3D printing has numerous applications in manufacturing and health sectors, as well as in food, fashion, firearm and many other industries. Lately, 3D printing technology entered the world of scale modeling, first as rapid prototyping and, more recently, with the increase of precision and printing resolution, as additive manufacturing. One of the key advantages of 3D printing is the ability to produce very complex shapes that would be otherwise impossible to construct by hand.
Armorama already introduced 3D MicroCosmos, an aftermarket model company from Greece using 3D printing technology to produce weapon sets and vehicle accessories in various scales. This time we present a review of some of the weapon sets from the company… Instead of covering individual products, this review aims to provide a general impression of the weapons and their printing quality, as well as a brief comparison with their resin counterparts.
I received the sets from 3D MicroCosmos packed in a hard cardboard box. The box took quite a lot of beating during transport and I was afraid the delicate items could be damaged. However, opening the box revealed zip lock bags with 3D printed pieces safely secured in several layers of bubble wrap. Closer inspection confirmed none of the sets suffered any damage whatsoever. Good packing from guys at 3D MicroCosmos!
The zip-lock bags contain several weapon sets in different scales, from 1/16 to 1/72. This is how some of these sets look before cleaning.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of printing supports that need to be removed. I used sharp pointed side cutters and some fine grit sandpaper. The printing material is very brittle, so I suggest taking the time and being extra careful with the pieces. Also, manhandling the pieces is not advisable, as they are very delicate.
I know some companies provide 3D printed pieces with no printing supports, cleaned and ready to use. Perhaps 3D MicroCosmos could do the same, offering the cleaned items at a slightly higher price?
I inspected the pieces after cleaning them. The quality of print is exceptional and I didn’t notice any printing lines even under magnification. The details are superbly delivered, printed in a very high resolution.
The detailed photos showcase these weapons well. I’m particularly fond of the M2 Browning, which is available in several different versions in 1/35 scale, as well as in 1/48 and 1/72 scale. Check out this tiny braille scale gem!
As for comparing 3D printed weapons with those cast in resin… well, both mediums have their pros and cons. The only drawback of 3D printed weapons, in my opinion, is a rather complex cleanup procedure. Removing printing supports on such delicate pieces is not for the faint-hearted. On the other hand, 3D printed weapons feature perfect geometry and are completely straight with no warping, which can sometimes be a problem with resin cast weapons. The details on these 3D printed pieces from 3D MicroCosmos are very sharp and well delivered, very much comparable to the best resin weapons on the market today.
3D MicroCosmos range is available at: https://hobbymarket.gr/en/brand/17-micro-cosmos
PS It is also worth mentioning that the range of 3D MicroCosmos is rapidly expanding, and the company is open to suggestions from modelers.