Thursday, May 5, 2011

DIY Miniatures II

So almost a year ago I posted about the upcoming possibilities for 3D printing and rpg miniatures.  It's getting interesting fast.  Imagine you walk into a gaming convention, they scan you, and print a miniature to use in the games while you wait.  It's coming.  The big change here appears to be the commodity scanners with the Kinect.  Of course the resolution is still pretty crappy, but that seems like an obvious place for the tech to improve in the next few years.  Read the story on Boing Boing, and make sure to follow their links to see a movie of the printer in action.

11 comments:

  1. That is awesome. Even if the output is rough - a little bit of 'green stuff' work...

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  2. That output is fast and cheap, much higher quality exists (for many more $$$).

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  3. I wonder if that process works with 3d programs such as Poser?

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  4. Wow, that is very interesting. Give it a year or two and they will have that resolution down to a much better point. I don't know exactly what it will be used for, but damn it, that is what makes us human. We will find some silly way to make money off this and push the tech where it needs to go.

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  5. they can be miniatures quality now, they can even come out "painted" sometimes it just costs a fortune.

    http://www.michaellimber.com/images/graphics/hender_chillin_c03.jpg

    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=054102

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  6. Tabletop game becomes a LARP?

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  7. Thanks, all.

    @scottz: I imagine you could even scan in rare old miniatures too, and with a little work, multiply your pig-nosed orcs or whatever.

    @JDJarvis: thanks for those links. Yeah, looks like the Venom figure was printed on a machine in the six figure range. I guess that is a good indicator, too. I remember when color laser printers were multi-thousand dollar affairs and with a few years they were showing up on desktops.

    @Guy: I don't know the specifics, I imagine there would be ways to convert these digital formats.

    @m.s.jackson: I think once the tech gets far enough it could have profound effects. If we all have machines in our homes that can make kitchenware and office doodads for us, whole swaths of manufacturing will have to retool or go out of business.

    @Roger: Heh, yeah I want my avatar thinner and taller :)

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  8. Would this work with Google Sketchup? (I want my Hybrids...)

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  9. if 3-D printers get cheap an can produce goods durable enough to serve as kitchenware and office dood-dads it's going to seriously change the economy we'll be truly post industrial. What sort of jobs do we need in a true post industrial society?

    There are 3-D "printers" on some naval vessels to supply emergency repair parts currently. The navy likes the technology so much this was recently thought up:

    http://www.smartertechnology.com/c/a/Global-Challenges/Navy-to-Build-a-Fleet-of-Robots-with-3D-Printers/

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  10. Thanks again, and J.D., you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about this field, when the shift happens you'll be like a wizard-- conjuring objects out of the digital flow.

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