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3Dprinting A River

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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP writes:

As a side bar to this topic, there is a fellow who offers free STL(?) files for all 350 monsters, from the original AD&D Monster Manual… You can print all 350 modeled creatures, for printer and materials cost only. That, to me, is a better application of what 3D printing is capable of.

The 3D dungeon sets, commercial products, are quite nice, and likely will put Dwarven Forge out of business. In simple terms, there are some really good 3D products out there, which makes 3D printing worthwhile, compared to buying commercial products, pre-made. The home-printed products are far less expensive, overall. Cheers!

Revision Log
12 March 2017page first published

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

I've been monkeying around with a parametric 3D model to make river sections on a 3Dprinter. I'm not done with the model, but I have put together a prototype.

The model produces results for rivers and banks as separate pieces, so a complete river is three pieces: left bank, river, right bank. This allows the parts to be printed in different materials, and allows you to have a wider river than if it was a one-piece model.

The major limitation is that the pieces cannot be longer than your 3Dprinter's print area (which, for me, is about 6 inches in length).

Here's the river model output – it's just a box, two inches by five inches, .125" thick:

River model

And here's a bank piece, which is designed to fit over the river piece:

Bank model

I chose to orient the models so that they were standing vertically in the printer. I printed the river banks in green plastic, and the river itself in transparent blue:

3Dprinted model

I suppose you could use the pieces straight from the printer, but I decided to paint and flock the bank pieces, and to apply some gloss coats to the river. I painted the banks a dirt brown color, and the bottoms black. No primer needed, but it takes two to three coats – I paint with the striations first to make sure the paint gets into those crevices, then across the striations while the paint is still wet. Then I sealed with flat spray. For the river, I used about ten fast-drying coats of gloss Mod Podge.

Basecoated 3Dprinted model

I then applied glue to the banks and flocked them, afterward sealing them again. Then I superglued everything together:

Finished 3Dprinted model

And here it is with a familiar figure to give you a sense of size:

Finished 3Dprinted model with GW Grey Knight

Based on the prototype, I've decided to revise the bank pieces when I work on the model next – figures get 'too tippy' on round banks, and making a curved bank piece uses too many triangles when it's round in two dimensions…