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Wall of text. The headings should help
Hey there guys,
3D printing minis
As some of you already know I’m the 3d printing guy. I currently own 3 FDM (plastic) and 1 resin printer that I use to print terrain, miniatures, decoration and the occasional technical part (e.g. a cloak hanger or similar)
I was looking to get myself a little side business started by printing miniatures and other things like décor or utility tools (initiative trackers, condition markers) for other people. Despite 3d printing becoming affordable for hobbyists, it is still a huge time sink with a considerable learning curve.
As such, I want to offer my services to those of you who are looking to get themselves a certain mini for their game, be it a large boss monster to impress your group with, a hero mini as birthday present for a player or just a simple pack of wolves because you love slaying those furry bastards.
What I can print
I can print large miniatures with a layer height between 0.1 and 0.2mm on my FDM printers. At around 0.1 mm the layer lines mostly disappear, especially after priming and painting.
Small, medium and large miniatures with small details I will print with resin at 0.05 to 0.01 layer height depending on the model. At this resolution layer lines cannot be seen to the mortal eyes.
Of course, apart from minis I could also print terrain or utility tools such as dice boxes, dice trays, dice towers or anything of that sort. These will be printed at 0.2mm. I can also design simple models such as dice trays or boxes myself. My 3d modelling skills aren’t that great yet but I something simple should be doable.
Where to find models (Update: 12.01.2020)
Free models can be found on various websites. I will list my go-to websites here and a few creators of free miniatures.
- STL Search Engine: Yeggi.com
- Miguel Zavala on Shapeways
In order for me to be allowed to print a file for you, you (the client) must have the legal rights to the file. In the case of free files from a website this is won’t be an issue. Online you can find a bazillion of free models with super high quality. About 95% of models I printed so far were available for free.
However, if the file you want printed originates from a patreon, kickstarter or is for sale, I can only print it if you can prove that you gained access to the file legally. Also, I am legally obligated to delete my copy of the file after printing finished.
Pricing (Update: 12.01.2020)
So far, I had you guys decide how much you want to pay me.
People averaged out at about 3-5 Euro per mini. For the time being, ideally you guys tell me what you want printed and how many pieces and you suggest a price you wish to pay. I will give you feedback if the price is okay. If you offer me too much I’ll reduce the price. I don’t plan on being greedy.
I will edit this section based on feedback, the number of requests and other factors.
The prizes depend heavily on what you want printed and in what resolution and material.
How to Contact me
Send me a DM here in the forum or on discord.
You can also send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ideally, ill just hand out minis at the adventure league games. If I can’t make it for a while, we can meet in Vienna - should be arrangeable.
Printers & Materials
Resin printers have a lot smaller build volumes than FDM printers, but also offer better resolutions. That is why small objects will be printed in resin while larger objects will be done in plastic.
2 modded Ender3 about 220x220x250.
1 Vivedino Formbot (under repair) 400x400x500
Anycubic Photon 115x65x115
For a good resin print I need to place supports manually, which takes considerable time and effort.
The process of printing a resin miniconsists of 3 phases:
Preparing the model.
I prepare the for printing by choosing the orientation, placing supports, and validation of the prepared file.This takes up to 30minutes per model depending on the complexity.
Actually printing the file.
This takes between 7 and 30 hours depending on the object size the and level of detail we want to achieve. The time also changes based on material since I need to adjust the exposure time.
Resin prints need a decent amount of post-work. I need to wash the residual resin off in Isopropanol Alcohol, remove supports, brush it off, post-cure it, and sand off any blemishes or residual support pieces. Optionally, I could also prime the models for painting later.
Printing 3 different minis is more effort than printing the same miniature model 6 times, because I have to go through Step 1 for each different model. Once the models are prepared properly, they are very unlikely to fail and I can print multiple pieces at a time. Due to mSLA technology I can print multiple minis at once as long as they fit on the buildplate without the printtime increasing. That is why I gave most of you a second print of the model.
Resin is a more expensive material. I currently try to go for the best cost/quality ration resins to make it affordable. My resin costs about 45-60 Euro per liter.For the post-work there are some products I need to buy additionally, such as the alcohol and gloves to protect myself from the chemicals. This adds to the cost.
Plastic prints are more efficient at printing larger objects due to the larger build volume. There are many colors available for the material that is sold in 1kg spools. For miniatures PLA is the standard material. Small miniatures can also be printed with plastic but small details will be lost. For large miniatures e.g. a dragon, FDM is perfect.
FDM prints need a lot of care with the print settings, fare moreso than Resin printers, but it is less manual work and more experimenting. Once a print is finished I need to remove the supports with pliers and cutters, and then sand the places where the supports connected.
Example prints (bad camera)
Aboleth. Model by Duncan Shadow Louca (STL via Patreon/purchasable from his shop) Painted by my friend Laszus.