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View Poll Results: Interested in 3D printed props?
No interest 0 0%
Little interest 1 3.70%
Very interested! 7 25.93%
YES! I want this! 19 70.37%
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Unread 03-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
ryohazuki224
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Interested in low cost 3D printed props?

Hello, I'd like to introduce myself, I'm kind of new to the cosplay scene (well, followed it for many years, even before it was all that big back in the 90's, though I've only participated once). I'm a freelance 3D modeler/artist, and a few of my colleagues are seriously looking into investing in a 3D Printer. Probably a lot of things we will print are just everyday objects/gadgets and whatnot. But I thought that there may be a market for it in the cosplay scene!

So, I've been tasked with doing some research. My main question is, how many people would be interested if they can get low-cost, custom made 3D printed props?

I'm thinking armor pieces, jewelry-type pieces, necklaces, bracelets, headwear like Hatsune Miku's headphones or even a Sailor Moon tiara, and possibly anything else you could imagine! Keep in mind that most props would have to be limited in size (about 8 x 8 x 8 inches is the most we could print on the printer that we're getting), though of course there are also ways to print larger objects in multiple sections and put them together like lego's!

I want to also try to keep prices reasonably low, say about $10-20 at most for a single piece. I'm currently working on some 3D rendered examples of some items, and also working on putting together a site/blog. I would love some input to see if there's interest in the community, and also if people have ideas on what kinds of props they want to see in 3D.

Any input would be appreciated, thank you all! ^_^
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Unread 03-23-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
angelbabycakes
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While I have heard of this idea and am extremely interested in what sounds like pepakura, this section is for people offering a service that have at least 10 posts and have been a member for 30 days.
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Unread 03-23-2013, 09:20 PM   #3
DarkGlo
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this is great! but as far as head pieces go is there any way to make them a little more custom to the shape of someones head? since everyones is shaped different? or would be more of a one size fits all?
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Unread 03-24-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
Kiro
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8x8x8? Sounds like the Solidoodle.

I'm about to get my second printer. Entry level and DIY kits tend to have issues here and there, so you may want to factor that into your budget. Filament is pretty expensive and you do use and waste quite a bit of it, so I'm not quite sure how you intend on making a profit charging <$20 per item. Not that you'd ever print a solid block, but 8x8x8 is 512 cubic inches max. If we consider ABS filament with a density of about 0.0376 lb/cubic inch, you're looking at max 19.25 lb print. Given that the current going rate for 1.75mm ABS filament is $30+ per 2 lb spool... it's quite a bit over $20. Of course this is the worst case scenario that you'd never hit in typical use, but it's a thought. This doesn't account for fixing up the inevitable extrusion lines and random software-related errors that will come up.

Regardless, I encourage everyone with the budget, patience to learn, and time to troubleshoot to explore this very cool and useful technology. Prices are going down every month as new ones become available.

angelbabycakes: While you do need to create 3D models for pepakura, this is nothing like pepakura. Pepakura turns the model into a pattern which you cut out, paste together, provide supportive backing, and apply body filler to smooth things out. 3D printers that the average person can afford takes the model and literally prints it from the bottom up, one layer at a time like icing on a cake. In theory, a perfect print would not require any finishing work before prepping for paint.

Last edited by Kiro : 03-24-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
ryohazuki224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelbabycakes View Post
While I have heard of this idea and am extremely interested in what sounds like pepakura, this section is for people offering a service that have at least 10 posts and have been a member for 30 days.
My apologies, I just wasn't sure if this was the correct section to post such a topic. I maybe should have posted it in a more general section perhaps?

DarkGlo: While it's theoretically possible to make something to fit an individual's head, with the printing size limitation I'm not sure if it would be one of of those pieces that would need to be printed in two or three sections. But it could be done.

Kiro: I thank you for your input on this! And yes, it is a Solidoodle that we're looking at getting. So far for an entry-level unit, this seems to offer the best quality and size for the cost of entry. And I did think about cost a bit, in doing some research and playing around with that Repetier program that Solidoodle recommends as the print tool, it seems to give a good average of how much material is used in a certain print, which in turn I can figure out my cost. And sure there are other factors to consider too. I'm more or less thinking that most of the items that I will be printing would be much smaller, say like a character's handgun or something close to that size. If something is very intricate and large, I would definitely factor in a higher cost and inform the person asking me for something so large to get their OK on a price quote before moving forward.

Basically I was thinking of the low-end $10 for a "small-ish" item, $20 for "medium" and anything beyond that would need to be discussed. (on solidoodle's website they claimed that their 3" Yoda printed head cost about 40 cents in materials, factor in the time of printing and effort to model an object, charging $10 for a 3" model isn't too pricey yet it's a decent profit for my troubles)

Thanks for the input again Kiro! Any other thoughts or insights from your experience that would help me out, I would appreciate it! If you have any images of things that you have printed I would love to see them!
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Unread 03-24-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
angelbabycakes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
8x8x8? Sounds like the Solidoodle.
angelbabycakes: While you do need to create 3D models for pepakura, this is nothing like pepakura. Pepakura turns the model into a pattern which you cut out, paste together, provide supportive backing, and apply body filler to smooth things out. 3D printers that the average person can afford takes the model and literally prints it from the bottom up, one layer at a time like icing on a cake. In theory, a perfect print would not require any finishing work before prepping for paint.
Ah, yes, just looked it up. I have read about it before. Printing generally takes a while, yes?

There has been a person or two to offer these services around here. I think it would be utilized well here.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 11:50 PM   #7
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This is a very nice idea but you need at least 10 forum posts and be a member for 30 days to offer any kind of services on this forum, regardless of the section.
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Unread 03-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
Kiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryohazuki224 View Post
If you have any images of things that you have printed I would love to see them!
Unfortunately, I got into 3D printers a bit too early and never got my first one working. The company dropped support for the configuration they sold to me within a month of me receiving it (note I ordered the first batch) and have since dropped that entire product line from their store. No assembly instructions, no replacement parts, poor communication at the time, and an incomplete design. It has been a good experience trying to debug it and figuring out the software settings, but after spending an extra couple hundred dollars to purchase the parts that were missing and to replace the parts that broke during assembly with no sign of it working reliably (fix one thing, another thing breaks), I'm just opting to spend more on a pre-assembled and tested printer with a different design and larger print volume and more community support. If Sumpod got their act together, I would have considered ordering the Sumpod Mega (if it printed ABS).

Solidoodle definitely looks like a good value. I haven't researched too much into it myself since the build volume was a bit too small for my liking, but until the Robo comes out later this year, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better (assembled) for that price range. It sounds like you've done more research than I had when I first purchased mine, so you should be fine. Have fun with it.

angelbabycakes: It can take a while. If we consider the CubeX Trio from 3D Systems, a small basketball took 35 hours to print. A smartphone case takes about three hours according to their website.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
ryohazuki224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
Solidoodle definitely looks like a good value. I haven't researched too much into it myself since the build volume was a bit too small for my liking, but until the Robo comes out later this year, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better (assembled) for that price range. It sounds like you've done more research than I had when I first purchased mine, so you should be fine. Have fun with it.
Yeah, we figure that for the price, the Solidoodle seems to have the best of both worlds, low price, fully assembled, and seems to have a good support community. In my searches, I also saw the Robo and that seems to be very nice as well. Another one I was looking at was from FormLabs, the Form1 printer. which is a stereolithography printer. I hear these have excellent print quality, but the price is kinda high (about $3,300) and the build size is only about 5 x 5 x 6.5.

Of course if money was no object and if I was doing rapid prototyping or something for a living, I would love to have an Objet30. Print in up to 7 different materials, including a totally clear material! These things can go up to like $25k or more I think though. haha.
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Unread 03-28-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
Kiro
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Yeah, I just spent $2k yesterday ordering an assembled and modified SeeMeCNC Rostock (with four inches more build height than stock). It's based on the Delta design, which has a decent amount of support. SeeMeCNC also sells the rails so that you can make the build height even taller, and they've even added dual-extrusion support (experimental).

What's cool is that water-soluble PVA filament is starting to come into the picture. Setup multiple extruders, use PVA as supporting material, then submerge your print under water for less finishing work. The Leapfrog Creatr officially supports this, but I couldn't justify the costs despite the growing community and very solid-looking build.
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