Form 3+ for miniatures production! An inside look into my world

Hello everyone!

I’m Simone, an illustrator and digital sculptor (I’m unsure if mentioning my brand name is allowed here). This marks my first post, and I hope I’m in the right section!

My aim is to document my journey, showcasing what I’m currently working on and the tools I’m using.

I recently launched my venture as a miniature maker, where having a 3D printer for prototyping and final product testing is essential. I initially experimented with a cheaper printer, which served its purpose. However, I later invested in the Formlabs ecosystem by acquiring a Form3+ along with the wash and cure station. This move significantly accelerated my workflow.

As of now, I’ve experimented with the Standard GreyV4 and Tough1500 resins. I’ll test the Durable in the future too. Here are my observations:

Standard GrayV4: Impressive surface quality and detail but somewhat brittle. Excellent for masterpieces, mold making, and tabletop miniatures, though handling with care is necessary.

Tough1500: Exceptional surface quality and detail, almost indestructible. Sturdy yet slightly flexible, without being too rubbery (which I initially feared). Ideal for tabletop miniatures.

I conducted these material tests as I plan to launch physical production for my products, both for my store and a future Kickstarter campaign (currently, I’m solely producing digital STLs).

I’ve encountered no issues, and the direct connection between PreForm and zBrush has saved me significant time.

Some pics with the standard grey. More pics will come with the other resins too!

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I print small parts as well.
Use Gray 4 exclusively
However, the parts are brittle being so thin and small. Diameters can be 0.04 to .07".

After reading your post I ordered 1500 to see if that will improve the parts.

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I’m glad to have been helpful! I will test also durable, that should be more flexible and rubbery, if I am right!

And I’ll do more tests with tough 1500 with bigger objects too (always miniatures). I’ll post some pics as soon as possible :slight_smile:

Durable is not rubbery at all and has some flex in it, but not what you’re thinking. What you’re describing is closer to Flexible or even Elastic or Silicone.

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Well happy to read this! Should be perfect for miniatures too

Tough2000 is pretty nice too, have some flex, not brittle (in comparison with clear, grey or old tough)
Tougher than tough1500 in theory, but tougher too on the tanks and the wallet :slight_smile:

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Initially the Tough2000 should have been my choice, but then I’ve read about the custom resin made for Hasbro, that has been developed starting from the tough 1500, so I changed my mind.

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Hello everyone! This is an update!

So, I’ve made more tests with the tough 1500. At the moment I’m writing i’ve had 0 failure (well to be honest i’ve had 100% printing succes with the form 3+ both with standard grey and tough 1500).

I’ve found sweet spot for supports at 0.15, I will have to test the 0.1 size.

Still have to test the durable, but the tough 1500 definitely survive a drop from a shelf.

Primed with black has a very nice surface.

Super happy with the form 3+. I will use this machine for the physycal production as well. With this kind of resin, it can definitely handle it, and it’s perfect for a final product.

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Does it give the same details. I’ve use GREY and find that the detail is really very very good at the print stage. A little better at 25 but I do find it’s perhaps it’s not worth the extra time for what little difference there is. I’ve been using GRAY for a number of years, then making a silicon mould, low temperature and pressure to cast them out in pewter.

Hi @WiltonShagpile ,

I personally have found the Tough1500 results on small parts to be pretty comparable to the Gray resin. The biggest advantage is the drop and impact resistance; I’ve printed minis in Gray that have broken and shattered after drops, whereas I can throw my Tough1500 parts at a wall and they won’t break (not that I’ve tried that or anything…).

I use Gray 4 because of the detail too; In the process of using Tough 1500.
My results with it are that the T1500 surface not as smooth as with the Gray 4.

I used T1500 on small parts I sell on eBay that were too fragile with Gray 4.

So still trying to convince myself that T1500 is worth the extra money and extra post processing; I have two FL Washers that I use with T1500 and Flex 50A.

Hi! Yes, the level of detail it’s the same. The difference is the color of the resin: the gray is pigmented, the tough 1500 seems a bit transparent, so you cannot see the details very well in photo. Once I prime the miniatures the details come out perfectly!

Yes, it cannot be printed at .25 (yet, with the open platform maybe is doable after some tests.)

I’ve dropped my miniatures from 1.40 mt high and 2.50mt high, several times. It’s very very resistant. After many drops, one of them broke. But, in my experience, miniatures generally fall from a table.
So, basically, you have to broke them intentionally.
I need to test the durable as well, but the Tough 1500 is good for a final product.

The other big advantage with the tough 1500 is the supports diameter. I need to test the .10, for now I had 100% success with 0.15. They peel off easily, leaving almost nothing on the surface.

The printing time is not as fast as the standard grey, which I’ve used like you, for mold making and then pewter casting. But with the tough 1599 this for me became an unnecessary step. A couple of hours more in the printer, for my needs, are better than a 30h mold making process (assuming the mold comes out perfectly). I can focus more on the design and the dynamism, giving an old school look without the necessary boundaries of a two part mold.

I have used both Tough 2000 and White. White, which I assume is the same as Gray and Black, is definitely more brittle than the Tough 2000. I notice as you break away the supports that the White supports more or less shatter as you pull on them. The Tough 2000 will flex and bend without breaking. Also, I printed some small brackets out of both. There was a small tab that kept breaking off the White parts, but 0 failures in Tough 2000.

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@OldRealmForge i agree with you

so I tried tough 1500; first the prints did not stick to the platform as well as the gray; second the prints were hard to remove from the print sprues/supports, however they were far more flexible and stronger than the gray.
the texture surface was not as smooth as the gray.