I would like to introduce more map-based props (figures, terrain, obstacles, etc.) into my game. In particular, I'd like to be able to use a 3D printer to make props specific to whatever encounters a game session demands. While I know that Thingiverse has some nice gaming models, it still seems a bit limited as of now, especially as applied to gaming. Does there exist a good resource for printable models useful in tabletop gaming?
Well I was going to point you to thingiverse and the modular wall system that's up there, but that's the first thing in your link.
I do have some generic useful things to know if you're looking into 3D printing for gaming.
- There is a resolution that comes with these printers. It depends on the settings and the program you use to turn the model into printer instructions, and I need to play with them some more, but you won't get the fine details that you see in pewter figurines. You'll see the lines between levels. I've heard of people sanding after the print, but I don't have experience with how well it works.
- On the flip-side, the only hindrance to making largish miniatures is time. The cost difference is minimal, and the larger it is, the better it will look. You can't make those colossal dragons, but you could probably create huge creatures.
- It depends where you are, but see if there is a hackerspace in town. One of those things that they often have is a 3D printer. If they don't, I imagine they'd like to get one and would help pool some money.
- It takes some serious tinkering to get a makerbot up and running. Other models may be more of a finished kit, but you can't be incompetent if you want to assemble a makerbot.
- Once you do assemble a makerbot, you are instantly granted +2 geek cred and after a 3 day ritual have the ability assemble dungeons as a standard action.
- You'll still have to paint. Unless you're ok with assaulting the dreaded dungeon of blue.
- You will be temped to print out that weighted D20 they have on Thingiverse. Don't give in to the darkside.
- 3D printing is good for crates, barrels, arches, walls, and whatnot, but I don't think it's the best option for terrain like hills and cliffs. You're fairly limited to the size of your object, even with the "huge" print-space of the new makerbot. Stick to layers of cardboard glued together, or a stack of books with some cloth over them. 3D printing is awesome, but not everything is a nail.
- It's honestly not that hard to crank out some basic 3D models in Blender or Autodesk's 123D once you get a handle on the program.