Children's book illustrator exploring 3D printing

Hi all! I’m a Toronto area children’s book author and illustrator. I’ve been exploring sculpting/modelling in VR since getting an Oculus Quest 2 as a gift a couple of years ago, am having fun learning Adobe Substance 3D Modeler (beta version). A friend with a 3D printer offered to print a couple of my pieces and OMG, I am blown away.

I’m considering getting a 3D printer myself, but first want to do a lot more research, plus investigate (as an alternative) 3D printing services that ship within Canada. Our house is fairly small, so instead of getting a printer, I’m thinking it might be better for me to just send my files to a 3D printing service and have them ship the model back to me. So I’m also researching that as well, especially costs involved.

I have sooooo much to learn, and am hoping to get inspired by and learn from you all. :slight_smile: You can see the two 3D-printed models that my friend did for me here:

Here’s my first 3D model of one of my book characters:

Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Hi Debbie
Welcome to the forum - glad you found us! If you have any 3D printing questions - don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be glad to help you out! I’m a 3D printing novice myself and learning quite a bit from everyone here.

Took a look at your work - love it! :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much, Lauran! :heart:

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Welcome @inkygirl ! I have a copy of substance beta but have not spend too much time with it. You might also look at Fusion 360, meshmixer and sculptris. Personally I use Fusion mostly, I also am fortunate to have an education license.

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I’m loving Substance Modeler beta for sculpting! I’ve mainly focused on organic forms but am also going to learn how to use it for hard surface forms as well. I mainly use Modeler in VR because it’s easier on my tendons (I have tendinitis) than mouse-based sculpting. And thank you for the welcome! p.s. I envy your education license. :slight_smile:

My 2 cents:
Organic modeling is a lot of fun. A walk through a summer meadow.
3d printing, regardless of budget, is not what most people would call fun. More like an inner city marathon during a military invasion. There are just so many intersecting variables that without a passion for what’s going on under the hood (to mix my metaphors), a person can set themselves up for failure.
If you are just making models here and there, you may be best served by farming it out. Post a model here and I’ll bet you’ll get multiple quotes within hours.
That said, if you are ready to jump in to the game, you’ve also come to right place.
You don’t need a lot of space, just a very stable surface the size of a bedside table somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of drafts.
After that, just name your budget and the folks on here will give you lots of ideas.

Just took a look at your models, and they are adorable.
From here I’d hazzard a guess they were done with a resin machine vs a filament machine?

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Perfect description of 3D printing :laughing:

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I looked at your videos @inkygirl, very nice,

Give me a good bracket problem and I can solve the heck out of it. I was never good at digital organic modelling, Nice to see how you do it.

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Your 2 cents is excellent advice. One of the reasons I joined this community is because two of my friends with (different) 3D printers both warned me that there is a LOT of tweaking involved, that it’s basically an art form in itself, to not expect to just plug in a 3D printer & be able to print stuff right away. So I’ve also been starting to investigate affordable and reliable 3D printing services within Canada (mainly because shipping from the U.S. is always way more expensive); to try out first, before I seriously consider getting my own 3D printer. I live in the Toronto area.

If I did have a 3D printer, I would probably be printing something at least once a week (but it would depend on how much hassle is involved each time, hence my current research). Not just models for myself, but little gifts as giveaways to educators or fellow board gamers, either of my book characters or custom figures for gaming, as examples. Also, my husband’s hobby is painting miniatures, and he’s offered to do some painting for me sometimes.

re: your question about resin machine vs a filament machine used by my friend - it was a resin machine…a Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K.

re: budget for a 3D printer. I had figured around max $400-500 for the printer, and I’d also want to get a curing machine thingy? That’s what my friends advised, anyway. But I’d definitely opt for SMALLER than bigger. I’d never want to print something that’s more than around 2 or 3 inches high; if I did, I’d probably get it sent out.

Thanks for all your advice!

Thank you for the kind words about my work, Jason!

And I hope to someday be educated enough about 3D printers so that I understand what a good bracket problem IS. :smiley:

OH forgot to ask… You mentioned that some members in the community here might be willing to do a 3D print for me if I sent them a file and a fee. That is EXACTLY part of the reason I joined this community as well, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Any advice? When advising, please remember I am a newbie! I do know how to export in .stl format. Advice welcome, and thank you!

HI @inkygirl

I am sure you can locate someone close to you, Post it up in the buy and sell section and I am sure you will hook up with someone. I know we have a lot of customers out your way.


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Thanks so much, Jason! I will definitely do that.

What are you looking to get printed?

You can see my post about it here: Looking for someone in Ontario who can 3D print my models & ship to my Toronto address