3D Print hobby impact

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3D Print hobby impact

Postby Seneca » Sun May 29, 2016 7:07 am

Starting of from Yxalites comments on the 3D print future for the miniature hobby.

My 2 cents:
1. Yes, printers can do it today, quality wise
2. Yes, material is cheap (ca. 1$ per 28mm for arguments sake)
3. You do need to buy the print file, a high poly figure is still costing a nice buck:
https://www.cgtrader.com/3d-models/arch ... ensor-bust
Here it is $ 69
4. Printing minis currently would involve that the 3D print would need a lot of supporting structures. Cleanup would take hours and be a bitch.

So, yeah it will come, but until it is fun, I'd estimate 5 to 10 years

Plus: Mierce can still be in business, offering 3D files and print / casting services.
Might even more lucrative as the distribution overhead and production costs are gone.

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Re: 3D Print hobby impact

Postby CountCrushmore » Sun May 29, 2016 10:00 am

Lazy as I am I am going to copy some of my thoughts that I´ve stated in the comments.

It is an interesting development, for sure. But I think it will be most usefull to suplement existing Miniatures and make some conversion pieces (do a different Weapon, another Shield, an interesting Bit or something to be used as base decoration). To make a full printable 3D Model there is much skill needed, knowledge of anatomy and a big part artistic talent.

And if you look at the Kickstarters that offer 3D Files for printing (I´ve mostly seen Terrain, only one for Miniatures) aren´t that cheap either - and you have to print those files, so there will be an additional cost. Sooner or later, maybe - but I guess later (I am realy excited on this topic, don´t get me wrong - but I just don´t see that real Miniatures will be obsolete in the near future).

My guess would be that all those smaller companies specialised on providing custom Shoulderpads and Weapons for Space Knights will feel the impact long before it hits the real Miniature Companies.

I think the truth rests somewhere between "Today" and "Decades" when it comes to home printing Miniatures for the average collector. Yes, there are some more or less affordable Printers that are able to produce great results, but you still have to be able to feed them with the files of the miniatures that you want.

How long did it take home paper-printing to be a thing?
To go from: "I'm off to get some printing done" to simply doing it yourself.
Not long,

To stay at your example of paper printing - we all have access to a paper printer, how many of us are novelists? Yes, there are sites with free stories (more than a few) but how many of us go and print those instead of buying a book?

What I am trying to say, even if this incredible technology is able to produce stunning results as your link


clearly shows, you still need to guide this technology. I haven´t searched for very long, maybe if I knew which library you are refering to but those that I´ve seen after a short search arent filled with that much models that I would deem usable as miniatures.

There was one Grimgor Ironhide, the Model looked very close to the Original, I am sure that this model has been scanned, and here is another point - you might be able to scan with your phone, but the quality will (as far as I know) not good enough to print the results right away. You will have to smooth it in a software and prepare it for printing. A real 3D Scanner will help a lot, but you would have to buy it too.

Yes, many Miniature Companies have taken the step to sculpt their miniatures digitally, true - but I think you can say: "We all have access to green stuff, and there can be done awesome things with green stuff" - the tools are here for us to use, but not all of us are able to form a ball of green stuff to something that has the quality that is sold by Mierce.

I think the same might be said about 3D printing, even if we all had access to a 3D Printer, we would need a sculpting Software (yes, there are free ones, but as far as I have seen ZBrush seems to be the most widespread and would be another investement) we would need the skill to use it to produce the desired results, and we would need filmament every time we would like to print a miniature.

That Miniature would have to be prepared (at least sanded) to be primed and painted, a very costly Miniature (but it would be your own) - there is a reason that Mierce prints the Miniatures and molds them to produce Resin Miniatures, if a printed Miniature was cheaper and easier to produce we would be offered to order them.

https://www.cgtrader.com/3d-print-model ... et-printed

$74.07 to get him printed, I guess buying him would be cheaper ;D.

A link to a printing company for a price guide is not useful, the cost to print it yourself is a fraction of this..you only need to pay for the raw the material cost.

You are absolutly right, it wasn´t a good example, it was just a Miniature where we have a real model as reference, but the price isn´t realy realistic for the example, sorry about that!

I am not saying that we will never be able to print our own miniatures, but I don´t see that day in the near future. I have backed for a small 3D printer myself and I hope to be able to print conversion parts once it arrives.

But I don´t see us all (or myself, even if I will have that technology at hand sooner or later) printing our Miniatures at home anytime soon.

Do you know how I made a /1/960th scale Nacrissus 3D model?

Online...a free library

I then asked someone to convert it into Shapeway's particular file format in their forums, for free.
I had several volunteers...

I did this 4 years ago...FOUR YEARS!

Thats great and impressive, honestly! But I haven´t been able to find that many Miniatures as STL files, free or paid. And even if there had been I am sure that I wouldn´t have been able to find something like ONUMO :D. As I stated earlier, the Mass Market like Orks, Dwarfs, Elves, Gothic Space Knights, Wolf Space Knights, Evil Space Knights - I predict we will see many of those, but for something like Mierce Miniatures, well, if they don´t upload them themselfes or someone scans them without their permission, I don´t expect to see them any time soon.

So whilst I take you point we aren't there yet, we will be, and much sooner than a decade!

I agree, I don´t think we are far away, but we still have some way to go. Someone has to sculpt the models to print, someone who is skilled and talented. There will be quite a few that will do it for free, but if you have to pay for the file and the filament, and spend hours to prepare the miniature for painting (maybe in a material not as good for painting like metal or resin) the benefit might be minimal.

I agree with Yxalitis - 3D printing will change the Miniatures Market even more than it already has, but I agree with Seneca too - it will be a while before it hits our homes and even then we will still need Mierce and other companies to provide quality content (even if there are some skilled individuals that are able to sculpt for themselfes or that are offering files for free).

3D printing is another Medium for us to make our own models, like Green Stuff that has been around for decades - and how many of us are able to sculpt our own miniatures? A few are good enough but not everyone who has the possibility to take up a chunk of green stuff is able to transform it into the miniature of his dreams (I for one aren´t able to do that).

It is a very exciting and interesting topic, I have backed a small 3D printer and once it arrives I intend to use it to make some smaller conversion pieces (I don´t think I will be able to sculpt a full Miniature, but I might be able to produce an alternate Weapon or shield and some base decoration), for Mierce Miniatures too, when it is here I will tell you of my adventures here in this forum. I have high hopes, but only time will tell if those hopes are justified.
You can´t spell cOuNt crUshMOre without ONUMO!
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Re: 3D Print hobby impact

Postby Seneca » Sun May 29, 2016 7:22 pm

All in all I would say printing terrain looks good, which I appreciate, makes for a better looking table. Printing Miniatures, for now, really still too expensive.
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Re: 3D Print hobby impact

Postby Seneca » Sun May 29, 2016 7:36 pm

Where it could help would be conversions and sizing up or down.
Love to be able to size shields for example. But you'd still need a file.
Either you buy that, make it (complex) or scan it. Which means the invest now is a 3D printer, a tethered computer and a 3D scanner. Not really cheap anymore
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Re: 3D Print hobby impact

Postby CountCrushmore » Sun May 29, 2016 8:10 pm

Maybe - but there are already many smaller printers that might be just enough to do that. I´ve backed the OLO Kickstarter - a Smartphone based solution working with daylight resin, a very interesting technique. It will never be enough to make a whole miniature (that particular model, I am not saying that it will stay impossible forever) but I guess it might be enough to make those shields that you are refering to.

At least things like that are what I am planning to do, once I have it. I am very far away from being a real 3D Artist and will never be one, I am still a raw beginner but I think something like shields or simple weapons should be achievable. They are made of very simple shapes (not like the Miniatures themselves, organic structures are very hard to get right if you don´t know excactly what you are doing).

If you are able to find a reference Picture of for Example a Scutum you can get the proportions that you are looking for, block out the simpler structures like the enforced metal rim and the boss at the right positions in a modeling Package and use this base Model in sculpting Package to refine it, add details like nails, battle damage etc.

Those steps are what I have at least a basic idea how to get them done, the printing (and scaling of the 3D Object to fit for example a Mierce Legionarius) are still something that I have no clue about, but I will give it a try. If they keep their timeline it will be September (I am still positive, maybe some months more) I will give it a try and open a thread to tell you all of my adventures.

If it doesn´t work out, well - it wasn´t that great Investement. If it works out - well, that would be awesome (But I will still stay true to Mierce ;D).
You can´t spell cOuNt crUshMOre without ONUMO!
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Alex (ÉgB)
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Re: 3D Print hobby impact

Postby Alex (ÉgB) » Mon May 30, 2016 1:19 pm

I get precious little hobby time as it is - between modelling, painting and playing I don't have time to 3D print my own minis, I'd rather pay skilled people to do that part for me!
Érainn go Brách!

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Dave Fraser
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Re: 3D Print hobby impact

Postby Dave Fraser » Tue May 31, 2016 7:33 am

Like Alex I have no desire to learn how to do 3d printing. I know a few people who've played about with it and it's still a bit of a faff. Probably not far off being mass market now though so expect in the next few years this will definitely become a thing.

Ultimately Mierce is positioned at the 'premium quality' end of modelling and I think that will be to their advantage. sure you can churn out a model with ease but with the fine level of detail that resin gives, not sure it's happening all that quickly.

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