3D Printing FAQ for The Idle Hands Workshop

I’m sure there’s a lot of questions so I’m going to knock out some of the basic rules and guidelines I follow to keep things simple and safe. Take a chance and read through this as it might help to answer a lot of questions you have if you’re wondering about what I will 3D print.

  • Question: What are these models made of?
  • Answer: For those models that are clear or translucent I use a mixture of 3D printing resins which cure when UV light hits the resin. This makes for a quite durable model ( depends on the tensile strength required of certain parts ) that can be primed and painted like any other miniature you can buy.
  • Question: Are these models made out of the same resin as the official ones are?
  • Answer: No, these models are made from a UV reactive liquid resin.
  • Question: What forms of payment do you accept?
  • Answer: For my protection and yours I only accept PayPal for online transactions or cash/credit/debit for local deliveries. The credit/debit will still go through PayPal using a secure card reader.
  • Question: What scale are the models you have for sale?
  • Answer: All of the models I have available are scaled 1:100 to keep with the scale of 15mm games. If you need a model scaled up for something like Bolt Action, contact me first at stephen@idlehandsworkshop.info and we can discuss the price difference and scale. Most models can easily be scaled up to 28mm when required, there are models however that would be VERY large such as the Chinook, when printed for 28mm so the price will be adjust accordingly.
  • Question: Where do your 3D models come from?
  • Answer: All over the place. Some I make myself, some are commissioned when I don’t have time to make a model, some are available with commercial licenses or permissions available.
  • Question: I want Mickey Mouse printed, can you do it?
  • Answer: I’m not touching that one with a 10′ pole if you paid me a grand to do it. This is where copyrights and trademarks enter into things and muck it all up. Several big entities like Disney are brutal when it comes to protecting their stuff. They have been known to show up at ceramic shops and break all the molds of their characters, so yeah, if you know it’s copyright protected you can ask but depending on what it is the answer will be “no”. Now some things can be printed and fall into the category of “Fan Art” which is why I say ask because even that can be changed if someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.
  • Question: I found a model on Thingiverse I want printed, it doesn’t have commercial permissions, can you still print it for me?
  • Answer: Yes, in this case you are using The Idle Hands Workshop as a service to print a model for you. What I won’t do is print a dozen of something so you can sell it, that would be commercial use.
  • Question: I made a 3D model and want it printed but I do not own a 3D printer or have access to a maker space or library that has a 3D printer, can you help?
  • Answer: Yes, start by emailing stephen@idlehandsworkshop.info and be as descriptive as possible. We will discuss printing options and costs. You will get the model mailed to you and I will shred your model on my computer to remove it from the systems.
  • Question: Do you use resin or filament?
  • Answer: I am presently printing in resin, the level of detail and the speed of printing makes it the better choice for models and miniatures as little as 3mm in size. The resin of choice that I use is a mixture of Siraya Tech Tenacious and Siraya Tech Simple, both clear and a 25% Tenacious to 75% Simple mix. This makes the prints a little more durable especially on thin parts.
  • Question: How fragile are 3D prints?
  • Answer: That’s a tough one because it all depends on the size of the model. There are some points that no matter what they are too thin when printed and they will snap. For the most part however, 3D prints are quite durable. They are however subject to high heat, like leaving them in your car on a hot summer day, chances are they will warp or crack. I do my best to deliver models that can take some abuse which is why I mix the Tenacious mentioned above. That being said, I have printed some parts with 100% Tenacious and because the breaking point was so thin, not even the durability of the Tenacious helped.
  • Question: How much does it cost to have something printed?
  • Answer: There is no one answer for this as almost all models are different. Do you want it hollow or solid will be one of the first questions because a solid model will require more resin than a hollow one. As a rule of thumb I use a formula that is: Resin X Print Time, both of which are computed when I slice your model. This all takes into account the cost of the resin and how long the printer is tied up for.
  • Question: Do you sell the STL or OBJ files for the models you have listed for sale?
  • Answer: No because I did not make all of them, some of them were commissioned and I am allowed to sell the prints but not the files, that right remains with the model creator. This also goes for models found elsewhere. From time to time I do add models for free on both Thingiverse and Cults3D.
  • Question: How long does it take to get a model printed?
  • Answer: Printing time varies from model to model. Using the resin printers the amount of time is much faster than the older filament printers. Prints can take anywhere from a few minutes to a week or more. I just finished printing a 24″ long aircraft carrier that took just under a week to print. Once I have your model loaded up I can give you an estimate on the length of time it will take to print. If there are any problems like misprints, this can add to the time it takes to complete your model, luckily I have a very high success rate and can avoid most common mistakes that cause print failures or misprints.
  • Question: Is there a size limit on what you can print?
  • Answer: The short and simple answer is no, I can theoretically anything. The long answer is that there really is no limit on size except how deep your pockets are. Most regular miniatures like people size can be printed easily on the smaller printers that are best suited for that. For larger things, like the aircraft carrier which was bigger than my allowable print space, these models can be cut into sections that do fit into the print area. People have printed life size models of things like the Master Chief from Halo and even Harley Quin from Suicide Squad. This will of course add to the printing time, in addition, depending on the number of pieces, it might cost some to have me cut it into pieces and key them for assembly.
  • Question: Isn’t the resin toxic, I’ve heard handling it can cause burns.
  • Answer: It sure is and I would not advise drinking it. That being said, by the time you get your model it has been washed in alcohol which breaks down the resin and neutralizes it, and then washed in Mr. Clean to get rid of any sort of residue left over from the printing process. The end result is a model that you can hold and paint up like any other, I don’t want to say they are no longer toxic but once cured the resin is very stable and I have not heard of anyone having a problem with printed and cured models. When I first started printing I learned about models oozing resin because the inside of the model never cured because the UV light couldn’t get inside to cure it, this is also one reason that I prefer the clear resins over opaque.
  • Question: Do you take custom orders?
  • Answer: On rare occasions I will, but normally between the wife, life, and the horses, I can not commit to doing custom orders like I would want to so it’s best that I just don’t do it. If there is something you want printed, ask and we’ll see what can be done. Sometimes it’s actually just a matter of searching the internet for the model you’re wanting because if you want it, so does someone else, and there’s a fair chance you can find the model already made.
  • Question: I see you 3D print a lot of models for various games, are these models allowed to be used in tournaments?
  • Answer: Some but not all. Take for instance, Games Workshop has a VERY strict policy on 3D printed miniatures and proxies in their tournaments and don’t allow them as far as I know. I can’t think of anyone else with such strict policies but before committing to an entirely 3D printed army, you might want to ask around and see if they’re allowed in the tournaments you plan on attending.
  • Question: I have a large 3D printed army now and my local game store owner is cross with me. What can I do if I want to play my army in their store?
  • Answer: Buy something !!! Most game stores are nice and let customers use their tables free of charge. That being said the key word is “customers”. If your entire army is 3D printed that means you didn’t buy it from them and you are not a customer. Make it a point to purchase the books, dice, etc., from them and contribute to the health of your local game store and you won’t have such a hard time.
  • Question: Why do some of your models look like other models?
  • Answer: Simply put, you can only make so many changes on the appearance of a model, especially stuff like tanks, planes, helicopters, and the sort. An AH-1 Huey Cobra is going to look like an AH-1 Huey Cobra no matter who designs the model, it’s when you get into things like infantry models that the real differences are seen because there is literally an infinite number of poses, uniforms, weapons, and such that can be used to create the infantry models.

TO BE CONTINUED as new questions are asked or if I recall something that has been asked in the past that I think are relevant to this venture.

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