"To print or not to print"
To quote Shane Mecklenburger: “That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 3rd party printing fees, Or take arms against a sea of troubleshooting glitches, And by opposing, end them?
Fastly becoming more and more popular in communities of tabletop around the world, the 3D printer industry has meant a drastic change in how we hobby. The doomcallers and naysayers proclaim the end to companies like Reaper Miniatures or Games-Workshop however there are a few factors to consider before calling the bout. At-home printing is not as easy as it looks and comes with a lot of challenges to achieve the quality we want in our models.
Here is what the community had to say:
“Unless you can do the modeling, it's not going to save you any money on minis, terrain, etc. You'll still likely be paying for the renders on various sites and then you have to pay for the materials, etc. That said, imagine all the other cool stuff you could make.” - Kyle C.
“Buy a resin emersion 3d printer. Be warned it's kinda just like buying "only" the PHB for D&D. Soon you buy the whole basic set... Then more dice then.... You know how it goes.” - Rob A.
“Are you easily put off by bad smell? That's why I ended up selling my resin printer. You need a well-ventilated space or an unoccupied area” - Olivier H.
“They're awesome if you have the disposable income. They need a flow of maintenance and materials, so don't think you can just buy it and be done. When COVID hit, I spent what I would have been spending on doing things outside the home on them.” - Richard B.
“You have to know what you're getting into. I had no idea it was going to be so much work and trial by error. I've spent hours trying to get my creality ender 3 bed to align, and I'm still struggling. They say you can print minis for mere pennies, but that doesn't count how many prints might go badly. In all, it's a lot of time and wasted plastic. If that's worth it to you, then go for it.” Jonathan H.
Great insights from our community members as always. There are a lot of comments about the hidden challenges to home printing but like any of us investing the time into our hobby… you get back what you put into it. As the industry grows and consumer-level tech becomes increasingly more available I am sure we will see more and more 3D printed models on our tables. Until next time, happy gaming!