Published on by Chris Abbey
3D printing is becoming more and more popular in the miniatures gaming world and the amount of 3D designs that are available either for free through services like Thingiverse or through Kickstarters and Patron schemes is astounding. I have been 3D printing scenery for gaming for many years, my latest project is Blackstone Heath which involves combining 3D printed buildings and accessories with Terra-Former modular terrain boards. I have printed all of this myself using an extruded plastic 3D printer. However, I also have a lot of files for 3D miniatures and they do not print very well on an extruded plastic printer as you can see the lines for each level. Miniatures and small detailed pieces print far better on a resin based 3D printer. I don't have one of those, and a figure that there must be other gamers who do not have one, so I've set this service up so that we can take our 3D files and get them quickly and easily printed and posted out to us. A 28mm foot figure tends to cost around £2.50 - £3.50 to be printed from grey resin. I have tried the service myself and have been very pleased with the results.
How to get a 3D Miniature Printed
Click on 'Upload New 3D File'. You need to have fist brough the 3D file or downloaded a free file from a website such as Thingiverse
Select the file that you would like to print from your computer or other device.
Your model will be loaded into the 3D preview part of the tool, where it can be turned and resized using your mouse (or other pointing device) to confirm that it is ready for printing.
Select the type of material that you would like your model to be printed with. I always use Resin for miniatures and PLA for buildings and terrain.
Select the colour you would like. I'm a bit boring, I always choose grey, figuring that I am going to undercoat and paint the model, however their is always a choice depending on the material that you have choosen. I do keep thinking it would be good to print a Halfling wearing a ring or a telephone box using clear resin at some point!
When you are happy with your selection, click 'Add to Cart' You can see your model added to the list of models within the order.
Click the big green 'Upload New 3D file' to start the process again to add additional models to your order.
When you have added all the models that you want to be printed, click 'Checkout' and add your name, address and payment details and then sit back and wait for your new miniatures to arrive. Obviously the figures are printed to order, just for you and the turn around is about 10 days. You can go back to the tool to check the status of your orders.
Here's some photos of some 28mm miniatures that I have had printed in grey resin using this service.
Over on Lead Adventuers Forum, I came across a great new project that I am very, very tempted by. 'The Lazy Forger' has put together a whole range of medieval miniatures for building 6mm or 10mm armies as 3D print files.
The set includes infantry armed with full range of melee weapons for the period, spears, swords, pikes etc, missile troops with bows and cross bows, various types of cavalry plus siege equipment and terrain including a lovely burnt out church. The complete deal is $34.99 / £27.92 and that includes pretty much everything you need to build two armies and some terrain for medieval gaming in 6mm or 10mm scale.
Once you've got your files, you then need to print them out. I've still only got an extruded plastic printer, and I want to have the extra detail of resin prints so I am going to use our 3D printing bureau service.
I've just checked that it all works with these files and that it come out as a reasonable price. I loaded up the siege mantlets and found that it worked perfectly and that I could get the set of 4 printed in resin for 28p.
On that basis, I think I'm going to buy the bundle deal and get a couple of new armies underway!
More about: 3d Printing