3D Printed Miniatures – Some Initial Tests
Having followed Danny H, the 3D Printed Tabletop DM on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr_uz-iWzyR1VJNlN-E1y7w) almost since he began, I thought it was about time I had another go at doing some gaming miniatures rather than my usual tabletop scenery. Following the advice in the Tabletop 3D Printing Guild Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/groups/892975347554507/?source_id=169821116961583), I decided to use the two free demo files from HeroForge.com as my test subjects. The female Explorer and the male Paladin.
Initially, I’m just printing them on my Creality CR-10 in PLA using the ‘Miniatures’ settings in Chris Elkin’s Simplify3D profile (available from the CR-10 Printer User Group on Facebook). Later, I’ll try them on my other machines, and again on the CR-10 but using a Cura profile (which will be new to me) on the CR-10 and the soon-to-arrive Creality Ender 3.
First up is the female Explorer figure. After loading the file into Simplify3D, placing it base down on the build plate and adjusting the auto-support setting down from 4.5mm to 1.5mm, I added a couple of extra supports that the auto settings had missed. I find that it’s always a good idea to give it an all-around once over eyeball first before committing it to slice since S3D can be lazy at times when it comes to placing supports. I saved the .gcode off to a micro-SD card after slicing the file - S3D claimed it would take 1 hour 28 minutes to print.
BTW, it lied.
After setting the print away on the CR-10, two hours 3 minutes later I was presented with this.
Buried amongst that mass of plastic there is (hopefully) an acceptable mini.
Taking it off the print bed and over to the work area, I examine the results in closer detail. Nothing seems wonky or broken. We shall see once I begin to cut away the support material.
And here she is.
That pile of shredded junk next to her is the removed support material. It took about five minutes to free her up, making sure not to either (a) be too heavy-handed and apply too much pressure in the wrong place, and (b) be too snip-happy with the side cutters and trim away anything that wasn’t actually meant to be cut off!
Been there before in both cases…
Here’s the back of the figure. She still needs a bit of touching up (oo-er, missus!) to get rid of some small defects and apart from the lower corner of her book and the bottom edge of her rear armour, I can’t immediately spot anything that’s gone awry.
We’ll see what the final results look like once she’s been painted and I’ll compare her to the other ones from my other printers.
This is the male Paladin figure after removal from the CR-10 build plate. Same settings as used on the Female Explorer above. Simplify3D said 1 hour 32 minutes, but the actual time it took was 2 hours 3 minutes.
No obvious damage or defects but even with smaller supports, there is still a bunch of stuff to strip away to reveal the print. Time to get snipping. I don’t think this one will be as easy to free up as the first one.
I was right. The support material was a bit of a nightmare to get rid of and cleaning the mess out from between the Paladins legs - well, let’s just say that’s a phrase I hope never to have to repeat again…
Overall though, I think it turned out OK. The sword blade definitely needs ‘sharpening’ but otherwise, the detail came out and more importantly, nothing got lost – either in the printing or support removal stages.
Here they are painted, standing atop a piece of Amera terrain (F218 Temple Ruins). All painted/detailed by my buddy Loupis.
A brighter (but crappier) pic taken with the flash on my phone.
You can find the Amera website here.
amera.co.uk - Amera Plastic Mouldings
A saltbeard Grognard who's glad he never grew up enough to lose his imagination.