3D Printing as the Future of TableTop

Well, I looked into it more and went ahead and bought a Prusa Mini, there’s a several week wait time for it, but it looked like the absolute best plug-and-play option to go with, Ender would have been cheaper but ultimately not worth my time to wrestle into shape.

Looking forward to it and have spent some time learning Blender to make some of my own sculpts, 3d software has become a lot more user-friendly since I last used it in my animation degree 10 years ago. Movement trays are easy enough, I’m thinking of designing a custom display board as a larger project. Mostly just looking through all the terrain out there, Ulvheim buildings are going straight on the print list as the best free terrain I’ve found.


Just out of curiosity, is it not possible to do some editing with say blender to make multiple poses from monopose files?

I have very little knowledge of 3D printing + modeling outside of the basic bioprinting course I took a few years back so I only have a vague conception of all the work that goes into it all haha.

Yes, you can repose models before printing as long as you’re willing to invest the time to learn how. Not all STLs are created equal so the level of effort varies.

I’m working on my first sculpts, a Bloodletter for 40k:

Also remixed some Bloodthirsters.


Impressive! I like the stockier bloodletter.

At the moment, 3D printing is a hobby level too far for me but I imagine the bar to entry will continue to drop and that at some point I’ll give it a go.


Thanks! I’m satisfied with it so far as my first sculpt.

Yeah, the barrier for entry for 3D printing gets less intense all the time. It is a lot of work but I find that it’s worth it to me.

However, it seems like having a printer is much the same as owning a pickup truck. Instead of people wanting you to help them move, they want you to print off some models for them. LoL

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Very cool Vigo! I imagine that it also feels pretty special having your own unique sculpt, I know the first major conversion project I did felt really good at least and this seems like it would feel similar.

Looking at the prices and how steadily more affordable it is getting is very exciting. I really want to step into the realm of 3d printing once I get a stable job, unfortunately that make take another two-three years. Oh well, more time for it to become easier to get into :slight_smile:

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Thanks! Yes, it is very satisfying. Once I fully develop the skillset, my wargaming will only be limited by my imagination.

Well, based on the advances of the printers coming out this winter compared to what was available last winter, you’ll have excellent choice of machine in a couple years.

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Nice upscaled Arty Guild demons (pretty sure!), great smooth paint as well. Bloodletter is looking great!

And I can dig the pickup reference. I just printed a bunch of counts as blood worms for my brother - seriously, find a model for those has been driving me crazy (and fishing lures don’t count), until we realized that I could just print dozens of grubby things now - and am interested in whatever my clubmates throw at me. Otherwise I’m not doing much printing right now, my backlog is big enough and I want to get some painting done :frowning:

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Yes, the Artisan Guild minis scale really well. I added some wings from another file from Archvillain I believe, possibly Comet Lord (can’t remember off hand).

Yeah, I will was printing constantly when I first got the printer but now it sits dormant unless I need something. Just another hobby tool now.

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Due to a fortunate turn of events, I will most likely be in possession of a creality ld002r resin printer by the end of the month, which I’m quite excited about. Any tips for starting out from the vets in this thread?

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Off the top of my head…
Auto supports are a dead end if you’re a quality junkie. Learn to support your own files.
Siraya Fast is your pony for resin. Green or black because they are dyed instead of pigmented.
Slow your lift speed to 35-40mm/min. Stock settings are usually way too fast and cause failures and reduce quality.
A box of Zeiss Lens Wipes are super convenient for cleaning.
Build a curing box. Aluminum foil all the inside of a cardboard box, and point a UV lamp into it.
Cleaning parts is important. Denatured alcohol followed by a water rinse is stellar. Let dry completely before curing. Or else.


Thanks Vigo! I’m watching tutorials and playing around with supports, its quite a relaxing exercise haha.

I’ll definitely take your tips into account when printing, very practical stuff! They don’t seem to have siraya anywhere local (and resin in general is expensive here unless I buy from amazon and I refuse to do that) but I’ll see what some of other options are and read up on them.

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The YouTube channel for 3D Printer Pro is, in my opinion, the best for learning the methodology of supports for maximum quality. However, it depends on your personal preference as far as what you want out of your prints. I’m hyper-anal about print quality so my workflow is based around that. My other friend is content with “good enough” so his workflow is very different than mine and is faster.

Another bonus tip for your build plate size is to change your lift distance from 5mm to 4mm. It has no noticeable effect on the print other than shaving a bit of time off the total print.

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That’s the channel I’ve been watching :slight_smile: Glad to hear it’s the right track ^.^

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I’ve had a FDM printer for a few months now and I got a resin printer last week. I can say without a shadow of a doubt 3D printing is not the future of tabletop gaming. My experience with both is that they require you to be tech savvy enough to trouble shoot problems and fix small hiccups. The average person is simply not able to do that and won’t want to mess with 200 degree metal to clear clogs. And resin is a compete ball ache to deal with that it would require a complete reinvention of the technology to make it work. It would need to have resin work like a printer cartridge, remove it’s self from the build plate, wash and cure it’s self all internally. Anything less and people aren’t going to be willing to go through with all the hassle of it. I can see FDM printers being used to make terrain in the future, but that’s something the 1 hobbyist guy in a group can do on his own rather than the whole group

The way I see it is a technical hobby. Similar to building a computer, where the average person will stick to tablets and smart phones instead. And building a PC doesn’t have you fishing round toxic chemicals when your print fails…

Realistically the future of tabletop gaming is the internet. Kids aren’t interested in learning the warhammer rules when they can load up Total Warhammer on their PC for a 1/10th of the price and none of the hassle. I’m picking up a new TCG and I’m feeling the digital pull over real world scarcity and having to self manage everything. Not only is it easier but I can find opponents around the clock, so I can play at 3am on a Wednesday night if I fancy it… Looking at kids today who are more invested in youtubers than their own family and it’s difficult to see any sort of gaming community forming. The only exception maybe a gaming-cafe but even those I’m unsure of. High streets are dying out because the internet replaced them so who’s going to drop into those cafes? The future of miniatures as I see it is an artistic hobby. Focus will shift away from at least wargaming and board gaming will become dominant as the go to dice rollers. But they will be less serious and more pick up and play. I suspected this pre-covid and I can’t see it having improved any from all the problems gaming clubs/shops normally suffer from let alone that bomb shell.

I continue to have problems printing thin sculpts, going to drop my lift speed (from the stock 100?!) and see if that helps. Does this wildly slow down the printing process?

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“Wildly” is a strong word but it certainly does increase the time required however it’s not terrible. On the flip side, it’s much faster than reprinting. :sunglasses:

Yeah, 100mm/min is WAY too fast. My machine’s stock setting was also at 100, and I experienced failures on thin parts as well. I use 35mm/min now as my standard for 0.04mm layer height.

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FDM looks like a headache to me. :grin: In my opinion resin is more straightforward but there’s certainly a learning curve there too. I’ve been printing for almost a year and I just recently considered myself proficient at the skill.
We’re also still very early into resin printers for home use, the price only got approachable for most people last year and we’re just now seeing dedicated technology come out for it (mono screens) because manufacturers are seeing a genuine market for it. We’ll have to see how the landscape looks in a couple years. One avenue people can access is the print farm startups on sites like Etsy so that is changing what miniatures people can get. As printers get faster and cheaper, I think you’ll see fewer companies using metal and plastic to create their minis as well.

Got my Prusa Mini a few weeks back, was easy to assemble in under an hour (4 screws + plug a few wires in) and it has worked flawlessly since, the first layer calibration took 3 attempts (about 10 minutes) to get right and since then it’s been as simple as pressing print and leaving it to it.

I haven’t even bothered to clean the print surface or anything, and I’m running it at below recommended ambient temperature. Still just works great despite the lazy approach, I’m impressed!

Overall, I’d say that my experience with it is that it is way easier than the internet makes it out to be, but then I did spend extra specifically to buy an easy-to-use printer.

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