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20 mm people

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Hi there, My name is Todd and I am a grade 4 to 7 Socials teach. For my grade 7 class I am having the students scan themselves in poses, fix the meshes in meshmixer then print themselves to be the people in their ancient civ. dioramas. I am printing with an Ultimaker 2+. The scale is pretty small 1:72 scale or around 15 to 20 mm in hieght. I have tried the .25 mm nozzel .005mm layer hieght, 100% fill and I have slowed the speed down to 70mm/s. I am getting questionable results and the quality of the prints sucks. Might any of my learned colleages have any suggestions as to how I can clean up these prints?


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The scale of 1:72 is way too small. You are likely to get the following problem due to insufficient cooling, because the nozzle is hanging around too long on the same spot:


Further, due to the large nozzle size, compared to the details in the models, any fine details will be lost anyway: noses, lips, eyes, hair style, fingers,... The face will be just an unrecognisable blob.

As a kid, I have painted lots of figures that small for my HO-trains. I had to "paint" the eyes and mouths with a sharp needle, because even the smallest brushes (size 000) were way too big. There is no way to get a decent print quality (=recognisable face) with an FDM printer at 1:72.

I recommend making them 10cm high, at least, but preferably more: 15cm or 20cm. And print slow and cool (try 180 to 190°C for PLA, at 20mm/s). Give them a big baseplate around their feet for good adhesion to the glass (and cut that off later if necessary). A size of 10cm will be much more pleasant and recognisable. Maybe print multiple at once: this gives more cooling, but it also gives more strings and hairs due to the traveling from one object to another.

If you absolutely have to print them at 2cm high, use another printer, with a laser in liquid bath, or have it done by a print service company, but that is less fun. There do exist printers that can print microtext: legible text of 0.1mm high, so they should be able to make such small figures too.


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I thank-you for your advise, I saw a method whereby you slice the figure in half in meshmisher and print the 2 half's then gluing them together. The detail shown on the 22 mm figures was astonishing.

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