3D printing and Dioramas
Diorama 3d printing
Welcome, if you are reading this blog post there are at least 2 words you’ve seen several times, “Diorama” and "3D printing". And maybe you are already familiar with both or maybe you know about dioramas but not 3D printing or the other way around. Do not worry I want to talk about 3D print and Diorama and give you a bit of information about why it’s so interesting to combine a 3D printer, great 3D models and diorama and what I'm doing with Dioramas that are made with a 3D printer.
(Wekster's Mini's waiting for their Dioramas)
A search in Wikipedia for "Diorama" says that in 1902 can diorama can be defined as "small-scale replica of a scene, etc."
Nowadays in the most common case, a diorama is used as a complement to display some model, figurine. If you like superheroes or famous people and you bought the best scale model why not display it in one of the movie scenes?
In this space it’s common to get custom design diorama, many artists are available for commissions work and will build you some awesome and great looking dioramas. But these aren’t cheap of course!
Techniques and materials have come a long way and are easily accessible but unfortunately, it's not something everyone can do, to create a new diorama from scratch! I've seen awesome diorama models online, some of the best ones are just so good that become almost like real scenes. Go online and search on Instagram or Pinterest, search for Diorama to find some of the best work out there!
In 2020 3D printing isn't still mass market, or so easy to use that there's a 3D printer on every home, but it has become cheap enough that anyone that has some interest and wants to learn can buy a 3D printer for no more than $200dlrs. Oh, and the quality of a printer is in my opinion impressive even at the lower end of the range. The software has become very easy to use and materials widely available.
(3D printers - Prusa Mini, Prusa Mk3S, Creality Ender3 and Eleego Mars)
If you search online you can now find hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of 3D models STL files to download - Usually, you will download files in STL format, either for free or at a small price, that you can print at home. This has provided a new market for great artists to generate revenue by creating a model for everyone to get access.
You can order a printer on Amazon or eBay and get it delivered the next day. The learning curve isn't too steep and if you search online you will find there are many videos on youtube to teach you everything you need to know to get started into printing your STL 3D models in no time and if you have questions, there’s a great community at the tip of your fingers always happy to help
Models are available on sites dedicated to 3D printing such as MyMiniFactory.com, and others that offer some of the best 3D models in STL files for download with new models added every day, the only thing you need is to do is search for the model you want at the scale you need.
(Wekster and Fotis Mint Models)
3D print and Diorama
Let's be honest not everyone can be Leonardo DaVinci and have the skills to create models and diorama with their hands or in 3D. I surely can't model and or sculpt scale figures! So why not take advantage of 3D printing? Why not create models and diorama and make these STL files available for people to print on their 3D printers?
Buying and/or downloading STL files for the best 3D model and printing it is great but it's just not as awesome as having that same 3D model displayed in a scene that gives it more value. Some artists have been creating great files that include a base and some additional details creating some interesting 3D models. If you search online you will find some very interesting 3D model STL's, for example, Batman Diorama called Batman Sanity.
Some of these more complex 3D models are quite expensive costing more than 50Dlrs just for the STL's. But there are many other great 3D models and figurines that deserve dioramas to make them even more interesting and at affordable and acceptable prices. We also need to consider that some scale models from reputable and licensed companies will cost thousands of dollars - Fair enough they are out of this world, insanely cool, just go online and search for prime1studio.com
A Diorama can be simple, a base with some details that highlight the 3D model or for example combining multiple 3D models into one diorama. They can be made so that they can be printed in different filaments or painted and textures and effects added at the maker will.
The fact is that one of the most important issues with creating 3D models and in this case dioramas is to make them easy to 3D print. Not everything can be easily printed in 3D and there are a lot of considerations to have, many times 3D models need to be split into several parts so that you can 3D print them easily. It's rewarding to download a new 3D model STL file and find out that its just prints with no hiccups and can be assembled with no issues
My Road with 3D print and Diorama
My rationale to start in my path was simple, and the same as many others. I wanted to print some models in 3D! I wanted a 3D printer! I have printed some very cool figurines in my 3d printer, I started to paint them - you can print in multiple colours, but I felt like I wanted that experience of hand painting my 3D models. However it felt like something was missing, I needed to add a bit more to it, so I’ve made a base, simple enough!
From adding a base to the model, adding some additional props was a simple step:) Mostly I would just download some other STL 3D models and add them to the diorama. But it still didn't feel complete, many times I couldn't find the 3D models and diorama models I wanted!
(some of my initial work with Wekster Mini's)
So I started using 3D modeling software to create my 3D models, full scenarios for the figurines and 3D models that I would buy or download. I would 3D print them, paint and get them on display.
(More complex dioramas, Wekster's Breaking Bad diorama, PVZ diorama with models from several sources, The Chase, Death Star Diorama, Fotis Mint Batman Diorama, Wekster's Davy Jones Diorama, Fotis Mint Leoric Diorama painted by Grumpy Dude)
I've started offering my STL files so that anyone can 3D print them, paint them and display their 3D models with a diorama if they wish too. You can do it yourself, download the STL files, 3D print the parts, assemble them, paint them as you wish and add your 3D models as you want! Isn't that the goal of 3D printing? To allow anyone to print the items they wish?
I've learned by 3D printing my diorama how to create them, having 3D printers in consideration, minimizing the issues, and making it simple to assemble the different parts. Considering how the 3D model will be printed can also help to reduce the material cost and print time for the customer and although it's not a lot, bit by bit, it adds up!
Having created almost 100 3D models, Dioramas or props, some that I've shared as free to download STLs or others that I offer the STLs on Patreon, and others just for my personal 3D model collection I see the road ahead clearer! There are great makers and artists creating great 3D models that need the appropriate diorama for them to be properly displayed.
Please go online and search for some of these great artists! I will certainly find the model that you will like! Download the STL and print it. And if you don't have the Diorama for it, let me know I'm always up for a challenge:)
If you haven't got a 3D printer, you are missing not only a very cool machine and a great hobby but also missing out on one of the best communities I've been involved with. Everyone is ready to help you on this journey! I hope you find a model and diorama that you like and print it! Don't forget it's about having fun doing it, it doesn't matter your printing or painting skills as long you are having fun and you enjoy it.
Happy 3D print to everyone!