Borrowing from the idea of the Pluspora Check-in get some tabletop conversation going. If you have any questions that you want to get on the list to be asked, let me know. Also, if you'd like to be added or taken off the list of participants, let me know.
Has the advent of affordable 3d printing tools affected your gaming at all?
I haven't actually bought a 3d printer yet- I use thingiverse to print what I need. But it's getting to the point that I am looking at one. I've been getting a lot of use out of printing scenery for games, extra (or improved) pieces for games, and other accessories for the table.
I don't have a 3D printer. And my gaming has been virtual or none-at-all for quite some time. So no, 3D printing hasn't affected me at all.
But the idea of 3D printing to make minis / terrain / etc. for in-person games? Yeah, I've thought about it. I think it could be cool, if you can find good 3d models. I don't know how long it would take me to learn 3d model-building to a degree where I could make my own designs.
It is funny, I have never used miniatures. However, just last weekend I was having trouble with the whole "Theater of the mind" thing when our GM was describing a setting and now we are all remote. I still don't think I will do actual miniatures, but am liking those Chessex mats more and more.
@Charles M - there are a lot of projects out there with STLs already created- you don't really have to model them yourself. Check out https://www.myminifactory.com/. There was actually a recent Kickstarter project for a library of STLs and an easy online tool to make modifications to them.
While playing D&D 3.0 / 3.5, we used miniatures. That rule set practically required it for combat to work as intended. Oh, and we used markers with TSR's Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) rules.
But outside of that, we've never seen the need, across the groups I've gamed with. Sure, it can help. And it is quite useful to have details maps of some kind during combat scenes. But outside of the D&D 3x rules, I've never seen them as a requirement. Usually, a simple map is enough to communicate combat movements. Or a dry erase board.
So yeah, I suspect the 3d printer stuff would be more gimmick than requirement. Helpful? Yes, in some specific use cases. And a fun thing if you're into building/customizing minis or painting minis. But I'm equally happy without minis at all.
@Keith Davies - I was surprised that less people were using them for board games or even caught on to that possibility. I've seen people use 3d printed pieces to turn their games into the equivalent of FFG big box games.
@Chuck Dee I can't say the idea had even occurred to me.
I likely still would keep my use to practical purposes. I can think of many games where the box inserts or play components could stand some improvement, but I'm usually pretty okay with the tokens and whatnot themselves.
Yes. So very much. I've printed inserts for a bunch of games - when done right, they speed up setup and teardown and streamline play.
The only drawback for me is time. The insert for Pandemic: Fall of Rome, for example, took more than 30 hours of printing. And that's two card holders, one "misc stuff" box, six small cups, and a holder for the cups.
@Eric Franklin - that's one of my hesitations. I've been looking at the type of printer to get, and have pretty much ruled out resin (takes a lot of care to handle the toxic materials). During that time, I was talking to a friend about the different printers, and the time that he told me that it took to print really surprised me. And then the time to cure on top of that!
Just made me very tempted to get a printer. Along with that I really regret not getting a laser cutter back when I could afford it. Deanna and I looked into and and strongly considered it and decided against it. Looking at what people charge at cons and even on Etsy for the stuff I think it would have been a very good investment. I don't think a 3d printer would pay off as well, not now that so many people are already in that market. It would just be nice to be able to print my own stuff instead of paying someone else to do it.