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So Shapeways recently introduced Full Colored Plastic as a new printable material. I was super excited to try it out.

Compared to Full Color Sandstone, Full Color Plastic is stronger. The colors don’t fade with exposure to water.

We have tested this by submerging the FCP models in water for 2 months and the colors stayed the same. No color bleeding. ~Shapeways Customer Support

However, it also cost about twice as much per cubic cm, which comes out to a lot.

I printed a smaller version of my ArcheAge figurine. Here’s the result!full color plastic

Overall I’m a little disappointed. The resolution wasn’t super great and a lot of the colors didn’t come out.

You can really see the stripes and spots on the arms and legs. There was also a white graininess to the whole figurine.

full color plastic

Full Color Plastic

Full Color Sandstone

Full Color Sandstone

To be fair, my Full Color Sandstone version is about 4 times bigger than Full Color Plastic version. My hunch is that even if I scale the plastic version up, the white graininess won’t go away, and the colors will still be a lot lighter.

Due to the price, the sandstone version still cost less than the plastic version, despite the size increase.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Can print smaller / thinner models than Full Color Sandstone
  • Colors won’t fade with exposure to water
  • Stronger; thin parts are flexible

Cons:

  • More expensive than Full Color Sandstone
  • Have a white grainiess
  • Colors are a lot lighter / less saturated
  • May not have as great resolution

For future prints, I’d probably limit gradients and shading, and stick to sharp contrasting colors.

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[update: printed here]

Oh man am I excited.

So I don’t usually post my 3D prints unless they come out pretty good, but I am super excited about this one. I just placed an order today!

Behold: Rakdos, Lord of Riots

Rakdos Figurine

This came about when I was testing out a new modelling tool, Sculptris, instead of my usual Maya and Max.

I *love* Sculptris! It’s a whole new way of modelling!

I had to rig my model after exporting it from Sculptris to pose it. As a side result, I can animate it.

run Rakdos run

Run Rakdos Run!

I saw a really cool idea about having dice/spindown holders so I thought I’d turn the figurine into a spindown holder as well.

The dice goes into the triangle groove, with a face facing up. We’ll have to wait and see if it actually fits…*nervous chuckle*

positioning the dice

I ordered a figurine and a dice holder in polished red plastic, so here are some red renders while I wait:

red render

red render 2

I was ecstatic the day my friend gave me a DOTA2 beta invite. Having been a fan of the first DOTA (Defense of the Anicents) game, DOTA2 filled cockles of my heart with warm nostalgia.
DOTA
It also filled all my free time. For the past three months, (as semi-evident by my lack of posts and spiffy projects), I became entrenched in the world of the Radiant and the Dire, ganking enemies, buffing allies, causing general ruckus. I also met a lot of awesome people like one of my friend’s internet posse. We team up nightly for epic games.

When Valve brilliantly released their DOTA workshop, allowing user-made models to appear in-game, I was thrilled. I’d dabbled in 3D-modelling as a bright-eyed youngin’ and was super interested in building custom gear for some of my favorite heroes.

My first time in the workshop, I made an amazing discovery:

VALVE SUPPLIED THE HERO MODELS!!!

They kindly offered models of the DOTA heroes in convenient formats, which inspired me to 3D-print mini-figurines.

Behold my adorable mini-Furion (Valve calls him Nature’s Prophet):

Mini-Furion

Mini-Furion

He’s a cute 1.5 inches tall with all sorts of nifty details that my phone camera cannot capture.

Currently he stands guard at my desk with a mini-keychain Crystal Maiden (with a giant head hole for threading and everything!).

Crystal Maiden

Using Sculpteo to print, the total cost for printing (and shipping) was $15.20. Crystal Maiden came for free, thanks to their nice folks at giving away keychains.

How-To 3D-Print Your Own Mini DOTA2 Hero:

1. Download a model from Valve’s DOTA2 Workshop. Picking a good hero to 3D print is tricky. A lot of heroes lose their personality when untextured. Also, a lot of heroes have tiny components which are too fragile to be printed.

2. To 3D print using commercial services like Sculpteo, the model needs to be in an OBJ file (which comes with some heroes) or a STL file. Since all heroes come with a Maya file, Maya can be used to export the heroes into STL (only with newer version of Maya) or into OBJ (any recent version of Maya). Heroes can also pose, by moving the various skeletons. I made my Furion hold his staff.
Maya
3. After exporting into the appropriate formats, the model needs to be checked to see if it conforms to a manifold (Shapeways has a nice, simple article on manifolds pertaining to 3D printing), has holes, has inverted normals, and has other similar non-printability problems. A lot of commercial services will do that check automatically upon upload. So will netfabb Basic.

4. I uploaded my Furion to Sculpteo, scaled it accordingly, and hit print, and 3 weeks later, VIOLA! Sculpteo offers a really nice check unprintable thin components and a real-time scaling for price adjustments.

[edit: tutorial for 3d printing in color]