M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Beauty of 3D Printing

Every once in a while I begin to forget why I'm saving up my precious moneys for a 3D printer, and not spending it all on awesome gaming stuff. Then whenever that happens, I stumble into something that reminds me why I'm doing it. I found this on Thingiverse. It's no secret that home 3D printer resolution can leave you wanting, but this guy's minis look great. Even with the limited resolution, you definitely recognize what is what. The idea is to keep the minis very simple and detail free. Rely on bigger things to show it off, like capes, poses, and big weapons.
Check out other stuff by him. Like Pocket Tactics. Being able to print off these alone and how many you want, makes the Makerbot worth the wait.

One of my biggest obstacles with 3D printing though would be the CAD part. I have little experience with 3D design programs and any I experiment with can be a huge headache. Like using photoshop for the first time with no instructions. So many tools and can be confusing.

And then I found Tinkercad. An amazing website which uses a light but effective browser based design program. All your files are stored online, and no download necessary to run. It's all handled within the browser. Within minutes of doing some of their simple tutorials, I became really good at it, and have already began making things. It is awesome.

So with a new found excitement in 3D printing, and a great design program to cut my teeth on, I am planning my next project. A board game where everything is printed.

Over the weekend I went on a long 4 day trip to attend my wife's graduation from her masters program (Gratz again, Hunny!) and the whole time I thought about this and wrote up several pages on it. So part of the official announcement, here is a scan directly from my notebook.
Facility will be a scifi board game set in our Wartech universe. It will give you a small primer to the setting and utilize a variation of my tested rules from my other rules-lite miniatures game, Angry Miniatures.

This will give me plenty of practice in CAD so when I finally get my Makerbot (I am now at $700!) I will be able to utilize it right away.


  1. This is awesome on so many levels.

  2. There's an expression on the internet for this: me gusta. 3D printing is without a doubt, one of the coolest "futuristic" things ever. It certainly makes up for the lack of flying cars.

  3. Indeed, gentlemen. You can only guess my frustration as I slowly await for my funds to build up enough to own one of these myself. If you even just browse all the stuff on Thingiverse.com, you can see how awesome it would be to own one of them.

    Someone once asked me "what would you do with a 3d printer?", to which I replied "what wouldn't I do with one!"