If you haven’t taken a look at what’s going on at Shapeways recently, you might find it worth your while to go browse around for a bit. They’re constantly adding new features, new printing capabilities, and new models. And, perhaps most importantly, the cost of printing those models is falling rapidly. Enough so, in fact, that contract 3D printing is really starting to be a cost-effective alternative for hobbyists.
Case in point: These are just a few of the beautiful print-on-demand tabletop gaming miniatures offered by user Charles Oines, aka Irrational Designs, a professional 3D designer who moonlights selling models through Shapeways. In their basic white plastic material, most of Charles’ sixty-plus designs cost less than $10 US each, and none costs more than $28. As always, shipping from Shapeways is free.
It used to be that if you wanted anything other than “stock” miniatures for your games, you had to laboriously customize or scratch-build each unit by hand. Now, if you can use Blender, you can design, pose, and print your army and have it shipped to you, ready to paint.