Sci-Fi modeling on Elegoo Mars -- Community support/tips

basementdweller

Active Member
Regarding modelling software. Is there any good, preferably free, photogrammetry software that works well for 3D printing? I figure that would be handy for replicating something you already have/made previously and would like to remake or make modifications to.
You are in luck. There is. The best one out there is AliceVision Meshroom. It's developed by a university iirc, but unfortunately it's bound to CUDA cores. This means you need an Nvidia graphics card. This has been common until now with most Photogrammetry software. There is movement towards making it work with AMD graphics cards as well. Some software does work without, but you won't get any acceleration and some parts of the process will take up to 20 times longer without.

There are other software packages out there and even phone apps, but the free stuff beyond meshroom is either restricted to a lower number of images or not so user friendly.

Good ones with a free tier include Zephyr

Free ones that are a bit of a chore = VisualSFM

Here is a nice video from Prusa on how to do it. Their channel is a treasure trove of information regardless of what printer you have btw.
 

Jedi Dade

Sr Member
Really REALLY useful information, folks! Stuff I never would've thought about. Drain holes in hollow prints??? Never would've had a clue.
there are some really good youtube vids on this. I've seen it used on thing like a large figure/statue where you don't need to waste all the resin making it solid. A couple of small hole strategically placed and the uncured resin flows out.

Jedi Dade
 

Fett_Ish

Sr Member
I don’t have a printer but have printed lots of stuff on Shapeways. I 3D model for my day job and specialize in hard surface for real time so polygons. I’m a Max user and have been for nearly 20 years. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube. I bring it into the discussion because a license for a year can be had for $250 for indie users. When I finally get a printer, even though I should just nut up and get back into CAD, I’m lazy and love Max. I can help if people are using it to model
 

Riceball

Master Member
You are in luck. There is. The best one out there is AliceVision Meshroom. It's developed by a university iirc, but unfortunately it's bound to CUDA cores. This means you need an Nvidia graphics card. This has been common until now with most Photogrammetry software. There is movement towards making it work with AMD graphics cards as well. Some software does work without, but you won't get any acceleration and some parts of the process will take up to 20 times longer without.

There are other software packages out there and even phone apps, but the free stuff beyond meshroom is either restricted to a lower number of images or not so user friendly.

Good ones with a free tier include Zephyr

Free ones that are a bit of a chore = VisualSFM

Here is a nice video from Prusa on how to do it. Their channel is a treasure trove of information regardless of what printer you have btw.
Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely have to keep those in mind if I eventually get around to getting a printer. I have some experience with modelling, having dabbled in 3D modelling when I was younger and I've played around Maya some as well. I'd probably have a hard time modelling from scratch but modding something from Photogrammetry/pre-existing might be up my alley.
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
Here's a question for WAAAAY down the road for me. What if I wanted to 3D model and print a pilot figure for a starfighter model from, say, a certain cheesy late 1970s sci-fi TV show where the pilot should look vaguely like Gil Gerard? That's certainly an advanced kind of modeling, but would something like that require specialized software or could Fusion 360 do it? Are these the same programs people use to make gaming figures and such?
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
Regarding modelling software. Is there any good, preferably free, photogrammetry software that works well for 3D printing? I figure that would be handy for replicating something you already have/made previously and would like to remake or make modifications to.
I used 3DF Zephyr. What I've noticed is that it doesn't work well in every instance. The more info there is for the software to gauge 'points' the better.

TazMan2000
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
I'll agree with what skiffy said, but if the UV nail curing oven is too small, you can buy a solar powered rotating display stand (available on Amazon) and set it on a window ledge.
Elegoo also makes a water washable resin but it costs more that their regular resin. If you offset the cost of alcohol (and the availability of it nowadays during Covid 19) you would just about come out even.

TazMan2000
 

JoelSG

New Member
Here's a question for WAAAAY down the road for me. What if I wanted to 3D model and print a pilot figure for a starfighter model from, say, a certain cheesy late 1970s sci-fi TV show where the pilot should look vaguely like Gil Gerard? That's certainly an advanced kind of modeling, but would something like that require specialized software or could Fusion 360 do it? Are these the same programs people use to make gaming figures and such?
Not familiar with Fusion 360, but Blender could could certainly do it. Of course modeling someone’s portrait, realistic clothing etc. is tough no matter what the medium. I learned Blender almost exclusively through YouTube tutorials, it has quite a large following.
 

basementdweller

Active Member
What if I wanted to 3D model and print a pilot figure for a starfighter model from, say, a certain cheesy late 1970s sci-fi TV show where the pilot should look vaguely like Gil Gerard? That's certainly an advanced kind of modeling, but would something like that require specialized software or could Fusion 360 do it? Are these the same programs people use to make gaming figures and such?
There is a modeller section in Fusion360, but it's rather clunky for this type of thing.
CAD is for functional design. It's precise and the equivalent of vector graphics as compared to polygons and pixels. The objects are stored as equations and have for lack of a better explanation infinite resolution. Once you save out a file for 3D printing it gets converted to a mesh consisting of polygons and has a resolution. This is also the reason you see some **** cylinders and circular stuff in like 98% of the free models. People don't know to up the output resolution when saving out a mesh or how to add more segments/subdivide a model in a polygon environment.

Polygon modelling is more like sketching and way more fast to use. Think of it as your tool for everything that is not primarily meant for practical use. Even if possible it's not the environment best used to make a precise mechanism in, but certainly suited to make stuff that looks cool.

For organic modelling you want polygon modelling as JoelSG mentions like blender and sculpting abilities. The industry standard for statues and figures is z-brush, but blender has a fully capable sculpting environment.

There are three ways to capture a likeness and frankly it's usually a combo of all.

1. to 3D scan, in our case photogrammetry works perfectly fine, but since you don't have access to 50-100 perfectly lit pictures of that actor from all angles you can't.
2. You sculpt the likeness in a digital environment. It's down to practice and artistic abilities.
3. You model it by pushing and pulling vertices in Blender. There is a special plugin someone made that makes this very easy and all you need are 2 photos of the face (front and sideview) and then it's much like colour by numbers. I will update with a link to a how-to once I can.
 

xeno

Sr Member
there are some really good youtube vids on this. I've seen it used on thing like a large figure/statue where you don't need to waste all the resin making it solid. A couple of small hole strategically placed and the uncured resin flows out.

Jedi Dade
The holes and location are very important.
the holes prevent suction and lower pressure inside the model cavity, and the holes should be placed at the bottom of the model (closest to the build plate)

Without the holes you get more suction pressure on the model, and movement on the build plate, this in turn creates visual banding on the surface, and even detachment from the build plate, that can damage your LCD screen when the part is dunked again for the next layer, and pushes the detached part into your screen.

this can be an expensive oversight :)

extra holes can help removing uncured resin on the inside, make the hole at least 2mm big (bigger is better), because of the viscosity of the resin, smaller holes could possibly not air properly.
larger holes will help getting IPA on the insides and sloshing the IPA to remove left over resin.

Within ChiTubox you can hollow and create holes very easily, you can select the wall thickness and choose a hole size, and if you also want to print the removed hole part, so you can glue it back inside the hole after curing.

 
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skiffy

Sr Member
Some very good advice and links in here!

One observation I've found really helpful for those folks thinking about getting into resin printing, or moving from filament to resin, and especially when considering setting up a workspace, is this:

Resin 3d printing (MSLA) is a photo-chemical process, and the closest long established process that folks would know about is traditional dark-room (wet-process) photography - they're VERY similar. If you're setting up part of your workshop for resin, think of almost setting up a traditional dark-room. You'll certainly want to keep the resin away from daylight - particularly if you're swapping filled trays around. There are parallels in the handling of the chemicals too - both processes produce noxious gasses and waste materials that need specialist treatment (and gloves/mask to handle) and you'll get through resin filters/gloves/mask filters/paper towels and other consumables quite quickly.

Basically - if you couldn't handle using strong smelling, poisonous chemicals in a low-light environment then MSLA might not be for you. Not to end on a downer but I'd hate for anyone to buy all the kit and find that they just can't have it in the house.
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
Even though you will be totally amazed at the quality of your resin prints, there are a couple of drawbacks to resin printing, no matter what printer you get. The resin is toxic. Don't get it on your skin. If you do, wash it off immediately and wear good quality Nitrile gloves before handling. Your skin can absorb the resin (eventually) and that wouldn't be a good thing, especially if you like going outdoors. UV rays would turn you stiff. Not in a good way.

The other is the odour. Some people can't stand it. So ensure you pick a room that has adequate ventilation, and is warm, but still keep the printer out of direct sunlight. Some new printers have a carbon filter which reduces the odour, so that is something to consider.

TazMan2000
 
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newmagrathea

Sr Member
I've tossed around the idea of getting a resin printer and have looked at the Mars.

I think it would be great to have a shared library of greeblies from the donor kits that is hosted somewhere free of charge. Many of these kits are rare and expensive and are only going to be come more so as time passes. I personally think that this rarity is stifling the community because of the extreme high cost of kit-bashing. Many of us are stuck to small off the shelf kits because of the cost, but if we could print off greeblies in whatever size we wanted I think it would open larger scale and studio scale projects up to more people. I personally have a Hasbro Falcon that is not quite studio scale so kit-bashing details is difficult since the scale is off, but that would be a non issue for a 3d printer.
 

Jaitea

Master Member
I've tossed around the idea of getting a resin printer and have looked at the Mars.

I think it would be great to have a shared library of greeblies from the donor kits that is hosted somewhere free of charge. Many of these kits are rare and expensive and are only going to be come more so as time passes. I personally think that this rarity is stifling the community because of the extreme high cost of kit-bashing. Many of us are stuck to small off the shelf kits because of the cost, but if we could print off greeblies in whatever size we wanted I think it would open larger scale and studio scale projects up to more people. I personally have a Hasbro Falcon that is not quite studio scale so kit-bashing details is difficult since the scale is off, but that would be a non issue for a 3d printer.
I've downloaded files from GrabCad some from our own member Joshua Maruska,....Tamiya Panther, Bandai Panther1/24, Aurora SeaIab, Saturn V Rocket, Tamiya 8rad...I had to convert some of the files to .stl....I can send links of what I have if anyone is interested,....I have some kits for parts that were used on the 32"....which I have cast for my DeAgo Falcon,....sometimes multiples were needed.....I wouldn't mind trying to duplicate these parts digitally

One drive link Attachments

John
 
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xeno

Sr Member
Resin 3d printing (MSLA) is a photo-chemical process, and the closest long established process that folks would know about is traditional dark-room (wet-process) photography - they're VERY similar. If you're setting up part of your workshop for resin, think of almost setting up a traditional dark-room. You'll certainly want to keep the resin away from daylight - particularly if you're swapping filled trays around.
There is no need for a dark room kind of workplace :), the resin is only cured by strong direct UV light, in the 405nm range, only direct sunlight will cause problems, or if you leave your printer lid open during printing.

My work room has 4 large bright lights and 2 windows, and I never had problems with resin curing while pouring in, changing resins or cleaning.
the amount of UV light in the room, during normal use, is not enough to cause problems :)

Another thing is the fumes/smell of the resin, some resins are stronger in smell then others, water washable resins don't mean less smell :)
I see a lot or resin printer users (Anycubic Photon users the most), that make elaborate air filtration systems to suck out the fumes/smell, through expensive carbon filters and such.
I am not downplaying the chemical risk, but if you make the printer lid seal really good, there is no need of filtration systems, the resin just like in the bottle is perfectly fine inside the printer itself, and only when you open the lid, and clean your prints you need ventilation.
even just taping the lid edge will decrease the smell 99%

The Anycubic Photon has a fan inside the print chamber that blasts all the fumes outside, and that can really create problems, the simple solution is to uncouple the fan and close the fan hole with tape or something.
why the fan in there, nobody knows, the resin doesn't not need cooling (works better when warm), and all the electronics are below the screen in the bottom chamber with it's own cooling system.

I have an Epax-X1 that has no fan inside the print chamber, and I only added some stickytape velt on the edge of the lid, and this creates a really good seal and I do not smell any resin at all :)
 
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Riceball

Master Member
There is no need for a dark room kind of workplace :), the resin is only cured by strong direct UV light, in the 405nm range, only direct sunlight will cause problems, or if you leave your printer lid open during printing.

My work room has 4 large bright lights and 2 windows, and I never had problems with resin curing while pouring in, changing resins or cleaning.
the amount of UV light in the room, during normal use, is not enough to cause problems :)
Would working in the garage with the door open be ok then? My workbench is towards the front of the garage but along a side wall so it would get indirect sunlight. Or would adding the liquid resin with the door closed and opening it after it's done printing be a work around? Of course, the easiest work around would probably be to just print at night then set it outside to cure the next day.
 

Jedi Dade

Sr Member
No. the Resin used cures in sunlight... well more specifically a part of the sunlight spectrum. Serious shade might be OK... but you'd be better off doing it indoors without sunlight. It will probably work, but you probably will get more wasted resin then you'd like as some of it will start to cure on the "top" of the pool of resin. I hope that makes sense. I know the printer has a UV shield that is supposed to prevent that but I don't really trust it to block out enough UV rays even in indirect "shade"... but that's just me. I'm going to set up something like a paint booth with an exhaust fan in my basement and a "dryer" tube to exit out the window.

Thanks my plan anyway,

Jedi Dade
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
Riceball , I'm not certain how dusty your garage is, but mine is super dusty. When you're not using the printer, throw a piece of cloth over it, to keep off the dust. If you're going to leave resin in the vat, ensure that cloth has some degree of light blocking, just to be safe. The cover of these models block almost all 405nm wavelight light, but not all. Keep the printer out of direct sunlight. Almost all kinds of man made light emit a certain degree of UV radiation so you can't get away from it completely.

TazMan2000
 

skiffy

Sr Member
This was the scene when my neighbour opened his window and the reflected sunlight fell on my printer as I was preparing to empty the tank - you can see the resin starting to cure (ripple) in the tank. It was a simple job to filter out the resin and re-pour it. Lesson learned, I took a pic to remind me and now my printer is kept far from any window - even from any source of reflection. Now it's all good. :)

Resin_666x500.jpeg
 
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