Monday 16 June 2014

3D printing - an eyeopener

Arrived in the post a week ago as a thank you from Pat G, the author of the Home Guard list for Chain of Command I've been having fun testing out (along with a duplicate set of models for Rich)...

From left to right and back to front, a British Type 22 pillbox, a British Type 24 pillbox, some tank traps, some milk churns (actually two types, but I missed putting one of them out to be photographed) and some oil drums.

All are to 1:56 (28mm) scale, and all are printed using Pat's RepRap 3D printer. I asked, being curious, for some more details - basically they're printed using PLA (polylactic acid), which is higher detail than ABS, but recyclable/compostable, takes paint... Print time for the big pillbox was about 2 1/2 hours at a cost of about 90p for 19m of filament. Now, obviously, you have to offset the cost of your 3D printer against that (unless you file it under 'cool toy'!) plus the use of power, and your time to design etc...

But... Seriously! Just how totally freaking cool is this? German Fallschirmjäger assault on Godwin Battery on Spurn Point here I come!

Thanks, Pat! You may have just ensured what some of my next bonus is going on :D


  1. Interesting your comment "recyclable/compostable" .... I cant help but wonder will this material rot or degrade over time?

  2. It is much the same material as used in recyclable beer cups. It takes an industrial level composter to generate enough heat to break it down. for most uses, it should not degrade. The other popular material is ABS which can be more robust but breaks down under UV.

  3. Interesting to see 3D print-work like this. I have great hopes for the future.

  4. Come join Pat and the rest of us on the 3D printing for games group, and help us get to the future faster by helping each other.

  5. Unlike ABS, PLA is not a petroleum-based material. It is made from “renewable” materials like sugarcane and corn, thus, making it biodegradable. I just found out that there are high grade PLA like this which is tougher and less brittle compared to regular PLA. Any 3D printing guru who tried this already? I’m curious if it requires heat bed or not.


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