After what was in retrospect disappointing results with Spot HT – through my own ineptitude I must add, I went back to the tried and tested 1:1 mix of B9 Creator Red and Cherry resin. This isn’t to say one is any better than the other, but with little life left in the layer of PDMS silicone before it needs replacement I didn’t have the leeway to experiment further with Spot HT.
This last batch of prints has been more experimentation with what level of detail is possible. Second time round I reduced the size of the whistles and the steam heating cock to be a more prototypical size, even more challenging for the printer. After quite a few false starts (left the projector lens cap on, build table not calibrated properly, not enough resin, ultrasonic died), I finally got a successful batch of prints of the highest detail so far.
This feels like uncharted territory because I’ve not wanted to let myself believe that it was capable of this kind of detail, until I’d seen it with my own eyes, coming out of my own printer. I firstly revisited the design of the top feed for the Dukedog, the previous version not having a recess for the pipework. This was designed to fit 20 swg copper wire, but the printed hole is slightly tight. It was a good exercise to see how well the resin could be worked with and the small hole could be opened up easily twiddling with a small drill bit. This top feed will end up on 9014.
The whistles came out almost perfectly, considering that some of the detail in the design was under 0.25mm it would be impossible to see with out a macro lens or magnification. Once cured these fine parts are quite robust, they aren’t indestructible but they did handle tweezers and finger tips, positioning them and trimming away traces of Tacky Wax under a magnifying glass! It’s the detail presented on these that has really left me speechless.
The beauty of this resin is it’s use to complement traditional materials, in this case matching up the whistles and mount with a Comet whistle shield etch and two strands of 36 swg copper wire to represent the whistle pipework. The whistle print stood up to the finicky task of glueing everything together well, with impatient tweezer nibs looming, third hands full, trying not to drown the details out in glue. This is the kind of detail I was hoping to attain after a few abortive attempts last year.
So with that done I think I’m out of excuses as to why 5726 can’t be finally painted and have its correct numbers fitted!