I’ve been 3D-printing for a few years now. It all started after my friend Ed convinced me to buy a Wanhao i3 after I saw the kind of cool stuff that he was able to make. The bed was a tiny by today’s standards 20x20x18cm volume but using that little workhorse I was able to build an entire Iron Man mk45 costume using Do3d files. It took me nearly 18 months, but I still have that suit of armour and still wear it to conventions today.
I since moved on to printing with Creality CR10 printers. I have an S4 and an S5 which have a 40x40x40 and a 50x50x50 build volume respectively and allow me to print large sections of armour without having to cut up parts into sections. The CR10 is a real workhorse. I’ve put several thousand hours of print time in to each but they can falter when they start showing their age and mileage and I have since upgraded the extruders to Bondtech DDS Direct Drive system which allows me to print faster, and more accurately than ever before.
I use exclusively Simplify3D to slice my prints. Whilst this is software that I had to purchase it produces excellent gcode and the results I think speak for themselves.
As a designer myself, I often take on the challenge to model parts that I need to complement my projects. For this I generally use SketchUp and 3D Builder. Occasionally I edit models using Blender, but for most of the work I do it is not necessary.
Plastic-wise I print using Spectrum PLA Pro which I find to be an excellent filament and sourced in the EU, where I live.
I’m currently building my third Iron Man costume and often take on commission builds for Iron Man and Star Wars related projects.