Interview: Van Dragon’s fleet. From idea to 3D print February 27 2018

We just noticed you on Instagram thanks to your boats. Is that some bigger project?
I'll split that into two sections. The bathtub boats, i. e. small boats that can swim. And my 1:1000 collection. The 1:1000 series is definitely a bigger project and runs as long as I have fun with it. Also in this series my focus is on the ships.

You are not just author of great mini prints, but also a designer of all those models. What inspires you?
With the small boats it's just the fun of the simple form. I let myself be inspired by templates of different kinds. Comics, real models or a mix of both. There's only one requirement for me, it should be swimming.

In the 1:1000 series, logically real model and my son.
He was actually the reason why I started it. At first there were no real boats for the bathtub, so I just started with it. After that he discovered my Titanic books and since then he loves the ship. Since he always wanted to know how big one ship was compared to the other, I had the idea to make him understand it in real life. So my 1:1000 series was born.

Everybody would like to know also some info about what are you using for modeling, slicing and printing. So ...what are the best “helpers” for you?
I use Blender to construct the models. Because it is free software, it is accessible to everyone. As a slicer I use Slic3r from Prusa otherwise I could not use the multicolor function.

Simplfiy3D is also a great program, but costs a few Euros. I can also recommend the 3DBuilder for post-processing. It is pre-installed from Windows10. Simple but effective. Especially the repairing of objects makes it fast and quite reliable.

My main printer is a Prusa MK2s MMU. You don't have to say anything about that, almost everyone knows about it.

Could you please tell us more about the proces of preparing model? We mean the 1:1000 ones. You get some photo, place it as a background in modeling software and try to recreate it? Or you make some research how it looks like, make some scratch etc.?
Creating the scale models naturally requires much longer preparation. This starts as usual with the research. It can take a while to get all the documents together. With the Titanic it was still quite simple but already the RMS Mauretania has devoured more time here.
The basic requirement for each model is of course a suitable floor plan. If you don't have this, it is actually impossible to construct something neatly. As already suspected, this is then used in the construction program as a blueprint. Thus, 3D construction can be carried out directly on the drawing. Everything else is then created step by step from the pictures and drawings. This process is not really spectacular, just hard work.

Where did you get blueprints?
If you are lucky, you can find them on the internet (picture search), otherwise you would have to buy them. Unfortunately, good blueprints are not always easy to get.

Your Instagram profile is relatively new. Could we see your older works somewhere else?
Actually, all I have drawn in the short time is to see on Thingiverse and of course on Instagram.
What is next on your 3D printing to-do list?
In the 1:1000 series I am drawing the first four funnel liner. The "Emperor William the Great". After that I already have a list of the models my son would like to have. My limit is unfortunately only the size of the printer.
On the bathtub boats, I don't really plan, that comes from the belly.

Thank you for the great questions
Thank you for your time!


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