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 Post subject: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 11:17 pm 
Loremaster
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Where do you think 3D printing lies within the wargaming communities? and if you could, what would you print (apart from the miniature models themselves). Has anyone had a chance to use them in this hobby much? I'm curious as I'm looking to invest in getting one as I'd get a lot of use out of it for my modelmaking activities.
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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 11:24 pm 
Ringwraith
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I bought an Amon Hen which was 3D printed not long back. Its not too bad but requires lots of cleaning up before painting.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 11:41 pm 
Loremaster
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Dead Marsh Spectre wrote:
I bought an Amon Hen which was 3D printed not long back. Its not too bad but requires lots of cleaning up before painting.


I'd be interested to see any pictures you have. Sounds like quite a large model to print.
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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 11:45 pm 
Ringwraith
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its actually the smaller of two 3d printed pieces i picked up. the other is a chamber of mazarbul which is huge. i'll take some pics next time i'm in the dungeon lol

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 1:52 am 
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In the next ten years I hope that 3D printers become cheap enough that we can download single-use plans and print them in our own homes!

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 9:18 am 
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Call me old fashioned, but I'm not sure how much I like the whole 3D printing thing. I do think though that currently well sculpted and cast miniatures beat 3D printing hands down, at least for centrepiece models. No doubt 3D printing will simply get better and better. I can perhaps see some value for regular troops though...

Maybe I just like the idea of sculpted miniatures more. I just hope that physical miniature sculpting will never be replaced! At least for personal conversions, I don't think 3D printing will ever be able to take over. Adding putty is just such a simple, yet with the potential to be very high skill.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 9:43 am 
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3D printers are still expensive and as yet not as efficient as other methods of miniature production. They also aren't capable of producing the same quality as the real thing. 3D printing is more of a specialist thing at present. Perhaps when the printers are more feasible and advanced and widely in use we could expect a wider market developing for modellers that use 3D printers.

We are old school guys however. If we could cast the models ourselves, (melting the tin, preparing the moulds, pouring the metal) we would. 3D printing would not replace the experience of making it yourself or buying it at the store. It would take some of the "magic" away.

We might end up using them one day though. Never now what the future brings! :)

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Last edited by Elladan & Elrohir on Sat May 23, 2015 10:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 9:52 am 
Loremaster
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Recently ordered some stuff form shapeways, a big marketplace where designers upload designs that are then printed at some pretty advanced factories and shipped to the customers - rather a nice system.

Among other things, I got this delicate Elven scenic piece from our very own Miniman: http://www.shapeways.com/product/5GBNW6 ... d=21129588 Very nice and certainly easier than making it myself.

The popular game X-Wing is served well by the website too, with various people having designed whole fleets worth of parts that aren't (yet) included in the game, but are loved by fans and can be purchased there: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/mel_miniatures Details are probably not quite up to the quality for actual figures, print lines are still noticable on some parts, unless the material is polished, which wouldn't work for intricate parts either. Sharp lines and relatively simple shapes makes these much more suitable for 3D printing than a Moria goblin would be.

Another interesting thing is metal jewelry, which cannot be printed itself, but instead they produce the design in wax, make a mold, and as with normal worksmanship, melt the wax to fill the mold with molten silver (or whatever) to produce the piece, and then manually polish it.

@abcdefg: although I too like traditional crafts, there already is overlap between traditional and digital - GW's Smaug as a prime example, was of course not 3D printed, but still digitally sculpted. Probably because physically sculpting every single scale on that massive body would have driven even M. Perry mad. Without digital sculpting, we probably would never have seen that model.
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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 1:25 pm 
Loremaster
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3D printing is getting very close to the quality you expect from traditional spin cast processes. The bonus is being able to print models that can't be made using spin cast or injection moulding methods. However the result is a slower process and a smaller production.

I have been using a few different 3D printers over the past year. Varying from industrial machines (that cost an arm and a leg to print) to the cheap machines. I seem to have settled for a mid way machine created by Formlabs, but haven't quite made the leap yet. Would small accessories be the most likely thing for printing par the models themselves?

@Coenus: They have some good items on that shop. Unfortunately shapeways quality isn't a high enough standard for the actual miniatures themselves due to the printer process they use. Even in ultra frosted detail.

@abc: I agree with you there, the traditional aspect of sculpting is more appealing. I recently did a project doing exactly that - by combining traditional and new process to create a 1:64 scale royal navy sailing ship.

Here's an example of a small lantern I drew up and had printed.
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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 4:19 pm 
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Coenus Scaldingus

I added the rails to my collection. Thanks 8)

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 6:36 pm 
Ringwraith
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It may be a way of creating your own personalised figures if you have the 3D talent or can hire it for the purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 9:53 am 
Elven Warrior
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Coenus Scaldingus wrote:

Among other things, I got this delicate Elven scenic piece from our very own Miniman: http://www.shapeways.com/product/5GBNW6 ... d=21129588 Very nice and certainly easier than making it myself.

The popular game X-Wing is served well by the website too, with various people having designed whole fleets worth of parts that aren't (yet) included in the game, but are loved by fans and can be purchased there: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/mel_miniatures Details are probably not quite up to the quality for actual figures, print lines are still noticable on some parts, unless the material is polished, which wouldn't work for intricate parts either. Sharp lines and relatively simple shapes makes these much more suitable for 3D printing than a Moria goblin would be


I think it's good for intricate scenery but not up to scratch for models.

Totally buying that ebon hawk!

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 1:20 pm 
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I think 3d printing is the wave of the future. It may take a decade or so, but I'll bet instead of buying minis we buy directions with which to print the minis we're interested in.
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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 1:41 pm 
Loremaster
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I don't see it taking that long for prices to come down for affordable good quality printers. At the moment the hobby printers have dropped to about £100 and it'll only catch on with the SLA printers (resin curing) like these.

What are games workshop doing about this? I know they already use printing for prototyping some models and this still causes less of a concern than knock of Chinese casting products - but with the technology moving forward at such a fast pace it'll be interesting to see if they adopt it closely. Having an in-store printer would be cool.

The machines are certainly already capable of producing high quality prints with a nice surface finish. You could begin painting on that with minimal cleanup effort. And these are only the below 2k consumer printers - the big machines will be able to create even more intricate parts. The technology is moving so fast, that they'll be improved on quick.

Iain,

This one's printed on the titan 1 machine at a smaller scale than 28mm. Not sure what coin that is, perhaps a cent?
edit: found the size of the print 66 x 38 x 46 mm
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Here's a 32mm model I found printed on the form1. Printed in clear resin - which can actually be polished to be completely transparent.

http://formlabs.com/applications/art/

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:40 pm 
Ringwraith
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Drumstick said:
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Here's a 32mm model I found printed on the form1. Printed in clear resin - which can actually be polished to be completely transparent.

So, in theory, with the correct resin with the appropriate refractive index and transparency, one could have a truly invisible 'Invisible Frodo'? (or Bilbo for that matter).

The quality of those pieces is incredible.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:05 pm 
Loremaster
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In theory yes. Here's a cockpit window piece printed at 0.1mm (translates to lowest settings on the machine) which has been polished back to a clear finish. Some more time would have to be taken with a detailed model, perhaps getting in there with some t-cut and a cotton swab for a 28mm mini. A print like that costs under £1 material wise.

The support structures generated can be altered so that the tip can be very small. Means they can snap off easier than the plastic sprues. The down side is if your printing something very small the supports generated can sometimes take more material than the actual item itself.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D Printing and wargaming - your thoughts
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:19 am 
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I have held 3d prints and they would be horrible for painting, they have so many little
ridges on them, and the ridges would obscure detail

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