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"General Disappointment with 3D Printed Scenery" Topic

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We deal in LEAD mister19 Nov 2022 7:59 a.m. PST

I'm curious what others have experienced with purchasing 3D printed scenery. My first experience was a good one. I bought a 28mm French ruined chateau model from a guy off ebay. The seller was a gamer and the model was just beautiful. However, one thing I noticed was my 28mm figures (Perry and Offensive BTW) could not get thru the front door without bending over. Strange, so I wrote the seller and he said he'd print another one at cost at a lager scale. Well that one was perfect, but if foreshadowed my issue.

I would say since then I've bought about 20 different house, churches, etc. Purchased ones from the US, Australia, UK, France. About 90% are printed at too small of a scale. More of a 20mm than 28mm size. The last experience was with a guy in France. I wrote him and said my 28mm figures could fit thru the front door. His reply was Americans were picky and scale didn't matter in France (which is ironic as he sold the same model in different scales!). I think either the model these printers are buying are out of scale and they're not checking their printed product, or they're saving time and money by printing at a reduced scale. I should say I have not had similar issues with 3D printed vehicles. Most of the vehicles I've bought have been very accurate in therms of scale.

What's been your experience? Who have you had good luck with? I've thought about buying myself a printer, but don't really have the time or space for one.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Nov 2022 8:08 a.m. PST

I notice a LOT of buildings, whether resin, laser cut or 3D printed all have the same issue.

In general buildings for war games are usually under sized to keep the foot print reasonable, and doors and windows shrunk to match.

If that really matters to you, then specify the height of the door you want and have it printed at the appropriate size.

jgawne19 Nov 2022 9:39 a.m. PST

Most printers are pretty small, and if you can shrink the house to fit on your build plate, its a big deal. Of course, the true answer is to buy a printer yourself and control it all. But A lot of people do seem to measure by how hig a door is. Mind you, medieval people were much shorter…

Arjuna19 Nov 2022 9:56 a.m. PST

However, depending on the era, windows and doors used to be smaller in the past, so that less heat is lost.
Bow your head or chop more wood.
Not to forget, glass panes for smaller windows were easier to be made. And they are sturdier.
Larger panes weren't even possible to manufacture for most of the time.
So maybe it's not intentional, but the manufacturers of some of these models may have done something right.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2022 10:40 a.m. PST

I've been happy with 3D printed figures, objectives and smaller terrain bits, but my preferred building is pdf paper on foam core--cheap, light, sturdy, and I can adjust size to taste.

emckinney19 Nov 2022 11:56 a.m. PST

Many files for 3D models are intended to be scaled slightly (up to =/-15% or so) for different printers, etc. Some are simply intended to be printed at a certain scale, for reasons that I don't understand.

Royal Air Force19 Nov 2022 1:52 p.m. PST

I have found that the scale of stl files sold as 28mm vary wildly, depending on the designer. Some are not even close and I have to adjust the scale before printing. I'm sure some of the commercial printers run into the same issue, especially if it's from an outside designer.

Mr Elmo19 Nov 2022 4:43 p.m. PST

The terrain I've printed has been sized well. My main complaint is on FDM quality. My resin scatter terrain is fine.

Scaling is a constant issue but I can measure in the slicer so there is not much trial and error. After a while I just know my infantry at 110% Z axis matches warlord's and 94% overall makes good vehicles.

Printing services are not subject matter experts but people printing their own work should know better. Perhaps you can tell the seller: scale the model so doors are 33mm high. Each axis can be stretched separately so it might look good without affecting the footprint.

Royal Air Force19 Nov 2022 5:48 p.m. PST

The files from Hartolia Miniatures are all over the map scale wise

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Nov 2022 3:54 a.m. PST

This is a true issue and as a semi pro printer I have to constantly check the scale of one of the lines I print. The other two lines are fine. I don't print scenery though. I think that is better left to fdm printers.

Mr Elmo21 Nov 2022 4:27 a.m. PST

semi pro printer

I haven't seen "pro painted" in a long time. Do we have a new category: "pro printed"? 😝

I guess "pro painted" is now "used, ready for stripping."

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Nov 2022 4:39 a.m. PST

By Semi-Pro I mean I have 7 printers and over 300 items to print listed on my website and eBay.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Nov 2022 3:50 a.m. PST

It is usually the seller, not the painter that uses the term 'pro painted' and, while I'd agree that it doesn't ensure quality, it doesn't exclude it either.

As one who did paint figures as a business at one time it was an unfortunate and meaningless epithet we had to live with, though I suspect many sellers did not intend deception. If you look at other uses of 'professional' in today's world it most commonly means that you paid someone else to do it and nothing more.

Albus Malum22 Nov 2022 4:03 p.m. PST

THe scale of things is always a issue, buy a 28mm miniature, it may be anywhere between 25 and 35mm. buy a 15mm miniature, it may be between 14 and 20mm, same with 10mm miniatures, maybe they are 12mm in reality. There is no easy fix to this problem other than to print everything your self and carefully scale things to as close as you can accept, as even then, something in the x dimension may be inaccurate in the z axis, and maybe trying to fix it breaks the symmetry. Try scaling a mini with a round sheild differently in the x vx wy vx z axis, your round shield may now be a oval. here is no easy solution. Even if you digitally designed all of your own stuff, you will still likely have scaling or symmetry problems.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Nov 2022 1:28 p.m. PST

Real houses are massive.

A small real house has a typical 6*8 footing, which translates to 11*16cm. Large ones easily double that size. Its hard to get tabletop houses that match a realistic style, so most houses are really small.

With our Balkenheim campaign, the 1:100 houses looked in size similar to some of the 1:54 on the market. Printing them was a long procedure in the 20+ hours area.

For scaling:

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2022 3:31 p.m. PST

My experiences have been fantastic sculpts and designs, which I can't find elsewhere, in any other medium. However… The 28mm mini's have been terrible at breaking off at the ankles, when dropped three feet onto a concrete floor (by accident)!

There are softer, more resilient resins available, but they're much more expensive to use. There are many people mixing the brittle resins with the resilient resins (75% and 25%), but I don't think that is enough, or the mini's I've bought, have all been the 199% brittle resins? Not sure.

I only use 3D printed stuff to fill in gaps, for the most part. As such, I am more tolerant of my brittle mini's, but it is a real deterrent, for me. Chees!

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