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How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain?
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TOPIC: How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain?
#48114
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 10 Months ago  
It's now on CNN!

This technology already exists! With time, its price can only go down...
biowizard
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#48121
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 10 Months ago  
Imagine, eventually nanotechnology will allow our miniatures to both move and be sentient.. haha.

3D printing isn't going to kill anything, it is going to make the hobby very deep.
sbrndf11
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#48142
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 10 Months ago  
pretty kool....but I don't think it will ever be able to make miniature terrain less costly to make...and if it does it will not be the same quality or material...but if I am still wrong, and we go out of business because folks start copying via 3-D computers rather than patronizing us...well, it's been a nice run. If we had more collectors, there still might be enough loyalists to keep us in business I would hope because if not, well, our creative designs would stop, and that would obviously mean that folks who wanted to 3-D copy our pieces would now be limited to older designs as new designs would cease...well, except for my personal home grown one's, which i would keep making....perhaps in that instance I would sell "masters" a set of the designs for 3-D copying/scanning to use at higher prices? Also, one would still have to paint them If they wanted real beautiful color work....it reminds me of when photography came out, folks predicted it would be the end of paintings...
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Stefan Pokorny

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#48154
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 10 Months ago  
I think there's a long way to go before the technology is actually practical, and even then I don't think DF has anything to worry about.

But I do think that 3D-printed custom minis --at whatever price -- are coming. It might be a tech generation or Tw away, but I think we'll see it sooner than later.
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#48224
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 10 Months ago  
What if a 3D printer could produce something firm enough to hold a shape, but soft enough to sculpt?

Would that be the best of both worlds -- computer precision for edges and seams and joints, with hand-carved details and artistry -- or would it be... wrong?

And does the production process -- with molding imperfections and potential warp during drying -- eliminate the advantages of CAD modeling and computer guided mechanical precision?
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#48239
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 10 Months ago  
The current Kickstarter is a good example of the use of 3D technology right now. They do use 3D printing for their prototypes. What is good about it - they are able to show a castle and not just some plans.

BUT - they also try now - after they have already the prototypes and could produce - to get the money together to get it produced in China.

Why?

Cost - simple. It is too expensive to print them. I did read in one review - 20 minutes later and you have a bottle opener. This was a cheap printer - one everyone could afford.

The problem for production - how many bottle openers are the equivalent of a room and passage set? How many hours of printing would it take. Yes - there are faster, more precise printers - but they are still a lot more expensive to buy.

The true strengths is in low numbers. You can't get 5 sets of something very special produced in China. Customization etc.
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#52980
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
Not to be a too much of a necromancer and bring back a thread from the past, but...

I think there is something to the statement early on about 3-D affecting minis and terrain the way high quality printing would affect the sales of books.

But high quality personal ink printers has allowed companies like Fat Dragon Games (friends of mine, but I have no financial interest in their company) to design terrain pieces and sell the pdf's which can then be printed out at home on cardstock.

There is also the possibility of one-off pieces, such as a throne room's particular decoration, or particular artifacts or even creatures.

As cost comes down, materials improve, and innovations happen, I think there will be more impact than we can predict now. I also believe high quality pre-produced pieces like DF will also still be in demand.

If 3-D printing does take over the market, designing the terrain that people can then print out is an option, similar to above for paper.
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#52983
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I do not see 3-d printers ( even when the purchase cost gets very affordable) being able to compete with stefan's artistry and jeff's production capacity.

Where it will impact 3-d terrain is giving an individual the capacity to make a small number of addon peices for local dungeon flavour. This is already happening in the world of 40k - its not a big thing but the few people who want to add a few specialized peices will be able to do so.

The production and quality combo of dwarvenite and resin are going to be tough to compete with on a business aspect. I doubt DF has anything to be concerned about - nothing out there competes on a level feild with products like den of evil or catacombs on the high end or the low cost & durability of dwarvenite on the mid price point.
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#52988
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
My 2cp:

As cool as the tech is, there are still a of of things to consider.

1) Cost of materials, which, even if they go down, are still gonna be a lot

2) Time to actually plot out the design. I've worked with computers for over 20 years, and I couldn't make a straight line in a CAD program if my life depended upon it.

3) Time to produce. Those printers are awesome...and ridiculously slow. It takes a LONG time to make a single piece. To make anything worth while would be weeks, if not months.

If you wanted to do this for yourself, there are less costly and easier ways to do it.

This is partially the reason why I never took the plunge with HA stuff.

If some company came out and began to mass produce, I would probably check it out, and look, say, "Aww that's nice," and then go right back to DF.

DF is quality. It's beautiful. It is strong. It lasts.

Stefan is already taking steps to change with the times (Dwarvenite,) and still, 17 years later, continues to produce the best there is
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#52997
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
A few points...

1. 3D printing and CAD are different animals. They dovetail beautifully, but you can also scan things and make (depending on resolution) exact duplicates. Stefan could conceivably sculpt incredibly detailed or complex pieces, scan them, and see them churned out on a 3DP, with no variation from his hand-crafted originals.

What, then, is the qualitative difference between sculpting a master and making a mold from it, and sculpting a master and scanning it? Whether you cast from a mold or print from a scan file, you are still getting a faithful reproduction of the original master. Which can still be pre-painted by hand, or sold unpainted.

2. When we talk about costs, we aren't just comparing materials, we are also talking about shipping every single set from China to America or Europe by boat, and creating soft molds that have to be replaced or hard molds that cost $10K, and trips to China to get a new product line running, and the difference between painting locally versus overseas.

When we talk about production speed, we need to ask how quickly DF sets are actually produced now (including the time it takes to ship them from China) and how fast they need to be produced in an equilibrium market. If a set can be produced via 3DP in a few days, and DF only sells that set once a week, that works. If a set takes a week to be produced via 3DP, and DF sells three of that set per day, it doesn't. But we should expect 3DP to get faster, not slower.

3. Why do so many of us seem to think that successful 3DP somehow equals the demise of Dwarven Forge?

I think it could open exciting new possibilities. The trick is to recognize them, or imagine them. 3DP might allow for complex shapes that can't be molded easily. If production were local, DF might be able to make smaller orders, or orders with more of the product line represented. DF might be able to license production by individual country, eliminating customs and international shipping costs forever.

That's not going to happen anytime soon, but imagine the possibilities!
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#53002
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
What ended up happening to the guy who wanted to make 3D printers illigal because those twits made a working gun with one?

.
dafrca
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#53012
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 4 Months ago  
I remember having pen plotters and 20K personal computers, Daisey wheel printers and the first inkjets that were so slow and garbage quality... and 12K.... The other day I bought a B&W Laser printer new on Ebay with cartridge for $79 that prints lightning fast.
Everything changes.... But.... 3d printers are just tools.... as they and the software gets better there will be more opportunities for every step of the process of creating.
There are 3d printers that make wax parts that are ten finnished by human hands to make investment castings which in turn become masters for spin casting and similar processes. CNC mold making is getting better as well and I've seen stainless steal sintered molds made for short run Injection molding where small runs of 10-25K parts are needed.

Again its all Art in the end...your going to find what you like and pay something for something.
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