3d printer for high quality architecture stuff

This is for general discussions. Also FAQ can be found here.

Moderator: speedake95

Post Reply
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:26 pm

3d printer for high quality architecture stuff

Post by twicx »

Hello everyone!

I'm new to 3d printing, and I've been doing a lot of research over the last few months on 3d printers. I've now gotten to the stage where I have the money saved to be able to get one, but, I'm in my final semester of architecture school, so I'm going to be printing some very detailed models, and I need to make sure that the printer I decide to get will be able to print to good enough detail for that. as you can probably tell by my being here, a Felix 1.5 is currently my most likely choice, but I've a couple of little questions before I get it that I figured people that actually own these already could answer, if you dont mind? :)

1. How detailed can the printer actually print?
I've seen some really mixed results on the quality of the prints, and how complex the geometry can actually be. A lot of the universities I've contacted that use 3d printers seem to use non-fff type printing methods, and they produce stunning models. However, I've also come across a few images of models, apparently done by fff, which are incredibly detailed, such as (http://www.tb-cms.org/data/artwork/554/ ... detail.jpg) and (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9CTJPgiStIk/U ... 287%29.jpg). So, would models like these be possible to make?

2. Finishing/post-printed work?
Leading on from the last question, I had a look at the pictures in the High-Quality thread, and some of the models there look excellent, although the lines from the printer are still visible, albeit not very noticible for the kind of applications I'm looking for. However, I've also seen a few websites that have tips and tricks for finishing models, such as sanding down models, acetone baths etc etc. How effective are these techniques? Are there material restrictions?

3. If I was ordering fillament, how much/little should I order?
Ok, now I can estimate this myself based on the size of some of the common models. For example, the "owl" model is pretty close to one of my models at 1:1000 (or possibly 500), so, out of 1kg of fillament, about how many owls could you produce?

4. Is there anything else I need to know?
I'm hoping to order this in the next week or so. Is there anything else I need to know? I've done a lot of research into this, and I'm fairly sure I've covered all my bases. Even things like the software I use I'm sure is ok (it's a mixture of Rhino, 3ds and Sketchup, all of which seem to be just fine. They all allow export to STL). So, do I need to consider anything else before getting my hands on one?

Thanks guys.

Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:00 pm
Location: Netherlands

Post by satoer »

Well, remember that this machine is below 1000 euro. For that price the printed quality is quite nice. I’ve printed layers 0.1 mm thick. But, you always have ribs if you don’t post process. If you want better quality than this, a RepRap printer is not for you. But you need a way bigger budget and go for a resin / laser 3D printer or the more professional powder ones.

For the example’s, I think the first one is almost impossible to print. It’s possible, but you need a lot of support structure’s and this will be a hell to remove. Models like this are better printed with professional powder 3D printers. They don’t need support structure’s.

If you don’t mind post processing the printed models, I’ve just made my almost flawless 3D statue of my grandma. (scanned her with a Kinect) Printed with 0.15 mm height and Used about 5 layers spray filler, sanding and after that I sprayed it gold.

Model is about 12 x 12 cm
Macro from the edges:
My Felix 1.5 printed designs on Thingiverse
E3D V6 Hot end upgrade for your Felix
Tweezer bracket for your Felix
Led bar upgrade for your Felix

Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:26 pm

Post by twicx »

ok, well actually, this all still gives me hope. Maybe I should elaborate a little.

I'm doing my thesis on a type of architecture called Parametric Design. In simple terms, it's architecture that uses things like scripts and systems to create complex, elaborate geometry. On a side note, my thesis is all about whether this actually helps or hinders architecture, but that's a different day's discussion. Thing is, there are some examples about on the web that show that it can be done. The second example I put in my last post would be one, also, this is VERY encouraging (http://designplaygrounds.blogspot.ie/20 ... -gh3d.html)

That one suggests to me that with some post process work, such as acetone, sanding etc, designs like that are possible. I know that it would involve a lot of support structures and probably take me a long time to finish, but, consider this; if I was to try to make that by hand, without the use of a 3d printer, it would probably take me the guts of a week, especially when I factor in other assignments.

At the moment, as part of my research, I'm looking into various folding techniques, a bit like origami. My theory is, lets say I create a complex geometry facade, that I need to print for a 1:200 model. Well, why not design it as a separate piece, lay it "flat" and print it then, in an effort to minimalise support structures. It seems that these printers, despite being sub €1000, are able to print complex geometry, as long as the user is aware that a) it'll make a lot of support structures and b) you're going to need time for post production.

is all that correct/makes sense, or am i talking nonsense?

Post Reply