Jan 20, 2015 | By Alec

If you’re going to 3D print toys, miniatures, accessories, you might as well do it properly. That might’ve been going through Maurizio Casella’s mind when designing his insanely detailed miniatures. These designs are of a truly amazing level that we just had to share with you. For those of you who aren’t car enthusiasts, below you can see replicas of the Shelby Cobra, the Fiat 500 and the Ferrari F430.

The Messerschmitt ME 262 Fighter Jet can be seen below.

The level of detail is certainly up to standard of design studios, and yet they’ve simply been made by Italian 3D design artist Maurizio Casella, an Egypt-based artist with a passion for advertisement, diving and 3D modelling. And to limit the build-up of suspense, yes you can recreate them yourself with a regular FDM printer at home – the designs can be found at Casella’s account on 3DaGoGo.com where you can download them for just a few bucks.

While there are plenty of free designs out there, we feel that this is certainly worth a small contribution. For as you can see, the level of detail, the organization of the models by color, as well as the instructions, are at very high level. It’s as if you’re buying a modelling kit in a hobby store, and these are therefore perfect projects to do with your kid over the weekend.

Remarkably, this commercial avenue was not at all in Casella’s mind when he started modelling and 3D printing cars and airplanes on his own RepRap 3D printer. When meeting Daniel Arroyo of 3DaGoGo.com by chance, Casella was very surprised by the feedback he was given. As he explained, "I was just asking some people online where I could try selling my models online. I truly didn’t think my work was so special. It was just my hobby."

But Daniel immediately saw tremendous potential in Casella’s work. “I saw a glimpse of the future”, Daniel told us, “The attention to detail in Maurizio’s work is beyond anything I’ve seen. From the organization of models by color to the image renders and instructions. This is an artist that completely caters to 3D Printing”.

As Casella explained to 3ders.org, Casella originally began 3D printing to create toys for his child, "but I quickly realized that most of the toys will be for me. It still amazes me how easy is to turn out real things from my computer. I think that when the FDM 3d printers will work with shredded plastics or pellets, there will be the real 3d revolution, less waste of plastics around the world and a new concept of re-using materials and objects."

Aside from that, his background in advertising meant he has had years of experience in 3D modeling, which partly explains the high level of detail. It’s also why his STL files are so excellently and beautifully organized. "As a person coming from the advertising world it’s normal that I take care also of the “pack”. It’s the first rule for selling!" Casella said. He explained that he relied on a lot of different software to design these intricate and inspiring models. "Cinema 4d, studio 3d max, maya, rhino, blender, they work all very well. It all starts with the blueprints, and there’s a lot of choice on the web. It basically consists of drawings of the subject from the front, the side, the top. With those drawings I start modelling with my 3d software point to point, carefully following the shape of my object."

Once that is done, Casella relies on information and photos from the web to add further details to his designs. "Internal objects like engine, seats, cockpit, things that are normally not indicated in the blueprints." He said. "Then I have to think about wall thickness, polygon intersections and boolean operations, which are the parameters that define an easily printable and watertight design." Finally, he uses netfabb and Cura to slice his designs and generate the printable g-code.

Despite the fact that these designs are covered in details, it doesn’t take too long to print these models. Casella himself relies on the Italian-made Volta beta 3D printer (by Kentstrapper), and 3D prints in PLA ("which I prefer over ABS just for the smell of the fumes," he said). Printing is best done at a thick layer (0.2 mm) and takes just a few hours.

So what do you think? Printing out a simple toy is great, but high level miniatures like this are almost collectibles.

Check out more photos below:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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