I have been diving headlong into the hobby, to the point where I am seriously considering investing in some kit for a 3D resin printer I've been keeping an eye on (the AnyCubic Photon Mono 4K). I've recently backed the amazing Kickstarter by Solgood Creations that is selling a huge collection of STLs to support their humanitarian efforts in Kharkiv, Ukraine. (The Kickstarter recently ended, but if anyone who hasn't heard of it yet is interested, you can still support them directly through MyMiniFactory!) I want to start collecting STLs and put them to use.
This would be a large investment, so I'm going to talk to my partner about it beforehand. I want his input to see if he thinks I'm diving in too fast, or if he just thinks it wouldn't be a good idea for our current situation. I've brought up with him before that I haven't been comfortable thinking of a resin 3D printer or working with resin for the following reasons (along with reasons I'm considering):
- We're not in safe environment to work with resin, for the most part. We live in an apartment that is poorly-ventilated for this kind of work. I didn't want my partner to have to worry about wearing a respirator casually while I work with resin. However, in worrying about this, I neglected the fact that we have a balcony! I can get a respirator for myself and do any work that would produce dust out there.
- The devices would be annoying to move. We don't plan on staying in our apartment forever. My partner works for a company situated in another state, and our plan is to move back there when we can so he can start going back into the office. I'm worried about the device being broken up or the calibration being thrown off in the move. However, it might be that we just have to keep the original packaging. I might just be worrying too much. Nor are we sure when the pandemic will be clear enough for us to comfortably move.
- The cost, of course. All of the items needed would total about the same amount I've invested into the hobby itself so far, on their own. However, there is a nice sale going on right now, and coming with that the FOMO of not getting a good price for materials. Nor are we 100% sure when our move will be.
- Edit: After a little more research, the biggest disadvantage of resin printing for me is the huge quantity of waste product. I honestly don't like that there's nothing you can do to recycle the supports post-printing. I've heard of some people grinding them up and making them into a resin filler, and most other suggestions I've seen involve making them function as some kind of terrain, breaking it up into rocks or using them as little sticks or pipes. I don't think I even have a however about this, it's the biggest turnoff for resin printing for me. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
How would I use the 3D printer? I see these use cases for it (and the disadvantages for each case):
- Personal use, of course! I want to be able to make nice, custom models, and maybe try my own hand at 3D sculpting. I would be able to make mundane things like bases without having to worry about buying anything but materials. This would also help with my Gunpla work, being able to design and print lost parts or nice details. However, we're in an apartment, already pushing the amount of room we have, and we wouldn't be able to use any of the stuff for games (other than co-op games) until it's safe to meet regularly again.
- Sale of 3D-printed figures. My thought is that I'd support some people on MMF at the "business" tier and use my spare time to print and sell 3D figures. Frankly, I'm looking for a change in career, and this might be the start of a fun time doing hobby-related business, at least temporarily. However, we're in an apartment, without easy access to a mailing place. We might be able to ship out things directly from our apartment, but I'd have to ask if our package concierge has pickupOur apartment doesn't have a set service for mailing packages, and even if I were able to arrange pickup directly through a shipping company there's additional costs from needing things like a printer, label maker, etc. And I'm just not sure the Photon Mono 4K has the output needed for it to be profitable considering cost of materials and additional operating costs.
Anyone who's dived into the world of 3D printing, any thoughts and advice on this? Would this be a sound investment, or am I jumping in to something that would only cause heartache given our current situation? While I won't dive in if my partner is against the idea, I want to get more advice too, and any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you all so much for your help and support!