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3Dprinting: Upscaling

Dragonlock: Lizardfolk Set 1 (5)
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$4.99 USD

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Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP writes:

I scale routinely. The trick is one of moderation. I've scaled 1/100 models to 1/56 and had great results, and likewise scaled 1/100 to 1/144 and had good success, but as you point out, it really depends on the model and the detail level.

I've printed Star Trek ships intended for 1/1200 as 1/3000 and found that detail just won't carry on some models, but on others it looks fine. Like a lot of things in 3D printing, it's about experimentation until you find the right settings.

Revision Log
10 September 2017page first published

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

In theory, a 3D model could be printed at any size, simply by adjusting the size up or down in the 3Dprinting software. So a model designed for 25/28mm could easily be resized for 6mm, 15mm, or 54mm.

In practice, it's a bit more complicated. The designer of a 3D model is generally optimizing his model for a specific print size. If you "shrink" the model, parts may become too thin to print well, or too brittle to sustain handling. If you "grow" the model, it may seem blocky or undetailed at larger sizes.

Lizardfolk model

For example, let's take one of the Lizardfolk models from Fat Dragon.


The software that comes with the 3Dprinter I bought easily lets me change the size of the model.


For example, I've just enlarged the model to 300%. (The boundary lines show the print area of my 3Dprinter.)

Now, let's say I want to add a giant Lizardfolk statue to my dungeon. In the software, I can scale the model to be about 2.5" tall. I also create a plinth, import that model, and merge the models together to give me a one-piece lizardman on plinth. Then I print the model and paint it as a statue:

Lizardfolk statue

And here it is in the dungeon…

Lizardfolk statue

…ready to be defended from intruders!

Lizardfolk statue