During the last two years or so, I’ve been following the advances of 3-D printing from afar. I was increasingly impressed by the performance of printers, but I was also turned off by the technical skills and patience required to set up and operate the machines.
However, in December, several factors contributed to me taking a serious look at the technology. First of all, I saw some very impressive small prints coming from resin printers in diverse Facebook groups. Secondly, with Brexit looming, it suddenly dawned on me that it would be nice to be independant of UK sellers for small items such as windows and doors. Though I want to support figure manufacturers and I’ll gladly buy figures, small stuff for scratch building can be quite expensive and adding import fees, it may no longer be feasible to order. Thirdly, AnyCubic, a manufacturer of 3-D printers, had a Christmas sale with considerable discounts. I quickly communicated with Mikko, an expert in the matter, and decided to buy a small resin printer, the Photon. It cost me 150,- Euro, plus another 80,- or so Euros for resin and assorted material such as gloves, masks, filters, alcohol to clean the prints and an UV lamp for curing.
The machine arrived a couple of days ago. Set-up was easy, but then I hit a snag when trying to make my first print. Fortunately, Mikko was kind and patient enough to help me out – thanks mate!
I’ve made two print runs so far. I did some fences, a wayside cross, a rustic toilet, windows and an apiary, which for some reasons didn’t come out correctly. The rest worked perfectly.
I’m very impressed with the details of the pieces, although the fences warped after a couple of days – maybe they were not completely cured. Anyway, they are easily straightened.
I intend to use this machine as a tool. I’m not really interested in the technical side of the thing and don’t intend to tinker more than is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, the technology seems to be at a stage were this is possible. My primary objective is to print pieces for detailing and scratch-building as well as small scatter terrain. Figures might be more complicated, but I’m not that interested in printing them at the moment.
The only annoying thing is that cleaning takes some time and is a bit of a mess. The resin smells quite badly, even though I bought the eco resin which is supposed to be less smelly – I don’t want to know what the normal stuff smells like.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress!