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Iain buys a 3D printer and the folly that follows...

Gentleman Highwayman

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So after a few months of serious humming and hawing, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a 3D printer--a Creality Ender 3 Pro, to be exact. I bought it because I thought the learning curve was shorter than a resin printer and would be more versatile. I didn't expect resin-like minis and really knew I would still buy minis after getting a 3D printer, so I bought an FDM printer because I really wanted a terrain builder. Ironically in the few days since getting it, I've only printed miniatures... But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The day it showed up I almost just put it next to my unplayed Kickstarter games. I knew I'd have to build it, I was tired (I work graveyard) and wasn't feeling confident in putting it together. Hundreds of videos to assemble it and get it running didn't inspire confidence, in fact it did the opposite since I wondered how hard was this thing to put together if the world needed hundreds of videos to do so. Then my wife pushed me in the deep end and to make a long story short--you probably only need a couple of those videos to put it together. ;) If you can build Lego kits or IKEA furniture then putting this particular printer together is well within you ability.

Next I have to upload picture (which I've been taking since I started printed last Thursday) and then I'll walk and talk what I've learned since plugging it in and becoming quite religious. Any one know what the 3D printing god likes for their sacrifices?
 

Blackwingedheaven

Crystal Human
Validated User
I'm still waiting on my Ender Pro to arrive, so I'm looking forward to living vicariously through yours for the time being! =)
 

Wakshaani

Cheesey Goodness
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oo, not familiar with this one but I've been wanting to dive in for years now, so, color me interested in what's up!
 

Gamethyme

Half-Baked Loaf of Bread
Validated User
Careful, or you'll wind up like me, backing Kickstarter after Kickstarter getting more and more and more terrain to print. You'll spend hours on Thingiverse grabbing samples and models. You'll buy sandpaper (for wet-sanding to remove the layer lines post-printing). You'll buy a bus tub (or similar) for that sanding. You'll research how to make realistic graffiti on your new terrain. You'll create templates and stencils for logos and brands that don't exist but that could in whatever game world you are printing the terrain for.

And then you'll print and print and print and ... realize that you're not actually playing any of these games. You're just printing terrain that you then need to store but by then, all of your shelves will be full of scatter terrain and your friends will be coming to your house to play games because you have the setup, but you won't have your army assembled or painted ...

:)

Welcome to the 3D Printing community. It's as obsessive and detail-oriented as the tabletop miniatures community.
 

Gentleman Highwayman

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Validated User
Careful, or you'll wind up like me, backing Kickstarter after Kickstarter getting more and more and more terrain to print.
Highly unlikely as all my slicer estimates for printing building are in days... Is that right? All of a sudden three hours for a miniature doesn't seem that bad.

You'll spend hours on Thingiverse grabbing samples and models.
Already do. Became acute after I set up the printer. "Not sure what I'd ever do with that, but it looks cool. Downloading."

You'll buy sandpaper (for wet-sanding to remove the layer lines post-printing).
Own that because I've been doing minis for quite some time.

You'll buy a bus tub (or similar) for that sanding.
You'll research how to make realistic graffiti on your new terrain.
You'll create templates and stencils for logos and brands that don't exist but that could in whatever game world you are printing the terrain for.
Got it.
Did the research but never had a reason before...
Tell me more about these templates.

And then you'll print and print and print and ... realize that you're not actually playing any of these games. You're just printing terrain that you then need to store but by then, all of your shelves will be full of scatter terrain and your friends will be coming to your house to play games because you have the setup, but you won't have your army assembled or painted ...
Actually... The terrain templates I bought inspired me for my RPG with my kids. The only problem is they might be in college before I finish printing the damn terrain!

Seriously, I need to upload the pictures so the uninitiated can marvel and be repulsed while the veterans can smile and nod.
 

Gamethyme

Half-Baked Loaf of Bread
Validated User
Highly unlikely as all my slicer estimates for printing building are in days... Is that right? All of a sudden three hours for a miniature doesn't seem that bad.
Depending on what detail level you're printing at, that's not wrong. The good news is that with terrain, you can print at a lower resolution without too much trouble, because you can sand things smooth after printing. Lower resolution = faster print job.

I have a two-day print that I need to do of some Jersey barriers.

Two days. For Jersey barriers.

Tell me more about these templates.
When I say "Templates" in this case, I mean "Larger/stackable stencils," but there are people who go whole hog. They grab software and emboss their walls with logos prior to printing, and so on.

The only problem is they might be in college before I finish printing the damn terrain!
That ... sounds about right. But once you get everything dialed in, it'll be amazing. And - again - if you're sandpaper-comfortable, print at a lower resolution for faster speed. Even low resolution will be slower than you want, but should still turn out pretty well. Turn your infill down, too. Futz with it to get it right, but I've seen good results from some folks with infill as low as 5%.

Grab a few of these - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3754887 - Andrew Askedall has done a couple of Kickstarters, and his work is really good (and is designed with FDM printing in mind). They'll print faster than a lot of other things.
 

VicenteC

Member
RPGnet Member
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If you want fantasy stuff, Devon Jones has produces a ton of super high quality content, and he releases a few things every month.


He has a patreon if you want to support him too:


If you want to buy stuff, my favorite by far is Printable Scenery, their models are incredible (and print very well):

 

VicenteC

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Another thing, if you start buying/printing content, take into account there are different "lock" systems to combine tiles together. I really like OpenLock (although Warlayer last KS looked very interesting too), but there are a few others out there (DragonLock...).
 

Gentleman Highwayman

Registered User
Validated User
Depending on what detail level you're printing at, that's not wrong. The good news is that with terrain, you can print at a lower resolution without too much trouble, because you can sand things smooth after printing. Lower resolution = faster print job.
~sigh~

I have a two-day print that I need to do of some Jersey barriers.

Two days. For Jersey barriers.
I don't feel too bad now.

That ... sounds about right. But once you get everything dialed in, it'll be amazing. And - again - if you're sandpaper-comfortable, print at a lower resolution for faster speed. Even low resolution will be slower than you want, but should still turn out pretty well. Turn your infill down, too. Futz with it to get it right, but I've seen good results from some folks with infill as low as 5%.
And I'm going to need a lot more filament.

I picked up this:
https://corvusgamesterrain.com/collections/galactic-battles/products/pilgrim-city-bundle-3d-printable
...and maybe a bit more...
 

Gentleman Highwayman

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Validated User
Let's see if this works..

What follows is the ‘progress’ I’ve made in the last week. First the printer set up and operational.


And then printing…


..and then my first print…


Ya, at 97% the dog detached from the print base and voila, my first print failure.
 
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