PDA

View Full Version : 3D Printing - Kickstarter meets its targets in 11 minutes.



MusingWarboss
10-04-2014, 00:38
So, just in case you've not heard of it a Kickstarter campaign for a mini-3D printer has met its goal in just 11 minutes.

It's a tiny little device which you can drag and drop objects sourced from the web into its software (under Windows, Mac and Linux) and print them out. It's also supposed to be coming to retail for about $299US, though KS backers will get it cheaper.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26945020

No idea what the quality will be like at the moment, though it's only a matter of time before we get some that do really pin-sharp 3D prints.

How do you think this is going to sit in the industry? Sure there's a lot of independent sculptors here who could make a bit of cash from it but of course our old favourite, Games Workshop, has been notoriously slow to react to...well, almost everything.

Now it looks like we've got a start of mini-3D printers appearing at an affordable price no doubt more will follow along.

Do you reckon we'll see some 3D print stuff from GW or will they stumble and full over trying to avoid it?

Personally, I welcome the technology - both for its general use and in gaming, I think it could prove very useful though time will tell if we get anything truly worthwhile from it.

Inquisitor Engel
10-04-2014, 05:50
I have yet to see a 3D printer do parts to the level of smoothness or detail you can get out of spin, injection or pressure molding, and definitely not on an industrial scale. The fastest I've seen is several HOURS for something the size of a killa kan. This looks to be no different. Great for parts, frustrating for armies.

The Emperor
10-04-2014, 07:48
I'm sure the technology will improve to that level soon enough. I imagine that the miniature industry will look very different five years from now, and that we may very well see customers ordering custom miniatures produced straight out of a 3D printer, or maybe purchasing plans to print out their models from their personal 3D printer at home. Personally, I can't wait!

Aryllon
10-04-2014, 08:07
I would expect GW see it as a way of getting back into the bitz business and clawing back all that lost revenue which currently goes to eBay bits stores.

Judging by the fact that those guys charge prices vastly higher than the original GW price, GW could make a higher margin on their product than they already do while simultaneously undercutting the bits sellers thus insta-winning a large share of the market.

That's what I would do anyway.

Dr Zoidberg
10-04-2014, 12:39
I would expect GW see it as a way of getting back into the bitz business and clawing back all that lost revenue which currently goes to eBay bits stores.


That's not a bad idea. Sell the pattern for people to print their own bits. If the patterns weren't prohibitively expensive, and as 3D Printers become more available to the average consumer, it could work...

BFalcon
10-04-2014, 12:52
I can see some independents using it to break into the market too - 3D model some legs and torsos for IG and sell the patterns to gamers - it's slow and the plastic's not cheap (yet) but it'd let you print EXACTLY what you want instead of having parts lying around - in this age of disliking waste, that may be a good selling point.

It may also be possible that we could use a computer program in some years down the line to partly pre-assemble miniatures and print them out. That last part doesn't sound so good, until you remember that modern computer modelling may allow "fabrics" to crumple or unfold depending on how you manipulate, say, an arm - so if you wanted your officer to be yelling and holding his chainsword straighter, it is possible that, in coming years, we'll be able to model that before printing, so creating much more realistic all-in-one miniatures. It will mean a shift away from the traditional skills which we've all developed, but the possibilities are there.

The big problems will be speed (those printers take ages to do anything apparently, but printers already exist that can print in up to 3 colours, so allowing the optimal base colour for the part (armoured space warriors with their armour in one colour, faces in another and their weapons in another perhaps? It'd mean that they'd have "painted" minis fresh out the printer, until they could be undercoated and painted properly...

But I agree - for GW, the biggest benefit would be to put these in-store and have them produce official bitz for their customers - if you need a "beakie" helmet for your Space Marines, they'll produce up to a dozen for you - you'll probably need to come back the next day for them though... but that also leads to problems - how do you spot the 3D printed copies when people work out how to 3D scan your overpriced models and then reproduce bitz for themselves cheaper than they can buy them off of you for?

EmperorNorton
10-04-2014, 12:57
Not sure why this is news-worthy, considering this is the third or fourth 3D printer coming to the market at that price point over the last year.
It's an exciting technology, and not only because of its use for making miniatures. Personally I find printing houses or human organs far more exciting.
But it'll still be a few years until these things become widespread household items.

BFalcon
10-04-2014, 13:03
Not sure why this is news-worthy, considering this is the third or fourth 3D printer coming to the market at that price point over the last year.
It's an exciting technology, and not only because of its use for making miniatures. Personally I find printing houses or human organs far more exciting.
But it'll still be a few years until these things become widespread household items.

I think it was the low cost that drew the OP's attention, although there're cheap printers already out, I think.

Yowzo
10-04-2014, 14:01
That's not a bad idea. Sell the pattern for people to print their own bits. If the patterns weren't prohibitively expensive, and as 3D Printers become more available to the average consumer, it could work...

As this technology sits right now, it can be used to "print" a sort of differently posed mini skeletons you can greenstuff or glue stuff on.

It will help sculptors in getting a rough shape they can put some detail on afterwards.

nolimit1234
10-04-2014, 14:25
I find 3D printing so amazing. Not because of the consumer based printers but because of the industrial ones.

Having said this, the M3D Micro will likely lead to over 10,000 more people owning a 3d printer. The price is amazing in my opinion. They posted some additional info at their forum: http://3dprintboard.com/forumdisplay.php?77-M3D-Forum

I didn't back it but I know a few people wo have. It's a cheap way to be introduced to the technology. They have raised over $2 so far

Inquisitor Engel
10-04-2014, 15:49
I would expect GW see it as a way of getting back into the bitz business and clawing back all that lost revenue which currently goes to eBay bits stores.

This.

GW has been using 3D printing internally for a long, long time for prototyping and testing purposes. If the ability to economically mass produce miniatures on the scale GW needs was there, they'd have leapt into things before now. 3D printing is slow, can only do one "sculpt" at a time and EXTREMELY expensive in terms of electricity required, heat produced (so you need to climate control the room like crazy) as well a number of hazardous gasses, dusts and other byproducts (some of which are way worse for you to inhale than resin, some about the same and some less, depending on the process).

3D printing will get better, but it still has a far, far longer way to go to get to a place where it actively threatens traditional mass-production techniques at a reasonable economic trade-off than people seem to think.

jtrowell
10-04-2014, 16:05
Even with perfect 3D printing available at home, an industrial solution should always be more cost effective.

Books didn't stop being sold just because everyone had access to a printer or copier, it's still easier and cheaper to just buy the book, and it will (usually) have a better quality that something that you tried to bind yourself with office supplies.

BFalcon
10-04-2014, 16:11
Even with perfect 3D printing available at home, an industrial solution should always be more cost effective.

Books didn't stop being sold just because everyone had access to a printer or copier, it's still easier and cheaper to just buy the book, and it will (usually) have a better quality that something that you tried to bind yourself with office supplies.

Agreed - but there comes a point where excessively-priced mass-produced goods approach the cost of a 3d printed item to the point where the premium becomes worth paying for the convenience (eg for that one part you need 3 of, if you can print them for £1.50 each, is it really worth paying £1 each for them + P+P from the bitz seller on ebay, assuming you can track them down?)

jtrowell
10-04-2014, 16:16
Yes indeed, such technology being available at home does indeed make it harder for companies to sell "excessively-priced mass-produced goods", but I fail to see how that is a problem, surely any stable company will price their products appropriatly ? :shifty:

Litcheur
10-04-2014, 16:44
No idea what the quality will be like at the moment, though it's only a matter of time before we get some that do really pin-sharp 3D prints.
Well... 3D printing works like 2D printing. :o

In 2D printing you've got thermal printers for your receipts, and sublimation printers to print professionnal-grade photographies. Same thing here: FDM 3D printers are inexpensive, but printing a 28mm mini with that kind of printer is just like trying to print a photography with a ticket printer. I'm also implying FDM is a technological dead-end for mini printing.

Because it is. :D
FDM is basically using a very tiny hot-glue gun to put blobs of plastic one on top of another. It will never, ever, be even remotely as smooth and accurate as injecting molten plastic against the boundaries of a mold.

If you want to print 28mm minis, you basically have to use the right tools : multijet modelling or stereolithography. A low-cost MJM (http://www.technologysupplies.com/projet-160-mono-3d-printer.html) printer would cost 20k£. A High Definition MJM printer (the kind used by Sh*p*w**s) would cost more than 100k£ (http://www.technologysupplies.com/projet-3510hd-3d-printer.html). By the way, if you asked yourself why Sh*p*w**s charges $3.50 per cubic centimetre of material, it's because supplies tend to be slightly expensive too (http://www.technologysupplies.com/visijet-fti-ivory-cartridge-2-0-kg.html).

That's for the cost. I didn't even mention anything about skills.

Like, well... 3D modelling?
Hey, every printer has it's own abilities, minimum supported/unsupported wall thickness, minimum details... Which means you have to tailor your 3D design to the scale of your mini, the material you're using and what your printer can actually print. And then, well, there are the actual printing skills you'll need to acquire.

There's hope. 3D printing will be more user-friendly in the future. But we're still talking about Arduino-like user-friendly. Not iPhone-like.


Actually, you'd better design your parts and then ask a specialized company to print one copy of each for you. They've got the fancy tools we'll never able to afford, and they've got the highly-specialized labour to guarantee top-level results. They will print and send you a high-quality master, you just have to make a mold and cast it. This method will be easier, cheaper, faster and more accurate than any 3D printer we could possibly afford.

It's your own creation after all. You can duplicate your own minis, just like you can duplicate your own music.
Just remember, casting other people's designs is just as illegal as dowloading MP3s. It's very, very bad. :o

By the way, sending your designs to a 3D printing company and then duplicate them is something you can do right now.

One bird in the hand... :D

Bigglesworth
10-04-2014, 17:04
I think you could make really crude scenery this way, have the basic shapes of buildings and ruins, then tart them up a bit with real life modeling skills. But as others have said its no good for figures of any quality, and it would take hours for one figure, during which time you could have speed assembled and base-coated a full squad of guys from a kit.

MusingWarboss
11-04-2014, 02:09
I think it was the low cost that drew the OP's attention, although there're cheap printers already out, I think.

It was. Plus that it was funded in 11 minutes, which shows there is serious interest in getting these things out there, for whatever purpose people have for them.


Well... 3D printing works like 2D printing. :o

+ all the other stuff mentioned I've not requoted...

I'm well aware that there are limitations at the moment but then again I remember the the dot matrix printers which were noisy and not very well defined in printed text or images. They did the job but no-one wanted to print photos on them if they could. Colour only came in late on and only on certain models too. Then we moved onto Inkjets and Lasers and the quality has improved each year. Of course there will always be roles for the more specialist versions and the commercial ones for mass production, no-ones disputing this at all. As well as more traditional methods.

But just think, little printers like this (and other cheap ones) will get people interested in the tech, and over the next 20-30 years we'll get better and better machines out there and when you're using your HP 3Djet in 20 years time you may wonder why you ever doubted its usefulness.

It'll never be for mass production but I think for individual miniatures and bits it's certainly going to be a useful tool. Besides, if it allows you to have a complex model and be able to WYSIWYG the equipment exactly then to some, that'd be a bonus.

I bet 3D modelling tools will become easier to use and there will always be a market for downloadable files for people to just print out. Plus I reckon someone will find a better way of 3D printing, or a more efficient way, as has been proved with 2D.

As far a GW goes, for its mass-battle games it may be better to buy in bulk - but as demonstrated now others can do bulk easier and cheaper than GW, even if you think the sculpting quality is out, it can get better with time. Where 3D printing will strike them hard will be in the one-offs, like characters unless they step up and offer an online "design your model" service and then download the file to print out (or direct from the browser).

ebbwar
11-04-2014, 03:13
Tbh, when 3D printing gets commerically viable for minis the market should not be mass production or bits, but unique production. I would certainly pay that bit extra for a custom mini that no one else on the entire damned planet has ;) The things you could do is a unique posing, custom detailing, get your face 3D scanned and used as the face on your armies commander. Not everyone at home would have the skills to pull this off, but go to an experienced modeller/printer and work with them to get your unique model worked out would be worth the premium to quite a few people.

bittick
11-04-2014, 04:57
I think 3D printing gives GW a maximum lifespan, at least in their current configuration. I personally don't think they'll survive long enough to be killed off by the 3D printer, but it is possible.

The key point is when a 3D printer that can make "good enough" models reaches the price point below that of an average army. At $5,000 it's just cheaper to buy the stupid space marines. But 8 years from now, when a box of marines is $65 and you can get a 3D printer that gets the minis 95% right for $500, then GW is in trouble. Because what we're going to see is people using a 3D scanner and just posting the program onto the internet. Want a Dire Avengers squad? Download it for free off some file sharing website, then print one for $8 worth of plastic. It's like casting your own figs, except it gives better figures and requires no effort. Not everybody will do it, but enough will to cause a big drop in sales. It's the final nail.

Jaka
11-04-2014, 05:42
My local community college has a multi thousand dollar 3d printer and as long as you are willing to pay for the materials they let any student use it, I've made 12 infantry models ( 2 commissars, 10 guardsmen) and I'm in the process of designing the model for a taurox, for those 12 models it cost me about $25, much better than buying directly from GW, each model took about 2 hours to print, roughly. Although the initial investment probably won't be worth it for a very long time to justify buying a good 3d printer for personal use, a community 3d printer is perfect.

lbecks
11-04-2014, 05:45
Even with perfect 3D printing available at home, an industrial solution should always be more cost effective.

Books didn't stop being sold just because everyone had access to a printer or copier, it's still easier and cheaper to just buy the book, and it will (usually) have a better quality that something that you tried to bind yourself with office supplies.

A book is almost like getting a fully painted model with basing.

Jaka
11-04-2014, 05:48
Let me elaborate a little more, the 3d printer doesn't use glue like most others, instead it lays down a fine layer of powder, and like a regular printer a bar scans back and forth laying down tiny amounts of powder in each pass depending on where you want it. I have noticed that these models are more brittle than GW models, however so long as your computer modeling skills are good enough, I don't see a difference in the quality. It all boils down to how much time you want to throw into making the model look good on the computer before sending it to the printer.

furthermore it prints in color, personally I enjoy painting my models so I always print mine out grey, not to mention its cheaper to use the grey plastic, but the option is there for people to print out fully ready to play models.

gLOBS
11-04-2014, 06:14
Yea, I scan people with a 3D scanner. I then send them off to have 28mm mini's of them printed at a 3D printed place. The cost to have this done in high detail, raw materials and time is easily half the price of GW's mini's with the exception of certain troops choices.

Scaryscarymushroom
16-04-2014, 01:58
We're likely to see the market fracture. The people who care about quality above all else are likely to avoid 3d printing for resolution reasons. Those of us who like models, but can accept them being a 7/10 on the quality scale and would just as soon game with them as display them are going to be absolutely giddy.

Quality is nice, but let's face it: very few of us will ever have the pleasure of playing games with any army that consists entirely of golden daemon winners. What's a slight resolution problem when most of my models are grey anyway?


That's not a bad idea. Sell the pattern for people to print their own bits. If the patterns weren't prohibitively expensive, and as 3D Printers become more available to the average consumer, it could work...

Selling the pattern would be a bad idea. You'd sell access to it. Along with a EULA and a big fat copyright warning. Data encryption would probably be involved.

Inquisitor Engel
16-04-2014, 15:27
Yea, I scan people with a 3D scanner. I then send them off to have 28mm mini's of them printed at a 3D printed place. The cost to have this done in high detail, raw materials and time is easily half the price of GW's mini's with the exception of certain troops choices.

Time? I've yet to see a 3D printer do something say, Rhino sized model in less than six hours.

Scaryscarymushroom
16-04-2014, 16:05
Time? I've yet to see a 3D printer do something say, Rhino sized model in less than six hours.

Just start a print before you go to work? You don't need to sit there and watch it print. Even if you have problems, like you need to refill the spool or something, that takes what, 3 minutes? And then you can go back to watching Netflix or painting models or whatever people do while your printer finishes the job.

Sephillion
16-04-2014, 19:21
Time, price, usefulness of a 3D printer otherwise (it’s seriously cool, but I would probably never buy one), quality, convenience, use of the models in tournaments, initial investment, ease of use, those are all issues that reduce the appeal. I’m sure I’m going to run into a player with a 3D Printer-modelled army or models, but I doubt it will be really “mainstream”.

After all, everyone and his mother has a regular printer, yet I’ve never seen one person playing with forfeited Magic cards.

MusingWarboss
17-04-2014, 00:33
After all, everyone and his mother has a regular printer, yet I’ve never seen one person playing with forfeited Magic cards.

If WOTC released some in a printable format that were decreed to be tournament legal when used in a opaque backed deck-protector along with regular cards, you would. Though they wouldn't be counterfeit.

How do you know though that some forger somewhere isn't printing up decent looking MTG cards? I bet there's some out there, just like the counterfeit minis and I bet they get played with!

Do you print out your FAQs? Do you print out PDFs? People do and people use them. No-one complains as far as I'm aware that they're not professionally published and printed so can't be used.

Bigglesworth
17-04-2014, 11:42
FAQ's are intended to be printed out and often come with a written permission saying you can do this. Some of the old 40k books had exemptions on the pages so you could photocopy your own blast makers. As for photocopied / printed rulebooks, its up to individual gaming groups to decide what they will tolerate or allow, its going to be difficult to tell if someone who has a few unit entry's printed out to save carrying the whole book around for an allied list or Forgeworld units, photocopied or pirated the book, but its a bit more obvious if they've got the whole thing printed out and spiral bound :D.

As for Magic Cards, unless your collecting ultra rare cards its not the most expensive hobby, you can also buy individual cards online from pack splitters if you don't want to open 100 booster packs so there are ways to be efficient.


As for the printer I've decided to get one as an experiment in how useful such a thing is to an advanced hobbyist £176 + postage is still quite a lot I agree, especially for an unproven product, but I'm going to do a thorough warseer test on it. Note I'm not expecting it to print out an army, but to see how viable extrusion printers are for printing out terrain prototypes (which will have extra detail manually added later). A slighly mad decision perhaps. It could have bought many FW shinies, but I have enough FW shinies in boxes!

If its a load of rubbish I'll print out a dunce cap.

Scaryscarymushroom
17-04-2014, 14:26
Expensive but it's not too much. A decent airbrush + air compressor set costs about the same.

Best of luck.

Trasvi
21-04-2014, 05:25
I'm going to get a 3D printer some time in the next 18 months... But most likely not this one. I'll probably end up with 2: a fused layer deposit for terrain and other hobby/ house stuff, and a stereolithography for printing miniatures (eg, Form 1 or Peachy Printer)


There are already places selling printers for $300 that you can get shipped now, not have to wait a year plus kick starter delays on a product that doesn't exist yet.

Bigglesworth
22-04-2014, 11:07
I've been following the form 1 for a while as well, that would be my ideal thing, though I can't quite justify it yet.

theredknight
22-04-2014, 23:37
you'll never be able to produce models in the thousands cheaper with 3d printing than with plastic injection.
using a 3d printer to mass produce models is like using a home 2d printer to mass produce a book, it will never happen

MusingWarboss
23-04-2014, 01:29
you'll never be able to produce models in the thousands cheaper with 3d printing than with plastic injection.
using a 3d printer to mass produce models is like using a home 2d printer to mass produce a book, it will never happen

Unless it was Epic scale. :shifty:

bittick
23-04-2014, 03:36
you'll never be able to produce models in the thousands cheaper with 3d printing than with plastic injection.
using a 3d printer to mass produce models is like using a home 2d printer to mass produce a book, it will never happen

No, but you can produce them cheaper then you can buy them GW retail. Just like I can print a codex cheaper than I can buy a codex.

Autumn Leaves
23-04-2014, 19:41
Ive been watching these threads about 3D printers for the best part of two and half years.
What stands out is that 2 and a half years ago people were saying it's NEVER going to happen etc.
Now it seems like it's just a matter of time before the printer arrives that provides both high resolution, and a cost friendly material.
Pre-painted?
Thats m-i-n-d boggling....

Commissar_42
26-04-2014, 03:44
My local community college has a multi thousand dollar 3d printer and as long as you are willing to pay for the materials they let any student use it, I've made 12 infantry models ( 2 commissars, 10 guardsmen) and I'm in the process of designing the model for a taurox, for those 12 models it cost me about $25, much better than buying directly from GW, each model took about 2 hours to print, roughly. Although the initial investment probably won't be worth it for a very long time to justify buying a good 3d printer for personal use, a community 3d printer is perfect.
Any chance of a picture of them? Don't think I've ever seen a picture of a decent 28mm minature.

The Emperor
26-04-2014, 09:27
Ive been watching these threads about 3D printers for the best part of two and half years.
What stands out is that 2 and a half years ago people were saying it's NEVER going to happen etc.
Now it seems like it's just a matter of time before the printer arrives that provides both high resolution, and a cost friendly material.
Pre-painted?
Thats m-i-n-d boggling....

Hah, funny thing is that five years ago I blew a couple hundred dollars to investigate the possibility of starting a 3D printing company which provided custom, potentially pre-painted miniatures to the customer, possibly with an attached program similar to the character creators in an MMO so customers could create their characters and print them out. I never got very far because the sample miniatures I had printed out to see if the quality was there came out atrocious. I still have them. Half-a-dozen or so horribly mutated Captain America miniatures. :p Despite that, I figured this day would come eventually, so it's nice to see that it's well on its way to becoming a reality. I can't wait for the day when I can do all of that, design my own characters through an online tool, click print, and have my custom, possibly pre-painted, miniature delivered to me. That's going to be great.


My local community college has a multi thousand dollar 3d printer and as long as you are willing to pay for the materials they let any student use it, I've made 12 infantry models ( 2 commissars, 10 guardsmen) and I'm in the process of designing the model for a taurox, for those 12 models it cost me about $25, much better than buying directly from GW, each model took about 2 hours to print, roughly. Although the initial investment probably won't be worth it for a very long time to justify buying a good 3d printer for personal use, a community 3d printer is perfect.

I'd love to see this, too.

EDIT: Huh, I didn't realize I'd already posted on this thread a while back. Oops.

MusingWarboss
26-04-2014, 20:01
Well, as I started it off I'm going to add to it further with this little news item which you may or may not have seen.

http://www.t3.com/news/giant-3d-printer-can-build-10-houses-in-24-hours

So, what relevance does this have for miniatures? Well, that particular machine... nothing, but c'mon, this thing can build 10 (ugly) houses in 24 hours. I think it's pretty certain that in 10 years 3D printers will exist which can spew out plastic miniatures for almost next to nothing (along with other things) an hopefully by then the grainy quality issues will be completely ironed out.

Or failing that - how about a 3D printed mould and just inject plastic into it. Mass production simply? New mould? Print another!!

Kalidane
27-04-2014, 02:03
you'll never be able to produce models in the thousands cheaper with 3d printing than with plastic injection.
using a 3d printer to mass produce models is like using a home 2d printer to mass produce a book, it will never happen

I'm fortunate in that I don't want to.

Is this thread about commercial-scale mass production?

Anyway, 3D is already cost effective and awesome for a bunch of gaming applications, and I love the above idea of 28mm armatures!

Autumn Leaves
27-04-2014, 09:26
you'll never be able to produce models in the thousands cheaper with 3d printing than with plastic injection.
using a 3d printer to mass produce models is like using a home 2d printer to mass produce a book, it will never happen

Not only that but the world is also flat !!

It's a conspiracy I tell you.

bittick
28-04-2014, 06:53
There are several dangers that GW faces from 3D printers. The biggest isn't future printers making perfect 28mm minis. It's just the most obvious one.

The big danger is that 3D printers change the way people play tabletop games, and it changes away from 28mm mass battles. The internet killed a lot of newspapers, but it didn't do it by making the printing or transportation of big bundles of paper easier. It changed the way people got news.

What happens when some upstart company releases a game with less-detailed miniatures that are designed to look pretty good on the 3D printers of the day? Something that looks like Super Dungeon Explore might come out just fine. So they sell their boxed set for $100, or they sell the plans online for $20, just upload into your printer and go. They release regular expansions and make it very easy for new customers to get in and print their own figures.

If that type game takes off, it could become the dirt cheap alternative to 40K. If I'm a new player, do I prepare myself to spend however many hundreds for GW, or $20 and just print off my own stuff? Remember, it doesn't have to replace all GW sales, it just has to reduce them enough to disrupt their business model. Even if the 3D printer can't perfectly replicate a Space Marine, if it makes it easier to play other fun games, then people might switch, or never take up GW in the first place.

Shiodome
07-05-2014, 23:34
this reminds me more of the rise of DVD-R's than anything, to start with the quality was poor (more due to the files than the hardware but still...), the hardware was too expensive to be economical for anyone making just a few DVD's at a time, the materials (the DVD's themselves) were relatively expensive. all in all, it was still more economical for the average consumer to buy from the store, and those that didn't want to bought from the dodgy guy at the market or 'knew someone'. as time went by several factors all combined to make it viable for the home user... better file quality, WAY cheaper hardware, MUCH faster hardware, and moderatley cheap materials/dvds.

a whole generation got 'educated' and sales of DVD's absolutely plummeted for anything other than christmas gifts. where it differs is that this education (and further improvements in HDD's) led to a huge number eventually no longer using DVDs at all, and ended up with everything begin dl'ed straight to HDD. can't see a parallel of this happening with miniatures, as we're always gonna want something to move about on a table. wargaming is weirdly archaic in that regard, as the equivalent progression in gaming would suggest we'd all be playing strategy games online instead of on the tabletop. not gonna happen.

anyway, i would suggest that the hardware, associated files, and materials WILL all reach a point for the average consumer where buying from the manufacturer is really only for the 'old fashioned'. but i don't think the big shift will come until 3D printing is viable for the average non-gamer. once your parents have a 3D printer, then you know it's game over. much as it is now with my parernts downloading MP4's etc. will be interesting to see how the manufacturing industry related to small items adapts as the music industry had to and the film/tv industry is currently doing (<3 netflix).

basically, anyone that thinks this won't entirely change everything hasn't been paying attention to recent history.

as an aside, when's the last time anyone here used a DVD? my current PC doesn't even have a DVD drive.

MusingWarboss
08-05-2014, 03:11
as an aside, when's the last time anyone here used a DVD? my current PC doesn't even have a DVD drive.

Haven't used a DVD-R for years, and a DVD+/-RW for even longer. I did watch a film on DVD at the weekend though.

Nice parallel though. I do agree, once the technology becomes mainstream - for things other than printing little soldiers - then it'll come down in price, up in quality and no-one will think twice about using it.

There will remain a need for mass-produced plastic though for the foreseeable future, and the producers of those kind of model kits better make sensible use of the technology. I can see people buying traditional sprues of base soldiers on mass (especially historicals) but the new GW style one-character sprue for an extortionate amount of money will bite the dust very quickly when 3D printing goes mainstream.

BFalcon
08-05-2014, 10:13
as an aside, when's the last time anyone here used a DVD? my current PC doesn't even have a DVD drive.

All the time - the problem with downloading to HDD is that your hard drives tend to die horribly with little warning, so you either need a reliable system that won't disappear on you, so you can re-DL it, or you need a DVD/Blu-Ray to do it... and the Blu-Ray writers are still too pricey to risk.

I also use DVD-Rs for backing up data - I don't want the hassle of a tape-streamer and BD-Rs are still too pricey for most things.

I also need Linux boot disks for my computer repair business - CD-R just won't cut it any more, as they're too big and I'm not wasting a BD-R on it anyhow... and I also need a format that every computer will read. USB flash drives don't always work (and thanks to UEFI, that's more often than I'd like, mainly on the earlier standards).

So yeah - just because you're happily downloading files, some of us still use them... and you need to back your data up somehow (and there's no way in hell I'm relying on an online backup system... I'm not paranoid, but putting all my files online? That sounds like a CIA/CI5 data heaven to me, not to mention the criminal element).

As for MP3/4 and downloading video, there's a strong possibility I was doing it before a lot of the "educated generation" even got near a computer do get educated too.. (before anyone accuses me of being a grognard, especially since I just hit 41 (sigh)). :)

Shiodome
08-05-2014, 10:19
whatever floats your boat, external HDDs are so cheap now i've been happy with them for backup. it was meant to be a rhetorical question rather than a bizarre DVD derail :P

IJW
08-05-2014, 10:20
but i don't think the big shift will come until 3D printing is viable for the average non-gamer. once your parents have a 3D printer, then you know it's game over.

Sure, but what's the magic transformation that makes 3D printing more useful for the average consumer than buying something in a shop?

MusingWarboss
08-05-2014, 12:25
Sure, but what's the magic transformation that makes 3D printing more useful for the average consumer than buying something in a shop?

I'd have a guess it'd be a customisation thing, or the ability to print a specific unique part that you can't get from the shop. In the same way that desktop 2D printers offered a selection of fonts and the ability to do graphics over the typewriter.

Again, talking generally here, not just miniatures.

bittick
08-05-2014, 15:34
Sure, but what's the magic transformation that makes 3D printing more useful for the average consumer than buying something in a shop?

If I knew that, I'd be rich.

Most of the products we use are made from multiple materials. I'm not gonna 3D print a toothbrush because the handle and the bristles are made out of different things, and I don't think a 3D printer will make one properly. I'm not gonna make a Gillette Mach 3 because the printer can't make razor blades. I'm probably not gonna make sunglasses because I don't think they'll do the tinted glass properly. As I look about my office I see very little that I could reproduce with a 3D printer. Almost everything is a mixture of different materials, has electronics inside it, or paper (loads and loads of paper), or has some sort of chemical mixture in it. Hard to duplicate with the type of printers I've seen available.

I really don't need a 3D printer for anything. I think your average consumer will still run over to the Dollar Store and pick up whatever they need. But that doesn't mean there's not a market for it. And if they come down to like a hundred bucks, I might buy one. It will be one of those things you have sitting in the garage. A knob breaks on your stove, you go to the manufacturer's website, click on "stove knob replacement", click print, and in 10 minutes you've got a new knob. It gets used for small repairs to the home, making arts and crafts products for the kids' school, things like that.

shelfunit.
08-05-2014, 16:06
Most of the products we use are made from multiple materials. I'm not gonna 3D print a toothbrush because the handle and the bristles are made out of different things, and I don't think a 3D printer will make one properly. I'm not gonna make a Gillette Mach 3 because the printer can't make razor blades.

You might be ok printing out the handle "part" though, that the blade section clips into - probably not a huge market for it...


I'm probably not gonna make sunglasses because I don't think they'll do the tinted glass properly.

Personalised frames would be an idea though - I'm not having a go here, you have just given me a few ideas :)

BFalcon
08-05-2014, 19:37
Sure, but what's the magic transformation that makes 3D printing more useful for the average consumer than buying something in a shop?

That would be a program to take a model made by a 3rd party and, using joints and modern algorithms, being able to pose it how you like, with the equipment you want - possibly, with the face, putting your own face on the model.

Someone would need to write such a program, but it would be a very cool thing to have your own model with the cloak and clothing folding just right for the pose and carrying the right style sword for your character - be it RPG or wargaming... especially one that looks like you.

IJW
08-05-2014, 20:00
Average non-wargamer consumer, as that apparently wasn't clear enough. ;)

BFalcon
08-05-2014, 21:05
Average non-wargamer consumer, as that apparently wasn't clear enough. ;)

Oh, in that case, how about: Managing to get spares for your exact machine (tumble-dryer, vacuum cleaner, DVD player, etc) made on the spot with the pattern able to be downloaded and used for a set number of production runs, instead of hunting worldwide for a part for an out-of-production machine. Same could be expanded to various hobbies - remote control cars, planes and helicopters, for example... need a new wishbone for your Schumacher Fireblade - well Schumacher stopped making those, but a 3D printer could get you one 3D printed if you can provide the template for it... you might need to add the last few metal parts, but it's better than none at all.

Also, what about a 3D model of a sculpture you liked? A shop might need to order one from the manufacturers to be make specially, or you can arrange a 3D print and be done in a matter of days. Maybe in the future, it'll be a case of "want your TV or Laptop lid in your favourite team colours? Certainly sir - it'll take a day or two for the printer to make the casing, but we can do that, complete with embedded logo...".

And non-wargamers/roleplayers aren't normal...


(on a related note, have you noticed how non-geeks/nerds are in the decline - given that talking about computer/console games (especially strategic games), animated films/series and so on are traditionally considered geek/nerd territory... great, isn't it?)

IJW
08-05-2014, 21:24
Who's making/suppling the 3D model (tweaked for your specific type of 3D printer) for that obscure OOP spare part, though? ;) It won't be the manufacturers, they want to to sell new products.

Apart from that, most plastic FDM machines (i.e. the affordable tech) aren't capable making a part that's anywhere near strong enough for use as an RC car wishbone or any load-bearing part in consumer goods. It's not even a technological barrier, it's the materials.

There are RP technologies which can make strong enough items, like laser sintering, and those will come down in price as the patents are expiring, but you run into all sorts of other problems, like noxious chemicals and resin liquids that approach pinter ink in expensiveness. :(

Shiodome
08-05-2014, 22:28
Sure, but what's the magic transformation that makes 3D printing more useful for the average consumer than buying something in a shop?

Price and convenience?

also, i think some people might have a false idea of the current limitations of 3d printing, let alone future limitations. saw a brief documentary recently on a 3d printed bionic hand (A BIONIC HAND for christs sale!) that is being reviewed by users as being superior to existing options that cost tens of thousands of dollars, for a price in the hundreds of dollars.

Autumn Leaves
09-05-2014, 06:59
It's only a matter of time...

bittick
09-05-2014, 17:53
We don't know exactly how it's going to work because we don't know exactly how the technology will develop. We also don't know how the economics of the situation will change. If fuel costs double in the next 10 years, then that may outweigh the production efficiency you get at larger factories. If fuel costs drop, 3D printers will become less viable.

Scaryscarymushroom
09-05-2014, 18:20
Who's making/suppling the 3D model (tweaked for your specific type of 3D printer) for that obscure OOP spare part, though? ;) It won't be the manufacturers, they want to to sell new products.

Pirates. Pirates will make and share plans. Along with viruses. And scurvy. Yarrr.

Thar be digital bootleggin' ahead.

BFalcon
12-05-2014, 12:37
Who's making/suppling the 3D model (tweaked for your specific type of 3D printer) for that obscure OOP spare part, though? ;) It won't be the manufacturers, they want to to sell new products.

Apart from that, most plastic FDM machines (i.e. the affordable tech) aren't capable making a part that's anywhere near strong enough for use as an RC car wishbone or any load-bearing part in consumer goods. It's not even a technological barrier, it's the materials.

There are RP technologies which can make strong enough items, like laser sintering, and those will come down in price as the patents are expiring, but you run into all sorts of other problems, like noxious chemicals and resin liquids that approach pinter ink in expensiveness. :(

Well, who's to say what plastics we'll see in the future - ABS might be printable soon enough (and, don't forget, some models, like the Tamiya Tl-01 chassis) used fairly rigid plastics, but are models you cannot easily find spares for now) and it's not unreasonable that a number of programs might spring up in the same way that scanner programs work now - handing off to a specialised printer module, having translated a user-friendly template into the required data for the printer driver to understand. It's also not unreasonable to expect older models to be given low-cost models, while newer ones would be more likely to get the treatment either in-house or (more likely) to registered outlets.

I know that trying to get parts for a laptop casing is sometimes near-impossible unless you want to pay a fortune for them - being able to go to a parts printer and request the right DVD facia for your laptop, to use another example, would be much easier than trying to find one on ebay that's the precise model and the manufacturer also gets their parts.

Just because something doesn't exist today, doesn't mean it won't tomorrow... when I was at school, I got laughed at by a teacher when I said how thin a modern monitor would be - he thought I meant the width - but the joke's on him, now that we have smartwatches that have more processing power than the computers we used back then. Do not underestimate future standards and abilities.

If someone had said, 30 years ago, that Formula One would not see a fatality in the 20 years following Senna's death in 1994, you'd have been called crazy. And yet, here we are - drivers going over 200 mph in a V6 (instead of the V10 they used not too many years ago) and the cars having to be made LESS safe in order to keep a sense of racing going and to slow everyone down (or, right now, we'd be looking at V10 turbos probably touching 300 mph). Senna's era saw V10 (and one V12) turbo engines being fairly normal... again, had you said that a 20-year-on V6 turbo would be out-performing them...

Litcheur
13-05-2014, 16:00
Who's making/suppling the 3D model (tweaked for your specific type of 3D printer) for that obscure OOP spare part, though? ;) It won't be the manufacturers, they want to to sell new products.
+1.

People keep telling me how 3D printing will change our lives. I usually ask them if they do actually use Maya/3DSMax/Blender, and if not, if they know someone who actually use these kind of software on a regular basis...

That's your market. The hard truth is, there is no mass market for 3D printers, just as there is no mass market for Arduino or RaspberryPi. Because mankind has never been so talented in buying things, and inept at creating and tweaking things.

My dad actually considers himself a geek because he owns the latest iPhone and knows how to use Apple Store. :o

MusingWarboss
13-05-2014, 16:33
+1.

People keep telling me how 3D printing will change our lives. I usually ask them if they do actually use Maya/3DSMax/Blender, and if not, if they know someone who actually use these kind of software on a regular basis...

That's your market. The hard truth is, there is no mass market for 3D printers, just as there is no mass market for Arduino or RaspberryPi. Because mankind has never been so talented in buying things, and inept at creating and tweaking things.

My dad actually considers himself a geek because he owns the latest iPhone and knows how to use Apple Store. :o

Perhaps then the answer to your question is... People will buy pre-made items to use on their 3D printers.

If there are talented sculptors already working both in physical and digital media already for models companies (and many many others) those same people will be there to sell their digital designs to buying customers. Don't be fooled that big business won't just leap at the chance to sell people models that the customer then has to print out at their expense rather than at the businesses. Why go to all the trouble of manufacturing niche products if the consumer will do that work for you?

Just wait for the Apple i3Dprint or the HP 3DJet or even the Citadel Manufactorum. Once machines are out there, a use will be found for them.

Plus take 2D. Word processing under DOS was awful, really only a level above a typewriter (how do we show bold, italic and underlined text? Err, change the colour?), the GUI Windows stuff (yeah and Apple) was massively more productive until we get the range of online tools we have today, all of which are as if not more powerful as Wordprocessors from a decade ago, DTP revolutionised the design scene over the previous methods.

3D printing *can* work. It'll take time, but innovations by innovative people and companies will happen.

3D Cinema however, will always suck as long as its a bodge job and requires people to wear odd glasses and doesn't degrade well to 2D for those who have vision issues.

Neither Arduinio or RaspPi were aimed at mass market, it was enthusiasts and schools respectively.

bittick
13-05-2014, 21:49
Wargamers are probably one of the early waves of 3D printer buyers. As soon as you can get a decent space marine or ork out of the printer, people will buy them. I expect somebody will set up a mix-and-match parts program with bits they put in a 3D scanner.

So you select:
Ork bike
Torso - ork warboss #3
Legs - ork nob biker (increase size 20%)
Left arm - warboss power klaw
Right arm - ork nob biker (increase size 20%)
Head - ork head #8 (increase size 30%)

And you click "print". The computer program puts all the parts in the right place, so you don't even have to glue it. It's like super-kitbashing. GW could do it themselves, but it they don't, someone else will. They might sell it as a generic "wargame character builder for 3D printers" program for $50, with a few generic templates. Everyone knows, of course, that you go to Pirate Bay or somewhere and you just download the scans you want to use.

There are probably 50 other hobbies out there where people are excited about 3D printers. We don't know what they are, because we don't follow those hobbies. But there's some 50 year old lady out there right now posting about how she's gonna buy one of these as soon as the price comes down because it will help her fulfill her dream of a set of coffee mugs with cat faces on them, or something. There are a bunch of people with weird hobbies out there. I don't know how many of you remember personal computers of the early 80s but they weren't exactly awesome.

Litcheur
13-05-2014, 23:19
Perhaps then the answer to your question is... People will buy pre-made items to use on their 3D printers.
The answer was in the question : people expect other folks to do the job for them.

People are just expecting some innovations by innovative people and companies to happen, and then ask talented sculptors to sell their digital designs. Or give them, actually, because everybody can go to PirateBay or somewhere and just download the scan [they] want to use.

Your words, folks.

Problem is : what if the 3D printers never go past the Arduino/RasPi level of user-friendliness ? :D

MusingWarboss
14-05-2014, 00:03
The answer was in the question : people expect other folks to do the job for them.

People are just expecting some innovations by innovative people and companies to happen, and then ask talented sculptors to sell their digital designs. Or give them, actually, because everybody can go to PirateBay or somewhere and just download the scan [they] want to use.

Your words, folks.

Problem is : what if the 3D printers never go past the Arduino/RasPi level of user-friendliness ? :D

Then I guess they'll just stay in the engineering and scientific community for their use.

To be fair, people have always been like this. Not many people have built their own car, even back when they were simple compared to now. They expected those innovations to be made by appropriate people. Not many people have built a house either. Saying that, there are vast swathes of people who can't play musical instruments but are content to enjoy the music made by talented musicians. Sadly, also not pay for it either.

It doesn't always go that if you want it, you must do it yourself. That would be the death knell for countless jobs and professions.

Autumn Leaves
14-05-2014, 13:40
This technology is too versatile to stay niche for long.

bittick
16-05-2014, 15:38
The answer was in the question : people expect other folks to do the job for them.

People are just expecting some innovations by innovative people and companies to happen, and then ask talented sculptors to sell their digital designs. Or give them, actually, because everybody can go to PirateBay or somewhere and just download the scan [they] want to use.

Your words, folks.

Problem is : what if the 3D printers never go past the Arduino/RasPi level of user-friendliness ? :D

So what? What does it matter? I don't understand your point.

If other people don't make these developments then 3D printing dies. I sure as hell am not going to build one. You wouldn't want any art or any figures I designed. You wouldn't want a computer I put together or a car I designed either. That's not my area of expertise. I don't expect a brain surgeon to compose his own music either.

This topic is about (far as I have been able to tell) how future advances in 3D printing technologies may affect the wargaming industry. And people are giving their predictions. I predict that once 3D printers get a bit better, people will start scanning in parts and putting them up for download, just like has happened with movies and music and tv shows. I betcha I'm right.

IJW
16-05-2014, 16:03
Don't get me started on 3D scanning, that's even more of a technological minefield than 3D printing... :(

Litcheur
16-05-2014, 18:02
So what? What does it matter? I don't understand your point.
It does matter because there are some things that cannot be done for you.

The main problem is : each and every 3D printer has its own abilities and limitations. For example, minimum detail size and minimum wall thickness. Basically, the user has to tweak his designs to the printer/material he's using.

Have a look at the Shapeways Materials page.
http://www.shapeways.com/materials

If you click on each material, you'll see more information about design constraints. For example, if someone design something to be printed in Frosted Ultra Detail, it may not print correctly in Strong and Flexible : missing parts, broken poles, things like that. If someone designs something to be printed in Strong and Flexible and you want to print it in Frosted Ultra Detail, it will print correcly, but the model will have a far lower detail level than what your printer/material is capable of.


If other people don't make these developments then 3D printing dies.
I don't really see why.

Some technologies were only used by professionnals, then by über-nerdy hobbyists. Then they made some advances, but will probably always require a fairly high level of geekiness to be used correctly. Think Arduino and Raspi.

I really expect 3D printers to be widely used by the industries that already uses it, to conquer some new markets (prostetics...) as the technology improves, but always stay out of reach of Little Timmy and his mother because of the skills (and costs) involved to achieve a good result. :o


I predict that once 3D printers get a bit better, people will start scanning in parts and putting them up for download, just like has happened with movies and music and tv shows. I betcha I'm right.
I see 3D scanning/printing just like 2D scanning/printing.

Someone who wants to copy something needs a copier, not really a scanner. In 3D, it's called a mold, and it's cheaper, quicker, more accurate. And you dont have to wait for 30 years to spend thousands, that's something you can do right here, right now, for less than 100€. :D

Somewone who wants to scan that document so he can photoshop it or edit it, uses this tool correctly. But that also involves some knowledge about editing/e-drawing, the ability to tweak things.

Another good example would be the artist who wants to scan that hand-drawing he's just done so he can store it or share it with his friends. Unfortunately, one can expect good old putty-modelling to be a thing of the past in the near future, since minis manufacturers already begin to use 3D printing. I'm not sure many people will use scanners that way.

Last case : the person who prints that Word document he's just created, then scan it because he initially wanted to send it by mail, well...

Hey! I know her! :D
It's that old clueless secretary that hammers her keyboard because it looks like a typewriter and use correction fluid on her screen. :o

riotknight
16-05-2014, 18:13
Just ordered my 3D printer, going to shake the rust off my Maya/3DSMax skills. A friend of mine invested in the 4th Gen makerbot and has achieved some astounding results, it's instilled confidence for me to take the plunge, albeit with a different printer. I will share results in a months time when my printer gets here :)


Sent from my RM-877_nam_canada_235 using Tapatalk

IJW
16-05-2014, 18:21
I look forward to seeing the results!

EmperorNorton
16-05-2014, 18:23
Some technologies were only used by professionnals, then by über-nerdy hobbyists. Then they made some advances, but will probably always require a fairly high level of geekiness to be used correctly. Think Arduino and Raspi.

The Raspberry Pi is a terrible comparison. It was designed to not be overly user friendly to give students something to learn with. If you want a user friendly computer there are other options.
And despite of that (or maybe because of it) they managed to sell more than 2 million Pis. That sounds like mass market to me.

I remember when using a regular 2D printer led to fantasies like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsBB93IqJkE

Doesn't seem to happen that much anymore.
I expect the same to happen with 3D printers.

Konovalev
16-05-2014, 18:50
I remember when using a regular 2D printer led to fantasies like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsBB93IqJkE

I can already see it now. After being fed up with yet another miscast item, the user fills the raw material hopper with semtex, or semi-frozen gasoline and watches as the device literally prints its own destruction.

Autumn Leaves
18-05-2014, 14:42
I like the idea that we can purchase designs for the miniature we want and then print it out ourselves.

Sildani
23-05-2014, 00:29
Yes, and when the tech for color pigmentation is added, they'll come pre-painted too!

Autumn Leaves
23-05-2014, 07:22
^^
Awesome

zend0g
24-05-2014, 15:12
We have several MakerBots and UltiBots at work and let me just say, I am less than impressed. Right now the thread of plastic that they extrude is thicker than the detail on most if not all WH40K miniatures. So, trying to print out a miniature is going to look really crappy for the current generation of printers. When you look at something you make you can see the extruded thread of plastic as it winds its way throughout the figure. If you paint it and give it a wash, it really, really stands out. Right now, the best thing they are good for - if your platform in your 3D printer is big enough - is making terrain. Because you can paint over it with say Vallejo's Desert Sand texture paint which will hide the thread layers. 3D printers won't give GW a run for their money until they can get the extruded thread size down to the point where you can't see it with the naked eye or heat the plastic up to where it flows together (which has its own technical problems).

As for structural strength, it varies wildly. Someone opened the door and let a cool breeze in while you printing something? You be able to break (shear rather) that part with ease with your fingers.

plantagenet
24-05-2014, 15:22
3d printing is going to be a hugely disruptive technology. Cost will dramatically fall and the issue GW will have is that as an extremely high margin player there margins are going to be eroded very quickly. Yes you need models but that is a relatively inexpensive business which individuals can do. I would expect to see plenty of sources popping up selling 3d models for you to purchase.

Going to be interesting

Zywus
26-05-2014, 17:42
My analysis is that the initial implication of 3d printers on the wargaming industry wont initially be people printing out models or bitz in their homes with their private cheap 3d-printers. Some kind of print-on-demand system however is more or less inevitable. Such a arrangement cuts cost for the printing company, that does not need to keep any stock. It makes it possible to use advanced and expensive printers since they are owned and located centrally and need not be available in the customers home. And the system is highly customizable. You could choose from ready-made templates or send in your own totally customized designs.

Only a few will have the actual skills to create digital templates but popular designs (like orc heads and similar) will of course be widely circulated (legally as well as illegally).
I believe there is actually a kickstarter project ongoing (or perhaps finished) that concerns this very concept. At least the ready made parts

EDIT:

Now I remember which kickstarter I was thinking about: Hero Forge
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/heroforge/customizable-3d-printed-tabletop-miniatures?ref=discovery

It funded in February, but i suspect there will be quite some time left until a print-on-demand site is up and running, and even longer before one can send in home-made parts to be printed. It's an interesting first step though.

Wolf Lord Balrog
27-05-2014, 06:27
There are already high-resolution desktop 3D Printers available for sale that can make a highly detailed 28mm scale model. They cost about $3000 U.S. and would take 5-7 hours to make half a squad of guys, or a single medium-to-largish-sized model, but they do already exist. I agree that it is only a matter of time until the price drops to a tipping point where they become common though, but I figure its still about a decade out.

Karhedron
05-06-2014, 15:34
My analysis is that the initial implication of 3d printers on the wargaming industry wont initially be people printing out models or bitz in their homes with their private cheap 3d-printers. Some kind of print-on-demand system however is more or less inevitable.

Already happening to some extent. Look at the market for 40K themed bitz on Shapeways. Rare components like combi-weapons that are hard to get since GW stopped selling individual parts are well supplied. It is happening already and will continue to expand.

The main thing is that not everyone wants a commercial reward for their work. Once the 3D design tools reach the stage where an amateur can get decent results for a modest learning curve, people will start posting the files up for others to print. Combine that with decent home 3D printing and it will inevitably erode GW's business model. I am not saying it will happen overnight but each improvement in printer technology and each reduction in cost takes us one step closer.