3D Printing: What’s the Fuss?

A friend of mine gave the kids and I (OK, my wife too if she is so inclined!) a very generous present this Christmas.  He gave us his old Da Vinci Junior 3D printer.   Now, this is an entry level printer aimed at beginners, which I am!  I’ve been testing it out, trying to see if it is a viable option to print even larger wargaming stuff such as terrain and vehicles.  I decide on a Marmon-Herrington scout car that was used during the early war in the desert in WWII.  I must say, the results are really nice!

Two scout cars “hot” off the press and another ready to be sanded.

Like most models, these still need plenty of work.  When you print such models, they are often printed stood up like the two in the rear.  Gun barrels especially need this as they will droop if they were printed on their side.  There are also supports that need to be torn off as even printed straight up as they are, plastic will still droop.  It is not a slow process.  One model took about 4.5 hours.  Printing two at a time saved a little bit of time.  When I went to bed, the estimated tome was about 8 hours though as the models narrowed at the top (less surface to print) the  printer probably slightly sped up.

So, this minimalist printer does a good enough job to at least print vehicles.  Whether it can do wargame figures is anyone’s guess.  I have seen the question posed before if 3D printing will change the way we acquire wargame figures and items.  I was once on the fence about this.  I can tell you now, the answer is absolutely YES!


3 Responses to 3D Printing: What’s the Fuss?

  1. I do not have one and I am jealous.


    I would be doing what you are doing – printing gaming stuff!

  2. steventhomasnz says:

    I agree 3D printing will change our hobby forever. Not just yet but it is coming.

    I’d be more inclined to get a printer if I could find the designs for the vehicles that interest me (Portuguese Colonial War) in 15mm. So, for the moment, I just watch with interest.

  3. acarhj says:

    It is kind of addictive, Shaun.

    @steven I think price is still a barrier. Some f the higher end printers can do a much better job. But, just like color laser printers, everything is coming down in price. But a color laser printer is more relevant to everyday life than a 3D printer is. So I think it is a harder sell even at $250. Though, it is getting close!

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