We’ve been experimenting in 3D Print to create some cool characters for our product line and soon we’ll post more about what we’ve learned. 🙂

SLA ( stereolithography apparatus ) or Resin printing preliminary result, the method is time consuming because of the many extra steps needed to be taken after the initial resin hardening is done, but the detail level seems worth it ( layer height of ca. 0,01mm ).

Resin print with support, which easily breaks away without damaging the print ( for the most part ).
Resin model after UV exposure
Hand painting makes a big difference, but takes time and the results are often hard to replicate

FDM ( Fused Deposition Modeling ) often called PLA ( polylactic acid / bio plastic ) printing is easier to handle, since it’s pretty much done once the printer is done, but the support can be hard to remove without hurting the print, so often it is easier to seperate the print into several pieces and glue them together afterwards. FDM printing is relatively rough ( layer height min is 0,1mm ) so this printing technology is not for very fine detail.

2 seperate prints glued together.
Glued, sanded and painted FDM print.
It is possible to print objects with a fairly solid body in one piece, if the design allows for sensible support removal.
Support removed, ready for paint ( coffee cup for scale )
Sanded and painted, as you can tell, there are still clear support remnants int he print.
FDM is great for prototypes if the odd imperfection is ok.
highly detailed objects needs special care when FDM printing and seperating the design into several prints is often the only real possibility. This print is about 15 seperate prints.
Another option when printing detailed FDM prints is scaling up, like in this case ( 20+ pieces ).
Glued, sanded, airbrushed print with decals.