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3D Printing Basics for Beginners

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 2:00 AM

PolyMune here! Bringing you a mini guide to getting your figures printed :love: This is NOT an exact how too guide, nor does it go into great detail on any of the steps. Please regard it as just a quick reference or a very basic understanding of processes. Any issues or concerns please note me and i'll do my best to solve it! :la:

What is 3D printing?

With the advancement of technology comes printers able to print 3D models from your computer into physical 3D forms. 3D printing has been around since the 80's but back then they were mostly industrial printers and WAY too expensive :faint: 

Nowadays 3D printers are becoming more common and above all else "less expensive" to buy or for companies to rent out their services. :la: This means even the average artist or person can get something 3D printed and not break their wallet :wow: 

So how do you go about this process? Well! I'm hear to explain it too you as best as I can :eager:  

Step one: Find a 3D artist or make one yourself!

3D Printing by silverbeam

Printers support many programs now and file formats for 3D models. Whether you use Zbrush, Maya, Max, Blender, etc you can make your models readily printer friendly :la: 

What if you're not a 3D artist? Commission someone! There are many 3D artists around and emerging every day, happy and ready to make whatever you'd like in 3D to be printed. Some, like myself (and many others just look around DA for example), even come with the printing service! :la: What does this mean? That the 3D artist is in partner with a 3D printing company or has a 3D printer themselves. In my case, I'm aligned with two different 3D printing companies 

Artist's like Hazardous, who have had experience making models to be 3D printed are around and some readily available to work with you. at a fair cost.  

Final Render of Esmy from Cryamore by HazardousArts 
his 3D model he sculpted for 3D printing

Esmyrelda Maximus Statue   Prototype By Robaat by HazardousArts
what it looked like printed!! incredible!! :wow:

When creating your own 3D models the process isn't so simple. :lol: There are limits still to what you can get printed. For example: any super thin geometry will not print properly or end up "breaking" in the printing process depending on the printer. (Some can handle it but they are super expensive and need the model scaled pretty big). Most printers will read your exact model, so if you have broken geometry, or parts hidden inside (so not a clean model) their will be errors with your printing and deformities. :noes: Getting your model perfect for 3D printing takes time, and several trial and error procedures. Be prepared to pay for it but the reward is outstanding sometimes!

3D Printed Portal Gun by techgeekgirl

Step 2: Find a 3D printing company..or buy a printer!

If you are going to be printing a lot, getting your own 3D printer might be the best cost effective method for you. Keep in mind though! 3D printers are no different from regular printers in the sense that the cheaper you buy, the cheaper your quality and more easily the printer will not last you long :O When it comes to printers, cheaper is never better. That said, unless you plan on making it a business/selling them/etc the more expensive ones may not be worth it. You have to think about what you are going to be getting printed, and if a cheaper or more expensive/better quality one will work. There are also brands just like any printer, make sure to read the reviews and details from other buyers to know which one is for you!

If I've scared you away from buying one, don't worry! There are companies out there who do this service at a cost. Some services cheaper then others, it's best to shop around! But you'll find quite a few, and with examples of work they printed before :) 

The bigger your model, the more it'll cost :)

Step three: Sanding and carving

Some 3D models require a little work to get them looking awesome! Carving out excess plastic, sanding it and a bit of tiding up! Most printers need this, some companies offer to clean it up for free so it ships ready and pretty for you!

Rarity Pony 3d print by Athey

But companies are getting better and more accurate every time :D

Step four: Colour or not to colour?

Most printers will print your model in a grey, white, off white, etc so "not" in colour. There have been advances in the tech that allow for printing in colour but it's still a new process so it's not quite there yet in terms of colour printing. That said! some people like the no colour models, and that works too! :la: 

3d print V11 by Bogdanbl4  Beamed Octahedron - 3D printed fractal by bib993  Barrio Guy - 3D Print by JoseAlvesSilva

However! a lot of people hand paint their models! Another process that takes time and process but can be done. :) And look amazing if you take your time! 

SOLD - 3D print Chibi Kitsune BLACK ver. by goiku   Derpy 3D print by Hashbro  Goldie Pheasant 3D Print Revisited by TimothyB

And done! That is the very basic guide to getting your work printed :la: I hope you enjoyed it, and enjoyed seeing some of the fantastic work people have created :la: Take a look, and here's some more below :dalove: 

FOR SALE: 3D print Chibi Kitsune WHITE ver. by goiku   Eelguana - 3D print - Photoshoot by Verokomo    3D PRINTED GOLD LEGO MASTER SWORD by minglesHEDGEHOG 3D print by monomauve  
3d Printed Magic Scroll by IMVU-Whystler   Mandelbulb Bracelet #1 -3D printed fractal jewelry by MANDELWERK   

Let's have a shout out to the awesome artist's who's work is featured here! Remember to go check out the rest of their work at their galleries! :la:

MANDELWERK IMVU-Whystler mingles monomauve Verokomo goiku TimothyB Hashbro JoseAlvesSilva bib993 Bogdanbl4 Athey techgeekgirl HazardousArts silverbeam 

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Add a Comment:
RongJong Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New member
How are you?
Have you interesting to make game's graphics?
I have noticed that you have good skill.

Tobi1010 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  New member
Hey there,

We are developing a 2D vertical scrolling arcade game for android, I am looking for a hobbyist artist to join the team.

mail me at

Best Regards,
Hemang Rajvanshy
arcanineryu Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Student General Artist
hey. I know i may not quite have the skill to be featured in this group directly since i'm just starting out with most of these skills such as 3-d modeling and animating and for now am focusing more on the games framework, such as gameplay descriptions, level outlines, and management, having already found other team members to do other tasks, such as creating for us an original soundtrack and making the initial concept art and later the 3-D models.

so in other words, I am still leading a project to get a computer game made, and am looking for more people who would like to be a part of it.
It's a simple side scroller in which the player pilots a chainsaw-spaceship and destroys everything in it's path, mostly involving other spaceships, space animals modeled after power tools, and a giant squid.
if it sounds like something you would be interested in, you can check out the early outline of the gameplay here…
with the continuing parts in the description.
it was originally made to get programmers interested so we could begin building the levels, but we could also use more artists.
so if you're interested, then let me know, and i'll fill you in with the added details.
8DFineArt Featured By Owner May 25, 2014   General Artist
Thanks for declining my join request. You won't get my game when it's published, lol.

In my group everyone is welcome in the first place =)

Have a nice day! :sun:
(1 Reply)
Joshio-En-Britannia Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
I am confused… I requested to join this group but as declined without an explanation. I looked at others who were declined for reasons being that either their work was not creative enough or that it wasn't original enough. 

I may just be starting with my 3D career but I HAVE produced some original works already that are not AAA quality but nowhere near beginner either. 
Heres what I completed last month to show my new direction of art: joshio-en-britannia.deviantart…:happybounce: :happybounce: :happybounce:  
(1 Reply)
EA-Firestorm Featured By Owner May 14, 2014
oh, I'm joining this group =D
Although I'm on deviantart and can draw somewhat, I am in serious need of meeting game artists... :lmao: I'm a programmer, and trying to start for myself as game developer... it's not something I can pull of by myself it seems =P
sk84z Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014
Would any artists in this group be interested in working on a small team on casual/mobile games?
My partner and I are looking for an artist to work with us. Here are some links to our work:…

Quick details:
- Looking for someone capable in art and animation
- Likes to draw cute artwork appealing to casual/mobile gamers
- Compensation via revenue share
- Monetization via ads and in app-purchases
- Funding via kickstarter
- Can allocate 15-20 hrs/wk for 1-3 month long projects

If you anyone is interested, they can send me a note :) (Smile)
MakeGamesHappen Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I can't wait till the time in the future when... Before you go for a walk you have to print out 10 little spider-bot body gaurds.
You know North Korea has a turret gun that is operated by software. It has facial recognition and shoots any human target within a 2 mile radius straight in the head.

When this technology has proliferated more, we will need robot helper bodyguards to attack such installments for us when we go for a walk.

At least in my cyber punk distopia. :P

(-John Mark)
Flagged as Spam
ClaireAdele Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
New web portal Nuggeta is offering developers up to $60 to integrate their simple and powerful SDK into their games and upload them!

If you need more info and updates, like their facebook page

Or view their web portal

And to keep up to date with how we at Introvert Studios are doing, or for useful links to games and info, check out our facebook page…
Merlin4Sushi Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Calling on all able Illustrators!   (…

D.A.W.N. herself demands your participation to imagine the dystopian future of D.A.W.N.s legacy.

This is your chance to add your illustration to Dusk of D.A.W.N., for all players to be seen and used in the game.

Below you’ll find a description of the the content D.A.W.N desires. She is looking for originality, creativity and a modern cyberpunk look. To get a feel for the world you're about to become an immortal part of, watch the game intro and check out our website

What’s my benefit in taking part?

- Have your Illustration seen by the whole world and by D.A.W.N.
- Be part of the game’s credits as an artist and engrave your name in the Illustration library for digital eternity
- Possibility to establish a business relationship with Fjord Games and design even more cards in the future.
- Get 3 month of premium membership for the game for free (Worth approx. $ 52) if you make it to round #2 of the contest.
- Get 12 months of premium membership for the game for free (Worth approx. $ 210) if your Illustration makes it into the game.

What are the conditions?

-Pick one or more cards for which you would like to create an illustration (final resolution is 248 x 158 pixels). Please try to stay as close to our established art-style as possible.

-Send your result(s) to: until Sunday, February 16, 2014 -  12pm EST. Please make sure to include your full name and the signed submission form (… in your email. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

-If the quality roughly matches our quality standards, you will automatically make it into round #2 and your illustration will be displayed on our company homepage. With this, you will also be entitled to get 3 months of premium membership with the release of the game.

-We will decide which illustration for each card wins the challenge. The winning artists are entitled to get 12 months of premium membership with the release of the game, will be mentioned in the game’s credits as artists and we might get back to you to get more illustration jobs done in the future.

-All participants that made it into round #2 will be notified by February 21, 2014 and their Artwork will be released in the fanart gallery on February 23, 2014. The 10 winners will be announced on February 25, 2014.

The cards D.A.W.N. wants!
To get an idea of the game’s style, just browse through our card library and have a look at the existing illustrations:
You can also head over to and just experience the game!
These are the cards for which D.A.W.N. wants you to create your awesome art:

Undercover Agent (Common Unit)
inspiration: The undercover agent is a seasoned veteran, maybe an ex-merc or an ex-cop. He knows how to infiltrate the enemy lines and how to lay sabotage on the enemy’s strategies.

Communication Uplink (Common Strategy)
inspiration: Sometimes it is important to communicate complex orders directly and quickly to get the most efficiency from your employees. A complex network of satellites and antennas and as well as some capable men to keep the thing running are a must have.

Heavy Tank (Rare Unit)
inspiration: If you don’t feel safe enough, a heavy tank may be the protection you are looking for. Nothing will easily stop this basilisk of steel. And more importantly: no one would want to directly face the large double-barreled cannon of this beast. Not to mention the anti-air rocket launcher at the back of the tank.

Elite Sniper (Rare Unit)
inspiration: The sniper is the soldier you will give a contract to if your enemy trusts too much in physical protection, like heavily armored mercs or vehicles. One good aimed bullet will find the weak spot in the enemies protection to take out the target. This elite sniper already found a lot of weak spots in his lifetime ...

Command Post (Rare Building)
inspiration: Every good militaristic corporation will know how to put all soldiers to good use. Efficiency and cunning are the keywords. To keep these traits up, it is clear that an investment is mandatory. But the generals and officers in the command post will put this money to good use!

EMP Launcher (Rare Building)
inspiration: If you face an army of deadly vehicles and fierce drones, it’s often a good idea to throw some long-range EMP grenades into the battlefield. The shells of this artillery-like weapon will briefly take out electronic devices for a short period of time, rendering vehicles and drones incapable of acting.

Defense Grid (Epic Building)
inspiration: Imagine a modern fort, a bulwark of a building, packed with weapons and top-notch technology to fend off any infiltrators. Being trapped in the vicinity of the defense grid will make any attempt of retreat difficult.

Kamikaze (Epic Tactic)
inspiration: You as a CEO sometimes wonder about the infinite loyalty of your employees. But why would you care? If you can tell your soldier to run on a kamikaze-mission and he does so without questions, shouldn’t that make you a happy CEO? You immoral lowlife ...

Gauss Cannon (Legendary Building)
inspiration: This gigantic artillery cannon is one of the latest inventions. It is mounted on rails to catch the recoil … do I need to say more? Oh, yeah, and a hit of its projectiles is deadlier than death itself.

Heavy Battlemech (Legendary Unit)
inspiration: Battlemechs are of rare use, as their chance to fall on the ground comes with a certain risk. However, a battlemech is a good alternative to any tank on rough terrain. Or when walking across the ruins of your enemy ...

TomRintjema Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm making an online horse breeding game. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

(1 Reply)
jonizaak Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So when you say "game art" you really mean "video game art" it seems. I am trying to find a place to post my board game fan art and everything with the word "game" means video games! What is up with that?
(2 Replies)
KaitCobain Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
why do i keep getting declined?Heres my game art..
(5 Replies)
barbaraamsel Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
Continue the good work; keep posting more n more n more.
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