Test Prints – Why waste the resin ???

Part of making 3D models that I intend to sell either as virtual or tangible items, means making sure that the models can be printed. For someone like me who is relearning a few things, it’s important to try the models out first, make any tweaks, and reprint them in hopes of getting it right on the second pass.

At this very moment I have two models on my desk that I’ve been working on and they both have issues. I’ve found that when printing aircraft in particular, it’s necessary to bulk up the trailing edges of the wings and making propellers and landing gear chunky. Just about every part of the model has to be made a bit thicker in order to ensure a quality print each time. It’s finding that sweet spot between just thick enough that it will print right everytime or making things so chunky it looks like a blob with wings. The money’s in the details so the thinner you can design parts, generally the more detail that can be included.

In the image above you can see two aircraft, they both failed the first prints and it’s these models that tell me where and what I need to do in order to make them printable every time. The aircraft on the left is the IAI Lavi and you can see right away that the wings didn’t print right, the canopy is a hot mess, and there’s other things that need to be fixed. The aircraft on the right has issues such as the propellers didn’t turn out right, so they need to be removed from the model, thickened up, and most likely printed separately; the two booms that make up the tail section need to be thickened as well as the wing supports and of course, the trailing edges of the wings and tail.

One model I was working on, the Saab Draken, had a problem only on the trailing edges of the wings. To fix this I am trying something new I learned, and that’s adding a thicker piece all along the trailing edges of the wings. This can either be sanded smooth or left alone depending on who is printing and painting it. Here’s a couple pics of the model with the thicker piece running along the trailing edges ( this will also be a great place for me to add supports without them cutting into the wings themselves ).

As you can see, my solution doesn’t impact the overall look of the aircraft at all and even if left on and not sanded smooth, it shouldn’t be very noticeable at all and could even help the wings straight while curing or just strengthen the wings after curing as the trailing edges sometimes have a tendency to chip.

The other reason I like to test print models is so that I have them personally. I generally take the last failed print(s) and go to town on making them look good, this shows that even if the model doesn’t print out 100% correct, it can still be saved with a bit of work.

If all goes right this week I will have several new models to be able to list for sale, just have to fix some little things here and there on them. Just because I am learning new things, and relearning how to do somethings with different software, doesn’t mean I can’t create viable models that will print right each and every time ( excluding user error ).

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