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    Thread: Can a 1:43 model be 3D printed?

    1. Member
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      02-21-2018 09:09 AM #1
      Not sure how 3D printing works or what is needed to "print" an object but I'm wondering of it's possible to build a model from scratch using this technique. Would really like to have a mkII Jetta that no model manufacturer seems willing to produce. Can someone with 3D printing knowledge please chime in. Good luck to all.

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    3. Member IFlyGTI's Avatar
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      02-23-2018 04:19 PM #2
      With a good enough printer & files, practically anything can be printed. Just a matter of finding/making a good enough scan to work from. I remember a year or two, someone in the B3 forums writing a file for a wagen. Not sure if this was the end plan but it stands to reason that could've been...
      Mike S. aka DucMike SacWater
      ‘08 .:R32 - '03 20th Anniversary - '96 GTI VR6
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    4. Member OptimusGlen's Avatar
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      01-24-2019 11:30 AM #3
      In short, yes it can be done.


      In long, maybe...

      First, the 3D model needs to be solid, to give the printer something to print. Most of the models available for purchase online at places like Turbosquid.com, Squir3d.com, CGTrader.com etc. are surfaces with zero thickness, thus they cannot be printed. The geometry really needs to be created, or adjusted, by a modeler who knows what they're doing and know the requirements for 3D printing.

      Second, for the detail required to make a 1/43 car look acceptable you're going to need a machine with a very high resolution. The typical maker-bot stuff that most hobbyists use aren't typically up to the task. There are shops out there that you can contract prints through, typically your best option for one-off stuff if you need high quality.

      Third, at best you can print the main components, but if you want accurate coloring or finishes you'll need to do that yourself, and fabricate the clear bits for glass etc. Think of it as a 1/43 model kit. Yes, some printers can print in color but not generally to the degree of color variation that you find in a professionally manufactured 1/43 diecast or resin car. Same with gloss finishes. For parts you can probably salvage from a Mk2 golf things like seats, dash, wheels, etc.

      Fourth, are you sure that no manufacturer makes it? What model Mk2 Jetta are you looking for? I know the 4 door variants are available in both big and small bumper versions, it would probably be more cost efficient and less time consuming to buy one of these and modify it to your pleasing. Lots of guys modify 1/43 if you don't have the patience/skillset/supplies to do it yourself.

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