Here's a fuel cell, courtesy of the recent WarLayer 3D printable scenery KickStarter. The models from this are excellent and the creator Andrew Askedall has created some great models that will compliment battleground that is the war-torn hive world of Armageddon.
The towers and walkways will mesh very well with the Games Workshop terrain and allow even more scope for elevation and cover play.
Unless stated otherwise, assume all of my prints are done on the extended gantry Cetus at 0.2mm layer height using the standard 0.4mm nozzle and are printed in PLA using a 20% infill.
My lighting sucks and the photos are taken on my smartphone so the images won't do the prints anything like the justice they deserve but to be honest I've got way too many other things to deal with than worry about (or funding) good eye candy. Just take my word for it until I have the time to dig out my digital SLR and set up a photo box... or better still, download and print the models for yourself and see what I mean!Shadow War: Armageddon
That's the latest time-sink that's tying up my printers at the moment. Basically it's being touted as the successor to Necromunda, but since I didn't get to play it when it was in print I guess I'll have to take other folks word for it - although I do hope to one day give it a whirl in one form or another, thanks to the excellent Yaktribe community. (https://yaktribe.games/community/)
Anyways, I was lucky enough to snag myself one of the first boxed sets of SW:Ag (SW:A being taken to mean Star Wars Armada) and now that I have table space, I'd like to build myself a decent battleboard to play it on.
Over time, I'll tag each additional model I print and then do updates to them as I paint/finish them and with luck (and a shed-load of filament and paint) I should be able to come up with a reasonable display/play area.
Here's the link to Andrew's WarLayer Kickstarter. It's ended but you should be able to buy the files from him or via a 3rd party (probably DriveThruRPG.com) and you might want to keep an eye out for any future campaigns he may do. I know I will.
A few little do-dads for placing as dressing/obstacles/cover when playing Shadow War: Armageddon. This time we have oil drums and small kit/cargo chests. These are all 28mm scale and look good when placed next to a figure - even if I forgot to take the picture like that...
These come from the Sci-Fi Decor Kickstarter by Axolote Tiles. The bundles that Axolote release eventually find their way onto DriveThruRPG so if you happen to have missed any of their excellent KS campaigns, you can pick them up from there.
Printed on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/13% infill.
Here's another piece from the Axolote Tiles Sci-Fi decor range. This time it's a small cargo box.
I say small, but this is actually the same height as a Space Marine. The detail is crisp and should paint up really well to make more cover/eye candy on the tabletop.
As usual, printed on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/13% infill.
Here's another model I printed for use with Shadow War: Armageddon. This time it's a generator on a base, from Printable Scenery. Again, the black PLA and stark lighting don't do it justice but once I can get some paint on it you should really be able to see the incredible level of detail on this. It is also available without the base if you just want to place it flush on the ground or mount it on another base.
I got mine as part of one of their KickStarters but the file is available from their webstore in the Gothic Sci-Fi section. (https://www.printablescenery.com/)
Printed on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/15% infill.
Here's the Thingiverse link for SnowMan77's turbine collection:
thingiverse.com - Warhammer 40K terrain: turbine by SnowMan77
Warhammer 40K terrain: turbine by SnowMan77
Another piece of tabletop scenery for use with Shadow War: Armageddon. This is a ventilation cooling fan and it was done by SnowMan77 and is available via Thingiverse (see below for the full link).
Here's the link to SnowMan77's file: thingiverse.com - Warhammer 40k terrain / ventilation / cooling system by SnowMan77
I scaled it down by 50% (because it was ma-hoosive!) but I may well print one at full size at a later date. For now though I knocked out four of these bad boys for placing around some form of power complex or factorum.
Printed in PLA on the Cetus at 15% infill.
Here's another part of SnowMan77's most excellent turbine collection from Thingiverse. This is the double turbine model and believe me, using his files you can create some truly huge power generation plants. These are just crying out for folks to hide behind - and blow up. Hmm, I'm getting mental flash-backs to parts of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide...
Once more, printed on the little workhorse that is the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/13% infill.
Another bunch of knick-knacks or 'greebles', as their creator Markus of Terrain4Print calls them. Basically these are wonderful little bits of additional detail that you can print out (fully scalable) and then stick on to anything to enhance it. They include pipes, vents, windows, shields (with and without symbols on them) and hatches/cupolas.
These really are awesome. They can liven up a blank wall or be used to 'individualise' pretty much anything. The shields in particular are fantastic since they allow me to replicate the barrier designs on the Games Workshop walkways, which will help tie all of the design themes together and should hopefully enhance the final battleground so that it doesn't look like a bunch of random buildings/scenery has been thrown together... even if it has.
These came as part of his Sci-Fi pack that I picked up along with the Viking pack. A link to his website and store will follow. You can also support him via Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/terrain4print
His Thingiverse designs can be found here: www.thingiverse.com/Terrain4Print/designs
Printed on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/13% infill.
These also came from the Terrain4Print Sci-Fi pack. They're part of the fuel station. I'll be printing many more pipe sections and stanchions/caps/taps to make up pipework mazes, etc. as well as to link some sections together.
I can see me possibly magnetizing these to allow fast building/placing of lots of variations.
Again, printed on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/15% infill.
More scenery for use with Shadow War: Armageddon.
This is one of the short walkways from Andrew Askedall's fantastic WarLayer 3D printable terrain KickStarter (see link in another post).
The level of detail on the decking is great (grate? LOL) and they clip onto the other pieces really well. I printed this out on the Cetus in PLA at 0.2mm/20% infill and I have no worries about packing it out with metal minis - something that can't always be said for some shop-bought pre-made scenery.
Here's the same short walkway but without a railing. Still printed on the Cetus but this time in GREEN (that colour just cries out to be in capitals!) - hopefully the details are more visible this time.
The loudness of the green appears to have caught the attention of an Ork Boy so we'll use him for scale.
So in the week that I've had the Cetus, it's been printing pretty much non-stop and is going great guns. There have, however, been a couple of failed prints where the print hasn't adhered to the build plate properly and has come off and just melted itself around the nozzle. Luckily, these both happened while I was watching and so no major drama occurred but it's still a tad annoying and would have been a royal pain in the butt if I'd set it away on a 10 hour+ print job only to have it fail in the first couple of minutes. That's when I decided it was time to apply a special surface to the aluminium print plate, rather than rely on either glue sticks or printers tape. I had been expecting this since I elected not to get the Cetus' original coated buildplate, but rather two uncoated ones instead. I wanted to experiment and see what different coatings could do.
A few of the users (both on the Cetus and other 3D modelling forums) had posted about their success with a material called LokBuild from a UK company called Steelmans, who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for it last year (Oct 2016).
I found an online supplier for it (www.OozNest.co.uk) and bought a single 8-inch sheet and had it posted out 1st class Royal Mail. Total cost: £11.87 (inc. VAT & postage). It arrived the next day.
Making sure the Cetus was turned off so that I could manually raise the Y-axis rail out of the way, I attached a plastic spring clip to the vertical linear rail (Z-axis) to hold everything out of the way while I was working. If you don't have one of these plastic clips, a spring-loaded wooden clothes peg should work.
After cleaning down the build plate with window cleaner (to remove any traces of glue stick) and then rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) using paper towel to avoid lint fibres, I took my spare build plate and used it to trace out the size/shape on the back of the LokBuild sheet. I then cut it to size using scissors and peeled the backing paper off and applied it to the fitted plate, being careful to avoid trapping air underneath it - you don't want any bubbles forming and getting trapped.
I then powered up the Cetus, initialised it (to home all of the axis), removed the plastic clip I had put on the Z-axis rail and then did a manual bed level since the LokBuild sheet will clearly be too-thick to use my old settings - even if my vigorous bed cleaning hadn't already thrown it out of whack!
A few moments later and I had everything levelled up and sent my first print to the printer - without a raft or skirt. According to Steelmans, the manufacturers of LokBuild, there's no need to squish the first layers down and so I didn't use any nozzle offset at all.
The print came out flawlessly, and boy did that sucker grip! So much so that I was worried I would bend the build plate by trying to pull it off so I had to resort to using the scrapper (very carefully, so as not to cut or gouge the LokBuild) and after a few tense seconds, it popped right off. The bottom contact surface is lovely and smooth and there is absolutely no trace of warp on any of the edges.
If you're wondering what the difference between prints with/without the LokBuild, here's a couple of photos.
This one is without. Notice the slightly curled edges? That could be avoided fairly easily if the Cetus had a heated bed, but it doesn't and a build surface material like LokBuild is a very affordable alternative.
This next image shows two prints done on the LokBuild, laid edge to edge to highlight how the curling is pretty much eliminated. The slight gap (a few microns) could easily be attributed to the fact that they were printed at 0.2mm layer height. Anyway, I'm more than happy with the results and now (2 days later) even after pretty much continuous, back-to-back 1 hour print jobs, I've not had a single failed print. Score!
The Cetus 3D Printer was my second 3D printer and the first to arrive from a Kickstarter - although it doesn't bode well when it arrives looking like this...
Still, I was hopeful that when it was held up in Shanghai (or Shanghaied in Hong Kong?) and had to spend the Chinese New Year in a warehouse that the celebrating workers weren't using it to work out their frustrations on. My money is on DHL being the heavy-handed ones but fingers crossed it's just the outer packaging that took a beating. You'd almost think those arrows were stuck on there to give hints at where to wallop it...
I'll have to unpack it and assemble it on the dining table because my craft area is currently buried under laser-cut MDF sheets and partially glued paint racks. I intend to try and shuffle backwards and forwards between the two projects while I'm waiting for the glue to dry and I'm not in a major hurry because, yet again, until I finish assembling the paint station I won't actually have anywhere for the printer to live.
So, opening up the box and removing the top sheet of polyfoam packaging I see this.
My initial thoughts were that I was lucky that the impact was only where there was an empty space and that hopefully, nothing was damaged/missing once I got it out of the box.
Removing a handful of well shaped/cut pieces of packaging allowed me to pop the contents onto the table.
From what I can initially see things are looking remarkably good:
This is what's inside the Cetus Kickstarter package (Mark 1, extended gantry version).
However, its once I remove the plastic bag and bottom packaging that I spot what I'm left with courtesy of that punctured hole in the outer packaging...
What you're looking at is a close-up shot of the rail that holds the print head (or hotend) of the printer. It runs side to side along a linear rail, courtesy of a toothed belt driven by the stepper motor (the square block thing on the end). The problem is, that's all supposed to be square and flush, not bent out of alignment.
You can see the amount of displacement it's suffered. Both the belt and the rail should be running straight with the stepper motor sat flush up against the end of the rail. There definitely shouldn't be a bend in the belt at the stepper motor end.
There's no way that's going to run smoothly (if at all) so for now it's time to put a halt to things and go email these pictures to Tiertime in China and see what they say.
OK so while I wait for the guys at Team Tiertime over in Beijing to get back to me, I thought I'd go back and review what you get in the small inner box (as laid out on the table photo above) and see just what was inside...
Turns out, quite a lot actually!
Left to right:
(Top left) 3x 50g spools of their own PLA filament (cream, white and green) - whilst handy to do a set of small test prints in each, I have some 1kg spools waiting to be used to help clear down the insane model backlog I have but still it's nice to have something to print with straight away.
(Next top left) A small ziplock bag containing some tools (allen/ball-socket key, nozzle wrench and an acupuncture needle for clearing any nozzle clogs) that you'll need during the printers lifetime, along with various grub screws, nuts and shaped metal joints for the spool holder as well as a couple of plastic end caps (also for the spool holder). The Cetus comes with 0.2mm, 0.4mm and 0.6mm nozzles (which is cool because you normally just get a single 0.4mm nozzle with a printer) and having learned some frustrating lessons with my first 3D printer I bought a spare one of each as part of my pledge.
(Centre) Some aluminium rods for making a (by all accounts terribad) spool holder - I have a couple of spool holders that I printed out on the Wanhao i3 ready to use, but it's free so what the heck, I'll give it a go.
(Next top left) The hotend assembly - this contains a stepper motor for feeding the filament into the nozzle (the 0.4mm nozzle comes pre-fitted) and the filament cooling fan.
(Top & bottom right) A power brick complete with UK plug. No drama, all set, ready to go. Well done.
(Next bottom right) A USB lead for linking the printer to a computer. It can be used for firmware updates as well as tethering (staying permanently attached to the printer while it prints).
(Centre left) A scraper for removing your print from the print bed (these buggers can be razor sharp so be careful) and a set of side-cutters for trimming away any printed support material as well as any stray filament 'wisps'. While scrapers are standard accessories to come with a printer, the side-cutters were a nice surprise.
(Bottom left) Two aluminium print beds (I bought a spare as part of my pledge because I'd like to try using either a removable glass plate or a specialist buildplate material. You can buy the Cetus with Tiertime's own specially coated print plate but initially it wasn't a smooth surface (it had a crackle-glaze texture) and I like my prints without any undue marking on the bottom. However, the Cetus' one is apparently very grippy, so if you're not obsessive then save money and take theirs.
What's NOT in the box:
An SD card or flash drive/memory stick. Usually you'll use one of these to load the file you want to print onto it and then insert it into the printer. The Cetus doesn't use them - you can either send the file via the USB lead (gah! /Angry) or use the printers built-in WiFi (yay! /Big Grin )
Any form of instruction assembly instructions, manual or quickstart guide. These are all found online in the Cetus FAQ but a heads up would have been nice - I found the link by reading through the comments on the Kickstarter page.
Any slicer software. A slicer is a program that allows you to create the files that your printer will print. Although you can go to places like Thingiverse and just download a file to print, you still have to 'slice' it (i.e convert/configure it) so that it will work on your particular printer. I already have several slicer programs but the Cetus is (initially at least) designed to work with their own - which again can be found online at cetus3d.com - Cetus 3D Make It Happen (or via the FAQ).
The extended gantry that I ordered as part of my pledge. That's because I'm a doofus and Team Tiertime are nice guys - they already fitted it for me... (doh! /Exclamation)
Sadly real life has kept me away from my ongoing battle with the MDF monster that is the Paint Station but in between all of the running around I've had to do, I did hear back from Team Tiertime - a Jason Wu to be precise. He emailed me back with suggestions on how to fix the bent/misaligned Y-axis and apologised for any inconvenience it may have caused me. He promised that if the suggested fix didn't work, he could send me some replacement parts but obviously that would mean more of a delay and also that I'd have to carry out the repair myself. What exactly was the advice you ask?
"Bend it back again".
As an ex-computer engineer I was actually quite looking forward to taking the thing apart but bugger me if his suggested 'fix' didn't just do the job!
All square again. Yay!
Then it was time to assemble it - which to be honest, purely consisted of moving rooms and setting it up on a different bench, installing the hotend assembly (unscrewing 2 screws, attaching it, then screwing the screws back in place), plugging the umbilical cable into the hotend (which has a shaped plug and so can only go in one way), plumbing in the thin bowden tube that runs through the umbilical chord at both ends (one end into the holder at the top rear of the upright and the other into the hotend assembly), attaching the build plate (by screwing in 3 screws), downloading and installing the Cetus software, configuring it to work on my wi-fi and then finally doing a manual levelling of the build plate - it's supposed to be levelled at the factory and not need levelling but that wallop in transit was sure to have wonked it... (it had). All of which took me around 20 minutes.
My advice would be to look at the Quick Start Guide from the FAQ section of the Cetus3D website and just go carefully - don't try to force anything (if it needs too much force it's either not seated properly or in the wrong place) and if in doubt, stop and take a second look/rethink things. A set-square won't go amiss either if you are at all worried about anything being out of alignment.
Which was less time than it took to work out how to assemble the cacking spool holder! There aren't any instructions on the site for the holder but a quick search of their user forum gave me a picture of it assembled and some idea of how to screw the bits together (they use the small shaped metal brackets and grub screws, all of which are in the little ziplock bag). Once I had the holder built I saw what folks were complaining about...
Think of a spool of filament like a big-ass bobbin of thread. It has a hole in the middle that's meant to have a spindle running through it so that the spool can freely rotate as the printer draws the filament off it and into the extruder in the hotend. The spool has a round hole and the spindle on the spool holder is square (/Huh?). Now admittedly the spindle is small enough to easily fit within the roll, but rotating a round object on an angled surface won't go smoothly (that is why we have round wheels, not blocks) and any jarring or jerking from the filament can be transferred into 'motion lines' or unwanted layer effects on the printed object.
Again, the Cetus community had the answer. Someone had created a mod that was designed to be printed out and snapped over the top of the square spindle, fattening it up and turning it into a nice smooth, rounded one complete with lipped edges to prevent the spool from falling off as it rotated. They had put the file up for free download on Thingiverse and 2hrs 7mins later (along with 34g used up from the free 50g of white filament that was supplied with the printer) - voilà!
One freshly printed part. The rough-looking web bit at the base of it is called a 'raft' and you can add them to a file before you send it to print to give some extra surface area so that the object sticks to the printbed while it's printing. It's designed to be easily removed and thankfully the Cetus came up trumps again, it peeled away with very little effort and left hardly any marking.
The picture doesn't really do justice to the finish on the item - it really is smooth and solid. And the really amazing thing is that it was printed with just default settings, right out of the box and using the regular nozzle, not the super fine one!
ll that was left was to see if it fitted...
Holy crap! It snapped right on and sits snugly in place. Job done!
I have to say that I am absolutely gob-smacked by the performance of the Cetus. Aside from the damage in transit (which was thankfully fixed within hours courtesy of the Tiertime support staff) this bad boy has blown me away with not only its build quality but also its easy of use and end results. I'll run the rest of the free PLA filament through it to see what it does with some more detailed work but I don't think I'm going to be disappointed.
A saltbeard Grognard who's glad he never grew up enough to lose his imagination.