One of the best investments I have made in the last 12 months has been that of my Flash Forge Adventurer 3 3D printer. Admittedly, I initially purchased as a novelty item with my justifying excuse being I could utilise it to offset the horrific costs of buying Hornby models for my long-term project of an HO gauge model railway system in my back shed.
Since then however, I found a multitude of uses, not the least of being in my video making – more specifically in the creation of mounts for GoPro action cameras and also for my Pocket 2 DJI camera.
Additionally, I am also in the process of creating a rackmount for the streaming devices I’m now using and also designing a sun hood for my Samsung Galaxy tab when flying my drones such as the DJI Air2S and Mini2.
There is a wonderful website called Thingiverse that contains literally millions of models you can download for free and covering every single aspect you can think of. Whether it be miniatures for wargaming, brackets for microphones, the aforementioned GoPro and other action cam mounts, or even more mundane things such as door handles and other hardware, Thingiverse is bound to have it.
For those that wish to build their own models in 3D space, there is a very good piece of software called Blender that is open source so it’s free and works on PC or Mac. I use Cinema 4D from Maxon (which I’ve been using since around 2002).
The Adventurer 3 uses a filament call PLA which is available in a variety of colours when building models. You can get the standards such as white, blue, red, green, orange, yellow and black, but there are also more exotic colours available such as wood, skin, glow green, gold and so on.
Once a model has been built – and the larger models you build in sections like a model aircraft kit – they can then be glued, tapped, drilled and painted so literally you are only limited by your own imagination as to what can be made.
Examples I’ve come across from other users include people who are restoring old cars and 3D printing parts they can no longer get, a blacksmith who now 3D prints his swords, dagger, shields, amulets etc for movie sets, a business that makes bespoke tent poles and even someone who makes lifelike human dolls that sell for thousands of dollars!
The Flash Forge Adventurer 3 sells for $899 and rolls of filament start at $29.95. If you want more detail you can get it here.