Help support TMP


"What will the future hold?" Topic


45 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please do not use bad language on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the 3DPrinting Message Board


Areas of Interest

General

Featured Hobby News Article


Featured Link


Featured Profile Article

Visiting Reaper - 2000!

The Editor takes a virtual tour of Reaper's new offices.


Current Poll


784 hits since 16 Mar 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse16 Mar 2023 9:37 p.m. PST

Manufacturers have gone from having to design, mould and cast, paint, package and sell a figure.

Then they dropped the painting.

Now, with 3d printing, they drop the moulding and casting and packaging.

With only design and selling left, what's next?

Perhaps companies will sell us the licence to design and make our own figures.

What was a bit pokey and jokey, just got real.

It sounds realistic to me that that may be the next step.

You just pay a $1 USD licence fee online, and then you can make your own darn figure.

Want a space marine? Pay GW $10 USD and you can figure out the rest yourself.

Titchmonster16 Mar 2023 11:14 p.m. PST

I'll atill spend more for lead. And when they all go plastic, I hope my mountain is high enough to last me a long long time. Buildings I have no problem with 3D.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse17 Mar 2023 2:05 a.m. PST

I don't think metal will ever go out of fashion. In fact I think it's more plastic is a current fad. It'll sick around, just not as popular or widly used as it is.

You can get plastic rings after all. But metal ones are still preferred by most women.

Still, I'm probably more ticked off about the buildings. They are the easiest things to make, why print them? They take ages and waste a lot of material. Then you have lines and limited variety and all the technical issurs. Baffling.

Robert Johnson17 Mar 2023 5:53 a.m. PST

You only get lines with filament printers, resin printers are fine.

There are hundreds of .stl files for buildings, so variety isn't a problem.

I'd rather print than build, and it's cheaper than buying commercial items.

I'm struggling to see a downside to 3D printing.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 6:27 a.m. PST

I think 3D will replace it all.

So you design a new 28mm widget. In 3D you put the STL up for sale. If it doesn't sell, you're only out your time. If you want to cast it, you print a master. Make a mold. That's what, $150 USD? $200 USD now? And you need equipment that runs in to the thousands. Now you cast a little inventory. And if it doesn't sell….

But it does sell. Yay! Now you have equipment you need room for, and a place to store all your molds. My ACW range is tiny and the molds take up 3 normal file boxes. Just imagine the storage space needed for big outfits like QRF/Freikorp, Old Glory, Foundry etc. All that goes away and is replaced with….a laptop. Or a small room with a few 3D printers (which are now cheap as chips relatively).

I just ordered a bunch of HO scale kits. A water tower, town park and watchtower. They were all 3D printed. Ditto for a few Battletech mechs. And a batch of Opel Blitz trucks….

Just a painter17 Mar 2023 6:54 a.m. PST

The packaging part is gone for the most part to me. Foundry, Irregular, Essex, etc-all orders come to me in plastic baggies with the number of the item written in marker. I only purchase metal minis, but did buy a few Warlord resin models a few months ago because I liked the models, they were good, painted up well, lots of detail. Metal will be a thing of the past, sadly.

Perris070717 Mar 2023 7:41 a.m. PST

Comparing the detail achievable on the resin printed 28mm Arab lancers for the Crusades era with the detail achievable on metal Gripping Beast figures for the same time period, then resin is hands down WAY better than metal. You can print details that metal casting simply cannot due to the laws of physics. The thing that metal does have a significant advantage in is durability. I got some resin figures and broke swords, hands, javelins, feet, straps, and several other items when removing the supports. Now I did find that soaking the models in hot water for a bit lessened this greatly, the weapons are still very prone to breaking. Judging by the wargame armies that I have seen at conventions, clubs, and online with bent or broken weapons on metal figures, resin figures will not be great options for armies that get a lot of use. Artistically and realistically (in terms of anatomy) they are exponentially better than metal. I just got some 15mm Crusader knights in the mail, and I was stunned at the detail on both horse and rider. Especially the weapons, reins, and stirrups. Amazing!

captaincold6917 Mar 2023 8:59 a.m. PST

I'm just waiting for print-n-play 3d printing then I'm all in. For now, Etsy gets 95% of my miniature spending. I'm more loyal to my wallet than a metal/plastic mini manufacturer.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 9:28 a.m. PST

3D printing will overtake metal miniatures at some point in time. It may be the next generation of gamers, but it will happen. Color airplanes are already being printed. Full color soldiers that are 3D printed are just a matter of time as well.

DeRuyter Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 10:58 a.m. PST

Ditto to what Extra Chrispy and 79th PA said.

To add on the licensing bit. You can buy a commercial license to print figures from a sculptor/designer now, so any Joe with a couple of 3d printers can print and sell on Etsy (Re comment above).

Also sculptors/designers will no longer require a manufacturer for employment. Go to Wargaming 3d or My Mini Factory and you'll see this in action. Frankly the majority of my figure purchases are stl files to print. Some of those are free! I also support several designers through Patreon. Example on the economics: A certain company sells 1/300 scale WWII ships. A certain type costs $40 USD for 2 models. I paid $5 USD for the file to 3d print the same model. Now I can print however many ships I need. (In this case 6).

The issue now with 3d printing is the time to master the learning curve and having space to dedicate to a workspace.

BTW – People are selling files for figures that look a lot like space marines or stormtroopers and you don't have to pay GW anything!

SBminisguy17 Mar 2023 12:01 p.m. PST

Full color soldiers that are 3D printed are just a matter of time as well.

That will usher in a whole new renaissance in tabletop wargaming.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 12:11 p.m. PST

3D printing, however, still has not solved the #1 problem for gamers and that is painting the figures! I know several gamers who have 3D printers and it's only made their problem worse by being able to print more and more figures that just get added onto the pile of unpainted houses, figs, etc.

jgawne17 Mar 2023 3:12 p.m. PST

As I am in the middle of cleaning up from a big resin printing failure I shall take some time to respond.

I admit I really like plastic figures over lead. I've been doing lead forever and have many heavy boxes of them. I like what plastic allows you to do with bits and such. But now I have a resin printer (hooray!) and what you can get is quite amazing. Most 3D STLs are currently related to D&D, WH, or 40K. But in the last year I have seen some amazing historical ranges pop up. There was a recent kickstarter for WW2 IJA figures that, while I have zero interest in the army, I was still tempted to get them anyway.


Now, I have not yet mastered melding 3D bits together in the computer, but when I do I am sure I will be even more pro printing. Yes, resin 3D is messy and problematic, but nothing like what it was a few years ago, and just keeps getting better.

I do not think it is that far off for companies that an IP, like 40K or some specific game, to license people to print in their own universe, and advertise with the brand name. Right now you can buy Star Trek branded figures and files- Paramount does not make them, they license the rights to a 3rd party. So technically that is being done now.

forrester17 Mar 2023 3:31 p.m. PST

Ive only had two encounters with printed figures- I was very impressed with the first set, but the second had lots of fragile appendages many of which broke off while trying to release them from the strange web that imprisoned them, despite me trying to be ultra careful. So much repair work was needed that it put me off. Id still go down that route if it was obvious that it was an easy figure with no vulnerable bits.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse17 Mar 2023 5:10 p.m. PST

I guess your right.

Printing your own hopefully colour, miniatures at home will kill off metal and most manufacturers.

In exactly the same way printing your own Magic cards at home on ridiculously cheap colour printers and easily available card killed Wizards of the coast, RIP.

Sad, but true…

Well I (anyone) can make a building for basically no cost at all. Using materials you probably throw away, card, foam, plastic gubbins.

3d printing takes, well a 3d printer, to begin with and a modern computer, $$$$$. Not to mention material.

A couple of hot glue sticks, few tablespoons of cheap pva, cheap paint. Maybe $2 USD a building, like a 28mm house .

Plus there's the key word, hobby, not push a button after paying lots of money. That's not a hobby, that's a scam.

I was looking into havins some figures designed for 3d printing and almost died at the price. $1,000 USDs for a 28mm figure!!?? That was a quote I got, 6000 from memory, for one figure!! I think I'll stick to physical sculpts.

Metal will never be a thing of the past. They said lead would be, but it's still in figures today. Composition? No, a toy company was/is making that (compressed saw dust and a glue, at least, within the decade).

Resin can hold better detail, but the other issues out weigh it. It's kind of stuck in limbo between metal and plastic.

The problem with not paying GW or others anything, is then they can't pay people to design stuff and their universe stops. Then another company steps in and space marines/what have you are old hat as their new model designs take over.

They have had pre coloured figures for ever. 3d ones will still suffer as any.

No, wait, again, your right!!! Just like no one prints at home in black and white any more. Gosh I miss those black ink cartridges. Oh, well…

I can help out with the unpainted 3d pile in Oz. Painted a 10mm vampire army that I'm still impressed by, among others. They look great. Loads of rods to remove though.

evilgong17 Mar 2023 5:43 p.m. PST

hi there

>>>>>

Full color soldiers that are 3D printed are just a matter of time as well.

That will usher in a whole new renaissance in tabletop wargaming.

>>>>>>>>>>


Full-colour 3D printed figs already exist.

Check out model railway suppliers who will sell you colour passengers railway staff, construction workers, passers by.

The cost is silly at this point (like much railway stuff) but like most new tech will presumably drop.

Full-colour 3d printers, from what I can see, are expensive specialist machines used by industry, architects and so on.

At the moment.

Regards

David F Brown

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse17 Mar 2023 9:03 p.m. PST

Its also a trick of perception.

Extruded 3d printing is really no different to what's been used to be industry for decades.

I guess "3d" is the topical part.

Look at biscuit and confectionery manufacturing. They have been computer controlled extruding things for years, even in 3d layers. Even in colour.

The only difference is one being plastic cord and the other mixed ingredients.

We have all pulled a soft serve in an eating establishment. Add a computer, been done for decades.

Biscuits, Candy, chocolates.

Then there's plastics and resins.

It's all nothing new. Just smaller with more layers and more complicated designs.

So how many still buy such foods, gifts and products from a store?? How's your confectionery making apparatus on your kitchen counter doing? Cadbury still in business? So on…

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse17 Mar 2023 9:12 p.m. PST

Actually, it's not about 3d printing or colour or plastic or metal.

It's simply about trademarks and othet IP.

GW (successfully??) sold a kitchen mug and a metal tin (think biscuit tin) in a boxed set as a water pot and a bits box.

If GW started selling metal space marines and discontinued the plastic ones people would buy them.

I remember people buying "fine cast" as if it was good.

If you get a Terminator T2 licence and make metal T-800s, people will buy them.

If you make a plastic or 3d printed "never heard of it", you may have disappointing sales.

Zephyr117 Mar 2023 10:10 p.m. PST

Give it time, in the next 10 years you will most likely be able to do 3D prints minis in a metal alloy… ;-)

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2023 4:55 a.m. PST

Great discussion and most interestingly mindful projections being forwarded too (some excellent "food for thought"). :)

Robert Johnson18 Mar 2023 5:19 a.m. PST

There are already BPF metal 3D FFF printers. It's now just another industrial process.

They are eye-wateringly expensive though.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse18 Mar 2023 5:31 a.m. PST

Australia has a super fast one for metal shown on ABC printing large pipe fittings.

3d printing metal figures kind of voids the point.

Prince August are still selling metal and moulds and kits, last I checked. That sounds more logical to me, for multiples of same figures at least, a heck of a lot quicker, no lines (except the mould line), choose metal, resin or other.

Also, the less parts, particularly moving parts, the less to go wrong with.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2023 7:12 a.m. PST

One of the 3D companies I am licensed to print and sell is now printing these same miniatures in metal. Is that full circle or what :)

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2023 7:15 a.m. PST

I gather that some/most commercial printers do not remove the spidery things we call supports in the trade. I always remove the supports from the body and horse. This is best done by placing the figures in a crock pot after they have been cleaned. I leave the heads, arms and shields on their supports. Takes more time but makes it easier for the customer.

Robert Johnson18 Mar 2023 7:38 a.m. PST

@H Man

You can continue trying to throw obstacles in the way of technology, but you're not going to stop it 🤣

UshCha18 Mar 2023 1:53 p.m. PST

What is the obsession with metal! I hate it heavy, bendable, kits needed to make a vehicle that never fit,turrets that fall off. They break/bend/chip if dropped. 3d prints, light, turrets key locked so unlikely to fall off, near indestructible, I have had my first brakage in ten years, printed a new turret so no biggie.
I must be a weirdo as I can't see any lines on an FDM print even 2 ft after its painted despite being told it should have them, perhaps I need binoculars to look at the model on table. And don't get me started on the inhuman poses of some metal an plastic figures, some of them are actually impossible, especially some of the Airfix ones. 3D prints can be anatomical correct. Metal is dead to me.

Zephyr118 Mar 2023 2:35 p.m. PST

Metal won't go brittle like some plastics, bleed chemicals like resins do, melt in some cases if the temperature gets too high, etc. Yeah, it might hurt if you drop them on your foot, or put your hand down on top of a pike block, or the cat sweeps them off a table with it's tail, sending them into a window (that breaks), so there's tradeoffs to everything. But hey, at least we are fortunate to have choices… ;-)

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse18 Mar 2023 3:12 p.m. PST

Keen to hear more of those metal figures. Maybe they make them as masters for traditional metal or resin casting?

Yes, all 3 main choices can have bg flash problems.

"You can continue trying to throw obstacles in the way of technology, but you're not going to stop it" Was this written while applying fancy lead make up and puffing on a slimming cigarette, during lunch brake in an asbestos factory? I guess you got me there.

Actually I was recently watching a docco short about some hospital radiation machine that was randomly eradeiating people, killing them. But no. Concord, that's where it must have been written, luxury, all the was down. Or the Hindenburg, perhaps? While deploying SWORDS in the Middle East? So on…

Metal is traditional, for a start, and natural. Yes it's not the best for larger pieces, unless designed and cast correctly. But then there aren't usually many large things in traditional armies.

Print lines depend on the printer being used.

I hate modern "anatomically correct" figures. Their faces are tiny and often essentially smooth, so there's no detail. I can't see the problem with metal figures most look logically anatomically correct to me. Dark sword, some reaper, spring to mind.

A cats tail will more easily fling plastic and modern resin figures.

Robert Johnson18 Mar 2023 3:30 p.m. PST

"You can continue trying to throw obstacles in the way of technology, but you're not going to stop it"

'Was this written while applying fancy lead make up and puffing on a slimming cigarette, during lunch brake in an asbestos factory? I guess you got me there.'

I have absolutely no idea what point you're trying to make here, so I'll ignore the implied ad hominem and put it down to confusion on your part due to an inability to follow an argument.

You seem to have a huge problem with 3D printing for some reason. Which is fine, but you're not going to change minds with your ranting.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse18 Mar 2023 4:51 p.m. PST

I was saying that you can very much stop technology.

It has a habit of creating it's own obstacles, but they can be manufactured also. Often in law.

So, yes, you can throw obstacles in the way of technology, and, yes, you can stop it.

The statement I was referencing was simply incorrect.

The main problem with 3d printing in its world domination attempt is the bread maker effect.

Back in the late 90s, maybe 2000s, bread makers were all the rage. Lots of lazy people bought one so you could make bread at home and not have to go to the shop to buy it…

Do people still have bread makers? I guess some of, they probably still sell them?? But it seems to have made zero difference to the bread being sold in shops.

Microwaves are another wizz bang product that I don't own. I've hardly ever used one.

Again TMs and IP.

Even with bread the names and ads are too strong. Accidents and illness made Concord and Tobacco poor choices.

People enjoy shopping. It's real. Like the cinema, or a festival or music concert. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel, the taste. Real.

3d printing, kitchen bench bread machine, microwave oven, all take the real out of things.

Perusing the shelves of minis, talking to the staff about new releases, having a go at New paints at the painting table, laughing at some poor chap chasing his hat down the footpath out side the window.

VS

Pressing a button and going to bed, when it works.

Even people who have a 3d printer will still go for the first example part of the time, but not the other way around.

All that's left is that maybe the factories will 3d print all the minis for the shops.

Again, moving parts. Injection moulders do have a few parts, but they are based around a very strong and simple action. Spin casting similar.

But mostly it's speed. 3d printers just can't keep up.

Maybe, if someone biult a dedicated factory to 3d print minis?? Maybe?

But 1 axis is simpler than 3. A steel mould more durable, a silicon mould more flexible.

Why have a design flexible machine like a 3d printer produce 100,000 of the same bit? You may well go through several machines or parts to even do it. It may take 10 silicon production moulds, probably 1 steel mould. The poor 3d printer. And time, so you need several machines designed to make different things to make the same thing, over and over. It's like when you buy a screwdriver set, but only ever use the same one or two. There would have to be increased Ware on the same parts, causing rogher prints and more fails and require more repairs. Like sawing wood with the same 2 inches of the saw blade, over and over, or watching the same scene of a VHS tape again and again.

So, in mass production, no.

In the home, only the few who can be bothered.

And theres another point.

I paint minis for people. Mostly because the physically can't, don't have time, can't be bothered, so on.

Some (most) people just want to open a box and use a product. They buy bread in stores. They don't want to muck around with filament and resins. They use computers enough a work, they don't want to have to use them in their recreation time.

So, in the home, no.

Kind of a rock and a hard place for the old 3d printer.

UshCha19 Mar 2023 2:16 p.m. PST

Zephyr, my metal models have to be replaced after about 18 months due to bending and chipping paint. My 3D prints 1 casualties in 10 years, no contest 3D by a mile. No cat, but a cat tail sweep no damage to windows, folk or more importantly models.

H man you are really missing out take it from an expert with microwave (in the house and the caravan) and bread maker, I only don't use the bread maker it every day as i am weak willed and I eat too much bread, crappy commercial bread is much less appetising, Improve your life immensely get the new technology.

Metal has other disadvantages, not practical to get very low rate selling models, 3D you can commission 3D model a and get them printed at minimal cost, no significant model specific tooling.

Hate anatomically correct figures??. Where does that come from a love of fantasy? Historical figures should be as anatomical correct or they are not historical. As far a I can tell real Napolionic troops were anatomical correct and we're only made othewise by the application of ball or shot.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse19 Mar 2023 4:19 p.m. PST

If I want to make bread, I'll make it myself.

Both design and manufacturing costs for 3d printing are ridiculously expensive, last I checked.

There is a modern thing of having miniatures look like properly scales little people. This does not work well for painting as there is no texture at such a scale.

By necessity miniatures need to be anatomically inaccurate to be paintable. Otherwise you just painting ONTO them and not actually painting them. You will find a lot more figures are inaccurate than those that try to be, thank goodness.

GW and others try to skirt the issue by having larger figures, which is the only real way to do it. But board games seem to be the worst.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse19 Mar 2023 4:47 p.m. PST

To clarify.

They probably have a cgi figure done and print one out on a billion dollar printer and marvel at it. Then it's sent to the factory to cut a mould and dpit out half a million in cheap plastic. And the figure just doesn't work. I think this what happens with boardgames in particular.

With minis, do long as you the arms and legs and body and head are in some proportion, but not always, it doesn't matter.

Go to a wargames club or fair and look around. There are still plenty of people, lots of historical players/collectors, who have figures that are not great on anatomy.

One example is eyes. What's qn eye look like? Anything you want at these scales, apparently. The dome. The dome with a hole. The two slits. A hole. Nothing. Probably others as well. Not great anatomy there, but it gets the job done.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2023 5:23 p.m. PST

Does it really matter? If you like 3D then take advantage of it, and there are plenty of advantages. If you don't then you don't have to, with the wide selection of things to spend our money on. It's a nice thing about our hobby- everyone can do what they want as regards metal/plastic, scales, rules, etc infinitum.

There's a difference, too, between explaining a point of view and crusading to force adoption of your point of view (which is usually counter-productive). But that's part of the hobby as well.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse19 Mar 2023 9:08 p.m. PST

Well said.

I agree that we are free to hobby as we like. 3d printing is unlikely to become the dominant form of miniatures, as some have claimed.

Welcome to the shield Wall against their foolish crusade.

Robert Johnson20 Mar 2023 1:18 a.m. PST

Holy lack of self-awareness Batman 🤣

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse20 Mar 2023 1:33 a.m. PST

See glances right off. Pathetic.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse20 Mar 2023 1:54 a.m. PST

The idea of a $1 USD licence fee seems flawed.

If it's for the general public, there is no way to properly enforce it.

GW and others are already being ripped off with little consequence.

Making licences cheaper and more available to businesses may work better. But really, it wouldn't be much different to what's going on now.

The barriers to entry for 3d printing are there, but I think it's more the fact manufacturers will take other paths that will take the toll.

As I touched on above, traditional manufacturing is tried and true, reliable and desinged for mass production.

3d printing is designed for low run prototyping or specific items, not mass production.

That simple fact will limit their use in miniature manufacturing.

It will be, much as it is. With the only miniature manufacturing being smaller and custom run items and the people at home in the basement.

One thing I've noticed is the rampant innovation in 3d printing. Yet, more often than not, these printers rearly amount to much or hold little wide spread appeal.

I particularly remember a sweet little resin job that looked to print a mini real fast. However, if it wasn't a scam, it was an investment nightmare, I think it was another croud funding disaster.

Or the Bild a 3d printer partworks. By the time you finished it would have been well obsolete.

At the end of the day a home printer still has to by resin or filament (yes, or drink gallons of milk. I use UHT cartons anyway). So one may as well just order the figures or go to the shop and make a purchase locally, whatever the manufacture.

UshCha20 Mar 2023 9:35 a.m. PST

Cost of printers is interesting, I have a cheap printer new it would cost About £250.00 GBP Now my models if bought commercially cost £3.00 GBP to £5.00 GBP Settle on the cheap side at £3.20 GBP. The filament costs about £0.20 GBP so I save about £3.20 GBP as a minimum. So I would have paid for the printer in less than 100 models. Now depending on where you get your St files from will sway matters. Howeve for lage items like scenary it becomes very cost effective if you normally buy quite a few models a year like me.

On that basis #D prints are potentially cost effective.

3D color print is what I would love but they seem a long way off in terms of affordability. With a model made from an St file could you have a programmable sprayer to post colour a model. We can always hope.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse20 Mar 2023 3:10 p.m. PST

Thanks for the constructive post.

Hmm… A painting machine? Don't get me started, been a dream for some time.

I get the numbers, but it works with metal/resin/what have you too.

Want a Roman army? 16 pounds, say $25 USD with postage?? For a prince August mould with 2 legendaries. Depending what material you use, say from a pound?. Save 2 pond each, 100 legionaries saved 200 pounds.

Metal may be different, but for resin/what have you it can be dirt cheap. Especially if you pour several moulds at once. Infantry, cavalry, command, slingers, so on.

So it can work in other mediums as well.

FYI, it would only cose around 6-900 Au, 330-500 pounds, to have someone sculpt and mould a couple of 28mm figures for you. So where a few hundred are needed it can make sense.

In both cases it comes down to the minis you want. Are there files or moulds available?

Again most of what people want are directly based upon what's on the shelves in a shop.

As far as the future of home printing, another analogy is sewing. You can buy a sewing machine and fabric and patterns and make all the clothes you want, exactly as you want them, far cheaper than in the shops (for quality clothes at least). Some people do. But most don't, they go to the shop and buy clothes there.

I'll add, that like preferring to buy clothes in a shop, as opposed to online, where you can't feel or try them on, printing is the same.

Most files for printing are sold with a cgi picture as the only reference (I'm assuming here, from what I've seen) so you can't really be sure what will come out of the printer. I guess a trained eye with experience may see it? But most folk would think the figure will look like the cg chap, no matter what printer they have or quality of the file.

Products in shops, could, be the same, especially rattly boxes of "fine cast". But with blisters particularly, what you see is what you get.

Robert Johnson21 Mar 2023 3:35 a.m. PST

The number of figures you can print is only limited by the size of the build plate. I can print a dozen 28mm figures at a time comfortably. While they're curing there are another dozen building.

Obviously more smaller figures will go in the same space.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse21 Mar 2023 6:49 a.m. PST

But it must start running into time issues. The bigger the plate, the longer the head takes to get from one side to another.

Or you'd need more printers, for mass production.

I guess, if they were made cheaply enoigh they cold be like hard drives for data, you just pull out failing ones and replace them. And I thought resin was wasteful!

A larger printer would be a major redesign.

Spin casting can produce 10+ figures a spin. Injection, the same. So it's all comparable. It's just that these two would be faster and ready to go. Less than 1 minute for injection, from memory.

With drop moulds, it's as much as you have set up. 10-20 if your keen.

So they can all produce 10-15ish figures a cycle.

An injection cycle the fastest. Not sure how the other 3 line up, but I'd assume pouring would both be faster than printing.

Cost of material and overall durability of the process would see injection win again.

Labour may have injection and 3d printing ahead. Both could also work around the clock easier.

But only drop moulds could work without power. The light from a gas burner is all you need, ha ha ha.

Plastic is better and faster for packaging. 3d could do sprues, but then you would lose figure space.

Plastic is easy enough to get new or recycled and waste can be recycled, as can metal waste (not so much skimmings).

Mostly I think 3d printing is just a buzz word, a new toy, like drones, or bread machines. That and a play thing of many a start up, crowd fund and Disruptor. Like with the others time will eventually sort things out.

They are getting like those dang rental scooters. Soon there will be paddocks full of huge piles of 3d printers, like those bikes in China.

captaincold6921 Mar 2023 9:43 a.m. PST

H Man

Resistance is futile

UshCha21 Mar 2023 10:33 a.m. PST

3D printers are past the gadget phase as a DIY man my last job (last week) was printing complex supports to repair bed supports for the caravan. They are the go to tool for small complex items and the modern filaments produce accurate tough strong parts. Like bread makers they have come of age and to many as versatile as had tools if not more so.

£300.00 GBP for a 28 mm seems a bit high. I can get a 1/144 vehical stl file for about £150.00 GBP to £200.00 GBP then print what I want and they are about the same size as a 28mm figure.

The H Man In the TMP Dawghouse21 Mar 2023 6:11 p.m. PST

I believe the Allies won, so…

Abortion is having a rough time in the US.

Cigarettes aren't so popular now.

So on..

So, no, resistance is not futile at all.

What that has to do with the conversation, I'm not sure though.

3d printers have their uses.

But who wants to wait around.

For a complex replacement part you can't get, maybe. But out of a trade, they don't pop up that often to require a special Peice of machinery, unless your a tool fanatic. Plus you have to design that special bit some how, uless it's available by someone else, who's breaching laws no doubt. But the then you could get it printed and sent by a company that prints, or if it's such a well know repair proper replacements are probably available anyway.

Books, vinyl/cds, so on… They are still sold even though there are alternatives.

Heck, I thought computer games were supposed to have taken over from board , card, RPG, and miniature games by now, weren't they?

Actually, 3d printing is proof of the computers failure to destroy those games. Not it's diluted into 3d printing the figures for it, which can be done other ways.

There is digital printing and cgi used often. So rules, pictures, now figures. So it's not new, but equally puts computers in their place as subservient to physical games.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.