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Subject: Print and play and 3D printers rss

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Fernando Berdichevsky
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So how do you think the new 3D printers will affect your print and play crafting?

What would you use it for? What wouldn't you?

Just want to hear opinions, pros and cons ...

Should I buy one?

Clarification: I'm in Argentina and there is near to zero FLGS so PnP is sometimes my only option. Purchasing from the US (what I usually do, increase the prices in more than a hundred percent)
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Fernando Berdichevsky
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Post pictures if you already used it!!
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Boaty McBoatface
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Ignoring aside copyright issues is it really cheaper to buy a 3d printer then to but games?

Not I am not taking abut in 15 years time, I am talking about now, also can 3d printers print maps and cards?
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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3D printers does take a lot of time, even if they are getting better and better. I do have a hard time seeing anything in the build of pnp they quicken up. You can build player pieces and such component but I don't really see any win towards how it is today.
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Fernando Berdichevsky
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Im evaluating about costs and that's exactly my concern (is it cheaper to buy a 3d printer or should I keep buying overpriced games)

On the other hand, I will still be using a regular printer for cards and maps.

But that limits the PnP to only cards and mats games

I'm thinking about miniatures, chits, tokens and all kind of crazy good looking stuff like meeples and such

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Chris Schumann
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Miniatures and custom dice would be what I made if I had one sitting around. Stand-ups will have to suffice for miniatures, and thankfully most PnP games with custom dice use d6, and stickerable d6 are easy to get.
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Bill Eldard
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Fernqn wrote:
Im evaluating about costs and that's exactly my concern (is it cheaper to buy a 3d printer or should I keep buying overpriced games)

On the other hand, I will still be using a regular printer for cards and maps.

But that limits the PnP to only cards and mats games

I'm thinking about miniatures, chits, tokens and all kind of crazy good looking stuff like meeples and such



Regarding the investment, it's a matter of time. As the cost of 3D printers comes down and the technology itself improves, I suspect that game publishers globally will
feel the effect in the same way that retailers have been impacted by online sales. Games will become cheaper, and a lot of out-of-print games could become available again, as "publishers" will no longer need minimum quantity thresholds to make another print run worthwhile.

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John "Omega" Williams
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This has been discussed before.

Current problems.

The printers just cannot get the quality and detail most want. Most 3d printeres have the notable striation problem too.

The printer is costly and the spool of plastic is costly. Right now you arent saving anything. Lowest 3der I priced that was remotely viable was 2000$ for the machine you had to assemble yourself, and 50$ per spool of plastic. And no clue how many minis you could get from a single spool. But if it isnt around 250-500 minis per spool then it is not beating standard factory work.

Alot of these 3d printers use soft plastics. This has its own pros and cons.

3d printer needs... 3d models. I cant see many PNPers supplying 3d models for a game for free unless its very simplistic or low work models. In which case it may become a why bother moment. Hard to say.

Right now 3d home printing is not the perpetual energy machine of gaming.

But, if you have one and like PNPing then one can be of possible use.
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Nick Hayes
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Also keep in mind that a 3D printer can't do anything unless you have a 3D file. Do you own 3D modeling software? And are you also an accomplished 3D modeler?
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Fernando Berdichevsky
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No I'm not and this is exactly the kind of response I was looking for so I don't purchase one of those

Thanks BGG community for talking me out of a stupid idea.

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Mercedes (Mandy)
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I just pledged for the Buccaneer on Kickstarter because I like to dabble in arts & craft projects, and it was a pretty reasonably priced entry 3D printer. I only expect to do things like prototyping on it, use it for making things for teaching, and maybe pimping out my games with customized pieces.

Usually the 3D printed items come out unfinished, and need to go through a process to refine (not sure if that's the right word), to smooth it out, otherwise you'll see the lines of each printed thread.

I agree with the other comments. I think there's a biggish learning curve bc of the 3D modeling and calibration of the machine etc. So unless you're willing to invest a lot of time and effort, then it might not be worth it. There are 3D printer cafe's/studios out there, that you can do prototyping at etc.
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Jarrett Dunn
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Black Canyon wrote:
Also keep in mind that a 3D printer can't do anything unless you have a 3D file. Do you own 3D modeling software? And are you also an accomplished 3D modeler?


Given there are a ton of open source 3D modeling packages that are nearly as good as something on the highend from say Adobe, and compatible with 3D printers (Blender is the first that comes to mind); as well as, a TON of freely available highly professional models one can use, that kind of gets around that issue. Not to mention a huge amount of information and tutorials on how to do modeling. Note I am not saying I myself would be able to model something like a miniature (I would use the free 3D models that people have already made and published, and make minor changes to them), but modeling say chits, markers, etc. isn't really that hard.

That doesn't mean it isn't a lot of work, and everyone needs to determine how much trouble it is worth to them. But it is hardly an expensive or even time consuming (if using free models) challenge.
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Meaker VI
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3D printing isn't a magic bullet. You've got to have the know-how to calibrate the machine (or pay someone to do it for you), pay ~$20/kg for material (probably more if you can't get it or make it locally), make models for your assets or fix and convert freely available models to work on your printer, wait for the machine to print (granted, you don't need to be there while it's working, but the print area is usually pretty limited), and then do some cleaning up of the models once they've printed (if you don't like little lines where the plastic layered all along the sides).

If all you're looking to do is make chits, cards, and tiles, a steel cork-backed ruler, cutting mat, razor/roller/box cutter, a nice printer, and some boxes of paper, ink, and mat or chipboard would be cheaper and produce fine results.

Sketchup is a good, super-easy to learn, freeware 3d modeling program.

The Robo3D is about the cheapest machine I've seen recently at $500 or so.
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Cornixt
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This discussion always seems to veer off into "you can't make high quality miniatures so don't bother with 3D printing at all" even when that wasn't really the question.

You can make some decent counters and unique playing pieces with a $500 machine bought for home use. Some types of games will benefit from using 3D pieces rather than cardboard chits, others won't. Unless you are making a lot then it would be more economical to use a 3D printing service though.
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Jarrett Dunn
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Yeah, they just started shipping out the Robo3D printer... Really interested to see the reviews of it, especially given the price. If it is truly as good as the makerbot product (in terms of precision, etc.) getting it that cheap is a boon.

Though I would disagree as to the quality, 100 Micron printers (which is the current standard) is actually quite good and detailed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QqgQj-X13Y
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Celina
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Instead of buying a printer you could always upload files & print at Shapeways. You still have to do the modeling, but it would be a quick way to see if the model worked.
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Jarrett Dunn
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Celinashope wrote:
Instead of buying a printer you could always upload files & print at Shapeways. You still have to do the modeling, but it would be a quick way to see if the model worked.


Eh, shapeways is expensive as HECK... just a helmet for a lego sized figure is 3 bucks, and most things the size of a miniature is ~$20-$30 while the spools are ONLY $48 a piece.
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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mltdwn wrote:
Celinashope wrote:
Instead of buying a printer you could always upload files & print at Shapeways. You still have to do the modeling, but it would be a quick way to see if the model worked.


Eh, shapeways is expensive as HECK... just a helmet for a lego sized figure is 3 bucks, and most things the size of a miniature is ~$20-$30 while the spools are ONLY $48 a piece.


also consider transport to Argentina.
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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oh and OP might want to check out one of these http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Argentina, they might (and probably should) have a 3d printer in run.
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Fernando, In case you didn't know, you can buy a 3D printer in Argentina (made in Argentina, not imported) for less than $14000 pesos ($1660 US dollars "Blue"; $2559 USD official). 1 kg of ABS or PLA filament goes for under $35 USD "Blue"). Check out Kikai Labs for more info.
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Fernando Berdichevsky
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Thanks to everybody this is the kind of debate I was looking for!

Gracias Hernan!!
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John "Omega" Williams
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cornixt wrote:
This discussion always seems to veer off into "you can't make high quality miniatures so don't bother with 3D printing at all" even when that wasn't really the question.

You can make some decent counters and unique playing pieces with a $500 machine bought for home use. Some types of games will benefit from using 3D pieces rather than cardboard chits, others won't. Unless you are making a lot then it would be more economical to use a 3D printing service though.


Totally correct.

The printers arent much good for fine detail items. But they can do baser shapes and simpler items well enough. Want to make yourself a custom Arkham Horror dice cup? Or a plastic dice tower? Mice & Mystics cheese? A spoon to scale? etc. Things that do not need fine details. Then a 3d printer can be fun.

And as a "just for fun" crafting it can be great as long as you go into it knowing the factors involved.
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Magnus Rydin
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Omega2064 wrote:
The printers arent much good for fine detail items.


I've been dying to get a 3D printer for some time now, but the question of quality has been holding me back as my core interest would be miniatures, which requires quite some quality printing.

So, just to get a feel for where we currently are, I ordered these:

https://www.shapeways.com/model/446622/stealth-ladies-automa...

If this turns out to be as good as it seems to be, then its getting real interesting again!

Edit: damn, I wish I'd seen these before ordering:
https://www.shapeways.com/model/764659/1leader-heat-2heavy-m...
how typical
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John "Omega" Williams
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Yes, Apparently some of the higher end home 3d printers are having less visible striation problems.

Personally I look up videos from customers who have bought one and show the printer in actual use. Preferrably with something more detailed.

Shapeways though is a top end industrial printer. Some folk in the figure repair realm have been using it to try and tool replacement parts that need a little more precice dimensions.
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Meaker VI
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As a heads-up, those minis are all 3d renders, not pictures of the printed product. Renders can have infinite detail, and could easily look better than a final product coming out of nearly any manufacturing process.

Robo 3d is shipping now and seems to be a really good machine for the price. They're still fulfilling KS orders, but once they're through that, one of those machines would probably be a good bet.
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