WIP - ShoalBuster 2308 - a ongoing 3D print project

WIP - still adding details


Baloe-23 right


Looks fun. Are you going to print it and add motors on the screws, to make it work?

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Due to the dimensions and print quality, we keep it simple. The aim is about 20cm. And losing a lot of details. It’s a learning process.

While we were scouring the internet for references, we came across a 3D model kit of the same ship on Ali-Express. About 600, EUR. Making this project a bit less fun. Just a tiny bit :laughing:

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Found it! Looked for this in your portfolio after I saw it in the collab. I really like these kind of models and I’m interested in starting 3D printing when I can spare some money for a printer, too. Gonna bookmark this post. Are you using a resin or fdm printer?

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There some other forum threads about 3D printing (not that much).

Search results for '3D-print' - GameDev.tv

In de past I sent my designs to a 3D-Print company online. Which uses a laser to meld plastic particles. Easy print design, but expensive.
Now I have a nephew, who has a filament printer. But it’s gathering dust …
So I decided I create some models, and he tries to print them and paint it.
But our (my) experience is that it takes a long time to get good results.
You need to solve a lot of technical issues. It’s time vs money. Doing it yourself, a lot of time. Let professionals do the work, money…

Trying to print it in parts, printing in halve size. Total length about 35cm.



Not only modelled but ‘painted’ as a guide to the model painter when printed!
Coming on well.

I am assuming the crane will not extend, work? Would be going a bit too far.


What I do, is merge a lot of features, melting them together.
For example a pressure cylinder, partly inside the main body.
We are simplifying the print design outcome.

This is also for the crane. And the printed crane is too rough to slide along …
And the size is too small 10mm by 6mm in diameter.

I am creating placeholders, to glue other objects in.


That’s a good thing to know before investing in a printer! I’ll see if I can find a professional for that where I live.

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That would be amazing though


Maybe in a larger-scaled version … fully operational.
… I see a new hobby :wink:


You might be right about that :grin:

Creating a model for 3D printing is a whole new experience for me.
You need to think about how the printer works, what it can do, and how to model it technically printable.

  • I designed the ship with no specific printable size in mind. This was a mistake!
    You can not say to all objects, resize, because of linked copies. Other things are depended of the scale to (location).
  • I need to use boolean a lot, to prepare where other parts need to be placed. Printing parts in a different manner. Which sides need to be flat? Printing straight up. Minimizing print supports. etc.
  • Boolean isn’t your friend …
  • Be precise, which is a bit lost after scaling.
  • Think modular, combine block in an early state (Boolean union), and clean up afterward.
  • Some parts (details) are so small, they can’t be printed. But influences the cleanness of the objects. Or need printing support, which is undoable.

So here are. We’ve printed half the ship’s hull.
The first print succeeded immediately. about 24H print.

ship aft deck

Underwater parts are currently unprintable

… no clue how to solve this. But I must admit, we’re getter cleverer in finding solutions.

Modeling the ship’s bow

The first attempt at using ‘homemade’ supports (purple).

Currently, a test print about the support structure is underway.
Not the hull but a small part. Because the support bars are 3mm in square size. And we don’t trust the stability.

Big model.

Lots of different problems.

Is scaling a problem as some parts will not be printed and need holes to take Xmm rods or similar?

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Part of the problems. But also vertices too close to each other, creating warnings like ‘zero face’, and edges closing in. When I started I was too stubborn, to do it immediately right. I thought it was easy to do.

We had this problem. The left support beam (vertical) is gone …
While the design was a mirror of the right ones. But the printer got through it.

Some details like the ship’s bow. horizontal support worked.

Also supports the bollard

The printer had trouble managing the left side. Strange artifacts (and missing support).
We think due to heating problems. Print nearby outside door and cold weather.

Main part is done.

Still going on, but it’s a hard project to do.
A filament printer isn’t very capable of doing hard surface projects and tiny details.
Corrections with sandpaper or knives are hard to do.

Also, it’s brittle. Many things will break afterward.
And, as I always tell others, do small simple projects. Before starting a big one.
So many design issues related to 3D printing.


Yes FDM has its best use cases and resin others. I suspect the big parts are best in FDM and those detailed boxes, and such like would be better in resin. Coming from a background of making things from scratch in metal the ‘sandpaper or knives’ well files and polishing, is just normal, second nature. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: But this with a few coats of paint and as a toy really floating and possibly working will be fine for the purpose I suspect.

Two I made earlier, much earlier. lol.

I’m going to print some difficult parts at the print factory.

Printing in FDM means also a lot of preparation on how to place and the print direction of the model.

You said you’ve made these models in metal?

Yes they are silver.

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