Most of us have gotten into 3D printing because of the creative outlet it provides for hobbyist and artist alike.3D printable terrain is great for those who play dungeons and dragons. Now some probably wonder how does one go about getting custom 3D printed models and terrain. One could start learning how to 3D design with free tools like blender 3D. This option would allow for the most creative possibilities however it may take some time getting used to the software before you can get any really good sculpts. After all nobody is an amazing artist overnight. There are also others out there that have spent several years getting good at 3D design that sell their sculpts to be printed at home off your 3d printer. I’ll mention a few I have found but it is always best to do your own research since the designs I like may differ from your own.
3D printing with Blender.
There are many different 3D printing software out there. This is more for those who want to get into the customizability of the art projects and hobbies that they enjoy. Maybe you’ve walked into your local game store and seen miniatures of goblins, and dragons. They caught your eye but there was something that just didn’t make you love them as much as you could have. Maybe the goblins were too small. Yes goblins are small but maybe you wanted them to have a more intimidating presence like a heavily armored dwarven bezerker. Perhaps the dragon you saw just had a very boring pose. You wished the Dragon was on its hind legs, wings open as if it were about to fly of and raze a nearby city. Now I won’t say this is the most simple and easy way to get a custom 3D printed model but it is the way that offers the most freedom to get exactly what you want.
I believe a few years back I came across a product that was 3D printable game tiles that locked in to each other. they offered the product as a downloadable file you could install on your computer to be used with a 3D printer or as a plastic mold cast that you could buy. I believe they were call rage terrain but don’t quote me. I liked the engineering and creativity that went into the design of the creation of these fully modular game tiles that could be used with all sorts of games not just dungeons and dragons.
The Best type of 3D printer for Hobbyist.
Now as for the best type of 3D printer to use? It depends on the application. If your not too worried about the quality of your miniatures or terrain that a typical plastic filament printer that goes for around 2-3 hundred dollars may be right for you. If you want to get really high resolution prints for very detailed miniature Id go for a DLP resin printer. DLP printers tend to be very expensive, but the 3D Creativce Photon 3 Pro which I disused in a previous article Top 3 Best Budget 3D Printers for Hobbyist is by far one of the most affordable.
One project I’ve been working on and will be posting photos of when finished is a custom printed Chess Board and pieces. I’m using the Monoprice Select mini v2 3D printer. It’s not of the highest quality type printers but since it prints in PVA plastic and me being a plastic model hobbyist I have made it work with a bit of acetone and sand paper. I then just prime them and paint them up by hand.
Whether or not you want to get into designing your own unique 3D printed designs or buy from someone who has already designed the 3D printed model these option at one time may have seemed very expensive or time-consuming however I hope now this shows that 3D printers are an investment. A few hundred now to save you thousands of dollars over the years of constantly buying miniatures and terrain. Imagine being able to have a idea for a game you want to run and being able to make it come to life. That is what got me hooked on 3d printing.
Author and Founder, Zachary