Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Printing the Revolution
It's been a busy, stressful, and trying month of October which ended off on a high note with a few days off just to relax and recuperate. Had my month being more 'typical', I would have been a lot more vocal about a few projects and my gaming related reviews and musings.
One of the biggest things is the latest Kickstarter by Fat Dragon Games ending a bit later today for 28mm Gaming Terrain (you can find it HERE). Why is this important? Well, Fat Dragon Games who is better known for their printable, 3D Fantasy Paper Terrain is taking things to the next level. While this stuff, sold as PDFs with instructions, did very well, this new kickstarter is for files for a 3D printer.
Many hobbyists have been excited about the prospect of a 3D printer and repeated questions regarding costs and feasibility, as well as print times and details (resolution). There is still a ways to go but things have been changing rapidly and prices have been coming down allowing more people to delve into the world of 3D printing.
Personally, I have been waiting to see this sort of thing happen for a couple of years now. Prices for 3D printers still seem a bit high but the entry level costs are manageable to downright affordable depending what you are looking at. I knew that, as this trend continued, it was a matter of time before someone did something like this. Now, Fat Dragon Games isn't the first to offer 3D printing options for gaming. Hero Forge custom miniatures ran a Kickstarter some time ago and are now operating a business where you can design and print up a custom miniature. Reviews for these were a bit mixed showing, once again, that the print technology was a work in progress.
However, there is something to be said about printing dungeon floors and walls instead of some of the refined details one would hope for and even expect with a miniature representing an adventurer. The Kickstarter shows great promise and, given that what you are pledging for are the digital files to print stuff yourself as opposed to a printed product, what you end up printing as the technology improves will only get better and even faster to produce.
Frankly this is just exciting.
The project / line being crowdfunded is called Dragonlock and so much stuff has been unlocked thanks to generous stretch goals and between that as well as the pledge levels and optional add-ons, you have access to so many different models. If you went 'all-in' and got everything, it'll cost you a total of $110 USD but that will include well over 125 different items to use and print up. You can of course go for less and still get good value for your dollar given that you can print as much as you want and need.
The other advantage to this new line is how light this stuff will end up being compared to some of the more expensive resin sets one can find today which can be printed for a fraction of the cost. There is also a clip system to lock the pieces together making it possible to 'pre-assemble' rooms and passages and drop them onto the table when needed. Once printed and painted, a dungeon setup like this will make you the envy of many a gamer.
So... what's the catch? Well, that 3D printer of course will add to the cost of this endeavor. Fortunately there are some good options as low as $399 USD which means this plus the Kickstarter will still cost you less than a comprehensive set of Dwarven Forge Terrain. But it will be a slow process printing. Printing a section of wall could take you a few hours though I suppose on the flip side, it will give you plenty of time to paint your stuff while the next wall, floor tile, or items are being printed. The tech is still pretty new and some of the print jobs might just not turn out right. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to printing and this will be daunting for some people.
However, if you have access to a 3D printer, or if like me, it's only a matter of time before you get one, you may just want to take a peak and check out this Kickstarter (HERE) before it ends later tonight.