3D Printing Terrain
3D Printable terrain for Miniature War Games and Role Playing Games
This page is meant to be support for the 3D printable Terrain presentation at the Gem State Gaming Convention. This guide will help you to find a printer, either to purchase, or use, and where to get terrain files. If, like me, scales are a little confusing, I found this GREAT page that tells you what the different scales are generally used for, and what they mean. It also goes into converting them.
If you click Show thumbnails, you can see the location the various models came from.
Where to Use 3D Printers if you don’t own one.
3D Hubs: Find locals with printers that will print your pieces off.
Look around for local Makerspaces. They are showing up all over and most have at least one 3D printer
Your local Library. Many libraries now have 3D printers as part of STEM outreach
Your local schools. More and more schools have them. If you are a student, or the parent of a student, you may be able to get prints from the school.
This Guide has mostly become depreciated.
It is decent for a quick view to get you started with 3D Printing, but I have since fleshed out all of the sections below with more information.
- For purchasing a printer, I put together this guide: http://makerfun3d.com/choose-the-best-printer-3d-printable-terrain It talks about how to figure out the right printer, and the 2nd page has a much more complete list of printers.
- To learn about the differences between FDM/SLA/DLP and what printers work best for Terrain or Miniatures I put together this guide: http://makerfun3d.com/terrain-vs-miniatures-fdm-vs-resin-based-3d-printers
- Finally, the list of where to find terrain/miniature models has moved to The Directory.
What Printers to buy – This is the section many are interested in:
FDM Printers – These use plastic filament to print. (PLA, ABS, PETG, and others):
I’ve come up with a new printer guide that supersedes this section. It covers these printers and far more. It is a 2 part guide.
These printers represent great 3d printers for beginners wanting to get into the hobby, and save some serious money on terrain. — The order is generally about the cost of the printer from lowest to highest.
Tevo Tarantula – This is the printer I use. The included link takes you to my page’s order page. It has a large build area at 200 mm x 280 mm x 200 mm. This is the largest build volume for the price. It does require upgrades to make it print great, and requires full assembly. The Black Widow is a larger printer, that is mostly ready to print, and the Little monster is a delta printer. All 3 can be found on the linked page. I know that Tevo is close to having a competitor for both the CR-10 and the Wanhao D7.
Monoprice Select Mini – These are a solid, but small printer. The build plate is 120mm x 120mm x 120 mm. These are solid little printers that are nearly ready to print out of the box. The build plate volume is small, but it is about the lowest price printer you can find pre-built.
Monoprice Maker Select – This is the upgraded version of the Mini. The build plate is 200mm x 200mm x 180 mm. Like the mini, it comes basically ready to print. You pay more for the larger print area and because it is pre-built.
Anycubic i3 Mega – This printer has been getting a lot of press lately about its advanced features (print pause/resume, filament out sensor) and prints really well. This is a good intro style printer with features that allow it to go against higher end printers. I discuss more about the i3 Mega as well as the Kossel and Photon, here.
CR-10 – The CR-10 is a newer printer that has been making waves. It has a 300 mm x 300 mm x 400mm build size. This is the largest printer I recommend at this lower price point. This is a great printer allowing you to print larger structures, or more items per print. That doesn’t necessarily speed things up, though.
Prusa I3 MK 2 – Most of the printers above are derived from this printer. The i3 is a very copied, open-format printer. The Prusa Kit is the top of the line, and you pay for it. But, if you want a printer with the minimal amount of fiddling, this is the printer for you..
Prusa I3 MK 3 – This is the most expensive printer on my list. It is the newest one on the list (as of this writing, it still has not shipped), but it is also the most technically advanced. It has many “user-friendly” features that will allow you to have many fewer failures. To me, the failures are the biggest frustration, and this all but does away with the major ones I see. I am really excited to see the features in action to help save prints as well as create prints while being quieter and better looking.
Resin Based Printers (SLA/DLP) – Unlike FDM printers, these printers use an expensive resin and can print very small lines:
Wanhao D7 – The Wanhao D7 is the least expensive printer in this range of printers. They are still working out some of the bugs, but it seems to be a solid printer. Other manufacturers are moving into this technology and I would expect to see prices drop on the printers, quality go up, and printing resin to go down in price. If you want to print miniatures, you want one of these printers.
Where to find terrain models:
(This is not an exhaustive list. I try to hit the high-points, as well as stuff I have used).
I now have a section of the site that is a dedicated directory to find 3D printing terrain and miniature resources – There are far more resources there, since it covers what is below plus all the other sites that have started or I have found in the intervening months.
Dungeon Tiles Terrain:
Printable Scenery: Rampage System Tiles.
Fat Dragon Games: Tile system that uses dragonlock.
True Tiles from Hero’s Horde: I like this style of tile. They are the Wyloch-style 1.25″ and half-height walls.
Rocket Pig Games: Tilescape dungeon tiles.
Terrain 4 Print: Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy scatter terrain and dressing. Amazing artist that is a master at creating complex models that don’t require support and looks awesome on the table.
Warlayer: Great Sci-Fi scatter terrain. Makes some phenomenal Sci-Fi terrain. If you are looking to get into Necromunda, check this terrain out now
Z1 Design: Great Modern scenery. The precinct 187 is simply amazing. I’d love to get a DC Batman game in on it.
Thunder Chrome: Sci-Fi and post-apocalyptic terrain.
Printable Scenery: Tons of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Historic terrain.
Hobgoblin 3D : Terrific fantasy scatter terrain and dungeon dressing.
Hero’s Horde: Fantasy buildings and dungeon dressing parts.
Via Ludibunda: Various buildings and even some Drow inspired scenery.
3Decores: Houses in various styles.
My Thingiverse Collections for gaming: Scatter terrain, Sci-fi, Fantasy, bases, and even painting tools. I will update this, as time goes on.
Yeggi 3D Print Search Engine: This is the google of 3D model searching. More like google circa 2005. It can be a little sketchy, but lets you throw your net wide and find models in places you wouldn’t think to look. I go to Thingiverse first, yeggi second.
Miniatures to print:
Miguel Zavala: Miguel has released all of the monsters from the monster manual. The models themselves are free, though he does offer some models printed.
Hero Forge: (Custom Mini maker) now has an option to purchase a 3d file (.stl) of a figure you create using their service.
Desktop Hero: Alternate to Hero Forge that is free to use and community supported.
3D Wargaming: Printable 3D vehicle models
Historic Origins Studio: Items to help your painting. Paint Rack, model stands, and terrain masks.
Facebook | Reddit Groups Dedicated to Printable Terrain:
Youtube Videos for 3D Printable Terrain:
These videos are more directly related to 3D printing and terrain. Wylocks is mostly about constructed terrain, the True Tiles system is based on his designs I believe.
Greg_FL’s 3D Printed Terrain Showcase: Greg’s videos are an amazing place to see Kickstarter previews for current and past Kickstarters.
Nillabean’s 3D Dungeoneering: I enjoyed this series, even though it was short lived. Talks about different dungeon tiles and their pros and cons.
Wylock’s Crafting Vids: I use the tiles that Wyloch came up with, True Tiles. This is his getting started video. He has other great crafting videos as well.
Magnetic Bases for 3D Printed Dungeon Tiles by GamingGeek: This is the video that got me started on the 3D printing journey. Seeing it’s use for building dungeons and then scatter terrain sold it to me as the way to upgrade my gaming table.
Youtube Videos for Terrain:
DM Scotty: I’ll use the description given to me for his channel… The Godfather of it all. The go-to place for terrain.
Mel the Terrain Tutor: Another great channel on designing and painting terrain. I use a lot of his rock painting guides to help me paint dungeons better. (I have a LONG way to go). — Patreon Supported.
Red Beard Baron: Terrain Building channel. This came recommended to me.
Youtube Videos for Painting:
Several of the YouTube channels and Model Makers are ad supported and Patreon supported. It takes a certain level of passion and craziness to want to invest enough money to run a viable youtube stream AND show all the world your work. Patreon helps, and is pretty inexpensive on our side. Toss a few dollars to your favorite channels. Next, turn off ad-blockers on Youtube. YouTube doesn’t spam you with ads, and that is how these content creators depend on the money coming from these ads. I noted all Patreon Supported channels I know of, to help those content creators bring us more cool content.