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Venkh
14-01-2011, 16:20
I brought this up last year when these things looked like something for industry only. Things change fast in our capitalist society..

The question is why would you ever want to buy expensive plastic molds if you could just have a production line of industrial standard 3D printing machines churning away night and day?


http://www.eta.co.uk/2011/01/14/star-trek-style-%E2%80%98replicator%E2%80%99-bicycle-parts-sale-now

What does this mean for companies that make little models out of cheap plastic and sell at a huge mark up...

Given that you can buy one for Ģ847 now, what will you be able to get in 5 years time? One thing you can say about technology is that it constantly gets better, faster and sometimes even cheaper.

I can see 3d designs being swapped on-line by hobbyists, companies selling files of their own design. The whole way we consume and manufacture certain products changing FOREVER!

shelfunit.
14-01-2011, 16:38
I have recently had a look at this machine - for the price it has awesome potetial for the home gamer. My only reservations are a) it involves some technical ability to put together - soldering and the like, sadly I have no experience at this and little wish to ruin a $1k device by cocking this first stage up - and b) finding a CAD program that is not too expensive and can be used by an idiot (me :D ).

EDIT - They also explicitly state on the website that you can print out your own replacement parts for the machine - and their "final step" is to use the 3D printer to fully manufacture other 3D printers in an unending almost costless way - brilliant and cheap.

IJW
14-01-2011, 16:38
1. You can buy a kit for Ģ847 and then add quite a lot of hours putting it together, calibrating it and then making sure the software will connect to it properly. Plus it's not that impressive a model in the first place.
2. Conventional mould techniques are at least a hundred times faster in producing models.
3. In five years time, an RP machine with acceptable resolution for 28mm figures might be in the reach of the hobbyist's price range.

EmperorNorton
14-01-2011, 16:54
I ain't interested in that there machine unless it can produce: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Max Jet
14-01-2011, 16:56
We are a couple of years off.

The detail still isn't that impressive and the raw material costs are high, however it is almost a fact that in the near future many hobbyist are going to design their miniatures with 3D programs, then printing them out instead of buyin overpriced plastic kits.

It's still a long way though.

Interesting to see how these machines went from 10 000 to 3000 and now to 900.

IJW
14-01-2011, 16:59
Interesting to see how these machines went from 10 000 to 3000 and now to 900.
They haven't. ;)

if you want a ready to use model with any kind of reliability (let alone speed) you're still looking at multiple thousands of pounds. That said, they have come down in price a lot.

Thoume
14-01-2011, 17:22
Looks fun, but I'd happily wait a bit longer to see what evolves from this.

Then again I still keep meaning to make something through Shapeways and the like, just need to get my head around Blender... :p

Venkh
14-01-2011, 20:32
Looks fun, but I'd happily wait a bit longer to see what evolves from this.

Me too, however, look what a 4% drop in sales did to GW's share price. I think the change will be evolutionary but there will be a tipping point where GW's current business model becomes untenable.

GW will always have their IP to draw upon, that is their prime asset and will continue to be after selling 1000's of identical plastic sprues becomes a thing of the past.

Korraz
14-01-2011, 20:59
Call me again in twenty years. Currently, the resolution isn't even close to stuff like your basic Marine, let alone Sanguinary Guard. But by then, the market might have already adapted and changed the prices.

scarletsquig
15-01-2011, 04:56
The tech isn't quite there yet, for the level of detail we need for miniatures.

There are people attempting to make miniatures with it, but they're having to fight against the lack of detail.

Note the comments on this 3d printing site, where someone has made an absolutely brilliant elf ranger model for RPGs:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/32759/elven_healer_39mm_miniature.html?gid=ggminiatures


Same as with my other models, i expect some serious detail loss, that's why I've put emphasis on the silhouette of each figure, to make them very distinguishable, even at this scale.
So there are issues with the tech even at the 39mm scale of that figure.

Pretty cool site, though, it's really interesting to browse through and see what people are making using the tech.

There is some really innovative stuff.. I really like the "world map" D20, presumably for use in games where you need to randomly determine a location on the earth's surface.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
15-01-2011, 08:26
The tech isn't quite there yet, for the level of detail we need for miniatures.

Or is it?

1)
http://warpainter.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/typhon004.jpg

2)
http://external.ak.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=6fb356ec89cbc0c2a62f08264e7fe46c&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwarpainter.files.wordpress.com%2F 2010%2F03%2Ftyphonprin003.jpg

3)
http://warpainter.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/typhonprin017.jpg

His painting skills aren't quite up to the level of his CAD skills, but that looks pretty decent.

Of course, it was not made on a home machine. But this one will be a realistic alternative in a few years.

plantagenet
15-01-2011, 09:44
Wow wonder if you will start seeing Staples giving access to something like this. So you take CAd in and print off a couple hundred miniatures

Cool tech either way

shelfunit.
15-01-2011, 10:13
Or is it?

1)
http://warpainter.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/typhon004.jpg

2)
http://external.ak.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=6fb356ec89cbc0c2a62f08264e7fe46c&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwarpainter.files.wordpress.com%2F 2010%2F03%2Ftyphonprin003.jpg

3)
http://warpainter.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/typhonprin017.jpg

His painting skills aren't quite up to the level of his CAD skills, but that looks pretty decent.

Of course, it was not made on a home machine. But this one will be a realistic alternative in a few years.

Has he decided to sell the CAD file yet? I'm sure he could make a bit from it.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
15-01-2011, 10:26
I think that could cause him some trouble since the model is actually this fellow:

http://privateerpress.com/hordes/gallery/legion-of-everblight/warbeasts/typhon

He checked if it was ok with PP that he posted it, and first posted it on their forums with their permission, so I do not think he's after money. He just wanted an alternate Typhon.

shelfunit.
15-01-2011, 10:33
I think that could cause him some trouble since the model is actually this fellow:

http://privateerpress.com/hordes/gallery/legion-of-everblight/warbeasts/typhon

He checked if it was ok with PP that he posted it, and first posted it on their forums with their permission, so I do not think he's after money. He just wanted an alternate Typhon.

Interesting - a very honest chap - unusual. I am sure if he called it a 3 headed hydra he could CHS it, PP might have a case, but who knows...

EDIT - Personally I think his version is better than the PP version - I do hatefully envy people who can use CAD as well as this.

yabbadabba
15-01-2011, 11:04
What does this mean for companies that make little models out of cheap plastic and sell at a huge mark up... Won't affect them at all really. The market GW is in won't be affected by this internally. Again it will be about how GW defend their IP.

The market you are in, wargames, will be affected by a lesser extent initially, and then it will only be affected when the materials and machine costs are truly low. Why? The same reason why more people don't scuplt their own figures now, talent and time. It is far easier to buy a finished product than go through the process of producing your own at any level. In short, I think a niche within a niche will absorb this totally but it will take a lot longer than that before it becomes even a shadow of a norm. Its about the market, not the technology.

shelfunit.
15-01-2011, 11:41
Won't affect them at all really. The market GW is in won't be affected by this internally. Again it will be about how GW defend their IP.

IP will only matter if the products are sold on to the public - sprues for personal use could be 3D scanned and reproduce resonably cheaply, especially if a gaming club bought one of the printers together.


The market you are in, wargames, will be affected by a lesser extent initially, and then it will only be affected when the materials and machine costs are truly low. Why? The same reason why more people don't scuplt their own figures now, talent and time. It is far easier to buy a finished product than go through the process of producing your own at any level. In short, I think a niche within a niche will absorb this totally but it will take a lot longer than that before it becomes even a shadow of a norm. Its about the market, not the technology.

The materials (plastic) are already dirt cheap (2.25kg for $45 in their own shop, so probably cheaper elsewhere), once the CAD files on sprues become downloadable - and they will - GW (and a number of other manufactures) can kiss the vet market goodbye. As can be pointed out kidz and fanboyz will still lap up their products, but an increasing number (observation from myself) of child gamers are 2nd generation hobbyists and the oldtimers will be looking to cut all the costs they can in this time of increasing prices - and as kit this 3D printer is not just cheap, but proven to produce high quality miniatures - it is also a good science project and can make things other than models. I give it 5yrs before GW and Co start to see the impact of these devices, but after 5yrs it will be a constant decline of sales for them.

IJW
15-01-2011, 12:07
IP will only matter if the products are sold on to the public - sprues for personal use could be 3D scanned and reproduce resonably cheaply, especially if a gaming club bought one of the printers together.
That depends on the country, and whether GW models are covered by copyright or design right. If it is copyright then the act of making a copy is illegal in most Western countries, even for personal use.

See all the endless discussions about recasting.

yabbadabba
15-01-2011, 14:13
IP will only matter if the products are sold on to the public - sprues for personal use could be 3D scanned and reproduce resonably cheaply, especially if a gaming club bought one of the printers together. As I said, I think you are assuming about the wrong market. Would a gaming club get one of these? Yes possibly in time. Would GW care? No. Also, as soon as this technology becomes a business threat you could see the law change as well to protect creators from such situations. Nothing is safe from this technology long term, so there would be a lot of resistance towards allowing this to be an open and uncontrolled market.


The materials (plastic) are already dirt cheap (2.25kg for $45 in their own shop, so probably cheaper elsewhere), once the CAD files on sprues become downloadable - and they will - GW (and a number of other manufactures) can kiss the vet market goodbye. What makes you think GW care about the vet market and haven't dismissed it anyway? GW's products will only become downloadable legally if they choose to enter the market.


As can be pointed out kidz and fanboyz will still lap up their products, but an increasing number (observation from myself) of child gamers are 2nd generation hobbyists and the oldtimers will be looking to cut all the costs they can in this time of increasing prices Most people try to cut down prices agreed, but the assumption about customer base is dangerous in this line of reasoning about GW. However, yes it is a reasonable line of thinking for the wargames market as it is, in essence, a cannibalistic market. Should this technology hit the ideal combination of big club+technological knowledge + designer then you could see many model producers, most of which are just cottage industries afterall, suffer. Remember a Roman Legionary or a French Napoleonic Voltigeur are not protectable. Historical wargames has the greatest to lose from this.


- and as kit this 3D printer is not just cheap, but proven to produce high quality miniatures - it is also a good science project and can make things other than models. I give it 5yrs before GW and Co start to see the impact of these devices, but after 5yrs it will be a constant decline of sales for them. People on here are questioning the quality already, so that is a subjective view, but not oe to be totally dismissed. I thnk 5 years is also far, far to optimistic. In 5 years time you might see rich clubs with knowledgeable memebers and inclub designers looking at this to start recreating games like Waterloo in 28mm. BUt your regular GW gamer or club? No, there is no evidence yet to suggest this is a real threat.

As I said Shelfunit, its about the market, not the technology. If there is a demand yes we could see this begin to break through in the next 5-20 years time, depending on the market.

shelfunit.
15-01-2011, 14:24
(paraphrasing) Excellent post with many well made points.

Damn good post. Can't really disagree with much if any of this. I think price and availibility will determine the time scales on ths one - if the "thing-o-matic" does end up costing only a couple of hundred Ģ/$ then the general market saturation of them for everyday items will mean one ends up in most middle class and above houses, and then the turning of them to model manufacturing is just a CAD file away.

bert n ernie
15-01-2011, 14:32
Then again if people like the GW rules then they just have to pick an army that isn't so well protected as marines, and they should be fine. That is if they are using their own versions of the mini.
I'm sure you'll find at least a few people willing to either sell or give for free the design for the 'Emperors Guard' the Nuns of War or whatever. That's not really an issue though. What is interesting is that people who do not have the capacity for a full blown company, but who want to produce their own minis (whether for their own game, or just for the minis) can much more easily do so without having to invest huge amounts of their personal finances.

I look forward to the day this is useful. If I could get someone else to build it I'm sure I'd want to buy the thing as soon as it's up to scratch in terms of quality.

Max Jet
15-01-2011, 14:47
Me too, I am allready keeping up to date with the technology, waiting for the right moment (Which might be 5-10 years ahead) but It's basically the same as home printers, Print shops and book stores. Model kit manufacturers won't go down overnight, but for you it will make life a little bit easier. And to answer yabbadabbas post.
I think the demand of wargaming hobbyist has almost nothing to do with the progress of these 3D printers. There are hundreds of larger groups having interests in these printers, for example niche manufacturers looking for small plastic parts in their machinery, they cannot order in small numbers. Or repairing services, custom Handy and I-pod casing manufacturers and so on and so on. Ever went to an University with natural science field of study? Every single workshop there will want to have one of these once they get cheaper. Every second one allready has and is desperately looking for an affordable newer version. There are a thousand possibilities in utilising these things, it's like saying home printers are just for musicians who do not want to dish out 30 pounds for their music sheets.

yabbadabba
15-01-2011, 15:22
@Maxjet - its not the technology as I have said, its the market and the technology's infiltration of. However you bring up an interesting point which is what effect such technology might have on the economy as a whole. If there is a huge plethora of products that could be effectively made with such technology, then vast manufacturing sections could disappear, replaced by smaller supply/servicing industries leading to further unemployment and consolidation of wealth in the wealthy classes.

But again, a couple to a few decades yet.

Llew
15-01-2011, 15:40
The MakerBot (made by a company in New York, IIRC) runs about $900 in the U.S., and it's all open source, so you can actually source the parts yourself if you care to. Right now it prints with about .33 mm resolution, but there's already a prototype head that will get down to .2 mm in the works.

It's apparently a bit tricky to get working, but being Open Source, someone will inevitably make it easier to print your 3-D files.

It won't challenge GW anytime soon, but I definitely think that the future will start to get tougher for manufacturers unless they keep their prices low enough that it's not worth the effort for people to make their own models.

susu.exp
15-01-2011, 16:36
That depends on the country, and whether GW models are covered by copyright or design right. If it is copyright then the act of making a copy is illegal in most Western countries, even for personal use.

Itīd be worth making a list of coutries in this regard. Itīs legal in Germany to make personal copies, the same goes for France AFAIK. Itīs illegal in the UK, but it is legal to bring a copy for personal use into the UK as long as it wasnīt made there, etc. For the models, they are covered by design law and Iīm not aware of a single country where personal copies of protected designs are legal.


See all the endless discussions about recasting.

Which GW could stop simply by noting that their minis are protected by design law. Itīs adding to a lack of clarity for people living in countries where copyright allows private copies.

xxRavenxx
15-01-2011, 21:57
I think what you will see in the coming years, is a change in the legal system to clamp down hugely on distribution of virtual copies of protected works, and to protect designs more heavily.

In a world when you can create anything "for free", the economy falls over, and a lot of people starve.

Steps will be made to prevent this from becoming a largescale issue, and destroying a few industries, plus crashing a few hundred businesses in the process.


If I'm wrong... well, GW will go bust, warhammer will go out of fashion with noone to support it and hold it in the public eye, and we can also say goodbye to anyone else who makes things into shapes for a living :P Hellfire and brimstone, and all that.

AndrewGPaul
15-01-2011, 22:27
Which GW could stop simply by noting that their minis are protected by design law. Itīs adding to a lack of clarity for people living in countries where copyright allows private copies.

Most of the recasts I've seen have been from the US, as have most of the discussion about the "right" to make copies for personal use. There's nothing GW can do to stop uninformed blithering on the internet. :)

susu.exp
15-01-2011, 22:37
Most of the recasts I've seen have been from the US, as have most of the discussion about the "right" to make copies for personal use. There's nothing GW can do to stop uninformed blithering on the internet. :)

While US copyright does allow the making of copies for peronal use under very specific circumstances (Unlike some countries where that right is indeed unconditional), US design law doesnīt allow copies or even similar enough (of course thereīs relevant case law) to be made, used, imported... Though there are some exceptions for spare and replacement parts. But design law tends to be a lot stricter than copyright and there arenīt any sweeping fair use conditions.

The Pestilent Blight
15-01-2011, 23:11
clipped

If I'm wrong... well, GW will go bust, warhammer will go out of fashion with noone to support it and hold it in the public eye, and we can also say goodbye to anyone else who makes things into shapes for a living :P Hellfire and brimstone, and all that.

Not really, wargaming will still exist, but it will be placed in the hands of the players and I believe it will prosper way beyond what it is now because it's taken from being profit driven to fun driven. When games are limited to your imagination, that you can actually create for real cheaply by yourself, then miniature gaming will escalate into awesomeness.

Have you ever played a videogame and afterwards came up with 100 ideas that would have made it a better game? It's alot like that except you will actually be able to make it. And someone else can come along and add their own ideas and make it even better too.

I need to read some more info about this wonderful magical machine....

AndrewGPaul
15-01-2011, 23:19
That's a lovely thought, but you still need some skill to create the computer model, just as sculpting requires skill now. A magic printer won't change any of that.

Sean Drake
15-01-2011, 23:48
That's a lovely thought, but you still need some skill to create the computer model, just as sculpting requires skill now. A magic printer won't change any of that.

Ahh yes this is true however where now there may be an amazing sculptor on these boards if I ask him to sculpt me something I then need it delivering to wherever I am, with this technology all it take is an email.

And while I agree skill is needed that particular skill set is much more common than sculpting and to a certain degree it is easier to teach yourself or even take a course in cad or computer modelling than it is in sculpting.

The 1st effect this technology will have on GW is going to be the sales of SC's and and character type models, also while i'm not sure of where the law would stand but they would have to be much more careful of releasing codexs with characters and no models, or by the time they release a model everyone might all ready have one of there own.

AndrewGPaul
15-01-2011, 23:59
Ahh yes this is true however where now there may be an amazing sculptor on these boards if I ask him to sculpt me something I then need it delivering to wherever I am, with this technology all it take is an email.

Really, the sculptor delivering you the physical entity is a rather trivial part of the process. Magic 3D printers will still require you to find and commission a sculptor, all the communication and design work and you'll still need to pay him for his time.

"And while I agree skill is needed that particular skill set is much more common than sculpting and to a certain degree it is easier to teach yourself or even take a course in cad or computer modelling than it is in sculpting."

Familiarity with the software is meaningless. You'll still need to teach yourself anatomy, design skills and whatever else it is that separates Gary Morley from Tom Meier. Something Wargames Factory didn't appreciate, among others.

Charax
16-01-2011, 00:12
There are so many things you need to make personal 3D printing a viable alternative to GW:

- A source for Quality 3D models. Sure, there's no lack of 3D models of GW designs out there, especially as you can extract them from games like Dawn of War. What they lack though is detail - look at Ultramarines (the movie) the Power Armour in that looks...ok, but put those next to tabletop marines and they'll look rubbish. Then you have to get these 3D models and slice them into usable parts, unless you plan on either having an army of statues or reposing the model for every one in your army. Somewhere along the line, a good 3D modeller needs to be involved. Guess who has a bunch of them? GW.

- Materials. Again, not hard to come by, but enough material to print a whole army? that's some significant outlay, and the costs are all front-loaded. You have to buy the machine and the materials before you can get any models - as opposed to being able to start an army with as little as Ģ50

- Time. OK, say you've spent your grand of startup cash, got all the materials you need and have downloaded enough 3D models to produce your own sprues. Now you need to print them. Slowly. Watching for errors and being ready to sand down/sculpt up any mistakes.

That's for each and every sprue. Every square millimeter of every model is going to need sanding (if we're talking about home 3D printers like the ones available these days) to get a decent finish, and that's before we get into things like part compatibility or actually painting them.

- Effort. OK, so you decide you want your 3D-printed army, you've put down the initial outlay costs, you've put together your machine, got to grips with the software, printed and prepared your models and actually gone through and constructed them all, and even managed to paint them. Congratulations.

Now look at your bank balance. You could have bought three armies with what it's cost you, and not to mention the massive time-sink this project has become. Even if you could sell the idea of 3D custom printing to your friends, they'd then have to choose between buying their models from you, or from GW, and they can undercut your costs on every level, your only selling point is uniqueness.

There is no way a large enough proportion of wargamers are going to get 3D printers to even show up on GW's radar.

Not that I don't see a place for home 3D printing, it'd be excellent for terrain, or one-off models, or for sculptors who want slightly more control over their armatures (allowing them to concentrate on surface detail) but these are all very niche uses, and no real competition when it comes to creating whole armies.

Venkh
16-01-2011, 00:49
I agree that the quality isnt quite there yet but there will be a time very soon when it is.

This is the first stab at marketing this type of machine to your ordinary person. Think of it as a ZX81 in kit form. Give HP or Sony a few years with the concept and see what we end up with then. It'll be cheaper and exponentially better than this first stumbling step.

I truly wonder how far this could go.

Thoume
16-01-2011, 00:58
Not that I don't see a place for home 3D printing, it'd be excellent for terrain, or one-off models, or for sculptors who want slightly more control over their armatures (allowing them to concentrate on surface detail) but these are all very niche uses, and no real competition when it comes to creating whole armies.
The bit I've emboldened, thats quite a neat idea actually! Model and rig up a 25mm mannequin, pose it how you want it, then print it off ready to sculpt over. Wouldn't think it would save that much time making the rig as opposed to a wire armature but certainly would be reusable (the file that is) for anything you can think of. Might be worth a try :D

Verm1s
16-01-2011, 02:16
Familiarity with the software is meaningless. You'll still need to teach yourself anatomy, design skills and whatever else it is that separates Gary Morley from Tom Meier. Something Wargames Factory didn't appreciate, among others.

:) Yarp. Whatever advances it brings, it's not going to be strictly push-button technology.


Model and rig up a 25mm mannequin, pose it how you want it, then print it off ready to sculpt over.

Depends on whether it's rigid and vulcanisable, maybe.

Me, I can see meself advertising 'bespoke miniatures hand-crafted from authentic, traditional epoxy putty in a picturesque Ulster valley' to bored middle-class gamers. I could wear a flat cap and an aran jumper and everything, and get one of those creepy, staring collies to follow me round.

No, wait, I have one of those. Bonus!

Zink
16-01-2011, 03:55
I've tried my hand at sculpting but I'm not good at doing anything but small modifications. I have a lot of ideas but can't make a complete model myself. I've hired a sculptor to make minis for me before but the result while excellent wasn't exactly what I originally wanted and lacked my personal touch. It also gets pretty expensive as a good sculptor wants well over $100 for each green. I do resin casting and would love to try out something like this for making prototypes. I think I can handle a program better than I can the greenstuff. I don't have the time or money to get into it right now but it's definitely technology that I'm following.

bert n ernie
16-01-2011, 10:14
@Charax. I am fairly certain that while a fair few of your points hit it right on at the current stage in technology I don't see how you printing an army to sell to a friend is going to cost more than them buying it from GW.
If they want a cheap army where they may be doing detailing it seems fine.

I think this would be great when combined with all the spare heads, arms and bits you get from GW stuff. You could have greatcoats the way you want them, any number of mutant/chaos armies, a new take on empire, vastly different horses for any number of warhammer armies or for Guard. Tank parts, bike parts... I'll stop now, but i could go on.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
16-01-2011, 11:11
I think what you will see in the coming years, is a change in the legal system to clamp down hugely on distribution of virtual copies of protected works, and to protect designs more heavily.

In a world when you can create anything "for free", the economy falls over, and a lot of people starve.

Steps will be made to prevent this from becoming a largescale issue, and destroying a few industries, plus crashing a few hundred businesses in the process.

Good luck with that. If the law-abiding companies do not find a way to use this for profitable reasons, and instead choose to lobby for forbidding its use to preserve their current systems, it is only a matter of time before the less law-abiding companies (you know, those that inhabit "emerging markets" and do not care at all about copyright and IP) will be all over it. And then the industries will crash anyway. Remember those natural science labs mentioned earlier, that have bought into this already? They are not alone. Architectural schools, architect firms, maintenance companies, the maintenance departments of most larger institutions, and so on and so forth. There is a growing demand for it, and these things pop up all over the place.

I foresee them selling CADs instead of physical miniatures in not that many years (say a decade or something), depending on how rapidly this technology gets tooled for "home use" and the detail level gets improved. Plenty of time for flexible companies to reinvent themselves. Since a great many miniatures companies already use CAD design, it will likely mean that physical sculpting champs get pushed out of the market in favor of CAD sculpting champs. In the long run.

Of course, there will always be a demand for physical miniatures, just as there is a demand for vinyl now. But for the mass market, they're eventually going the way of the CD.

BigRob
16-01-2011, 15:21
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2030

Check out the gothic cathedral. I could see this having potential for a great deal of gaming goodness. However chances are it will be well above the price and competency of the average gamer. Some of the people on here will breeze it and create outstanding stuff, me I reckon I'd be lucky to get a blob. I had nightmares about autoCAD at uni and this looks about the same kind of thing.

Santiaghoul
16-01-2011, 16:26
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2030

Check out the gothic cathedral. I could see this having potential for a great deal of gaming goodness. However chances are it will be well above the price and competency of the average gamer. Some of the people on here will breeze it and create outstanding stuff, me I reckon I'd be lucky to get a blob. I had nightmares about autoCAD at uni and this looks about the same kind of thing.

I was thinking while reading the thread that terrain would be an excellent use for the builders that are currently extant. And this is proof. While the makers do not have the required resolution for minis, yet, Very nice terrain is possible. Very cool and thanks for the link.

BigRob
16-01-2011, 16:30
And continuing my browse from earlier

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5183

Oh my!

Edit:

And....

http://www.thingiverse.com/derivative:2351

WHQ sorted as well, think of the possibilities for Space Hulk!

IJW
16-01-2011, 17:06
I'm also thinking 'Oh my!' but presumably for different reasons than you. ;)

That's a relatively fine 0.2mm layer thickness and you'd still have to spend at least a day filling and sanding to get it to a useable state!

Verm1s
16-01-2011, 17:29
Since a great many miniatures companies already use CAD design, it will likely mean that physical sculpting champs get pushed out of the market in favor of CAD sculpting champs.

Assuming the two are mutually exclusive. To reiterate Andrew's post again, it doesn't matter so much about the medium, as the skill and eye to replicate a form. From what I've seen of tutorial vids and five minutes on the zbrush free trial, the interface is pretty intuitive and not that different to shaping physical media. It has some differences, but not so many insurmountable ones. Some are even advantages (the number of times I've wanted to click 'undo' on a lump of greenstuff...). ;)

Take GW. I admit I don't keep a close watch on who sculpted what for them, but I haven't noticed a lot of new names pushing out the old. In fact, weren't the in-house sculptors trained to use sculpting software, some time ago?

Kaptajn_Congoboy
16-01-2011, 18:01
I am not sure how GW's sculptors are currently being trained.

As I noted, physical sculpting will remain, possibly in much the same way as vinyl is keeping now. However, if 3d printing becomes more accessible (and cheap) to the general public, CAD sculptors will have a much easier time getting their products out there. In the extreme (and probably not realistic for a great many years) version of "3d printing will rule the world", you can download a purchased design file and print it on you home printer. There will just not be any contest. However, even if you have to email the file over to the corner printing shop or gamestore, there are definite advantages to such an approach that cannot be ignored.

Zink
16-01-2011, 18:58
Another big advantage will be when they develop a program for posing the miniatures. Say a company produces a generic soldier X file that allows you to swap weapons, move arms, add on heads or other details that are all in scale to the mini. The program could be designed so that the joints only flex in the right places and ways so the final product won't look totally freakish. Conversion possibilities galour and probably easier and faster than sculpting totally new models or doing major partes swaps and conversions for each pose.

I need to get myself retrained on a design program. Too many years since I use a CAD program. What are the popular programs people are using right now?

BigRob
16-01-2011, 20:08
Continuing my browse through thier archive...

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2455

lol, another one that shows the potential of this thing... well depending on how you look at it.

AndrewGPaul
16-01-2011, 21:52
And continuing my browse from earlier

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5183

Oh my!

Edit:

And....

http://www.thingiverse.com/derivative:2351

WHQ sorted as well, think of the possibilities for Space Hulk!

Urgh. The lines on that piece are dreadful. It's just about acceptable for a terrain piece, but no use whatsoever for a miniature.


Another big advantage will be when they develop a program for posing the miniatures. Say a company produces a generic soldier X file that allows you to swap weapons, move arms, add on heads or other details that are all in scale to the mini. The program could be designed so that the joints only flex in the right places and ways so the final product won't look totally freakish. Conversion possibilities galour and probably easier and faster than sculpting totally new models or doing major partes swaps and conversions for each pose.

I need to get myself retrained on a design program. Too many years since I use a CAD program. What are the popular programs people are using right now?

Write a program that can simulate realistic folds in cloth, and you could probably make a fortune. Every computer-designed miniature I've seen appears to be wearing rubber sheets instead of clothes.

BigRob
16-01-2011, 22:43
Urgh. The lines on that piece are dreadful. It's just about acceptable for a terrain piece, but no use whatsoever for a miniature.

Write a program that can simulate realistic folds in cloth, and you could probably make a fortune. Every computer-designed miniature I've seen appears to be wearing rubber sheets instead of clothes.

Yes but if this is available now, give it 5 years...

Look back at GW 5, 10, 15 years ago. Some of the stuff produced in those times (and occasionally, today sadly) looks like the playdough production by a bored small child compared to todays great models.

Plus its alot easier than those "cast your own metal miniature" kits doing the rounds a couple of years ago.

Zink
16-01-2011, 23:27
Write a program that can simulate realistic folds in cloth, and you could probably make a fortune. Every computer-designed miniature I've seen appears to be wearing rubber sheets instead of clothes.

Is it the program or the user that makes them look that way? Natural flowing cloth is supposed to be one of the hardest things to sculpt. I have to agree with BigRob, a lot of handmade minis on the market aren't any better. I do realise that there are still some major limitations to this but things will change. Not every gaming piece out there now is a work of art. Some of us could settle for less than perfect for the ability to produce our own things. I'll never be a Tom Meier or Felix Panaguia but I'd be happy to crank out average quality minis of my own design which is beyond me right now.

I do resin casting and have done drop casting of metal models. I have no idea how hard it is to set up the 3D printer but I'm thinking that it'll be less work and less dangerous than either of the methods I'm familiar with.

AndrewGPaul
17-01-2011, 08:19
It's a bit of both, I think. Which is my point, It's not as simple as simply using one model and 'poking' it on a PC as you suggested. You might be able to re-pose the armature but you'll still need to resculpt most of the miniature anyway.


Yes but if this is available now, give it 5 years...

We'll see in five years, then. I wonder if this is one of those things that'll be "five years away" for a decade or more ... :)

IJW
17-01-2011, 09:37
I do resin casting and have done drop casting of metal models. I have no idea how hard it is to set up the 3D printer but I'm thinking that it'll be less work and less dangerous than either of the methods I'm familiar with.
It'll be less dangerous, but going by the guy I know who works in a department with a professional-level RP machine don't expect it to be less work. :(

Another problem with the kit RP machine that kicked this thread off is that it doesn't appear to use support material in any way, making it very difficult to do proper overhangs. This style of machine usually has a second nozzle that extrudes water-soluble material to support the ABS plastic where it overhangs empty space during the building process.

If youmfollow the link that shows the dungeon wall there's a thread where he complains about the bottom edges of the protruding bricks not building properly.

shelfunit.
17-01-2011, 12:40
It's a bit of both, I think. Which is my point, It's not as simple as simply using one model and 'poking' it on a PC as you suggested. You might be able to re-pose the armature but you'll still need to resculpt most of the miniature anyway.



We'll see in five years, then. I wonder if this is one of those things that'll be "five years away" for a decade or more ... :)

3D scan the sprue - you don't need to pose anything - you'll have an unlimited supply of bits which glue together like any norrmal plastic mini.

AndrewGPaul
17-01-2011, 15:57
Which you'll need to pose. That was Zink's point - have an armature with the range of human motion already programmed in so you can't make a model with an unnatural pose. The thing is, no matter what way you do that, you'll still need to rearrange equipment, cloth, armour, hair, etc, and currently available software doesn't seem to be able to model fabrics very well. Not unless you're Pixar or ILM and can spend millions writing your own programs.

Take a look at the plastic High Elves, for example. Because of the way the sleeves and hair hang, there's a very limited range of poses you can make where the folds and drapes look even halfway plausible. Position the arm wrong and it looks like the sleeve is "hanging" sideways. Put the head at the wrong angle and now the hair is blowing in a different direction to the sash and sleeves. You see the same thing with the Eldar and Dark Eldar, and it's usually a sign of a modeller who doesn't know what they're doing.

blongbling
17-01-2011, 15:58
I always love these threads because if GW didn't know that someone was sculpting dreadnoughts for a 3d printer they sure as hell do now and will no doubt make sure that they are well versed in what people can and cannot do with it :)

Korraz
17-01-2011, 16:27
3D scan the sprue - you don't need to pose anything - you'll have an unlimited supply of bits which glue together like any norrmal plastic mini.

3D scanners aren't exactly cheap or very available either.

N810
17-01-2011, 16:43
Not sure if this one has been mentioned yet,
http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page
Definately the cheapest of 3D printers,
especialy if yor friend has one as he can
print out a lot of the parts for you.

Zink
17-01-2011, 16:47
AndrewGPaul, got my point exactly. My dream is relatively inexpensive programs and equipment that are as user friendly as possible. I'm thinking of things like those doll dressing websites. Pick a basic figure, add the bling, wiggle arms and legs around until you get the pose you want and print. Right now you can't beat greenstuff and other putties for the cost and possibilities to make a model but you need a specific set of skills to pull it off. More people are computer literate and maybe can use various programs to get the same effect. They'll still need to have an artist's eye to get things right but maybe that's easier than having an artist's hands. As these printers become more common we might see programs coming out like this.

Blongbling, unfortunately things like this will always be used to copy other people's work. I'm interested in it because I want to be able to bring my idea's to life. I already know how to recast bits if I wanted to. It's sad but I can copy GW plastic minis in resin for much less than I can buy them. But you still need to buy the originals and it's a lot of work to save a few dollars and it wouldn't be worth my time to try selling them even if it wasn't illegal.

Now with a lot of the current historical plastics they are cheap enough it wouldn't be worth considering but that's another thread. I don't think this will force larger companies out of business as the majority of people would probably be happy to buy a box of existing, reasonably priced minis compared to the expense and time needed to make your own. I can buy decent looking 28mm minis right now for about 50 cents to a dollar a piece and it'll be hard for a 3D printer to get the costs of doing whole armies at home less than that IMO. But it'd be great for prototyping, one off models or small amounts that have your own character added. Looking at shapeways the minis there aren't really any cheaper to have custom printed than to buy from the manufacturer.

Bodysnatcher
17-01-2011, 19:41
3D scanners aren't exactly cheap or very available either.

There was something in the scientific magazines about a super cheap scanner made of two webcams and a set of coloured LEDs - so they may start appearing at some point.

N810
17-01-2011, 19:47
I rember seeing a bit of software, that if you took regular picrures
of an object from every side that it would create the 3d mesh automaticly,
and apply the texture from the photos to it. :D

IJW
17-01-2011, 19:55
Yes, it's possible to make super-cheap 3D scanners from webcams & LEDs, the resolution isn't anywhere near high enough for our purposes, though. Plus it's slow and involves quite a lot of manual work.

N810 - you're talking about photogrammetry, unless you're using dedicated kit it's inherently inaccurate as lens distortion in the camera taking the photo will throw out the measurements.

Venkh
17-01-2011, 20:00
Someone will very quickly come up with an integrated 3D scanner.

Put model on plinth.
Press scan
Machine beeps when scan is complete scan stored and retrievable
Remove original from plynth
Select number of copies required
Press the green button
Bingo.

Almost like a photocopier.

IJW
17-01-2011, 20:15
You need to do some research on 3D scanning. Seriously. 3D digitisation is a hugely complex field with a lot of very bright people trying (and failing) to make foolproof scanning devices.

This is a field I have a strong semi-professional interest in - some more complex shapes (generally, anything with hollows that get larger as you go in) just flat-out can't be scanned that way, it's physically impossible even with a turntable.

N810
17-01-2011, 20:22
I think it was this software or something similar....
http://homes.esat.kuleuven.be/~konijn/3d/

Bodysnatcher
17-01-2011, 20:36
Yes, it's possible to make super-cheap 3D scanners from webcams & LEDs, the resolution isn't anywhere near high enough for our purposes, though. Plus it's slow and involves quite a lot of manual work.


They were using it for insect fossil scans IIRC. They used multiple colours to correct for chromatic abberation etc. And I think they used an automated turntable thing.

Venkh
18-01-2011, 00:48
it's physically impossible even with a turntable.

Thats a very good point, i hadnt thought of that one.

Perhaps you could do it with some sort of fluid with a property that was picked up by the scanner. So the area that displaces your fluid is your shape.

Its all black magic to me anyway. Even the laptop I am typing this with uses technology that I will never fully understand.

Verm1s
18-01-2011, 01:00
Zink: eleven years later and I'm still waiting for my jetpack.

Zink
18-01-2011, 18:49
Was I supposed to be making it?

BigRob
18-01-2011, 20:07
Zink: eleven years later and I'm still waiting for my jetpack.

I'm pretty sure a slightly mad chap with a jetpack/flying wing thingie was on the news not so long ago.

Verm1s
19-01-2011, 00:21
Zink: I don't know exactly what digital sculpting and 3D printing will bring in the near future, but the way you're talking makes me think of 1950s-60s predictions that were sure we'd all have flying cars, meal-pills, silver future-clothes and regular holidays to the moon-cities by 2000.

You're dreaming of digital bits that you can just pose and print out. Andrew's already given you very good reasons why this would be difficult and not likely to give good results. To reiterate: whatever way you pose the bits, someone or something is going to have to fill in the gaps and create decent cloth folds and wrinkles that correspond to the individual pose. (and to a similar extent, to flex, stretch and twist joints and muscles. You can have a tightly-flexed bicep on an outstretched arm, but it won't look great) It's not going to be like a flippin' Zwinky.
Judging by your comments about your own skill, I'm guessing you expect the software to be able to do this, at the push of a magic button. Humans still have trouble sculpting cloth on monopose digital minis. Even otherwise good sculptors. What makes you think an intuitive cloth simulator for wargaming minis is right around the corner?
And your response is still "but I'll be able to pose and print out minis of my own design! It's the future!" It just goes right over your head.

By the time someone develops a program like that - if anyone even bothers to - you could've long since picked up putty or zbrush and learned to sculpt your own minis from scratch. Or at least learn to resculpt detail on physically converted minis. In any case, rotating premade digital bits will be just as much your own personal vision as chopping and sticking metal or plastic bits, or posing an action figure. And I don't think it's going to be a lot easier or cheaper.

Sculpting isn't impossibly arcane art, or the reserve of a chosen few who walk among mortals; not unless you think so and never bother to try. If you want to put your own spin on a mini, someone round here has a sig link that might offer a couple of pointers, here and now.

Zink
19-01-2011, 03:44
Verm1s, a man can dream can't he? I know what you're saying but I do think that easier to use programs or at least templates will come out. I'm not expecting super high quality models within 6 months. But basic bits, and less organic pieces might be doable. I'd be happy with something that could create me a dummy that was 70-80% complete and then I could add on the extras myself. I actually never said I expected the program to handle cloaks and things like that. I said,


Another big advantage will be when they develop a program for posing the miniatures. Say a company produces a generic soldier X file that allows you to swap weapons, move arms, add on heads or other details that are all in scale to the mini. The program could be designed so that the joints only flex in the right places and ways so the final product won't look totally freakish. Conversion possibilities galour and probably easier and faster than sculpting totally new models or doing major parts swaps and conversions for each pose.

There's already animation software available for things like this so I don't see it as a huge leap to move that sort of posability into a model dummy. I don't believe in magic buttons, just hard work. I'm not expecting these to crank out top quality artistic models, just decent, basic variants. Look at a space marine or cadian model and tell me there's a lot of detail in the musculature on the arms depending on poses. As the demand grows for things like this and people start to use it more who knows what will become available in the future. 5 years ago I wouldn't have considered thes 3D printers possible. 20 years ago thinking I would spend a couple of hours a day communicating with people around the world would have seemed ridiculous.

What's a Zwinky?

iamfanboy
19-01-2011, 08:16
Speaking of 20 years ago, I was re-reading an old 1989 Shadowrun RPG sourcebook, and one of the 'paranoid' rantings in there is that these 3d printers WERE invented in the early 21rst century, but suppressed by manufacturing corporations who quickly realized that their monopolies were finished if people could build their own cups, car parts, keyboards, shirts....

Not that it would be possible to do all that with the 3D printers even if the most wildly optimistic dreams come true in the next five years, but it's something to think about... I thought it was kinda funny to bump across it in a gaming sourcebook from the late 80s.

AndrewGPaul
19-01-2011, 08:31
There's already animation software available for things like this so I don't see it as a huge leap to move that sort of posability into a model dummy.

I don't think there's many sculptors who can afford the sort of CGI software (and the render farm to run it) used in Hollywood.

Chaos and Evil
19-01-2011, 08:56
This is a field I have a strong semi-professional interest in - some more complex shapes (generally, anything with hollows that get larger as you go in) just flat-out can't be scanned that way, it's physically impossible even with a turntable.

Handily, you can't cast anything like that in plastic, metal, or even (realistically) in resin, either.

AndrewGPaul
19-01-2011, 09:04
Not in one piece, no. I suppose the difference is that you can cut up such a shape for casting, but you might not be able to cut up the original for scanning.

IJW
19-01-2011, 10:15
Like Andrew says, not in one piece. Once a model is assembled, on the other hand...

Even when it comes to one-piece metal or resin models, all you need is anything like a loop in shape, for instance an arm that hangs down parallel to the body and it's already a pig to try and scan the detail on the inside edge of the arm. :(

Chaos and Evil
19-01-2011, 10:36
Even when it comes to one-piece metal or resin models, all you need is anything like a loop in shape, for instance an arm that hangs down parallel to the body and it's already a pig to try and scan the detail on the inside edge of the arm. Aye, I guess the angle would be very tight there.

IJW
19-01-2011, 11:13
Admittedly it's a bit of an edge-case, though - if you can't see/scan the detail by turning the model on a turntable then you probably wouldn't be bothered by a loss of detail there anyway.

It's just that I've heard enough cursing from people trying to laser scan objects on turntables even when they could position everything manually to catch the 'dead' areas... ;)

Zink
19-01-2011, 13:24
I don't think there's many sculptors who can afford the sort of CGI software (and the render farm to run it) used in Hollywood.


I'm talking about a simplified version with preset templates. The templates could be set up with the joints articulating in the proper places. I was looking at Zbrush and saw some of the models that were made with it. I don't want to spend $700 on a program but some people might. I have no idea how user friendly it is either. Trying to get back to my original poorly explained point, it's a new medium that may be easier for some people to use than any of the traditional methods. I do believe it will become more common and more user friendly as time goes by. As other people have pointed out there are still some major hurdles but I've been impressed with the intricacy of some of the designs I'm seeing at different 3D printing websites.

N810
19-01-2011, 15:39
I'm talking about a simplified version with preset templates. The templates could be set up with the joints articulating in the proper places. I was looking at Zbrush and saw some of the models that were made with it. I don't want to spend $700 on a program but some people might. I have no idea how user friendly it is either. Trying to get back to my original poorly explained point, it's a new medium that may be easier for some people to use than any of the traditional methods. I do believe it will become more common and more user friendly as time goes by. As other people have pointed out there are still some major hurdles but I've been impressed with the intricacy of some of the designs I'm seeing at different 3D printing websites.

I believe the program you are looking for is poser (http://store.smithmicro.com/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=10430).

Zink
19-01-2011, 16:10
That does look pretty close to what I was getting at.

TMATK
19-01-2011, 18:17
http://www.blender.org/

Open source, 100% free. It takes some getting used to, but it is quite robust.

frozenwastes
19-01-2011, 23:20
Has anyone brought up Shapeways yet? It's a print on demand service for 3d printing combined with a vanity publishing web store. The cost of the service is still a bit too high, but if it comes down to the point of being economical...

Thoume
20-01-2011, 10:31
Has anyone brought up Shapeways yet? It's a print on demand service for 3d printing combined with a vanity publishing web store. The cost of the service is still a bit too high, but if it comes down to the point of being economical...

Yes, and;


http://www.blender.org/

Open source, 100% free. It takes some getting used to, but it is quite robust.

Yes



Then again I still keep meaning to make something through Shapeways and the like, just need to get my head around Blender... :p

I'm nowhere near the stage of character modelling, but I might try tank tracks or other tricky-to-scratchbuild details at some point. Just finding the time to sit down and make something properly...! :)

Shadey
23-01-2011, 01:30
This thing reminds me of another 3d sculpting tool I heard about years ago. Not sure on the specifics but basically you had a tank of resin and three lasers, where the lasers intersect the resin would harden so creating any shape was a matter of aiming the lasers.

Wether it is this way, via the Thing-O-Matic or another way, it is quite reasonable to expect plastic molding/casting to get cheaper and easier in the coming years. I am really looking forward to it.

Hellebore
23-01-2011, 03:35
Spartan Games has been using this technique to make their space ship and naval fleet ships. They're desiging them in CAD and then printing a high quality master and then casting them in resin.

Recently just bought some of the ships - quite large and very nice.

Obviously they're not going the extent of printing them for sale, but the CAD allows them to produce very high quality symmetrical designs.

I believe Chaos and Evil is doing a similar thing.

If only I didn't find 3D software so unintuitive and hard to use. Photshop, no problem. I'd love to be able to do 3D modelling to make some minis... :( But unless I could get the modelling down to a few hours per model, I couldn't justify the time taken.

Hellebore

Zink
23-01-2011, 04:50
Thanks for the program suggestions everyone. I downloaded blender but haven't had a chance to look at it. I think I might be in the same situation as Hellebore. Not sure if/when I'll ever get things figured out but at least now I have a tool for it. I was considering using something like Shapeways for making master models and then casting in resin too.

frozenwastes
24-01-2011, 08:41
http://plasticgeneral.blogspot.com/2010/11/rhino-left-side-printed.html

This guy games in 1:72 scale (a miniature is about 24mm tall rather than 30+mm like 40k) and wanted a rhino, so he designed one in that scale and had it printed up for personal use.

PondaNagura
30-01-2011, 22:17
eh, in terms of rapid-prototype machines go the makerbots aren't quite there...they're like the Apple1 of the home-form-printing machines, and take quite a bit of effort just to be assembled and calibrated, and while the detail is nice for simple geometric forms, because they extrude a line of closely wrapped ABS (think cake icing at the scale of velcro) the model would still need to have greenstuff gaps and/or finely sanded edges...and you'd still have to add the rivets by hand. give it another 4 years though....

currently for what we'd be looking at for modelers, just stick with the investment stereolythography services that offer making patterns/parts.

Wolf Lord Balrog
31-01-2011, 00:06
As I said, I think you are assuming about the wrong market. Would a gaming club get one of these? Yes possibly in time. Would GW care? No. Also, as soon as this technology becomes a business threat you could see the law change as well to protect creators from such situations. Nothing is safe from this technology long term, so there would be a lot of resistance towards allowing this to be an open and uncontrolled market.

I read an excellent book here lately called 'What Technology Wants' by Kevin Kelly. One of the salient points he makes is that technology has certain undeniable desires, that is, that certain aspects of technology will come about, regardless of human efforts to stop it or slow it down. One of them is this sort of self-replicating technology. I don't believe any attempt to ban or limit it would prevail for long.


What makes you think GW care about the vet market and haven't dismissed it anyway? GW's products will only become downloadable legally if they choose to enter the market.

Legally being the operative phrase here. See how much change was wreaked on the music and movie industries when their IP became downloadable, legal or not? Just because something isn't legal to do, doesn't mean it won't be done, or that it won't have a significant effect on a market.


Most people try to cut down prices agreed, but the assumption about customer base is dangerous in this line of reasoning about GW. However, yes it is a reasonable line of thinking for the wargames market as it is, in essence, a cannibalistic market. Should this technology hit the ideal combination of big club+technological knowledge + designer then you could see many model producers, most of which are just cottage industries afterall, suffer. Remember a Roman Legionary or a French Napoleonic Voltigeur are not protectable. Historical wargames has the greatest to lose from this.

Agreed, essentially.


People on here are questioning the quality already, so that is a subjective view, but not oe to be totally dismissed. I thnk 5 years is also far, far to optimistic. In 5 years time you might see rich clubs with knowledgeable memebers and inclub designers looking at this to start recreating games like Waterloo in 28mm. BUt your regular GW gamer or club? No, there is no evidence yet to suggest this is a real threat.

Moore's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law) to the rescue. In 5 years the resolution on this technology will be 6-8 times better than it is now and cost less than half as much. I remember when rewritable CD drives first became available for PCs. They cost over $1,000 USD and where hard to use, even for the technically savvy. Within 5 years they were standard equipment on almost all new PCs and came with easy-to-use software. Never discount the speed at which a modern technology can get both better and cheaper at the same time.

xxRavenxx
02-02-2011, 00:01
I don't believe any attempt to ban or limit it would prevail for long.

What about region locks on DVDs? :)

They're "living" proof that legal measures can be created to protect a market from the spread of new technology...

Wolf Lord Balrog
02-02-2011, 00:32
What about region locks on DVDs? :)

They're "living" proof that legal measures can be created to protect a market from the spread of new technology...

That technology was cracked within 6 months after it was introduced. You don't hear much about it though because there actually isn't much call for it. DVDs are cheap enough that most people that want them have no trouble getting them, and people who don't want to pay for it just download it online. Circumventing the region lockout is simply not an in-demand capability for the vast, vast majority of people because there are easier ways to get the same effect.

Chaos and Evil
02-02-2011, 00:40
Spartan Games has been using this technique to make their space ship and naval fleet ships. They're desiging them in CAD and then printing a high quality master and then casting them in resin.

Recently just bought some of the ships - quite large and very nice.

Obviously they're not going the extent of printing them for sale, but the CAD allows them to produce very high quality symmetrical designs.

I believe Chaos and Evil is doing a similar thing.

Yes, most of my sculpting is done in CAD packages.

For example this 6mm scale transport craft I designed for Dark Realm Miniatures, which I "sculpted" in CAD, then it was Matter Printed and cast in metal.
http://www.darkrealmminiatures.co.uk/images/paxtransport.jpg
http://www.darkrealmminiatures.co.uk/newsletter/newsletterArt/hyperion.jpg

I will likely be doing some things for Spartan soon too. :)

CAD is the future, frankly, especially for small scale model making. The step change in level of detail achievable is astonishing, even to me.

I wouldn't use Shapeways for matter printing master models of anything more detailed than buildings, their resolution is very low.

Hellebore
02-02-2011, 01:13
Wow very nice. I wish I could wrap my head around CAD, but I couldn't even get sketchup to work properly. :( Had a go on Z Brush which is great, although maybe not so much for geometric shapes. But again had trouble with the interface.

I'm thinking if I can get an LCD tablet and stylus I might be able to apply my hand sculpting techniques to computer design more directly.

Really keen to get into using CAD for model making, just frustrated with my inability to use the interface properly.

Hellebore

Zink
02-02-2011, 01:27
Chaos and Evil, do you know of an custom printer that does better quality than Shapeways? Love the minis you did.

shelfunit.
02-02-2011, 08:42
Chaos and Evil, do you know of an custom printer that does better quality than Shapeways? Love the minis you did.

Indeed - your "Epic" stuff is fantastic, but this really shows your talent off to it's finest.

Shadey
03-02-2011, 13:48
Very nice Chaos and Evil!

I would love to be able to do that. Had Sketchup installed for months but have not had the priority to crack it open and start learning yet, one step closer now thanks to you.

Great luck with Spartan. I really hope to see more of your work.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2011, 15:16
I wouldn't use Sketchup for anything other than basic building shapes. Try Blender, or Rhino (If you can afford it).

blongbling
03-02-2011, 15:54
That's already been done. snipped

Great post from someone in the know

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2011, 16:41
Great post from someone in the know
I like to think I'm also somewhat in the know.


If you look at the final models of those companies that are using 3D printings you can see very visible build lines on the final castings (and even the painted models) on their website.
Disagreed.

If your 3d artist knows what he's doing, he can often build the faces of the model to work with the "grain" of matter print layers, effectively hiding them from view. That works for vehicles, or anything with a decent number of flat surfaces.

Plus, THIS (http://www.finelineprototyping.com/perch/resources/1272647094antslide-w625h350.jpg).
I'd defy anyone to spot the lines in models made with that quality of matter printing, and that level of quality is available for hire right now.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2011, 18:03
Just to be sure, Chaos&Evil, that wasn't a personal attack on you.

It's just an observation based on the dozens of cast metal models sitting on my desk
The guys who sculpted those models suck. :-P


It's over 3X the cost of regular 3D printing, and you are limited to parts UNDER 1"x1" (shields and swords could be done, but not full models or anything larger------YET)
You could easily do a 30mm scale model like a Space Marine in two pieces with a 1"x1"x1" print area (Or just one piece, actually, if you tilt him over at a 45 degree angle for the print).

Cost will come down, given time, and print speed and build area will go up.



You can clearly see the build lines on this ship:

http://spartangames.co.uk/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=43_45&product_id=77
See my first line in this reply. :-P

I may be over-stating my case somewhat, but I'm certainly not seeing models out there built to exploit the greatest strengths of CAD by aligning the pieces to the build planes.

That tends to have the knock-on effect of concealing the slightly rougher areas that normally appear where the support material stood during the build.


Also, you would not be doing the printing yourself, the people at the printer would arrange it in the machine to maximize printing (doing multiple prints at once to reduce their costs) so you really don't have much control over the orientation of the model in the printer.
Do enough models and you can get a feel for the likely orientations the machine operators will tend to use.

The technology is getting better, but it still has a long way to go IMHO.
I do agree... and think that's rather exciting, considering what you can already do!

Chaos and Evil
04-02-2011, 01:08
I think some of those models might be yours.
Then I suck, too. :D


I've sculpted enough Space Marines at GW to know they won't fit into a 1"x1"x1" area even if tilted as a one part model.
I'll happily admit my area of expertise is not 30mm scale figures. Most of my contract work is in 15mm or 6mm, and most of my hobby projects are 10mm or 6mm.

Still, this time next year I wouldn't be surprised if we had greater volumes with higher resolutions and lower prices available.

I don't see how you could possibly anticipate how they would align the models in the printer, since they would be printing items from you and other companies as well at the same time. You would have no idea as to what the size or quantity of those parts are.
*shrug*
I've done a few dozen infantry 6mm sprues with one MP company, and IIRC every one of them has been given the same orientation in the MP process. YMMV.

Hrw-Amen
05-02-2011, 00:12
Wow, never heard of any of this before. A bit like STC in the 21st century!

iamfanboy
06-02-2011, 09:55
Wow, never heard of any of this before. A bit like STC in the 21st century!
or maybe, uh, matter replicators?

Hrw-Amen
06-02-2011, 20:01
Indeed! Perhaps the future of GW stores (At least until you can afford these at home.) will just involve going in flicking through a monitor pressing some buttons and coming back after your shopping to pick up freshly printed minatures?

Once this technology is cheap enough to have as general use by everybody maybe GW Minature-tunes website where you just go in pay and they download a CAD package to your printer and out pops your minature. It would save on postage and for those who either could not, or could not bothered to design their own it would be quick and easy.

Chaos and Evil
06-02-2011, 21:03
Indeed! Perhaps the future of GW stores (At least until you can afford these at home.) will just involve going in flicking through a monitor pressing some buttons and coming back after your shopping to pick up freshly printed minatures?

Cost for GW to matter print a sprue of miniatures: ~Ģ200 each
Cost for GW to cast a plastic sprue in their Nottingham factory: Ģ0.10 each

I don't think we'll be seeing matter printing overtaking plastic injection moulding any time soon.

shelfunit.
06-02-2011, 22:10
Cost for GW to matter print a sprue of miniatures: ~Ģ200 each
Cost for GW to cast a plastic sprue in their Nottingham factory: Ģ0.10 each

I don't think we'll be seeing matter printing overtaking plastic injection moulding any time soon.

I assume that would be to print minis at the same level of resolution as their cast sprues?

Chaos and Evil
06-02-2011, 22:25
I assume that would be to print minis at the same level of resolution as their cast sprues?
Oh, the matter print will be full of visible lines, as well, assuming that it's not a properly orientated vehicle kit.

Actual sharpness of edges and details would actually be sharper than that generally achievable in plastics.

Chaos and Evil
07-02-2011, 09:58
Most of them, like Tactical SM sprues cost less
I don't disagree, both prices were rough illustrations.

TheMav80
09-02-2011, 19:50
http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/09/is-it-legal-to-print.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+boingboing/iBag+(Boing+Boing)

I though this, and the other links it contains, was a pretty interesting read and relevant to this discussion.

Wolf Lord Balrog
10-02-2011, 01:20
http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/09/is-it-legal-to-print.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+boingboing/iBag+(Boing+Boing)

I though this, and the other links it contains, was a pretty interesting read and relevant to this discussion.

I know it isn't strictly related to this thread, but I thought this section was particularly interesting:


Copyright does not protect the shapes of the tiles (they are designed to fit together, and are therefore most likely "functional objects" outside of the scope of copyright). Nor does copyright protect the actual rules of Settlers of Catan. Game rules, like recipes, have a limited number of ways that they can be expressed. Copyright protects expressions, not ideas. Therefore, in order to protect the free flow of ideas, recipes and game rules are rarely protected by copyright.

Game rules are rarely protected by copyright. Very interesting indeed.

Hellebore
10-02-2011, 02:15
Yeah. Game rules are generally mathematically derived and you can't copyright maths as far as I know.

You can however copyright how those rules are described and displayed.

This is the only reason that the OGL for D&D worked - anyone could have nicked the mechanics to use, but they would have had to rewrite everything to avoid copyright. Easier to simply use the OGL instead.

It means that none of GW's mechanics are protected, only the way they are expressed.

Hellebore

bert n ernie
10-02-2011, 08:15
Wow, very interesting. So if you re-wrote the BRB. You know, with simpler language and clearer descriptions not only would it be easier to follow, but they couldn't prosecute you for publishing it?

I have no intention of doing this. I'm just saying...

uona
11-02-2011, 18:50
I think a wm player did the 3d thing with his typhon. Honestly I dont think it looks that bad and I think is better than the original official model.

http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?13570-I-got-my-typhon-printed-and-now-to-paint!&highlight=resin+print

The 3d image is in the first post.

Ronin[XiC]
12-02-2011, 15:55
150$ for the print. Still pretty expensive.

Spectral Dragon
12-02-2011, 22:49
To add to YabbaDabba's post, I think the direction we should be looking at for machines like this are your small-time producers that are all over the net, quality from these producers will go up drastically as well as the quantity they can produce, so that market in particular has a chance to change.

selfconstrukt
15-02-2011, 18:06
Not wargaming related, but a very cool use of 3D printing. Now that the fashion world is using it, maybe the prices will come down faster.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663150/3-d-printing-comes-to-couture-with-insanely-detailed-dresses

bert n ernie
15-02-2011, 18:17
Indeed. The fashion industry has a much higher budget than us. If at any point it entered any part of the mainstream(non couteur?) of fashion then production may go up quite a bit. My wife is in to Project Runway, and if they used it there for an episode you'd know it was going to bloom.

Some of the uses wouldn't overlap, while others might. I think very fine details may still be out of reach, but smoother less grainey models would be very likely.

blongbling
17-02-2011, 10:51
Not wargaming related, but a very cool use of 3D printing. Now that the fashion world is using it, maybe the prices will come down faster.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663150/3-d-printing-comes-to-couture-with-insanely-detailed-dresses

don't forget the car industry

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/02/the-secret-world-of-printing-concept-cars-in-3d/

Zee
17-02-2011, 23:15
Rapid Prototyping has been coming along super fast recently this seems like a really great deal being under Ģ1000. Don't forget material costs however powder/plastic for these machines can be really expensive.

3D scanning I'd say too expensive (atm) but can be really accurate if you have the right tools for the job.

In the future I would think there would be an online trade in data needed to print models shared for free online by the community. I could easily make a model for a rhino or space marine in a couple of hours in Solidworks ( which isn't really even the best tool for the job ).

Just imagine going to a website and downloading the data for your army into your printer :cool:

Crazy Harborc
01-03-2011, 01:24
For myself and many of the wargamers I know.....part of the hobby IS getting the troops ready...assembled and painted, converted, whatever. Oh I am sure many hundreds, perhaps thousands of younger players will want instant troops ready to go. Boy, oh boy.....I can just imagine how much GW will charge for it's minies then.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

weeble1000
15-03-2011, 12:30
I think that could cause him some trouble since the model is actually this fellow:

http://privateerpress.com/hordes/gallery/legion-of-everblight/warbeasts/typhon

He checked if it was ok with PP that he posted it, and first posted it on their forums with their permission, so I do not think he's after money. He just wanted an alternate Typhon.

And this is a great way for a company to handle something like this. I think GW would flip a lid if you 3D printed your version of a war hydra and asked to post it on the website.

This was all answered already. I should read the whole thread before responding.

TheMav80
25-03-2011, 03:27
For people interested, Wired magazine has some good stuff about the Maker movement in April's issue. Most relevant perhaps is the moonscape table carved from wood.

http://www.whittledinwood.com/2011/02/wired-project.html
http://www.whittledinwood.com/2011/02/game-table-remake.html

The How-To there on his blog is pretty dense and the actual article does a job of explaining it well. Still, it would be so awesome to carve out a whole gameing table like that in my garage.