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Hi it is my first experiment of 3D print .... fantastic!

in the next days I'll post more images.

www.michelangelofornaro.com

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This is your work?!  Looks great!

Just like Laika! 

Looks good!

How will you be doing eyelids? (or is this just a prototype that you won't be animating?)

I presented the blue ray paranorman for universal Italy and I showed an example of the technique, this doll was not born to be animated but now I begin with a new design...

Holy crap!! Well done!

This is your first experiment? Incredible results.

I think this must be a commercial print, no?

in other words, a 3d file sent to an external company for printing- I've been printing with a thing-o-matic, one of the most common hobbyist printers, and the results are not comparable with this- i think michelangelo must be sending his design to a company with a commercial - and much higher resolution- external company- or printing out huge.

please correct if I am wrong, but I think it is important people distinguish between home printing and prints made to order- and if i am wrong- what printer did you use??

there is nothing to be sniffed at it getting the printing done by someone else, but it will push up the price and add time to the process- and therefore, if you are doing something with lots of replacements, this is to be considered...and built into the budget.

My thing-o- matic would not be viable to print stop motion heads presently, although it is possible to get better calibration on my machine and improve accuracy- it is not yet time i have had to spare for...the home printing process involves a LOT of time, experimentation, and tweaking to get just right...although the technology is now moving and improving very fast...

First question - same as John, did you get that printed for you?  And if not, what printer?

2nd question - what did it look like when it came out of the printer?  What has been done since - was it a perfect surface, or did it need to be sanded to remove traces of layers?  

I'm pretty sure it had to be painted, it wasn't printed in multiple colours like the latest Laika faces, but maybe I'm wrong?

This doesn't look like a first test, it looks like a very well finished object that is ready for filming.

The big barrier for me is that I am not familiar with any CAD software.  It is possible that I could model in Lightwave 3d (A modelling and animation program I can use but am not really skilled with) and convert to a file format that works.    But the idea of being limited to shapes I can make on a computer, as opposed to sculpting by hand with clay, pretty well rules out replacement faces.  I'd have to stick to props I think.   I am casting a large number of stone balustrade posts in resin from a shape I turned on a lathe, and while casting is quicker than turning each one on a lathe, it's still slow and tedious and will take weeks.  The idea of a printer churning them out while I sleep has definite appeal.

for props Nick, I think the home printing option is pretty viable, you just have to beware undercuts and think possibly about splitting the print into components where neccessary-

lightwave would be entirely viable as a design space for an object, usually i have to make sure the print is saved as an obj. file beforehand, then convert it to a file that is suitable for printing- in my case a gcode file- i usually run the object through a freeware programme called netfabb basic, which optimises the model for printing and checks for areas that may confuse the printer, then fixes them...so its a three stage process preparing to print.

so far, I have actually found the printer to be more useful in terms of equipment than art- I noticed early on a library existed full of other peoples designs and prints, and that this included a lot of useful equipment i might otherwise be buying, like steadicam and focus pulling rigs, so a lot of what i have used the printer for has been about equipping myself for shooting, rather than making the models for the shoot itself...

my printer has been accurate enough to print cogs and the like, and as I say, i think with a little more patient calibration, maybe a smaller nozzle, i could get it much higher res...

i think your balustrade post print sounds perfect for a home printer- they may require a little finishing- smoothing off with some epoxy putty, for example, but that would not add too much time to the process.

But the library of existing stuff will blow your mind- on the library for my particular machine- thingi-verse- there are currently millions of designs up- and usually what you need has already been developed by someone else...http://www.thingiverse.com/

Interesting - John, is it possible to take an existing design and change the scale of it before printing? 

absolutely, you can resize any time any model- a 10 second job- but you are limited to a print bed on my machine of 10cm x 10cm- but remember, you can print in components of a whole, so most things are possible...by splitting a design into printable sized components- people are doing stuff now like taking 3d scanners to places like Museums and scanning archive pieces, resizing, and printing them out in abs plastic..the online libraries are amazing though, you genuinely don't know what to print first...

The re-sizing aspect is one thing that appeals to me, because I often work in two scales (and sometimes 3).  1:6 for my puppets and main sets, and 1:24 for wide shots to get bigger buildings or landscapes.   This gives physical objects one of the advantages of cgi.  Of course, once made, the objects and sets still take up real space for shooting or storing, so it's not really a level playing field, but it helps.

I'll check out that thingiverse link. 

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