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Another day, another skillset to tackle...

Where wheels and suspension arms and gears are best created with CAD software, the other end of the 3D spectrum is represented by digital sculpting programs for those who want to create organic, non-mechanical subjects using an artistic approach. The choice for those committed to sculpting is ZBrush. Are there ways of using scanning tech to acquire 3D data? Yes, but specifically for capturing living subjects, the choices become very narrow and harder to come by as explained here. Capturing/scanning 3D data without ANY sculpting knowledge means being locked into that one pose until more $$$$ gets ponied up for additional scans. Using some reference photos and coaching from "likeness sculpting" YouTube videos, a self-portrait sculpt gets finished in ZBrush...

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Sculpt is exported as an STL mesh and brought into the ChiTuBox slicing software (Free download & bundled with the $250 Elegoo Mars 3D printer). For this particular model, there weren't any egregious overhangs that warranted generating supports. YMMV. The model is double-checked to print at a target 1:10th scale. If it wasn't already done in ZBrush, ChiTuBox v1.5.0 offers another opportunity to hollow out the model by specifying the wall thickness. The CBDDLP file generated by ChiTuBox contains all the sliced image data along with resin exposure time info. All that's left is to feed this into the Elegoo Mars via USB thumb drive and tap the touchscreen Print button.

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This printer's touchscreen makes a Pause button available where it'll even raise the platform out of the resin to visually confirm and double-check the progress. Tap the screen and the printer continues back on the same spot it left off. Nice touch not found on my previous resin printers. All of 24 cents worth of resin used, the high resolution print finishes in three and a half hours. Remove it from the platform, quick rinse in an isopropyl tub, and it's off to the UV tanning bed for 10 minutes.

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As stated in another thread, I've devoted this resin vat to holding black resin. Once additional vats are available, I'll use those extras to hold Elegoo's grey, clear, and skin-colored formulations. For figurines, painting on black resin should make the colors pop more. The Elegoo Mars shares the exact same resin vat dimensions with the Anycubic Photon. This will allow users from both sides to jump brands or even find this market large enough where third-parties start offering replacements (eBay has vats listed for ~$35)

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Note how the eyeglasses printed perfectly. 'Nuff detail for ya?

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The main downside to a fresh black resin print is the difficulty in capturing the sculpted details despite using a macro lens and a light tent.

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Earlier red resin prints from years back posed in the driver's seat of the M-04L. Future iterations might involve tweaking the sculpt to evoke the sense of being reclined in a seat with arms reaching toward a steering wheel. This was not possible on the red resin printer as it was configured for a super-tight build envelope. On the Elegoo Mars? Plenty of build platform space to include the driver's seat headrest, steering wheel and even the instrument cluster - all in a single printed object.

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Still plenty more additional tasks to finish in this vein... sculpt a helmeted version for the F1 F201 chassis... review a bunch of YouTube videos on painting/airbrushing techniques with acrylic...

Exercise that sculpting muscle and the world opens up to sooo many possibilities -- take your own creation and alter it at your whim... road-raging Xenomorph Wild-Willy substitute behind the wheel flipping the bird? Do it. Do it NOW!

 

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Great post.  I haven't tried my hand at 3D printing yet but I'm saving up to get something later this year or early next.  This sort of thing looks amazing to put those final details on those almost-finished models.

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