Hey, there, thank you for tuning in to duck bricks. I’m Chris. And today we have yet another episode of construction conversations. Our special guest host today is King K returning for his second episode and this time, we’ll be discussing our tips and tricks on how to optimize 3d printing for Lego compatible elements and discuss the bionicle, 3d printing and customization community as a whole. It should be a very fun time, so strap yourselves in and thank you All For tuning in to this episode of construction conversations, so for any new viewers or anyone who isn’t familiar with King K, he is a very respected 3d modeler in the bionicle community. He is the man behind a ton of reimaginings of classic bionicle masks, specifically how they would look in canon if they were not say, organic or mutated, such as the mask for the toa enika, the tilamari and so on, you may recognize some of his work. As the first mask of creation used on many of the Artaka mocks during the TTV canonization contest, physical mock building portion, King K also runs a lore channel called Imaginui Tale’s. I would highly recommend for you guys to check it out. He goes in depth into a lot of the different lore aspects of bionicle and explains them in a very simple and easy to understand manner, so for anyone looking to get into the bionicle story but not quite sure where to start and Biosector 01 which is the Wiki is a little overwhelming. I’d recommend for you to check out his channel. It’s really great, and he makes a ton of great content, but without further ado, let’s dive into the main point of discussion for today, we will be sharing our tips and tricks on 3d printing, Lego compatible and lego-like parts how to get them as close as possible and how to 3d print on a budget as well because, of course, not everyone can afford to buy parts off of shapeways or to buy the most top of the line 3d printers, so we’ll definitely be discussing how to optimize what materials you have and the best printers to get on a budget. So King K. Why don’t we start off with you telling us a little bit about your thoughts on the 3d printing industry today? And maybe your recommendations on how someone can kind of get into the hobby. When I did some research on 3d printers nowadays, they’ve become a lot more accessible like. Oh, man, before 3d printers were pretty expensive. I was, yeah, they were yeah. They were probably around like the cheapest one You could probably get was around like 500 400 500 It was just it was just very. It seemed very impractical. It felt like something that was, you know? If you had enough money, then you could probably get it and print some stuff out of it, you know, but I think. In the past couple of years, 3d printing technology has actually improved a lot and they’ve done some sort of way to basically make assembly of the 3d printer, a lot cheaper and nowadays 3d printers. You can get like a standard 3d printer. That does decent jobs for about two hundred dollars, which isn’t bad at all. Oh, yeah, yeah, and another thing. That was very interesting is that they have this thing called resin 3d printers, which are yes, which are printers that can print in very, very high detail using liquid resin and that kind of printer back in the day was expensive. It was expensive! I remember the first time I started researching on it. I was like, why is it like five hundred six hundred dollars to get one of these three? These resin 3d printers like that’s expensive? I wouldn’t pay that, but now nowadays I don’t know how, but I see resin printers for, like a hundred seventy dollars, a hundred seventy dollars cheaper than the regular FDM 3d printer and I was surprised they were able to cut the cost of resin printing resident 3d printers by so much. Oh, yeah, 3d printing as an industry really as a whole has significantly expanded and become much more accessible over the past few years, which is really great for casual fans or people who just want to own a few 3d prints of their own to be able to do something like this. They no longer have to spend upwards of 40 50 60 for a single piece to get it outsourced on shapeways or something. They can buy a 3d printer for less than double that price and just use that to basically output an unlimited supply of masks and whatever materials that they need for 3d printing. So that’s something that’s really cool to me. One thing I want to clarify for the audience who may or may not be familiar with 3d printing. There really are two main types of 3d printing right now. The most common one is basically just by layering, so you take a 3d object and it prints it upwards by layers. That is the most common type of 3d printer. It’s the one that’s being used in this video right now, where the extruder just basically outputs molten plastic in layers and depending on how good your printer is how high quality it is and the right settings you use, you can either get a really high quality print or a print where those layers are actually visible and you lose some resolution. The other type of print, which kink just mentioned, is resin printing, which actually takes liquid resin and heats it with lasers into the specific design that you want, It’s a lot more time consuming. It requires a lot more work to process the finished product, but once it’s done, you have the huge advantage of really not seeing any layers, because, of course there aren’t any it’s actually just solid resin being formed. So two kinds of 3d printing resin printing is typically more expensive than 3d printing, but as King K just said, it’s become a lot more inexpensive and a lot easier for people to pick up, which is something that I’m very excited to do and explore more in the future myself because personally I only have experience in the first type of printing, which is just the regular layered type of printing. Oh, yeah, most definitely and the thing is, is that, um, make sure the rooms well ventilated. Because, oh, yes, with resin, It smells yeah. It does smell. Um, that’s that’s what I’ve heard, though, because I I never owned a resin printer and mostly It’s because of, you know, it’s a lot of management. You know, you have to wear gloves. You have to handle that. You have to handle with isopropyl alcohol. There were so many factors that I that I felt like I. I didn’t really need a liquid like resin 3d printer, So I I stuck with the original FDM printer and kind of went with that well. I guess speaking of what printer you’re using. I guess it’s a great time to move into our recommendations for any viewers who want to get into 3d printing themselves who are not quite sure where to start. What the most affordable? But also best and highest quality option will be. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions on printers that you’d recommend for people to use. I know I have some suggestions of my own, but I’ll hear yours out first, and then I’ll share some of mine. So the thing is is that I never owned this kind of printer, but I know it is affordable, and I know that a lot of people, um, did say that this printer is actually really good. Um, it is called the C reality Ender 3 and that is the printer that I always point to that. I tell everyone that. If you’re going to get into 3d printing, that is definitely the printer that you’re going to go for because that one has a lot of customer service support. It has a lot of people in the community that are willing to help you. If you have any problems or you need to troubleshoot. The printer, like there’s there’s a whole bunch of things and and the parts are very reliable. They’re very, very reliable. Uh, I I didn’t own that printer. At the beginning, I owned two Chinese like printers that were not as great as I thought they would be. That’s how I started to. Yeah, like the first one I had was a 400 printer that was that had a very small build plate, Probably like it was like 110 millimeters by 110 millimeters. It was very small and I could only print like maybe one or two masks on that thing, but it was really bad because you couldn’t level the bed like the bed was, like was like stuck onto the bottom. No screws or anything that you can adjust the the bed at all. So oh, geez, okay, yeah, now! The thing is is that the 3d printer was portable. It was a portable 3d printer because of how small it was, but but the adjustability was horrible on it. You could not modify it. You can’t do anything and and it just made it worse. By the fact that there was no heated bed, and whenever the whenever the thing was printing onto the bed, it would just stick to it. It would just stick to the bed itself. And you have to take the spatula just to, like, grind that bed in order to like, scrape it off and it just. It scratched the bed so many times. I I did not like that one I can imagine. I tried really hard to like that. One, but I didn’t like that one. So then I waited later on and I got this Christmas deal. I was like, oh wow, they have a. They have a deal on this. Uh, printer, free shipping 190 You know, it’s called, it’s pretty good. It’s called the A Net a8 just Chinese printer. I was like, okay, cool. I’m think I’m gonna get this one for Christmas so next. You know, this printer comes by, I’m like, okay. This looks cool. The bed is bigger, You know, and I I build the thing. I started printing stuff on it. And, um, oh, boy, uh, the prints they. They became very blobby. Uh, they were very uneven. Uh, I was questioning like. Is this printer like having a problem or something like? Maybe maybe I. I put some parts wrong or whatnot. Uh, and and next thing, you know, I started researching on on the Internet, and I was like, wait, you’re telling me? I have to print upgrades to this printer. In order for it to print decently. I was in shock. Oh, man, I was in shock, and and so that’s what I did. I started trying to, uh, print all these different improvements to the printer, but you know how the prints are. They’re really bad, so these improvements didn’t really help and then, and then I and then later on, I had, I was having this idea of. Oh, maybe I have to replace the hot ends. So so I bought, like a new hot end. Um, to, uh, to try to fix it. Um, but this hot end, it ended up, actually causing a leak. It ended up, causing a leak in in that hot end, like there was plastic, melted plastic, coming out from the top of the machine, and it was just everywhere. It was just blobbing everywhere, and I didn’t know how to fix it. I had no idea how to fix it. So then from that point on, I was like, okay. I give up, I’m not dealing with this printer anymore. I’m not dealing with it, so I. I dropped that printer next. You know, I saved some money and I waited until the next holiday, and I found this printer. That was really good. It’s 700 bucks. Okay, 750 bucks for the kit, and it was a It was a printer from Europe, okay. It’s called the Prusa Mark III. Oh, that’s the one that I have. Yeah, yeah, it’s wonderful. It was so absolutely wonderful. Yep, when I got the printer and I opened it up The first thing I see was a bag of horrible. Yep, bag of gummies. And that sold me that absolutely sold me. So then I spent two weeks building the printer building it carefully, um, and then, and then also calibrating it and whatnot. That’s my current printer right now. I absolutely love it because of how well it’s able to detect errors and everything, the magnetic bed especially was wonderful. Well, I’m really glad you brought up the prusa i3 mark 3s because that is my current printer as well. I started off with a very similar story to you where I first bought my own kind of Chinese knockoff printer. It was actually a knockoff of the prusa and it was really a pain to manage. It was a pain to build. They had barely decipherable instructions and going back to your point about the bed leveling for those of the audience who aren’t familiar with 3d printing. Sometimes the bed can get out of level if it’s at a slight angle, then it can cause either damage to the print bed or cause prints to fall off of the bed while printing or just cause things to be lower quality in general things can start peeling up. You really just want to have as level of a bed as possible and really the only way to do that is by testing pretty much all four corners of the printer before every print to make sure that nothing has really changed since the last time, and I ended up having to program and create my own auto bed leveler for my knockoff Crusa printer and it worked to an extent, but then the print quality still wasn’t amazing, it essentially just auto adjusted for the exact angle of the bed. So eventually I ditched my knock off Chinese Prusa and I actually got myself One of the most common 3d printers out there, which is a flashforge 3d printer, It’s essentially a another knockoff of a makerbot, although there’s been reports that it works even better or just as good as them and it’s a little bit cheaper, so I got the flash print and the main problem with this one was that it required a ton of maintenance, and that means that basically every single night I was putting in several hours because I was also doing it for one of my startups and I was putting in several hours to unclog the extruder to replace extruders to figure out where things were getting jammed where things were getting stuck. Unbelievable, constant maintenance. It was actually really stressful. Just working on this printer non-stop and having to continually try to fix things. And then eventually I met someone who had an entire room full of Prusa 3d printers, and I think he had six or seven prusas in his room. Oh, my goodness, yeah. It was absolutely insane. Uh, and he was the one who he let me. Try out printing some stuff on his things, and it was the most unbelievably good 3d printing experience that I had seen with my own eyes. And it turns out it was even cheaper to buy than the actual flash forge that I owned already so immediately I got myself a few prusas and I’ve been using those ever since they are absolutely wonderful. The great thing about them is that they actually have all sorts of settings built in, so if you run out of filament if filament jams, if there’s any issues, there’s actually sensors that detect this and pause the print so you can fix the issue and continue printing. When you’re watching it, you can have pretty much a silent print experience. It’s a lot less noisy than any other printer I’ve ever experienced and really, I have no need or motivation to ever change. What 3d printer I’m using because this one is just that good. So I’d highly recommend the Prusa i3 mark 3s if any of you watch any of my other videos like the bionicle fan and reviews or whatnot and see a 3d printed mask in those videos that has been printed by my prusa i3 mark 3s from a distance pretty indistinguishable from a regular Lego piece, and that’s the kind of quality that you’re working with here and again at 700 It’s actually quite affordable for the quality that it gives and for the type of printer that it is. Yeah, absolutely amazing, Absolutely amazing I. I remembered that I actually. I used that printer to, uh, to print a lot of masks and I brought it to Brick fair last year in Virginia. Oh, nice, yeah, I. I actually printed over a hundred masks on that on that printer, and I and I went to brickfair and I brought this big bag with all of these masks, and I told everyone in in the Bionicle section in the brick. Fair to just grab. You know whatever mask you want. Oh, that’s so nice and I just gave it to everyone. I just gave it to everyone so I I I. I felt like that was like, really good. It was like that is awesome. Yeah, um, but let’s just say that trying to clean up every single mask with all of the supports and everything it took days weeks to actually remove all of the supports. I think I think I still have like a a jar. That has all of the supports just in there or a bag with all of the supports in there and it’s like piled up all the way to the top. It’s unbelievable I. I completely relate to that. Because, uh, recently I’ve been trying to build and review every single canonized. Uh, model that’s been created and the thing with a lot of the Dark Hunters was that they used the the lecon sword piece and that things like 10 20 bucks on Bricklink and I need like 20 of them 20 plus so, uh, I was just, I’ve just been 3d printing them, but it takes just so long because I’ve been printing them in batches of like six at a time, and oh, wow, look really good on the Prusa. But it just takes forever to remove the supports and get that other side of them to be looking just as good as the first side. So I really emphasize with that one. Oh, yeah, but I guess speaking of custom parts and custom, 3d printing and whatnot, I’m kind of curious. What software you use to design your 3d models? And if you have any tips for viewers on what kinds of software to get started with? Yeah, so the program that I use is actually a free 3d modeling program. It’s called blender. So that one is the software that I use for all of my masks. Um, it’s. It does a great job at 3d modeling. It does a great job with 3d rendering so every every time I do like a 3d render or whatnot, I use blender. I can export files from stuttio into blender Just by using the dae file, the colada export allows you to transfer parts from from stuttio to, uh, blender and I just. I just do everything there. I i 3d model. I 3d render stuff. You know, I can rig. I can rig the models and pose them and do all that. Wow, so you can even do animation with that. And that import export from studio seems really useful. I’m actually wondering if you may happen to have any tips because I’ve been having troubles. Converting just regular Lego pieces, not even custom pieces, but certain pieces are, of course, made in meshes or booleans and the way that I’m trying to slice them on my prusa slicer just hasn’t been working out. It might be something to do with how I’m exporting it. I have to put it into a program called ld view, which is a subset of Ldraw, which is another Lego brick, kind of rendering program and Ldview can export it as an STL, But this STL is often buggy and has a lot of holes and it’s obviously just kind of a big pain to even just 3d print standard Lego pieces, uh, ever? Since of course, there was an open source website called print a brick which had almost every Lego part as an STL that got taken down by Lego. They did not like that being up, so there really isn’t a source for 3d models to 3d print regular Lego pieces, So I’m curious. If you have a method on how to do this, what you could do is that you can take the file the dae file and then you can export it and import it into blender and then from blender you can have that exported as an STL or obj, and then if there is an issue with the slicing what you can do is that there is a Microsoft software that’s called 3d builder 3d builder. Okay, you just import it into there and it will. It will indicate whether or not it needs to be repaired and it will automatically repair that model. It will automatically repair that 3d model, and then you can export that repaired model to do whatever really exactly, so I use that software in particular as a way to repair any sort of issues with the mask or anything like that most of the time. The only thing that needs repairing for my mask is just to have the axle connected to the mask. That’s it! Wow, well, thank you so much. That’s really helpful, and I’m definitely going to try that now because I’ve been having a lot of issues with that, and that’s really cool, but I guess if there are no further tips to give from either of us that could probably about wrap up this episode of construction conversations. I’m sure that there will be many more opportunities to discuss Lego bionicle, the 3d printing and bionicle customization community as a whole for future episodes. But thank you so much again for being on. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise on 3d printing and hopefully this gets some members of the community who haven’t played around with printing before or are looking to get into it. At least this can serve as maybe a starting point or a springboard to launch their own 3d printing adventures and whatnot. So let me know down in the comments below. Are any of you looking to get into 3d printing? Do you own a 3d printer? And if so, how do you like it? And if not I’d recommend again? I guess we’d both recommend the Prusa i3 mark 3s I’m going to put a link to that in the description. Know, this video is not sponsored, although it basically is because this is a full endorsement of the printer. Both kinky and I absolutely love that printer would highly recommend it for beginners, especially as you don’t have to do constant maintenance like you do with a lot of other printers, but again, thank you so much for being here, King K. And hopefully we’ll talk again soon. Yeah, thank you so much for allowing me to be here, all right, well. Thank you again and that about wraps up this video. Stay tuned to duck bricks for even more Lego news discussion analyses reviews and more coming your way very soon. Thank you and bye bye for now.