As a kid I always loved dinosaurs and like many others the T-Rex held a special place in my heart. I loved going to the Natural History museum or other such places and seeing the posed skeletons (real or not) on show! Now as an adult I have the means to produce my own and a wife who allowed me to do so hah!
Makerbot shared a 1:20 scale T-Rex model a number of years ago and a chap named ‘Icefox’ did the community a massive favour and fixed the buggy STL which made some parts of the original model un-printable. You can download his fixed version over at Printables.
For this big print series I was using GST3D white PLA. Check out my review of the filament here. Its a great value filament which I purchased for £7.99 per kg. It printed all these parts flawlessly and had good bed adhesion even on the large base component.
Now, this model at a 1:20 scale is already quite large as you can imagine. As this is the first post in the big print series I decided I’d scale it up and go for 1:10 size. At first, this seemed like maybe I hadn’t gone big enough, but then you forget that actually, the head is one of the smaller parts! Since starting the project I’ve seen people going even bigger and even one person who is attempting a 1:1 scale!!!
This was the only part I used supports on but I did print all of the remaining parts with a decent brim as a lot of them have a small footprint and are quite tall.
Printing the rest of the parts when pretty smoothly. I had the occasional failure due to the severe overhangs warping a little and the part getting knocked over but mostly it was pretty straight forward.
The last bit I printed was the one piece base. It took up almost edge to edge space on my printer.
Soon the box of parts starting building up and the task of removing the part brims and cleaning up any other bits began.
Then I started the assembly process. The bit all clipped together very easily, too easily in fact. It would appear that simply scaling the model and clips at the same time meant that the joints were a bit too loose. Unfortunately quite a lot of the clip features are built into the large parts themselves. So I started down the route of using superglue to hold the joints in place.
I started with small sub assemblies and worked up slowly joining them all together.
These soon got quite tall (Voron0 for scale)
Up to this point everything was going well. However when it came to joining the front and back end together I realised that the drying time of the superglue meant that I was having to sit and hold the parts for quite a long time. I inevitably got lazy and some of the joints were quite loose. In particular the leg joints and the one between the front and back halves of the spine where the weight of the model caused the joints to sag. Some of the smaller ribs also didn’t clip in on their own a
In the end I had to use PLA welding (a technique involving using some of the same PLA filament it was printed in and a soldering iron to firm up lots of the joints). In hindsight I wish I’d started with this technique as it was a lot quicker and much stronger due to there never being nice flat surfaces to bond with the glue. I have also ordered a 3d printer pen which can be used to help gap fill before smoothing with a soldering iron.
The finished product is pretty awesome and I do recommend it as a fun printing project for those dinosaur fans out there! At some point I might tackle painting it but as I’m not very artistic I was worried the finished article would look worse than unpainted!
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Lastly I thought I’d give you an appreciation for scale by getting my doggo to sit next to it… Puppy tax paid in full.