The 3d printing diary (part II)
THE SECOND ATTEMPT
I started the second run with mixed feelings. On one hand, I was extremely happy with how great the first successful prints came out, but on the other hand, I was confused about the reason that brought the other parts to fail.
I wanted to keep my expectation as low as possible, to avoid being disappointed in the case of other failed prints, but a part of me couldn't help but be excited.
I decided to try to solve the issue of the failed prints by adjusting a bit the exposure of the bottom layers: from 16.5 seconds to 20. The number of bottom layers remained the same (12). As far as I understood, a print could be easily successful with a lower number of bottom layers (6-8), but I wanted to play safe and above all, I wanted to change only one factor at time.
The normal layers exposure remained the same (1.1 seconds) and so did the layer height (0.01).
I then poured again my Aqua 8k Grey into the vat and pressed start. Here we go!
15 HOURS AFTER
I noticed this weird detail about Galatea (my Mighty 8k): the remaining time shown on the screen doesn't match the actual time required. Both on the first attempt and this second one, at the beginning of the process, my 3d printer showed about 13 hours and 30 minutes to complete the task, but in reality, it needed about 15 hours. Is it normal? As a Kickstarter creator, I don't mind this gap between the estimated time of delivery and the actual time of delivery, but it was a bit weird to look at the screen and see "1 minute left" for about two hours.
Said so, what I think really matters is the final result and, holy mozzarella, what a result!
First of all, not a single failure, which was great. But above all, the quality was stunning.
The cones of calibrations tell me that I'm still a bit over-exposed (the upper cones in the "failure" section should be almost invisible), but despite this little adjustment required in the next attempts to aim for perfection, I'm pretty impressed by the quality of this second run!
I was pretty happy with how the first run came out, but the finest details are in the main body so I was curious to see how Galatea would handle the complex sculpt of this Admiral, including the pug's face (which is pretty small and full of details).
The result speaks for itself and I couldn't wish for more, considering that we are talking about a 3d print designed for domestic/amateur usage.
Moreover, what really amazes me is that this quality can be improved and technically I could reach even sharper and well-defined details, finding better exposure times (at the moment I'm over-exposed, which makes the detail a little more blurred than with a perfect exposure). And consider that, to avoid as much as possible visible layers (I'm obsessed with this thing), I'm printing using Anti Aliasing (2) and Image Blur (2), which softens a bit the details.
So I'm pretty confident that I can improve this already amazing quality. Amazing.
So, let's take advantage of this first adventure in the world of 3d printing, and let's take a look at the latest character we designed: Ofelia Altieri!
I know: the yellow background doesn't match perfectly with the Aqua grey resin, but I wanted to try something different.
This is a great step for me and DPF. Of course, I'm still at the beginning of learning a new skill, but the idea of being able to print and paint in advance my future release makes me smile.
I think that there is a big difference between a 3d render and an actual 3d print/resin sample of a sculpt, and thanks to my new tool I will be able to improve a lot the way I promote and publish my products.
Moreover, with this first attempt, I could also check in advance some technical detail of this kit, which is crucial in production optics. For example, I checked how easy this kit is to assemble and the thickness of the surfaces.
So, how can I describe this first attempt to print a full kit?
As I said before, this tool can improve my job and make the design of my future releases and KS campaigns more refined and professional. I always wanted to show more painted products and fewer 3d renders, but 'till now this was almost impossible, due to my limited resources and the slow times of production.
Moreover, the quality I've managed to reach is so impressive that I'm starting to think about some very interesting and funny side projects. But I don't want to "put too much meat on the fire", as we say in Italy.
Again, I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart because, if I could afford to invest some money in a 3d printer, it's only thanks to your support and care. In fact, this is how I invested the main earnings of the Adventurers of Inneath campaign.
Speaking of which: March is almost here and so is the delivery of your rewards!
But this will be the subject of the next blog post.