What exactly are the limits of 3D printers today? We know that objects are limited in size on the upper end by the 3D printer’s build volume. If a build volume is 12 cubic centimeters, then you can’t print anything larger than 12 cubic centimeters on that printer. With this said, you never really come across people who ask about how small of an object, a 3D printer can accurately print. With consumer and prosumer level 3D printers, such as the FDM and SLA based machines which are most common today, you don’t see too many people striving to create extremely small objects. FDM based 3D printers are limited in scope more so than SLA printers because they just can’t achieve the same detailed print resolutions as their counterparts. This brings up the question of what exactly are the limitations on the higher resolution SLA 3D printers?
One man, and his company Zealot Miniatures is changing the ideology that people have when it comes to the capabilities of 3D printers in creating miniature objects. Eddie J Fisher, of Zealot Miniatures tells 3DPrint.com that his company has been using 3D printing to create very small models and parts for clients for half a decade.
“We use 3D printers to produce the digitally designed models and have been doing this for around 5 years now,” Fisher told us. “Using these prints we use them as masters when using traditional resin casting methods to produce batches of resin miniatures.”
Zealot Miniatures is known for their models, and aftermarket parts, as well as their scenery and conversion kits for miniatures. Most of their models are in the realm of Sci-Fi and fantasy, but they also do a decent amount of custom modeling for clients. Just recently, Fisher was asked to create a miniature Navy crew member for a client who is producing a model warship. He wanted to have multiple crew members on board as part of the model. So, Fisher and team went to work.
“It (the Navy crew member) was sculpted by Bob Naismith (somewhat of a legend among miniature circles) and printed on our newest printer, the B9 Creator v1.2 which features a 1080p projector for amazing new resolution, higher than all of the out-the-box EnvisionTEC machines,” said Fisher. “I’m printing at XY:30 microns and Z:15 microns!”
As you can see in the image above, the print is quite amazing, especially for being only 3mm in height. However, Fisher admits that he created an STL file which featured very little detail because he did not believe it would come out all that successful. “So I didn’t use a higher detail file, but actually the print came out pretty much exactly like the file, and I think if I reprint this with a higher detail STL, I can get a lot more details on the print,” he told us.
This print is just a test. Fisher plans to make some modifications prior to creating the final product. For those who were wondering, the Navy crew member was printed at a 1:600 scale. The entire warship, for this crew member to stand on will also be created by Fisher, who plans to have it printed out and ready for casting next week. It should be interesting to see how the final product turns out.
What do you think of these 3mm tall miniatures, that have been printed on the B9 Creator 3D Printer? Are you surprised by what it was capable of, or is this what you would expect from a higher end prosumer SLA 3D printer? Discuss the 3D Printed Miniatures forum thread on 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs: October 10, 2019
We’re talking about events and business today in 3D Printing News Briefs. In November, Cincinnati Inc. is presenting at FABTECH, and Additive Manufacturing Technologies and XJet are heading off to...
Roboze Improving Quality of 3D Printed Parts with Pre-Drying and Heating Equipment
It’s October, which means that this year’s formnext is fast approaching. From November 19-22, thousands of people will descend on Frankfurt to network, see what’s new in the AM industry,...
Cubicure & Evonik Develop One Component Resin System For Flexible Polyesters Through Hot Lithography
Cubicure and Evonik continue on within the 3D printing realm, leading the evolution of materials science with research and development of polyester resins. Focusing on additive manufacturing processes, this joint...
Formnext Start-up Challenge Announces Five Winning 3D Printing Startups
We’re several days into September now, which means that it’s only two short months until this year’s Formnext exhibition and conference in Germany. But before its November event, Formnext holds...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.