57
I think you are assuming FDM will remain the low end tech.
Er, no. I think I mentioned a couple of times that we'll have to transition away from FDM to get better quality.
At what resolution can the eye no longer perceive a step?
A lot of it depends what you're trying to print. A cube will print beautifully, a sphere will look shabby. Surface finish requirements for models are actually pretty fierce compared to most other applications. Any surface roughness will affect texture and how paint adheres.

cartfc
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by cartfc » 29 Oct 2018, 22:02

Seret wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 21:02
A lot of it depends what you're trying to print. A cube will print beautifully, a sphere will look shabby. Surface finish requirements for models are actually pretty fierce compared to most other applications. Any surface roughness will affect texture and how paint adheres.
As I said it is sloped/curved surfaces that are the major problem. You can see it in some of the Butler’s prints where there are sloped surfaces the step as each layer is printed is obvious. Thinner layers helps, of course, and there are other solutions, such as face optimisation, breaking up the model into parts so you can print more of it vertically and also having a “veneer” printed as a seperate piece to go over the slope. There are a set of STL files that do that for 28mm tanks and the results are impressive even on tanks like the Panther and T34.
The prints I have had from Shapeways have been very good with sloped surfaces coming out very smooth, but I assume they are printed on much higher res printers than the Butler’s prints.

Cheers Fred.

NTM
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Re: Sherman tanks from Butlers Printed Models

Post by NTM » 01 Nov 2018, 21:24

Whatever the limits of the technology BPM certainly seem to be ramping up production. Since the Shermans they have released M3 Stuart M8 Scott Sdkfz 231 & 233.

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This shows great intent in my view and perhaps should be encouraged.

Multiple variants of the Stuart are available too.

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