I don’t have anything to report yet on getting the Bounce Tortoise into resin because I ave been busy with work and commissioned models, but something amazing did show up in the mail yesterday. When I learned that Shapeways competitor i.materlise offer 3D prints in solid brass, I was intrigued. When I saw the example prints on their site, I knew I had to have one. The process for 3D printing to brass is to 3D print the wax and do lost wax casting. The result is polished and plated, with a variety of finishes offered. I went for the high gloss polished gold plating, and the results are stunning.
All three of these are the ~1.5″ tall 1/60 scale Bounce Tortoise model. The white print is Shapeways’ WSF Polished, the right is Shapeways’ Stainless Steel, and the middle is my new baby.
The finish is fantastic, but more incredibly to me is the detail. There’s a little bit of softness that I think is caused by the plating process, but the cavities and fine details are better rendered here than on either of the other two prints. The booster nozzles on the legs blow my mind. The surface is also flawless. There are no printing lines or artifacts of any kind to suggest this piece was 3D printed.