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3D Printing Basics for Beginners

Mon Feb 24, 2014, 4:20 AM

PolyMune here! Bringing you a mini guide to getting your figures printed :love: This is NOT an exact how too guide, nor does it go into great detail on any of the steps. Please regard it as just a quick reference or a very basic understanding of processes. Any issues or concerns please note me and i'll do my best to solve it! :la:

What is 3D printing?

With the advancement of technology comes printers able to print 3D models from your computer into physical 3D forms. 3D printing has been around since the 80's but back then they were mostly industrial printers and WAY too expensive :faint: 

Nowadays 3D printers are becoming more common and above all else "less expensive" to buy or for companies to rent out their services. :la: This means even the average artist or person can get something 3D printed and not break their wallet :wow: 

So how do you go about this process? Well! I'm hear to explain it too you as best as I can :eager:  

Step one: Find a 3D artist or make one yourself!

3D Printing by silverbeam

Printers support many programs now and file formats for 3D models. Whether you use Zbrush, Maya, Max, Blender, etc you can make your models readily printer friendly :la: 

What if you're not a 3D artist? Commission someone! There are many 3D artists around and emerging every day, happy and ready to make whatever you'd like in 3D to be printed. Some, like myself (and many others just look around DA for example), even come with the printing service! :la: What does this mean? That the 3D artist is in partner with a 3D printing company or has a 3D printer themselves. In my case, I'm aligned with two different 3D printing companies 

Artist's like Hazardous, who have had experience making models to be 3D printed are around and some readily available to work with you. at a fair cost.  

Final Render of Esmy from Cryamore by HazardousArts 
his 3D model he sculpted for 3D printing

Esmyrelda Maximus Statue   Prototype By Robaat by HazardousArts
what it looked like printed!! incredible!! :wow:

When creating your own 3D models the process isn't so simple. :lol: There are limits still to what you can get printed. For example: any super thin geometry will not print properly or end up "breaking" in the printing process depending on the printer. (Some can handle it but they are super expensive and need the model scaled pretty big). Most printers will read your exact model, so if you have broken geometry, or parts hidden inside (so not a clean model) their will be errors with your printing and deformities. :noes: Getting your model perfect for 3D printing takes time, and several trial and error procedures. Be prepared to pay for it but the reward is outstanding sometimes!

3D Printed Portal Gun by techgeekgirl

Step 2: Find a 3D printing company..or buy a printer!

If you are going to be printing a lot, getting your own 3D printer might be the best cost effective method for you. Keep in mind though! 3D printers are no different from regular printers in the sense that the cheaper you buy, the cheaper your quality and more easily the printer will not last you long :O When it comes to printers, cheaper is never better. That said, unless you plan on making it a business/selling them/etc the more expensive ones may not be worth it. You have to think about what you are going to be getting printed, and if a cheaper or more expensive/better quality one will work. There are also brands just like any printer, make sure to read the reviews and details from other buyers to know which one is for you!

If I've scared you away from buying one, don't worry! There are companies out there who do this service at a cost. Some services cheaper then others, it's best to shop around! But you'll find quite a few, and with examples of work they printed before :) 

The bigger your model, the more it'll cost :)

Step three: Sanding and carving

Some 3D models require a little work to get them looking awesome! Carving out excess plastic, sanding it and a bit of tiding up! Most printers need this, some companies offer to clean it up for free so it ships ready and pretty for you!

Rarity Pony 3d print by Athey

But companies are getting better and more accurate every time :D

Step four: Colour or not to colour?

Most printers will print your model in a grey, white, off white, etc so "not" in colour. There have been advances in the tech that allow for printing in colour but it's still a new process so it's not quite there yet in terms of colour printing. That said! some people like the no colour models, and that works too! :la: 

3d print V11 by Bogdanbl4  Beamed Octahedron - 3D printed fractal by bib993  Barrio Guy - 3D Print by JoseAlvesSilva

However! a lot of people hand paint their models! Another process that takes time and process but can be done. :) And look amazing if you take your time! 

SOLD - 3D print Chibi Kitsune BLACK ver. by goiku   Derpy 3D print by Hashbro  Goldie Pheasant 3D Print Revisited by TimothyB

And done! That is the very basic guide to getting your work printed :la: I hope you enjoyed it, and enjoyed seeing some of the fantastic work people have created :la: Take a look, and here's some more below :dalove: 

FOR SALE: 3D print Chibi Kitsune WHITE ver. by goiku   Eelguana - 3D print - Photoshoot by Verokomo    3D PRINTED GOLD LEGO MASTER SWORD by minglesHEDGEHOG 3D print by monomauve  
3d Printed Magic Scroll by IMVU-Whystler   Mandelbulb Bracelet #1 -3D printed fractal jewelry by MANDELWERK   

Let's have a shout out to the awesome artist's who's work is featured here! Remember to go check out the rest of their work at their galleries! :la:

MANDELWERK IMVU-Whystler mingles monomauve Verokomo goiku TimothyB Hashbro JoseAlvesSilva bib993 Bogdanbl4 Athey techgeekgirl HazardousArts silverbeam 

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ShizukaTW Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Looking for 3D modelers and designers for new IT server, check link bellow.…
PaulV3Design Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks for the Accept.
LilDiamondz Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  New member Student Digital Artist
I have a question. Which program(s) can allowed me to do architecture like both interior and exterior, also the objects? I have the journal entry in my profile. I hope anyone can reply soon. :)
SarahMyriaCarter Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Professional Writer
Looking for Someone to create a 3d Model for me willing to pay in :points:
Regus-Ttef Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Feel free to ask our members on a 1 on 1 basis.
1DeViLiShDuDe Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You might post a journal entry detailing the type(format needed) & breakdown of what you're looking for, so you can simply post the link when asking for it's consideration within a group or forum post here on DA.
It would save a lot of time, typing, and probably receive a few more hits from modelers with time to do it - seeing as how you spent the time and effort to put together a well thought out description and usage points list, with a breakdown of how you hope to use it! :D

Cheer's :)
SarahMyriaCarter Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Professional Writer
hmm I never thought of it thanks:D Do you do 3d Models
1DeViLiShDuDe Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Some, but there are much more talented modelers in this group and on DA - I've done some game models for ut2004, along with some game mapping!
Here is some of my model/map work from the past:
(1 Reply)
Write4ALiving Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, guys. Since you all like doing 3D art, is there anyone in your group who would like to do a Star Wars animated series for me so I can put it up on Youtube?
1DeViLiShDuDe Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
As a reference, you might try this - instead of having to explain each time you ask in a group! :D…
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