Personal Blog and Miniature Game Journal

How I got more paint on my thumb than on the figure and learned to love it!

A blog about miniature wargames, miniature painting and related geeky topics.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Fun with 3D printing

My last big birthday present was an XYZ daVinci 1.0 3D printer. I finally sat down and starting messing around with the thing. And I truly enjoy it! Most of the shapes I've been producing are still mostly 2D "ish". I've tried some models with height and ran into some technical stuff. No worries, the issues will get resolved. it has something to do with the extruder getting clogged. 

Most of the items I've seen come out of a 3D printer have been trinkets and baubles. Busts of Yoda or Chewbacca and such. I'm far more interested in generating something useful. So, as a beginning project, I printed up some stocking stuffers for the young people on my Christmas list.

Every superhero needs a comb!

The 'Comb'caster
A pair of Mulan hair accessories
For my autistic nephew, some connectible pieces that can produce interesting shapes.

Like this thing.

So, what would I like to make with this gizmo? War gaming terrain of course! My printer doesn't have the fine detail to create figures. However, vehicles are definitely a possibility. Buildings and structures are far more likely.

3D printing comes with a few challenges. The plastic comes out of the extruder in unexpected ways. It takes a bit of practice to understand the printer and its capabilities. As the material builds up on the platform, it needs to have some existing material to build upon it, layer by layer. So, a flaw in one layer can ruin the entire model. Nevertheless, I am excited to take the journey!

There is also a growing community of gamers who are excited at the possibilities.  Perhaps, someday, new games will be distributed as downloadable files. We, the players, will simply print out the game board, figures and all accessories in the comfort of our homes. Several companies have started selling models. Printable Scenery comes to mind.


  1. Is it really too low-resolution for figures, or do you have high expectations about your figures? I have a cheap and nasty one, and have produced quite adequate (and I will admit the emphasis is on 'adequate') 1/200th tanks and 25mm figures with it.

  2. I haven't tried to print anything at the highest possible resolution of the daVinci. From what I've seen so far, I don't think the fine detail would satisfy me for 25mm figs. However, some 15mm models (~1/100th scale) for WWII would be great! I'm thinking of some really big figures like > 54mm to be possible. I'm thinking of some oversized figures to represent Greek gods for OGAM armies.