3D Printing D&D – Websites & Resources
Whether you are on board and want to get 3D printing or need a little more (expert) information than found here on Daily Dice, please look at some of the resources below! I have personally used them all, and they helped me immensely with my 3D printing choices and journey.
Information & Settings
3D Printed Tabletop
3D Printed Tabletop is both a Youtube channel and website. Danny, the 3D printing DM, is an absolute pillar in the 3D printed D&D community. His video on ‘How To Find EVERY D&D Monster for 3D Printing (For Free)’ is what sent me down the 3D printing rabbit hole to begin with.
His videos are excellent at describing printing processes, settings and even painting. The 3D Printed Tabletop website also has ‘3D Printing Profiles’, which I heavily use to help print high detail miniatures. The base settings are great, and you can print with his profiles without being a 3D printing wizard.
As well as being a genuinely nice guy, along with his Kickstarters, he also releases some free files to the 3D printing community found here.
Fat Dragon Games
Fat Dragon Games is another Youtube channel and website that has helped me immensely. They have videos of many printer assemblies, mainly in the Creality line (a popular brand of 3D printers which are budget-friendly). I found that having a visual guide with ‘pro tips’, and the manual helped immensely when assembling.
There are many videos that describe printer settings, what the settings do, and how to print better models, all in a beginner-friendly way. Like 3D Printed Tabletop, there is also a list of printing profiles that go along with the videos, which you can find here.
Reddit has been similar to a delayed live chat support throughout my 3D printing journey. I subbed to my Printer (Ender 3v2) and ‘PrintedMinis’ subreddits.
I got help with assembly issues and bed levelling at r/ender3 and more targeted help for D&D 3D printing at r/PrintedMinis. I’d suggest doing the same if you have any issues; from my experience, the communities are very helpful and welcoming.
It’s also great for the hobby side of 3D printing. You get to see cool stuff people have printed, painted and there are even some free giveaways.
On r/PrintedMinis, a lot of the posts have flairs on them, indicating whether the mini/terrain was printed with a resin SLA printer or FDM printer. It’s great for browsing and seeing what level of quality you can achieve and commenting whenever you need to get tips along the way.
STL Files & Models
This website is a go-to for a lot of people. It has millions of files that are primarily free, open-source and licensed under the creative commons licensing.
You can find a wide range of models for both terrain and minis. Some come pre-supported, whereas some don’t need any.
What’s great is that most models come with a little description that has useful notes on what printer is used, materials and any other printing settings of note.
This allows you to achieve the same results as seen in the galleries of the models. Failing that, there is a ‘makes’ section for each model where other users upload their versions of the print and the settings/printer combinations they did to achieve the results.
Other than DesktopHero, you’ve probably heard of the more popular HeroForge. It’s a great site to make a custom mini. My party uses it to create the artwork for their character as well as an avatar for Roll20 games.
Other than buying the mini outright, you can also buy the model and STL files but they are a bit on the pricey side.
Enter DesktopHero, an alternative that provides free unlimited STL downloads of models if you’re using their free assets. Even if you buy their one-time purchase packs, you get unlimited downloads with that too.
Even with the free version, you can still make great custom minis for your campaign that you can download and print for free. It’s not just limited to fantasy either; I made great modern custom minis using only the free assets.
If you fancy getting into modelling and creating your own stuff, Blender is completely free to download. I found it easy to pick up, but I could be slightly biased as I’m accustomed to Autodesk Maya.
It’s also great for tweaking or editing STL files you have found on thingiverse, don’t like how a hand looks, edit it out. Tree branches too spooky? Add some life by modelling small cute apples.
Blender also ties in with 3D printing being a hobby which I cover in ‘Is 3D Printing For You – A Beginners Quest’. To learn Blender you have to invest a bit of time, making the 3D printing hobby a little demanding. On the other hand, you may discover a love for modelling, and there’s nothing better than printing your own models.
Once you’ve got your models, whether you sourced them online or created them yourself, you’re going to need some software to help print them.
Cura is free and open-source like Blender, and it’s also a slicing application. It allows you to prepare prints by ‘slicing’ the model into individual layers so that the printer can work layer by layer.
There are loads of settings to tweak, but you can load printing profiles from 3D Printed Tabletop and Fat Dragon Games as listed earlier.
I’ve always found it easy to use and have never encountered any problems with it. You can also use the simple scale tools to tweak your models if the height or width is wrong.
And You’re Off!
Hopefully, some of the resources I’ve listed here are helpful and that they aid you in your 3D printing journey!
I’ve covered most of the channels/websites I deemed useful when I first started out, but you’ll pick up more along the way.
After watching the YouTube channels above, your feed will be filled with recommended (surprisingly) relevant 3D printing videos that will most likely be more current than the time of writing this.