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3dflow and the Anycubic Photon 3D DLP Printer

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Interesting topic and one I’m tempted by initially looking at the Aldi offering.

But then I was taken by Marks tutorial on blender Here he uses the Photon Blog here .

which led me back to RMweb and Mike Trice and Jason’s topics here.

I’ve been pondering a 009 L&B loco for a future layout I’m planning. But a Heljan price tag of £189.00 ish or a bargain £134.00 seem up there so I tried searching out a 3D print or kit but cheaper than Backwoods L&B 2-6-2  or Langley Body only .

Nothing doing but found this CWR Loco Body - Prairie 2-6-2 £35.00 + £3.50 post from memory. Well maybe that could be a start scratch aid. Then I went looking on CWR’s own site and contacted the owner as there, as right on the home page was a Red Manning Wardle https://www.cwrailways.com/ but the new owner Tim doesn’t have anything on it and presumes it was a one off. So asked about the one the Ffestiniog shop was advertising he’d look into it. Tim came back he’d found a fair few. £35 + £4,50 post and packing! Wow no salesman l guess. I had dropped the hint to.

So that brought me to, well how about having a go myself and this section of the forum.

Mike Trice topic particularly interested me Here I could really see what a journey may be. I wondered about blender and found Dave Sutton’s (Chris p bacon) ref. To  Tinkercad  which kinda works on an iPad! Read to lazy to get the laptop out!

All things considered this post jumped out at me By monkeysarefun whip out the camera take some photos or download enough if you could find them, put them into some software Boom Fanny’s your Aunt one 3D loco body!

20 minutes of software learning he says! Sounds awesome.

So what do the panel here think, an option worth considering? Will the free version of 3dflow do it Link I mean make the file the photon needs to produce a 3D print? 

There never is a shortcut and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the journey if I invest in a printer and have to learn a Cad software.

Its the software process that there seems to be many different options to chose from, you hope you’ve reasearched enough and don’t waste time on something you can’t master!

Im aware the loco body probably won’t print in one hit due to size so straight away not that very simple process I was hoping for.

All comments gratefully received.




Edited by AdeMoore
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Replying to my own question I see now Monkeysarefun says the free version is sufficient.

i also know that £134 is a cheap price once you add the chassis the 3D costs in.

But nowhere near the satisfaction!


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I realise this is a comparatively old topic which hasn't garnered any interest, but I'm also intrigued by 3D Flow. My assumption is that something like a loco (or virtually any item of rolling stock) would be too big to get into photos with an adequate level of detail, plus you'd really struggle to get the roof detail in, which is so crucial on a model. It appears to have real merit for things of a certain size though based on the post you link to. Lineside items you have adequate access to look very viable. 

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I gleaned some more info from MAF a while back.

He said the software has no collation as to the size of the item you have photographed it could be a matchbox it could be a tank, so there is a further piece of software to run it through to get to the file and the correct 1:1 scale you require. I’ll see if I can find that info.


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Found it, see the reply to this post.



I get the feeling bigger items are better? MAF says the smallest item he has done is a small garden gnome.

The camera and it’s sensor has to be a good one. But loco’s particularly 0-4-0 ought to be possible, pure speculation on my part. No doubt roof shots could be achieved tall steps overbridge drone!


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From the various originals I've played with I've found the following -  shiny objects don't work, a large depth of field is important, if you can get the whole object into the view finder you'll get the best results and  you need to spend some time between the various steps that the programme does editing  the mesh, ie remove spurious points.


Also the settings used do make a large difference to the mesh output and I did a bit of fiddling within 3dflow to get something I was happy with, but also within the limits of the resources that my  laptop has to avoid blowing out the calculation times.  


There is a masquarade programme  included that I have to use for about half the projects I've tried, this is a photo-editing style package that you use to' paint' the photo to tell the software which is the subject and which is the background - this prevents spurious background artifacts from being incorporated into the mesh and distorting it in  strange ways.


When it does work though the results are very pleasing and I am using it for small items such as lamps, gargoyles and other architectural details like carved brackets that are fiddly to scratchbuild and even more fiddly to scratchbuild several identically. For instance this bracket - 




Here is the mesh, once its been tidied up a little to remove the background and resized inside meshmixer:



Personally I think a locomotive or similar would be pushing  the limits of it a little but its worth a try, if nothing else it gets you outside into the fresh air for a bit!


I think I've posted this somewhere else here so apologies for that but its currently my most impressive example of the capabilities of the software. The  output from 3dflow needed absolutely no tinkering with other than resizing, before it was sent to the printer.




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