*new to 3D Printing* - Questions with printing Toy Molds/Designs
 
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SethB3D
(@sethb3d)
Active Member
*new to 3D Printing* - Questions with printing Toy Molds/Designs

Hello Everyone!

 

If you are reading this, first let me thank you so much for taking the time to help out a 3D Printing noob.

A little background before the initial question (Jump 2 paragraphs if you just want to hear my question) My name is Seth and I am a 3D Designer at an international toy/game design company. I graduated in 2015 for Media Arts and Animation (No CAD training at all), with a focus on 3D modeling and texturing. I did a lot of freelance work, and about 4 months ago I landed this amazing job as the companies first 3D designer. The college I went to was small and underfunded, so I only learned 3D in 3DsMax and ZBrush. But I have honed my skills in 3DsMax to where I can design almost anything, with assistance from ZBrush. 

So now I work at a toy company using those same two programs to design toys and game designs off of 2D scribbles or reference images. My main jobs are making 3D models to be able to either be printed for a mold or box design 300 dpi HD renders. My designs then get sent to china to be fixed up in CAD to 3D mold (which I am taking out that LONG process doing it here at my own desk with a Prusa). The second again is making box designs, where I need HIGH quality renders to then be photoshopped and applied to a box designs for sales. So being the first 3D Designer at this company, I am basically wearing multiple hats, and now I am adding 3D printing clean, crisp and HD molds for product production test and sales. So bare with my lack of 3D Printing experience. I do have friends with Prusa's, and I have seen them in action, tested a print and been shown the basic ropes.

Here lies my questions:

  • Filaments:
    • I have read that PLA and ABS are my best bets for clean/crisp 3D printed molds for products.
      • My questions for this would be:
        • Will PLA be able to be shipped to China or UK without dis-forming or melting?
        • Can dis-forming in PLA be fixed by just upping the filament percentage?
        • Is ABS just worth using over PLA for the strength of product testing, being handled by multiple people or being shipped?
        • Is there a better filament to be used for strong yet high quality prints?

Mainly I am wondering if there is anyone here with similar experience to my field, that can give me some printing pointers on getting mold prints that are of high quality, without having to spend $3000+ on a bigger 3D printer. I don't need crazy quality, but I want it to look as close to the actual Spec design as possible. 

I do understand how to set up models for 3D Printing, whether it be adding a Brim, Skirt or Raft, or adding Supports to areas that hang.

I just would love some insight from people with experience in this and what you would recommend be doing and using.

 

Thank you for your time! and later I might have more questions.

Best Answer by Neophyl:

PLA will deform easier than you think if its under pressure (for example some parts bolted together and left a garden shed in the UK warped badly) and it was only around 20-25 degrees outside the shed.  However if packed appropriately there should be no issues with shipping.  I print functional items that are used outdoors for events (well I did before lockdown) out of PLA and PETG and except for the shed incident none have 'melted' as yet.   Its the internal stresses as the plastic is laid down that express themselves when it gets soft that causes the issues, so adding more plastic could actually make it worse.

ABS will give a more durable part but it is more difficult to print and warps while printing much of the time unless you have an enclosed temperature controlled enclosure (its highly dependant on the shape).  ABS also produces fumes that you don't want next to you and should ideally be ventilated outside or at least in a well ventilated area.  Of course you need to do that without introducing drafts to stop warping 🙂

I know a couple of people who do/used to sculpting for game companies (Character Options), one of them runs his own company now.  They have now transitioned to digital sculpting.  They don't use a FDM printer though they use resin based printers.  They iterate with their printers and then multiple masters are sent off to China/India for mass production.  That sounds a lot like your proposed workflow.  Resin printers excel at highly detailed prototypes.  While its more post processing to clean them and cure them the results are far superior and if its only for prototyping its not that much more work.

Posted : 22/06/2020 5:42 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
RE: *new to 3D Printing* - Questions with printing Toy Molds/Designs

PLA is shipped routinely world-wide without melting.

I have heard, however, of PLA car accessories starting to melt and deform in a closed hot car in the summer, so ABS is better if you want any heat resistance.  It's also a bit stronger.  Some say it's more tricky to print with, and a recent test on another thread showed one artifact on the 'boat' benchmark which showed on ABS and not on PLA.  That appears to be related, at least somewhat, to Prusaslicer.

Posted : 22/06/2020 5:59 pm
SethB3D liked
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Famed Member
RE: *new to 3D Printing* - Questions with printing Toy Molds/Designs

PLA will deform easier than you think if its under pressure (for example some parts bolted together and left a garden shed in the UK warped badly) and it was only around 20-25 degrees outside the shed.  However if packed appropriately there should be no issues with shipping.  I print functional items that are used outdoors for events (well I did before lockdown) out of PLA and PETG and except for the shed incident none have 'melted' as yet.   Its the internal stresses as the plastic is laid down that express themselves when it gets soft that causes the issues, so adding more plastic could actually make it worse.

ABS will give a more durable part but it is more difficult to print and warps while printing much of the time unless you have an enclosed temperature controlled enclosure (its highly dependant on the shape).  ABS also produces fumes that you don't want next to you and should ideally be ventilated outside or at least in a well ventilated area.  Of course you need to do that without introducing drafts to stop warping 🙂

I know a couple of people who do/used to sculpting for game companies (Character Options), one of them runs his own company now.  They have now transitioned to digital sculpting.  They don't use a FDM printer though they use resin based printers.  They iterate with their printers and then multiple masters are sent off to China/India for mass production.  That sounds a lot like your proposed workflow.  Resin printers excel at highly detailed prototypes.  While its more post processing to clean them and cure them the results are far superior and if its only for prototyping its not that much more work.

Posted : 22/06/2020 6:21 pm
SethB3D liked
SethB3D
(@sethb3d)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: *new to 3D Printing* - Questions with printing Toy Molds/Designs

@jsw

awesome! thank you very much

Posted : 23/06/2020 3:49 pm
SethB3D
(@sethb3d)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: *new to 3D Printing* - Questions with printing Toy Molds/Designs

@neophyl

That was just what I needed, thank you very much Neophyl.

At some point i will probably upgrade to a Formlab 3 variant for such prints, but i wanted to start with something cheaper because they just dropped $3,000 on me. So at some point i'll buy the MK3 off them and get a resin based printer.

Happy Printing!

Posted : 23/06/2020 3:54 pm
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