We sat down with one of #MMFStudios talented designers – Daniel Lilygreen for an exclusive inside look into what inspires him to 3D design and 3D print.
1. How old are you?
I am 25.
2. Where did you grow up?
I grew up near Swansea in Wales.
3. Where did you learn 3D design?
I started to learn 3D CAD while in college where it was just getting you to use and interact with 3D modelling software and create simple parts. The idea was to get you thinking of designing in 3D rather than traditional 2D.
4. Which software do you use?
I use SolidWorks for modelling and CraftWare for slicing. I do use other tools like Meshmixer for simple repair andMeshLab so some of the more difficult repairs.
5. When did you start designing for 3D printing?
I started around April 2014, where I started with very simple shapes and I think my first model was a Star Wars Gonk Droid, that’s pretty simple. I already knew how to model and design from my job, so I went for a very difficult design almost straight away, the Titanfall Atlas Mech. It took me about a month to model and another month to turn into an action figure as it was difficult to picture how certain fixtures would work. In the end I just relied on simple woodworking techniques and just doweling and pinning parts together.
6. Where does your passion for designing and 3D printing come from?
Once I knew of 3D printing in a way that I would enjoy, like prop building, then I knew I had to have printer and start making these awesome replicas. Once you’ve modelled and then printed and built something yourself, you just want to keep doing it and push the limit of what’s possible.
7. What’s your biggest project?
For a model, I would say it would be the Fallout 4 X-01 Power Armour Helmet, it was a very challenging design and made me use, and get better at, tools that I wasn’t that comfortable with using before but am quite adept with now.
Soon to be on MyMiniFactory.
8. Is there any project you never managed to design/print?
In terms of it being too difficult model or print, currently, no. There are always ways to do anything that seems difficult but it just might now be the easy route or something you don’t normally do. A complex model can always be broken down into simple shapes that are just added together and large prints can always be broken down to smaller individual pieces and glued back together later.
9. What are you working on at the moment ?
I am currently finishing the printed construction of the Doom Heavy Assault Rifle while printing pieces for its as well. Then I plan to finally finish and upload the original Bioshock Pistol and Grenade Launcher that have been sitting on my drive for a while, along with a few other models.
10. What’s your process for creating a design?
Firstly, always try and get as much reference material as you can, there will always be a certain angle when looking at the item you want to model that might have some hidden detail or surface geometry that is not always visible from simple plan, front and side views. Secondly, have something to scale off and try to imagine the size in the real world. More than once I’ve been more focused on building the model and found later on it’s either too big or too small and had to adjust all my sketches to suit the new scale. It’s a simple skill you get better at the more you model.
11. When was the first time you saw a 3D printer ? Do you remember what went through your head ?
The first time I saw was a Stereolithography machine about 12 years ago that made a model of the NASA space shuttle, and with those types of machines it just looked like science fiction, with a laser going into a clear liquid and the object rising up from it. At that time, I didn’t really understand how it worked or what its purpose was but I thought it was really cool, Star Trek Replicator cool.
12. Do you own a 3D printer ? If yes, which one ?
I own a Deltatrix printer, it’s was designed and built by an ex work colleague who had an idea to build his own and then successfully launched it on Kickstarter.
13. Where do you get your inspiration?
Mainly from games and movies as I have always been interested in the different stories, people and places through both media’s. Also, as the concept and design artists are allow almost free reign on creating items and weapons within these worlds, you will always get weird and wonderful design that you will always remember and look damn cool.
14. Do you use social media to promote your work? What’s your relationship with your followers?
I use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and always answer any comments or questions anyone has, whether it be on a post or a direct message. I am always open to anyone contacting me for help on printing, if they have feedback on my designs or if they want to give me ideas of what to model next. Many times people have asked me what tools I have used or what my technique for painting was etc. and I always am happy to help. In all honesty, I am still learning a lot myself as I progress and I know at some point, I will be the one asking the questions.
Remember to check out Daniel’s MyMiniFactory profile where you can download his designs and print them yourself.