The 3d Printing Thread

Is anyone here doing any 3d printing?

I first started my journey into 3d printing about 16 years ago when I worked in rapid prototyping. We had a mix of machines, including a 3d Systems SLA 500, and an Objet Eden, among others, but these were big, expensive industrial machines. ($200,000+)

A few years ago, I thought I would check out some of the new extrusion (FDM) machines and bought an Ender 3 Pro. This was less than $300, and as they say, you get what you pay for. The constant fiddly bed leveling and failed prints soured me on the experience, and the quality of the prints left much to be desired.

Well, today I pre-ordered a new resin 3d printer, along with the wash and cure machines. These are the Elegoo Mars 3 Ultra 4k Mono and the Elegoo Mercury X wash and cure machines. Yeeeehaw!

with a horizontal resolution of 35 microns and a vertical resolution down to 10 microns, this little machine will be able to produce parts that are far smoother, more accurate, and more detailed than the 200k machines I worked on before.

In case you are wondering, I will use the models I print as mold masters, and make silicone molds so I can then cast them in various plastics that have the desired mechanical properties.

I want to start producing stuff for table top gaming. Things like terrain pieces, buildings and building details, “scatter terrain” such as barrels and crates and so on, and various other tidbits and do-dads to bring the table top to life for these gamers.

Is anyone else interested in this kinda stuff?


Correction: It was a 3d Systems SLA 5000, not 500.



I love the concept, but it’s not in my skill set to program one of these. I live with a guy who devours this topic for dinner! :slight_smile: I’ll see if he’ll engage this topic with ya. (Kind of a silent tech geek typo, though.)


Well, you don’t have to program them per se. There are tons of free 3d models available from places like thingiverse and others.

I create my own designs using 3dsMax or zBrush, but there are some free programs you can use, like blender or the much simpler tinkercad.

Once you have your model, you open it in a slicer program that cuts it into layers that the printer can use. The basic version of the one I will be using (Chitubox) is free.

Yeah, there is a learning curve, especially when it comes to orienting and supporting the model properly, but it’s not that hard.


I don’t have enough knowledge on it but I’m fascinated with how it evolved so I’ll be reading this thread daily and learning. Great thread. :+1:t2: