Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Model Painter in France: 3D-printed miniatures? (part 3)

Questions about 3D-printing for Thomas, a miniature-painter:

Q: What do you think of 3D-printed miniatures when compared with miniatures made with other methods, like injection-molding? As an experienced miniature painter, do you think there is a promising future for 3D-printed miniatures, or will painters still prefer traditional casting methods?

A: For any miniature painter, the balance between price and quality is essential. 3D printed minis are still expensive compared to cheap mass produced plastic minis, or even resin and white metal finecast. But they offer unique design opportunities, and the possibilities in shapes and materials are almost infinite, compared to classic miniatures, that often need assembly when their shape becomes too complex.
I think there is definitely a great potential in 3D printing, or 3D prototyping, as demonstrated by some major miniature brands, that already 3D sculpt and master mold their casted minis, but keep the traditional casting process to lower their costs. A 3D printed miniature store can add new poses or new models with virtually no other cost than the 3D sculpting process in itself. The real advantage of 3D printing is of course customization, with heroes available in various poses and equipment options, for each gamer and at every price. 

(Both of these miniature sculpts are available at Shapeways)


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