The Lazy One’s 3D Printed 15mm Scif Fi Robots via Shapeways
Okay. I have my reservations on this one.
I’m always interested in new ways to do old things. 3d printing is one of those things that is becoming increasing accessible and affordable. Clearly to miniature collectors and gamers it’s a no-brainer that it could open up a world of possibilities.
I’ve occasionally perused the vaults of Shapeways and have been intrigued by the innovation of some folk. I had never really seen anything however that I was prepared to take a punt on until I came across these fellas. (This is the set I bought.)
More of their history can be found here on Lead Adventures forums so I won’t go into that here.
My opinion after physically receiving a set of these guys?
The Good: Design-wise they are really nice for miniatures regardless of scale or material. And the Lazyforger has gone for a slighter, pointy design which tests 3d printing over traditional casting. Also good pose animation and pose variation. In these respects “job done” and proven.
The Bad: Despite this however, because of the material these guys are both FRAGILE, LIGHT and GRAINY. A combination of the light material and the slender design makes these guys feather light. Handling is with care. (During painting I managed to break one in half while gently dry-brushing).
However, the bigger, more practical drawback is if you actually intend to use them in a tabletop game. Miniatures that are too light get knocked and nudged (in this case possibly resulting in breakage). And obviously one needs to ‘manoeuvre’ the miniature. So, adding a weighty base solves issue one (nudge-factor) but because of the fragility makes the second issue (picking-up the miniature) a bit of a gamble.
In a bid to circumvent this I placed a second, smaller, washer underneath the main washer base. The idea is to lift the miniature off the table a bit so that the miniature can be picked up from the base. This works – so long as you remember to only pick it up by the base!
I’ll try MDF bases for the next batch and see how they behave on the table.
The graininess is a bit of an issue too. Unfortunately probably more noticeable on these ‘smooth and sleek’ robots than might be the case with another subject matter.
The LazyOne behind these clearly offers these as “BETA” products probably for these reasons above. And my comments totally acknowledge this and are by no means a criticism. I think the project is both admirable and needed. More importantly it appears to have been PARTIALLY successful.
Metal casters of the world need not panic quite yet, but 3d printing is certainly here. To stay? Probably. This technology just keeps getting better and better.
These were difficult to paint and the Lazy One/Lazy Forger‘s are much better. I’ll try a different style on the next squad…