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Custom 3D printed miniatures

Briester85

Retired User
I'm doing something here that needs some public opinion. I've been putting together a website that you might like, if you use minis.

Thing is, when you go to a store to pick up minis, you've got a wall to choose from. You find the one that most closely approximates your character, and that's what you've got to live with.

I was annoyed that I couldn't just have MY CHARACTER! So I popped into Blender, modeled one up, and extruded it with a buddy's 3D printer.

Then I thought, "wait, other people probably want this to..." And so I tossed up an indi-go go campaign to get a pulse on public opinion. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter, point you in the direction of my campaign, and answer any questions you might have in this thread. (No I'm not a spam-bot. I'm actually sitting right here waiting to chat with you.)

http://igg.me/at/custom-mini/x/7129060
 

CarpeGuitarrem

Blogger and gamer
Validated User
Heh, yeah. I was gonna mention Hero Forge. That said, I'm incredibly happy to see more people exploring this avenue! I notice that your minis are rather inexpensive, but I haven't seen a lot of details on what material they use, or what exactly the final models look like. How are you able to do them so cheaply? Can we get a little video on what the minis look like?

(I'm also a little worried that there's some expenses of delivery you haven't considered...)
 
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Oznogarrett

Retired User
Trying to compete with Hero Forge is an uphill battle and you'd already be behind.

That said--and as a Hero Forge backer who's very excited about what they offer--I'd be at least as excited about a dedicated shop for tested, curated print-it-yourself models, with some agreed-upon standards for things like swappable weapons and modular accessories. Hero Forge doesn't look to be interested in catering to the more niche market of people who already own 3D printers, but there's likely an opportunity for a shop providing, generating, or reselling quality models that follow basic standards, in ways existing wide-open marketplaces can't really do.
 

Briester85

Retired User
Heh, yeah. I was gonna mention Hero Forge. That said, I'm incredibly happy to see more people exploring this avenue! I notice that your minis are rather inexpensive, but I haven't seen a lot of details on what material they use, or what exactly the final models look like. How are you able to do them so cheaply? Can we get a little video on what the minis look like?

(I'm also a little worried that there's some expenses of delivery you haven't considered...)
The $2 is just for the mini. Or set of them, I suppose. The plastic is CHEAP! Shipping is on the person, though. That much will be handled by the site itself. I've worked in high-volume business before, and UPS scales rather well. But in the short term, we're pretty much talking USPS and a whole ton of stamps.

Cost is actually the whole reason I'm doing this. Noone else is keeping the entire process automated. But I've created factory bots that turned vats of garbanzo beans into packaged, sealed, labeled containers of hummus. Frankly, these things will be among the easiest processes to automate I've ever worked on. And THAT makes them cheap.
 

Ravious

Maeljin of BadWrongFun
Validated User
Caveat Emptor.

Needs $24k for no discernible reason.

No examples. No business plan. Ultra-cheap minis (compared to legit[er[ HeroForge).

The icing: This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal.
 

Whiskeyjack

New member
Banned
Caveat Emptor.

Needs $24k for no discernible reason.

No examples. No business plan. Ultra-cheap minis (compared to legit[er[ HeroForge).

The icing: This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal.
Add:

"While a little help with the rent sure is nice, what we're really here to build is community."
 

Majestic

The Truth is Out There
Validated User
Just got to add that it's cool that this sort of thing is happening. I'm sure down the road it's going to be incredibly cheap and relatively easy for players to get whatever kind of miniature they can imagine!
 

Briester85

Retired User
Caveat Emptor.

Needs $24k for no discernible reason.

No examples. No business plan. Ultra-cheap minis (compared to legit[er[ HeroForge).

The icing: This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal.
Its funny, while I was coming up with the specifics of the project, I was going with $0.5 per mini. My wife advised me to knock it up so it would seem "more legitimate." It tickles me how paying more makes people feel better.

FACT: 3D printing is insultingly cheap! Plastic costs nearly nothing! The only reason I'm doing this project is because it can be done with absolutely NO human intervention, meaning zero cost of labor. So... $2 is actually really expensive I think. I'm really surprised everyone else is charging out the nose. How RUDE.

I had thought that the photos shown would be good examples. I'm not very creative, so I just modeled off of drawings I found online. But if you can sketch me a character I'll model it as the example. That way you know I'm being serious about all this.

24K is pretty low. Which is funny to say right after I say that $2/each is really high. Lol. But see, while the marginal cost of production approaches zero, the capital investment is substantial. About four months of solid modeling at 2 meshes per day is what we need. I mean, think of all the basics for hands alone:
Fist, open hand, grasping hilt, grasping book, open book, wielding wand, two-handed weapon, holding orb, casting spell, using rope, pointing... And THEN multiply that by each and every race.

In order to create a customizable model, you need me to provide the basic elements of that model. Once they're all in place, they can recycle the same rig, bake together to use the same morph targets, etc. But the elegance of the final solution comes at the cost of a giant pain in the ass up front.
 

Briester85

Retired User
Trying to compete with Hero Forge is an uphill battle and you'd already be behind.

That said--and as a Hero Forge backer who's very excited about what they offer--I'd be at least as excited about a dedicated shop for tested, curated print-it-yourself models, with some agreed-upon standards for things like swappable weapons and modular accessories. Hero Forge doesn't look to be interested in catering to the more niche market of people who already own 3D printers, but there's likely an opportunity for a shop providing, generating, or reselling quality models that follow basic standards, in ways existing wide-open marketplaces can't really do.
I'm glad you're catching the nuances here. Hero Forge is AWESOME! I backed them too. But the problem I see is that dedicated artists are a different proposition than an engineer like myself. I'm here to enable a community. Sure, I have to do a ton of modeling... And that feeds me. I like to be creative, even if its nothing I could pay the bills with... but when it comes down to it, I'm only going to provide the seed. I can only think up so many necklaces, you know! But the community is incredible. Just look at the armor mods out there for skyrim! EVERY ONE OF THOSE contains all the information a 3D printer needs to make them reality.

And that's what I care about. I care about giving YOU the infrastructure to use. Nothing stays in-house but the equipment that I'll maintain on your behalf. (And that much will be at cost, because... uhh... its all a bunch of fun toys. I'd be *blessed* to maintain this site for a living.)
 
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