I Love Resin Prints, not Resin Printing

I just started a batch of six Algox Archers on my Prusa SL1 and came to a bit of a realization: I love my resin prints, but I really dislike running the resin printer.  This isn't a complaint about the machine, as it's really incredible, but I just really prefer using my MK3 and wanted to write out my feelings on SLA vs. FDM printing.

The biggest driver for me is the consumables on the printer itself.  The major consumables on my FDM printer are the nozzles and the printer bed.  Because my printer has a magnetic printing bed, replacing it is trivial, so no worries there.  Also, since I just print in PLA and never scrape the bed with any tools (I just flex it to release my prints), it's still in great shape and shows no sign of needing replacement.  I have replaced my nozzle several times, and while it's a bit dangerous to work with ~250 degree bits of metal, I have yet to burn myself and the overall process isn't that difficult.  Also, nozzles are relatively cheap,…

Support Head Diameter in PrusaSlicer

Hi everyone, this is going to be a short and quick post.  As you've seen, I've been playing around with support trees in .3mf files.  Specifically, I've been using them as a solution to design a set of supports that will work for anything from SLA printers to FDM printers with a .4 mm nozzle, and I feel like I've made a lot of progress!

I learned something new this morning though, which is important to be aware of when changing from FDM to SLA settings (or the other way).  While most details of the support tree settings (diameter, angle, etc.) are respected when you regenerate trees, the actual Support Head Diameter setting is not.  This setting is not changed because PrusaSlicer stores that value per support head, which gives you a ton of ability to fine-tune supports by shrinking or growing individual heads as needed... but it does make it a little more difficult to take a .3MF file that was designed with FDM support trees and change it over to work with SLA support …

Tweaking Support Pads for FDM Printing

When running an SLA print, the standard practice is to use a Pad, which is basically a few solid layers of very well cured resin, then have the model suspended above it on trees.  This solid pad helps ensure bed adhesion, and probably does some other important functions that I haven't even considered... but we don't necessarily need it if we're doing an FDM print.  In fact, if our model has a flat bottom, it can be really nice to have it directly on the print bed instead of floating above it!

Fortunately, we can tweak the support pad in order to behave in exactly this way!  The first thing that you'll want to do is open PrusaSlicer (with an SLA printer selected), then go to Print Settings tab and open the Pad section.  Start out by enabling the Pad Around Object option. 

That will enable the basic "halo pad" but we're going to want to tweak a few of these other settings for our FDM printers.  The first one is the Pad Wall Thickness.  This setting is used t…

Tweaking PrusaSlicer Support Tree Settings

I've continued to play around with PrusaSlicer's support tree generation (for both MSLA and FDM prints), and I'm starting to develop opinions about some of the settings.  So, I figured that I'd take a moment to write about the settings that I use to create trees that I like!  First, here's a screenshot of the trees that get generated with the default settings (after setting up my custom support points).  These are very robust trees, which is great for printing but less great for support removal.  When removing tree supports, I've found those diagonal bracings to be especially burdensome, as they make it much more difficult to "cut in to" the model to release the supports from it.  Fortunately, we can fix that by tweaking some settings, but you're going to need to go into Expert Mode to get to them all.  So, in PrusaSlicer, go to Configuration -> Mode and select Expert to get them to show up.

Firstly, we can tweak the Max pillar linking distance …

Using PrusaSlicer to Design Tree Supports for FDM Prints

I've done a lot of work with tree supports in Meshmixer.  I don't want to denigrate the awesome utility that Meshmixer brings to the table, but it also hasn't been updated in two years.  Meanwhile, Prusa forked their version of Slic3r into PrusaSlicer and has added a bunch of support for MSLA printing... including tree supports!  And, they obviously paid a lot of attention to how tree supports are designed in tools like Meshmixer, because the PrusaSlicer interface neatly bypasses just about all of the pain points that I have when working with MM!  The one drawback is that the Tree Supports are only officially available for MSLA printers... but there's an easy way around that!

In order to use PrusaSlicer to generate support trees, you need to change to one of their supported MSLA printers.  At that point, when you slice your model, it will automatically generate support trees that are tuned for that MSLA printer.  These automatically placed trees are a really good start…

Building Buildings

I've been working on my King of Tokyo proxy models for a while now, which has meant that I've needed a bunch of buildings to put onto the bases for the various Kaiju to rampage through.  Rather than building each of these buildings by hand, I put together a system of arrays to do it for me.  Since I'm rather proud of how it all comes together, I figure that I should go ahead and write about it here!

So, let's talk about how it all works.  First, here's the meat of the "city building" collection that I use (for those of you on the Patreon, that's the actual name of the collection where I keep all of this stuff in my King of Tokyo files, if you want to look at it in Blender).  As you can see, there are several partial buildings there, as well as some random bits on the right.  It's a bit harder to see, but directly in front of the left-most building, there are three bezier curves (although each is a straight line), running parallel to the world axes.

RPG Map Assets: Diner Booth and Stool

This is a bit outside my normal topic range on this blog, but I wanted to share these images with the community and this seems like the best place to do it!  In addition to my love of 3D printing, I love playing tabletop RPGs.  When we play, my group typically uses a virtual tabletop, as we've been playing for far longer than I've been doing 3D printing!

Anyway, I'm running a game set in a modern setting at the moment and want to run a combat that's going to start in a 50's style diner.  I couldn't find any good art assets for the diner booth, but I thought to myself, "I've learnt a fair amount of about using Blender... maybe I can whip something up real fast."  So, I did!

Admittedly, these aren't the most detailed art assets ever... but they get the point across!  And, since I wasn't able to find anything like this when I was searching, I figured that I should post them here in case anyone else would like them.  So, here's my diner bo…