• Ruben

3D-Printing Game Pieces

I’ve recently gotten access to a 3D printer and to get acquainted with it I decided to print some game pieces for Warhammer 40k. First I looked for some illustration online to use as blueprints: A grey futuristic skyscraper and a sci-fi tower from what I assume is a book cover.

Fig. 1 gray high rise building [1]

Fig. 2 Dean Ellis "As on darkling plain", 1974 [2]

The second step was to make models of these in Fusion360, which is a handy and free CAD program from Autodesk. Thereafter, the files had to be converted, i.e. sliced, so the printer knows what to do. The printer is a larger CraftBot from Craftunique using CraftWorks as slicing software. To open the files in CraftWorks they had to be exported as .obj files from Fusion360.

Fig. 3 Model in Fusion360

Once opened in CraftWorks a couple of checks and adjustments had to be made. To begin, all the standards had to be set, such as nozzle diameter and temperature are in line with the printing filament, selecting what is the bottom of the object, adding the raft, and slicing the object. Because the printer prints in layers, the 3D model must be broken down in such. The raft is the first layer on which the object is printed. It allows for better adhesion to the printing plate and is discarded after the print job is done. Lastly, filling and supports can be adjusted. Supports are needed for larger overhanging parts but were not needed in these models. Adjusting the filling density effectively trades stability with printing speed. I chose for some medium density as they were already pretty solid pieces.

After all was set the printing plate was sprayed with adhesive so the molten filament sticks to the plate and the pieces were printed. It took around 50 and 90 minutes to print first the high rise building and the Dean Ellis tower. Once printed, the raft was discarded, and the edges of the base sanded down a bit. I added some skulls and sand to the base and a display cut from styrene to the “high” rise.

Sadly, the backside is deformed. It looks like the plastic did not have enough time to cool. I later discovered a broken fan on the backside of the printer, which is probably the reason.

Fig. 4 Printed models front

Fig. 5 Printed models back

I gave the pieces first a “primer” of clear matt coat, learning from my experience with the deo skimmer. That was followed up with a black primer and paint.

Fig. 6 Painted models

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