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3D Printing Tips
There are several basic steps to 3D printing, including the transfer of a model file to the machine through proprietary software, running the machine, curing and cleaning the model (or vice versa) and then removing the supports. Beyond that, there are other discrete and sometimes no-so-obvious tips and bits of advice that are good to keep in mind. Here are a few of them, not in any particular order:

Familiarize yourself with the specific cleaning requirements of the material you are using, sometimes they are extremely specific for a reason. In some cases the models cannot be soaked in cleaning solutions or solvents, only rinsed. Soaking may cause warpage and other model distortion. Or, if soaking is really necessary, there may be a maximum time limit on the soak, beyond which the material might still be damaged. Thoroughly reading and understanding all documentation about the materials you use will be important to building good looking models.

French Battleship Charlemagne in 1/1000 scale
For building these ship files into physical models, you will usually want to use material – probably a resin – that has good strength and stiffness ratings (usually listed as tensile strength and tensile modulus) and a moderate Elongation at Break value. If the Elongation at Break value is too low, you may notice that fragile elements break off easily when removing supports. If the Elongation at Break value is too high, you may experience unwanted model distortion. WTJ ships use as little plastic as possible in order to reduce overall warpage and save you money on printing costs, this does mean that using the right material for the build is key to a good model.

Here are some more detailed examples; The DLP models made very affordably for several years at WTJ were made with 3DS Tough-Gry 15. This material has a Tensile Strength of 7020 PSI, a Tensile Modulus of 307 KSI, an Elongation at Break of 35% and a Shore Hardness of 82D. These are good numbers that give the model excellent durability and stability, while allowing removal of supports from under gun barrels without excessive risk of snapping them off, although care still needs to be taken. If you snip off gun barrels instead of carefully slicing them with a sharp blade, the shock of the snipping action on such a small diameter can still overload relatively tough material at any stress riser points; like the place where gun barrels step-up in diameter. This is why if you snap a barrel, it often snaps at that point where it steps-up in diameter or where it joins the turret face.

The Print models also made at WTJ for many years had a Tensile Strength of 6100 PSI, a Tensile Modulus of 212 KSI, and an Elongation at Break of 7%. So while the print models had good general toughness via their tensile strength, users did notice more of a tendency to snap barrels in casual handling, and that would have mostly been due to the low Elongation at Break value.

The models above were printed on a Phrozen Sonic 4k home printer using the Phrozen Aqua Grey 4k resin. The foreground model is 1/2400 scale, the background model is 1/1800 scale, both were made from the larger 1/1250 scale digital file with free standing gun barrels (the default 1/1800 file has fully supported barrels).
It is important that overhanging features like gun barrels and cranes be supported correctly during build. In the case of the 1/1800 scale WTJ file, the gun barrels will already be fully supported by a solid boss. For the larger 1/1250 scale WTJ files, if your printer software does not install supports under the barrels, they may come out drooping or otherwise malformed. Be sure to review feature supports before hitting the print button.

Removal - Removing supports must be done at the right time. If the model is too soft before curing, removing major supports may be easier, but removing the finer supports that are connected to fine or delicate features may need to wait until after curing, when the material can better handle the stress. The material requirements should be your best guide for this. Check with the manufacturer or with online forums for guidance on dealing with the material in question.
This illustrates the gun barrel supports typically installed by 3D Systems printer software (as opposed to the solid supports included in the default 1/1800 file we sell). The software-automated support installation is not always perfect, so it is best to review it to make sure there is enough support and that the supports are in sensible locations.