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Old 07-02-2017, 06:09 AM   #1
jacobmuller
 
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Default 3d Printing

Just discovered my local Toys-R-Us sells 3d printers...
Kids toy? Wow. I'd been daydreaming about printing my own classic miniatures for carefree use and looking at scanners (90ish).
300 up front and corner shop plastic costs look like 20 figures /.
The temptation - these figures cost 20, if you can find them.
Is it a crime to scan, print and sell plastic versions of classic metal miniatures at cost?

I currently use Cardboard Heroes and don't have the time to paint / space to store miniatures.
But the idea of bucket of plastic zombies / goblins / rats / hoplites for the price of 1 original is tempting.
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: 3d Printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
Is it a crime to scan, print and sell plastic versions of classic metal miniatures at cost?
If they're someone else's design that they haven't released for general use, yes. (Discussion of copyright reform can go elsewhere.)

On the other hand, have a look on Thingiverse and you'll find lots of shapes being given away free. So you may not have something that looks just like the official whatever, but you'll certainly have a rat-man or an orc or a tank that you can use in games.

Do be aware that 3d printing is not as easy as "here's the design, make me a copy" and many small printers are much more for the dedicated hobbyist (i.e. "fixing up this machine is my hobby") than for someone who wants to do other things and expects the printer just to work.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: 3d Printing

Thank you.

I think my artistic skill level would combine with scanned templates to produce things unrecognisable as the items scanned... Quite possibly unrecognisable as figures:D
As for getting the machine to work - looking at reviews I get the feeling you're right. I'd hope that something being sold at Toys'r'us would be fairly reliable but then again it's meant to be for kids.

"Yield not unto temptation" is a good guideline.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: 3d Printing

I have a DaVinci Jr 1.0 and a DaVinci 1.0. Both work very well, and are fairly simple machines to operate.

Now, don't, even for a second, think you're going to print quality miniatures off of these machines. You can get some effectively shaped pieces of plastic, and even some that look really good, but, you're not getting the quality of a purchased miniature.

I recommend looking at both Thingiverse and TinkerCAD. TinkerCAD is really easy to use and you can make some fairly effective tokens and figures on it. Dutchmogul, a maker you'll see a lot of on Thinigverse if you're looking for figures, uses TinkerCAD for his designs.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: 3d Printing

Something of a hidden gem if you're making game pieces that can effectively be described as combinations of geometric shapes: OpenSCAD. I do most of my designing in that, with a little bit of Blender when necessary.

Everything on https://3d.firedrake.org/ that's designed by me (which is most of it) was done in OpenSCAD.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: 3d Printing

Quote:
I'd hope that something being sold at Toys'r'us would be fairly reliable but then again it's meant to be for kids.
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions in general, but just because it is sold at a toy store does not equate all items being sold there as "for kids". They do sell console games of all types, including those meant for adults - M rated games that are designed for a "mature" audience. I certainly would pause if someone told me that Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row must be appropriate for kids just because Toys R Us sold them.

Despite the incredible evolution of 3d printers and ease of use in just the last 4 years, these are not simple machines with foolproof and easy to use tools, and I would be very impressed with anyone who had never touched a CAD program before to create a moderately detailed object that printed out fine on the first try.

Taking account just the resolution of consumer priced printers alone, it would look very disappointing to someone who would think that they could get detailed miniatures printed out that look as good as the molded miniatures.
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: 3d Printing

My DaVinci Jr is actually really reliable. There was a learning curve, but, the printer is designed with being kid-friendly in mind (it's not for kids, but it's designed knowing they're going to be around).

It's easy to use, safe (only the extruder tip gets hot/no heated bed) and uses non-toxic PLA plastic.

It puts out decent quality, but, under no circumstance, does it put out even Hero Clix quality figures (99% of the time). It can do some pretty amazing prints (like print-in-place hinges). It printed a number of these fairly well for my Infinite Weirdos game.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: 3d Printing

Good 3D printing results requires some work post printing. You will probably want to sand down the model a bit when it comes out of the printer to smooth out any roughness etc, and then some people recommend a good coat of lacquer or such to seal them. PLA is water soluble, and Nylon absorbs atmospheric moisture, so a coating is usually a good idea for long-term stability.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: 3d Printing

If you're using ABS, you can actually get an effective smoothing and toughening by taking a metal can, lining it with paper towels (using magnets to hold them on) and barely moistening them with acetone. You put the print on the lid (I use a ceramic plant pot to support the print) and putting the can over it (upside down). It takes some practice to determine the timing, but, it does some pretty good smoothing.

But, just don't expect lots of detail on things that are 3d printed.
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