At the urging of many makers, tinkerers, inventors, and printers, we have begun offering digital print file distribution. This means, in addition to ordering 3D prints, users now have the option to buy the model file for their custom Hero Forge characters. These files can then be loaded into your 3D printing software for printing at home. Models are distributed via your user profile page in .stl file format. They are typically posted within 15-30 minutes of your purchase, but please allow for up to one business day: in some cases manual quality control checks are required. Models are tessellated meshes with a polycount of up to two million triangles. They are not rigged for animation.
Note that Hero Forge miniatures are finely detailed scale models. As a result, some home 3D printers do not have the ability to faithfully replicate the level of detail present in the source model or have issues printing thin, free-standing “wire” parts or the thin supports necessary to support a model during the build process. As a result, Hero Forge does not give any warranty about the models, and does not guarantee that the model will be fit for any particular purposes or be compatible with any specific make or model of printer.
3D printers come in many shapes, sizes, and employ a wide range of technologies. Different technologies have different benefits and drawbacks. You are invited to submit photos of your prints, along with your printer’s make and model, materials used, and any pertinent settings used to create your print. The most common technologies are as follows:
Some of the highest detail 3D printers are based on SLA (Stereolithography) and DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. These printers use a pool of liquid resin which, by being exposed to a light source such as a projector or a laser, solidifies the liquid material into a solid layer by layer.
These printers most commonly function by submerging a “build platform” into a pool of liquid resin, allowing a light or laser on the underside to trace the layer’s shape, hardening it onto the build platform, which then serves as the foundation for the next layer. The platform then lifts from the resin, and is resubmerged again to print each successive layer.
SLA and DLP printers are known for producing some of the finest detail on the market, ideal for 30mm scale models for tabletop play. They also tend to be more expensive than other print technologies, both in terms of material costs and hardware.
The most common home 3D printers use FDM (fused deposition modeling) print technology. These machines start with a spool of ‘filament,’ typically a long wire of PLA or ABS plastic. The printer uses a heated nozzle to melt the filament, extruding onto a build tray similar to how a hot glue gun works. The material is extruded along a path predetermined by the controlling software. The melted material cools and solidifies, building the print layer by layer, with each new layer using the last as its foundation. This is one of the cheapest 3D printing technologies, and, while it does not match the detail levels of some other printing methods, is great for producing low-cost and large-scale models.
There are many, many companies producing a wide range of printers with a multitude of features, options, and settings. Common brands include Makerbot, LulzBot, XYZprinting, and many more. While we cannot test or provide recommended settings for every printer on the market, what follows are user-submitted images of their prints, along with any settings or material information they’ve provided. We encourage users to print and submit images of our sample models so we can add them to our directory!
Do you have a question not covered by this guide? Please Contact Us!