That’s a lot of parts AARRRGH, awesomeness, models, new products, science fiction Aug 302010 Photos have come in of the “printed” Dragon parts. Now comes the fun part: cleaning them all up. Uuuuuunnnggggghhhh. Pat Flannery How exactly rough is the surface after the laser lithography turns it out? Compared to sandpaper for instance…what grit sandpaper are we talking about here? admin The surface *can* *be* nearly glass-smoth. The problem isn’t roughness, it’s “terracing.” The parts are built up in layers, and the thickness of the layers can be noticable, especially on curved surfaces or surfaces at shallow angles to the datum. Pat Flannery I never thought of that one, but it does make sense considering how the lasers work as they solidify the liquid plastic layer-by-layer. Would there be some way to coat the parts in a layer on paint or lacquer that was thick enough to smooth out the ridges in them, and at the same time hard enough to allow the re-scribing of fine details on them before the final resin molds were made from them? I assume that a lot of the fine details need to be scribed into them by hand anyway before the finished molds are made. Pete Murrie Hi Scott, Thanks for your Blog, and for your many contributions to the Secret Projects Forum. I am about to go CAD after years of manual drafting (architectural and building design) since the novelty of ‘hand crafting’ the drawings has finally worn off. I am also interested in CADCAM as a modelmaker with ‘garage kit’ aspirations – but not competeing with your subjects, flying boats and 50s Brit sci-fi are some of my interests. From a long stint with graphic design I have always used Macs so I am at the point of either going Intel Mac + VMFusion PC emulation or possibly switching to the Darkside and getting a Pretend Computer with something like Autocad (OUCH!!) or Turbocad. Can you offer any suggestions for a good PC CAD configuration (eg, processor speed more important than RAM?) and advise if there is a workable (=cheaper!) CADCAM option to 3DMax/Rhino/Alias etc ? What do you use? Any help greatly appreciated. Best Regards, Pete M Australia Pete Murrie PS, the Dragon parts look excellent. As a sometime professional modelmaker I’d estimate they’d be 100 to 150 hours work manually, although I would only do one original of any part that needed multiples and resin cast the duplicate masters. Is it worth cleaning up all the ‘printed’ duplicates rather the doing one + resin copy multiples? If it is not commercially confidential, how long did the CAD process take? My aging hands would find 50 hours of CAD a lot easier then 100 hours of carving and sanding! And of course CAD makes symmetry of shapes a breeze. Regards, Pete M PPS – Noting the comment about filler, I’ve started using superglue and talc powder with good results. With a little experimenting it is possible to vary the density to give a ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ texture. PM admin >Can you offer any suggestions for a good PC CAD configuration Nope. Me no understand what make computer go. Me just use computer. > is a workable (=cheaper!) CADCAM option to 3DMax/Rhino/Alias etc ? What do you use? I use the *student* version of Rhino. Bought offa ebay for $200. It was unopened, so it was legal. You could always also take some class at the local community college, and then buy the student version from their bookstore. > Is it worth cleaning up all the ‘printed’ duplicates It’s always good to have spares. If one gets screwed up… > how long did the CAD process take? *Way* too damned long. The project got more complex as it proceeded, as more information came in.