Thursday, 15 December 2011

I told you so...

Early this year I wrote a post which sparked some interesting debate. It was a set of predictions about how the hobby world might pan out over the next few years. Amongst them was the notion that 3D printing would become easier and cheaper and folk would start to use the tool for tabletop games.

Well, an exciting post has showed up at The Back 40K profiling just that. Home-brew 40K models made using 3D printing.

I know they infringe GW copyright. My feeling is that this is a bad thing, for both moral and legal reasons. I know some of you out there are going to want to talk about that until the cows come home. However, for the purposes of this post I want to restrict comments to the positive impact this technology could have on the hobby. Print-on-demand miniatures from companies? With the ability to specify colour? And choose what components are sculpted without having a frame of options? Count me in!

I have seen the future and it's looking awesome!!!

All photos grabbed from The Back 40K.


  1. yeah its an interesting concept, and the medium is already pretty well developed...the dread and walker look horrible and steppy, and the marine is a bit soft looking too, the chaos marine is quite representative of the quality nowdays, just wish that the sculpt had been better to show off the resoloution of the print.

    I know that we shouldn't mention copyright, but as long as these aren't for resale I see no difference between these and a green or conversion to be honest

    (seth logged in but unable to post.....oddness)

  2. Is that a monkey marine with a clip of bananas on his belt?

  3. They still have some way to go in terms of quality. But I get the point, it's a very powerful tool which could change the industry by making miniature design & production less labor intensive. Variations off a template or the same miniature in different scales become easy. This is good, as today they're often not done because the extra cost makes it not worthwhile. I'm not too worried about copyright issues. Even today there are people (manually) recasting GW pieces, the first time I came across someone doing so was back in '95. The copyright infringements above have in themselves nothing to do with the technology. It just so happens the person making them chose an inappropriate example to demonstrate his 3D printing.

  4. They've got a long way to go in terms of quality control, speed of production and suitability of cast material. And what about cost? I'm not sure we'll see this kind of thing matching GW's standard in the near future. I mean, will people try to scan sprues into computers by laser? Who has one of those machines? This would have to be a different situation from copying music or video, as those two media do not seek to reproduce physical objects. Hurdles, or even brick walls lie ahead.