So you want 3D Printed Miniatures but don’t have a 3D Printer…

No big deal, find someone who has a 3D printer and in most cases it’s as simple as telling them you want this file printed and boom, you’re set.

Sites such as Thingiverse offer thousands of figures and models to choose from and you can literally download the file to a flash drive, zip over to your buddy’s house and be like “Yo, print this for me” and there’s no problem. This is okay for several reasons:

  • You’re printing it for personal use
  • Assuming it’s not a copyrighted item like Mickey Mouse there’s nothing preventing you from printing and having it around.
  • You have no intention of mass producing or selling it.
  • I’m sure there’s a few other things that could go here but you get the point.

So in most cases just knowing someone with a 3D printer is good enough. You can haggle with them to get stuff printed and if you’re really tight with your buddy you can probably even get some large collections of stuff printed out like this set here from Heroes Infinite:

You can go over to MyMiniFactory, purchase the files, head over to your buddy’s house, get them printed, run home and paint them and you’re set. Just DO NOT give your buddy the files.

I say don’t don’t give your buddy the files and I need to clarify that. Of course you need to give them to him in order to get them printed out and that’s fine, but you need to make sure he doesn’t keep a copy of the files for himself to print out later when you’re not around. He doesn’t have rights to those files because he didn’t purchase them.

Make sense?

Basically what you’re looking to do is find a 3D printer prostitute. You pay for services and in return get a happy ending and perhaps even a lasting relationship. There are services online like this that will print out your models for you like Shapeways and various other sites, and if you do a search on the Facebook marketplace in your area I’ll wager you can even find a 3D printer prostitute on there.

So let’s assume you’ve gone and purchased that set I’ve linked above and you’ve found someone who is willing to whore themselves out for some money… what questions do you ask?

  • What printers will you use to print these miniatures?
  • What filament/resin will you be using?
  • What time frame are we looking at for completion?
  • And finally, How much will it cost?

What you’re looking for is someone using an SLA printer with a good quality resin ( I’ll do some reviews later on about this ). SLA printers will give you the best quality when printing miniatures like this so it’s really a no brainer on what you’re looking for. The downside is that SLA printers take longer to print typically because they base time on the Y axis or up and down scale, so the taller the model the longer it takes. A good idea of cost for a miniature is ( Resing Cost x Print Time ) = Total. This typically works out good for miniatures, but on stuff like terrain it can fail and you end up with some pretty wild numbers that don’t actually work.

Even the smallest SLA printers can fit a couple of miniatures comfortable on the build plate, some of the biggest could easily fit that whole collection with room for duplicates. So this is where you’ll have to find out just what printer your prostitute will be using and how long it will take and get a price that is good for you and them.

Talk to the person, try to get to know them and if possible check out their workshop. If it looks like a dingy place that is in their mother’s basement you might want to walk away… but it could just be a situational thing and the work is legit and their ethics are fine, trust your gut I guess.

Ultimately, save up and get your own 3D printer. With larger SLA Printers hitting the market the smaller ones like the Elegoo Mars are becoming much more cost effective at around $180 USD and are quite honestly perfect for printing miniatures from most sources like Heroes Infinite and others.

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