3D printing is still far from being as smooth as resin casting or plastic casting, the consumer grade are far from the quality of industrial CNC machines while higher quality printing are still over the roof and not efficient enough for mass production in hobby business. therefore vehicle kits, especially those smooth, thin skin, cleaner cuts and high piece count, yet extremely detailed, still have their place in miniature.
On the fiction side of modelling, the availability of 3D prints and 3D sculptors have really take over this portion of the market. 3D printing open more possibility like reducing part count and more customization from part option to size. The files are easy to get and printing process is generally already set up with all of the software. Though, the upfront cost, raw material cost and priting time might be the biggest constraint. 3D printed model users also have a more open tolerance than scale modellers because of possible machine or resin error. Scale models needs to be on the correct ratio scale for some equipment, while 3D fiction can be ‘about the right size’ and generally not for scale. Personally, even when I request to print a models, I still have the mindset of a scale modeller and have thing to the scale I want and not ‘about right’, which lead to some quite time consuming process to find the right proportion.
With the resurgence of 3D printer users here on Kitmaker, welcomed with open arms from the members, enough that some of are making hobby business with it. Though, it is still limited to already popular subject here and not on the fiction side, such has vehicles and history.
Not all files are easy to print or the quality is as good as it looks from the software. I usually have to go down to the “troubleshot” of other forums or some random convo on the internet check on the quality. Since customs are made by request, it is usually a hit and miss to buy them online and it is hard to have an printed example from online shop. Where I request my customs is an actual shop and I had on hand example to check on their quality.
Rather than having more fiction product, I thought that it would be nice to have someone with 3D printer here to print out files bought from the internet as a way to review them. Big, small size, multi parts etc. require different way to printing and they are a can of worm by themselves and I have little experience. It could also fill this part of the forums with more interesting stuff.
P/s: I don’t have printer, but I have bought some 3D files. I did do some sharing, but I’m against reselling files, and I want people to supports the files’ artists. Most artists are fine with their supporters selling printed models though.