I've gotten my first Alpha tests prints in hand and I have quite a few changes/tweaks that need to be made before this guy is ready for public release.
I ordered the parts in White Strong Flexible Polished and the eye and light channel parts in Transparent Detail. During this test I tried going without the usual sprues on small parts thinking that just maybe I wouldn't need them. As it turned out, the print job ended up taking way longer than normal and when I did get the parts in hand I was missing several portions of Nail's kit and had doubles of a couple of Disposal's parts. For example I ended up with 3 feet and 3 thigh bones, 2 of Disposal's chest panels and none of Nail's.
I also was planning on ordering a protoskeleton in Alumide Polished but that portion of the order got cancelled stating the parts were too small to polish. (Even though the exact same parts in WSF got polished.. go figure). I sprued the connector joints and reordered and had those cancelled on me too. So I sprued the whole thing up and reordered in WSFP. It's on it's way. Still need a complete set of Nail armor though.
When assembling the parts I do have (enough for a complete Disposal) I found that the polished ball joints were so incredibly loose that they would barely hold together. It was like I had a tiny marionette but without strings. I glued all of the connector joints into their skeletal base sockets and added a glue layer to thicken the ball where it would connect to the limb bones. He stands on his own now but I'm not brave enough yet to try posing him.
That said, I've made some changes to the protoskeleton so that the connector joints are already a part of the base skeletal parts rather than having to plug into them. This will sacrifice a bit of articulation but hopefully should make for a stronger part. I've already ordered this update to use w/ Nail.
The other concern is the size. It's all well and good for me to design these and order them and do what I have to to make it work but it's another thing to expect paying customers to do the same. The tolerances are just too tight at this scale for Shapeways to handle effectively so I'm going to scale up the figure a bit. The resulting figure will end up being about 3.5" instead of the current ~2". I want to keep the end price for this guy as low as possible so I may try a test at this scale but with enlarged balls, anticipating the polishing process.
Here's Disposal partially assembled, next to a Kreon for scale.
The visor was printed in transparent detail material which has a yellow tint to it. I colored it using a dry erase marker.. lol
Next to the Kreon and legends Megatron for scale
with the Kreon and legends Prowl
Here, I'm shining a small flashlight over him to show off how the light piping works. I think this might be the smallest transformer figure to have light piping ever.. but I'm not sure ^__^
with the source material ^__^