Just a few years ago, someone* wrote in their results statements thingy** that 3D-printing miniatures is not in any way a threat to the miniatures industry:
“We know quite a lot about 3-D printers, having been at the forefront of the technology for many years. We know of what we speak. One day 3-D printers will be affordable (agreed), they are now, they will be able to produce fantastic detail (the affordable ones won’t) and they will do it faster than one miniature per day (no, they won’t, look it up). So we may get to the time when someone can make a poorly detailed miniature at home and have enough for an army in less than a year. That pre-supposes that 3-D scanning technology will be affordable and good enough (don’t bet the mortgage on that one) and that everyone will be happy to have nothing but copies of old miniatures. (…).”
So, just three years later, in 2017, I printed this minature, which I downloaded for free from drivethrurpg.com as it was part of one of many totally free packs of critters, beasts and monsters that are downloadable from that site (and they also have many packs that are pay what you want or have a fixed cost of a few dollars.)
The only alteration I did was to cut away the integral base and print it on a raft instead so I could base it in the same style as my other minis.
This ape took about an hour and a half to print on my cheap as chips Flashforge Finder-printer, on “hyper” 0.1mm layer height. This needed supports when printing, and cost just a few pennies worth of PLA.
Yes, the details are not fantastic (but that has more to do with the tru-scale nature of this model than with the printer) and there are slight print lines visible. (not really all that visible unless it is zoomed in on as in the pictures.)
But still. We are getting there, and much faster than someone* would have thought.
*that someone being the then Chairman of Games Workshop, Tom Kirby,
**2014 GW Chairman’s Preamble to the Games Workshop CEO annual report .
3D printed Gorilla
downloaded from drivethrurpg.com
PLA, 0.1 mm layer height
Painted so far this month: 63 / 30.
Painted so far this year: 148 / 365. Just 217 to go!