Last year my brother, Mike, built a 3D printer for his computer. He is a computer wizkid and my go to guy if ever I have any problems with my computer. Anyway, one of the first things he wanted to make with his 3D printer was a model of the starship Discovery from the film, 2001, A Space Odyssey. This was a major undertaking that would take a very long time to make. He made good progress but when he went to replace the printer spool he was using to build it he found that it was no longer available for sale. So he switched to another manufacturer's printer spool and discovered it was much, much better than the one he was originally using. The surface detail was much sharper and by then he had learned how to save time with his build and to make it more efficiently. At this point he had two choices - continue on with the build or start afresh. We discussed this and both agreed it would be wisest to start afresh so that the model would be consistent in its uniformity. So, what to do with the parts he'd already made? That proved to be an easy decision. I offered to take the parts he'd made off him and use them as scenery items in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. Just looking at them, I could see so many possibilities. So just last week, when Mike came to visit me during the Easter holidays (he lives in Preston and I live on the opposite side of the country in Gateshead), he brought all the pieces for me... plus a few extras.
length is around 1100mm – I bought a 1000mm metal rod but it doesn’t go
right to the ends of the sphere front and boosters back. I
look at it and think it’s amazing that it came from nothing – it wasn’t
like a model kit - I printed it from a very small (7.61Mb) CAD file and
I take my hat off to the guy that modelled it. I also love how it’s
free on Thingiverse. I
reckon it probably cost me between £12 to £15 in materials, so very
cheap for what it is. I downloaded the file about a year before my
printer was finished so I always knew it would be one of the first
prints. I estimate the plastic parts to be around 650 grams in weight
and it takes roughly 1 hour per 10 grams to print, so about 65 hours in
The possibilities for the future are incredible. 3D printing is here to stay and is going to be a major part in the future of gaming. So much is already available and I'm very excited about 3D printing. It can only get better and more affordable.