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How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain?
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TOPIC: How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain?
#53025
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Digital music, print on demand, 3d printers, kickstarter...

I see all of these as part of the same wave, a massive democratization of creation and distribution... No longer do large entities get to dictate what we read, what we listen to or what toys we get ;)

The upside to this is obvious, vastly more choices (overwhelmingly so sometimes) and more unique items. The downside is a lot of that even those with no talent have access to the means of production (look at how much BAD desktop publishing is out there). But now, those choices lie with us and we can embrace and support what we like and ignore the rest.

There is still a place in this world for well run businesses of any size to continue to produce premium goods. In the future, those that succeed best will be those that (like Dwarven Forge, Paizo and others) create open lines of communication between management and the consumer base and are quick and responsive to the wants and needs of their fans.

This is a very interesting time to be living in, and i am thankful for all the options we have. From a 2 million dollar kickstarter, to a $30 glowing fire pit... We are all very lucky!
kitenerd
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#53034
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Star Trek style replicators within 100 years?
Make mine an Earl Gray, hot.

3D printers are the next industrial revolution man! At the moemnt you need £5000.00 to buy a half decent one but as we all know, this will just get cheaper and cheaper. Eventually they'll be like microwaves - every house will have one.

Dave
David Wasilewski
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#53039
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I believe in a few years 3D printing will get cheap enough that people will be able to "pirate" Stephan's Game tiles.

However people pirate Music and pdf's of books all the time, and music and publishing companies are still making profits. If done correctly you can use pirating to your advantage.

An example: the exposure of these Kick starter game tiles at gaming tables will probably drive sales at DF for some time. Even if someone printed up pirated game tiles others will see how neat they are and they might actually buy DF's professional tiles.

An Idea! DF could release a quarterly "printable" game piece/ dungeon dressing. This could be something not worth putting into production but might be neat to have in our dungeons. Could be a good way to get the word out about DF tiles.
tangleknot
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#53042
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I'm actually very curious to see what is going to happen in intellectual property law, software protection, and watchdog software in relation to 3D scanning and printing.

DF sets have already been pirated. Someone tried to sell unpainted recasts on eBay years ago, but got shut down pretty quickly.
jackattack
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#53056
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Most technology goes through three stages:

* Enthusiast: Expensive. Hobby. Small quantities.
* Business: Business application. Large quantities. Reduction in prices.
* Consumer: Home and entertainment. Large quantities. Low prices.

It's pretty obvious 3D printing is in the Enthusiast stage. And I doubt printing miniatures would have much business application! 3D printing's strengths are customized unique items. Prototyping has been mentioned, but 3D printing can be used to create parts that have a business demand but mass-creation is not economical. Biodegradable medical stents customized for patients, parts for unique machinery (eg. spaceships), and obsolete designs (eg. last decade's boutique cabinet knobs). AFAIK, Currently, you have to hire someone to specially make these sort of things. Maybe in the future, mechanics will print out an auto part so he doesn't have to special order a part for his client's car.
ced1106
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#53058
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
At present the most affordable 3D printers only work in various plastics and are the extrusion deposition types. Their level of detail varies by printer model, but some have gotten pretty good. The cheapest I know of is as little as 400 US (probably not awesome on speed or quality though). A decent model can be had for 1500 US. The coolest applications for 3D printers are likely still emerging.

There are models that can actually print in some metals. One company even has a NASA grant for FOOD printers! There are even a couple types that will print in up to 14 different materials allowing for moving parts and multiple layers. There is definitely some awesome potential there for many business applications. I think some types of 3D printing are still at a minimum a decade from homes. Other types could be showing up in a decent number in five years I think.

Three-d printing is already viable for many business applications, prototyping and fast parts for repair being the best two right now. I think we will all be a bit surprised by what happens with it in the next few years. The rate it has been improving at is impressive. If you do some digging you might be surprised with what you find out.
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My players rue the day I bought "Dragon Mountain". Ever since they give every creature a bit more respect. You never know when the GM will decide that this group is crafty...
 
#53065
Re:How Will 3D Printing Affect Miniatures & Terrain? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I recently used a 3d printing house to create a custom "medal" award for someone on my sales team. It was printed in "durable" hard plastic as a proof and then reprinted in solid silver. Both the proof and silver final award including shipping cost $320. I find that incredibly inexpensive for what we did. I work for the largest IT company in the world in terms of dollars. Google it. Another hint we became famous and grew by selling ink to the millions of printers we have sold since the 90s. With that said we just released 15 new 3d printers for mass production uses 3 different methods to "feed" the plastic. Internally we are focused on bringing it to mass market by 2020. With that said the marketing behind the project and the projections of cost etc. work out like this.

Today you can buy a Christmas tree ornament for 8-10 that is fairly nice and somewhat artistic. An unique artist ornament is in the range of a few hundred. We want to provide software to make it easy to produce a product similar in quality to a fairly nice ornament that looks close to an original artist created ornament for around $25. We are not working towards teh goal of making everything easy to record and reproduce for pennies but this will change the way we purchase things. For items that do not get purchased in high volume or that could be customized we will create an "app" store to buy digital 3d models to print at home. silverware, plates, ornaments, little statues etc. In my opinion this is the "mixx" tape of the 80s that we all made with our tape recorders. This did not diminish music only increase it because at the end of the day we all wanted teh originals once we got teh mixx tape. Same with digital music, vhs tapes etc.


There will always be folks to try to steal and ways to steal easier with technology. In the end if you want new products that are innovative and high quality nothing beats buying from the artist directly.

My long winded take on this is that it will not harm DF only make them better. If we execute on our vision and DF executes on theirs it woudl be the right timing. 25th anniversary of DF....
Shadox
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We Search our whole life never finding what we were searching for...
Over 143 Sets (Expanding), 300+ Loose Pieces (Expanding), 11,000 plastic figures (Expanding), 1,000 metal figures (350 actually painted)
 
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