Monday, December 12, 2011

3D Printing for Warhammer 40K - Part I


Nice Leman Russ eh?  Well it isn't a GW kit.  It is a 3D printed version.  A small number of talented modelers are designing and printing, gaming miniatures using contract 3D printing services, like Shapeways.  These companies have expensive high-resolution SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) rapid prototyping machines. Miniatures produced by SLS can look almost as good as those made by traditional sculpting and casting methods, and depending on the particular artist and design, sometimes better. 

These Warhammer 40K designs are from Thingiverse ( a community for 3D modeling) user 3dYeti, who is an Apocalypse 40K forum member.

These models use hobby-scale desktop FDM/FFF (Fused Deposition Modeling, which is a trademarked term / Fused Filament Fabrication, which is not) printers.   There are a bunch of manufacturers of these:





Shown uppermost is a print of 3dYeti’s 7-part Leman Russ tank, and below that, two prints of his Imperial Guard sentinel, at different scales and in different colors.

Here is a 3D printer at work:


From Thomas, aka 3dYeti:

I am a professional 3d artist. I had been keeping my eye on 3d printing when the reprap project came about a few years ago. Reprap is an open source project for the construction and operation of 3d printers. I purchased a 3d printer kit this fall. I assembled it and had been toying around with modeling things and printing them out. It dawned on me that I could incorporate another hobby of mine from my childhood. I played tabletop wargames through my teens. I enjoyed the model making and painting mostly. I have a younger brother that plays IG. I figured I'd try modeling and printing some minis. I started with the Sentinel, and when that turned out so well, I started working on the Leman Russ. Months went by, and another brother of mine suggested I post them to thingiverse. GW caught wind and sent thingiverse a DMCA. Its not as big of a deal as some are making it out to be. I am in no way affected. I still plan to develop 28mm scaled vehicles. The single unit models won't print as well as the larger units/vehicles. I don't feel like rocking any boats, so I won't be openly distributing my 3d files.

My current print area is about 10cm cubed. I will be building a second mendel style printer that will have a build volume of about 20cm cubed.

I own a Makerbot Thing-o-Matic. I model in 3ds max. I am fluent in the Adobe suite, and other graphics applications. 


More tomorrow!

Alec




3 comments:

Rictus said...

This is a freakishly timed post. I have been looking at doing this recently and was planning on ordering prints of a couple of 3D models I have done to test the process out.

I am mainly thinking for terrain pieces, using the 3D printing to create a master I can then cast.

I didn't realise just how many 3D printing companies there are out there so I think I will do some more looking around before ordering the first prints.

SandWyrm said...

Yes, this is freakishly timed. I too am a professional 3D modeler that's been looking to get into 3D printing. But the prices and the powder-tech have been out of my league.

Now might be just the time to jump in. :)

Valy B. said...

It seems that great mind think alike - You have to take a look on Deviantart to see how many people there are enthusiasted about 40k modeling. There hundreds of Warhammer 40k models for 3d print, but unfortunately most of them are just low poly models, inaccurately executed. It takes time and knowledge to create high-quality 3d designs and not everybody can do it.

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