I started 3D printing for tabletop gaming in 2018 and every day I am blown away by how much the hobby has grown. The community of hobbyists is bigger than ever before, there is more art and creators than we can even fundamentally track, and new technologies and tools are hitting the market making the hobby more accessible. There is now more software to make, modify, and slice 3D printed models. Materials have evolved to have significantly more variety in color, additives for flexibility, transparency, hardness, etc. The list of how this hobby has grown in the past 4 years could go on and on.
However there is one aspect of the hobby that has not changed. The most elusive and coveted part of the 3D printing hobby is its knowledge. So much of the collective knowledge for tabletop gaming in the 3D printing community is spread out and only documented as a series of trial and error. Many of our communities of this collective knowledge are broken into sub groups and platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, Discord, etc. This requires a lot of asking around for people to share their stories over the internet’s equivalent of a campfire. Much of the information is heard from the grapevine making that piece of information under scrutiny as to if it is really true or has just changed through each telling like a bad game of telephone.
As someone with a passion for learning, gathering that knowledge and does tests purely for the sake of deeper understanding. I have found the lack of knowledge repository, well frankly frustrating. While not everyone is like me and needs to answer the Where, What, How, and Why of every aspect of our 3D printing hobby I know that I am not the only one who has become frustrated when forced to try new things and not knowing where to start, troubleshooting a taxing issue, or even needing inspiration on how to go the next step.
We the collective community have made assumptions and sweeping statements such as “People cannot print miniatures on an FDM printer”. Layer lines are so terrible post processing for FDM printing requires sanding, gap filling, and even in some cases acetone smoothing. Why can’t resin be used in 3D printing terrain? I have made a career of exploring these declarative statements and providing people with the most information possible to let them come to their own conclusions.
What if we as a community banded together to curate a knowledge base of information to help not only brand new members of the hobby but veterans or even those who wish to purchase from 3D printing services. What kind of things should you look out for or ask when hiring others to 3D print files for you? What quality of print is standard? How much should you 3D print for your tabletop games? There are so many questions that I am seeking to answer.
Call to Action
I have made it my mission to be apart of the movement to close this gap in our knowledge, experiment & document often in order to search for answers to things that have not been tested yet, and assist those who wish to truly utilize all the things 3D printing has to offer. However this is something I cannot do on my own. I am looking for help, excitement to search more and those who have any questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. If you have one regarding the 3D printing hobby for tabletop gaming just ask. I have been deep enough in the hobby that I have taken for granted the little questions that might plague those just getting started in the hobby. Having people ask questions really helps me make sure I can help answer it and those that might come in the future.
Most importantly. I am in need of troubleshooting photographs for your 3D printing issues!
What am I doing about it?
I have decided to step out and begin releasing content even if it may not completely fit the image of what I want it to be. So as of today I have officially released a brand new category to my website. As of now, we have a 3D printing navigation section. I have begun to curate the write ups I have done for 3D printing with a main home main and separate categories for resin and FDM printing. I am going to be posting a mix of information and guides to cover introductory subjects, topics I encounter in my hobby but most importantly information asked by my community and the communities I am a part of.
I have admittedly been nervous in posting only a portion of content that I desire to write and have it appear more empty leading to a poor new reader interaction. However recently I have had several people approach me on how different guides I have written helped them and have told me that writing more tutorials and guides would be useful without realizing that it was already my intent. Starting this main navigation panel and landing page will make it easier for people to find what I have written as well. This is still very much a work in progress but I am excited on where it will go. Not every thing written will end up in posts but will try to make notices in my weekly state of the crazy posts if anything has been added as a permanent page rather than a post.
I am working on adding content as fast as I can while also balancing all aspects of my hobby as well.
Come be Apart of the Community
If you want to become apart of the discussion or just banter, ask questions or enjoy aspects of the community all are welcome through the Tableflip Foundry discord server. You are welcome to come say hi and interact with the community and is the best place to find me day to day hanging out! https://discord.gg/tableflipfoundry