Digital Downloads

Tell me about the downloadable 3D model files and home printing.

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 Model files 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.

Common Home 3D Printer Technologies

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:

SLA and DLP Printers

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.

Form2 by Formlabs

Material: “Gray Resin v3”
Settings: Printed at the maximum .25mm layer height. The models were oriented on their backs in order to allow high detail areas like the face and chest to remain free of support structures.

FDM Printers

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!

Da Vinci Jr. 1.0

Material: “PLA”
Settings: Vertical orientation, 200 micron resolution, raft with supports, slow print speed.

Dremel 3D Idea Builder 3D20

Material: PLA
Settings: Layer Height: 0.12mm, Speed: 2000mm/min, Had to rotate the models X:-90º to stand upright. Support structures were needed.

L3 MK2

Maker Select Plus

Material: PLA

Mono Price Select Mini

Material: Hatchbox Gold PLA, 1.75mm
Settings: For Model 1 (Paladin) - 0.04375mm layer height, on back rotated 45 degrees back, grid support. For Model 2 (Elf) - 0.04375mm layer height, laying flat on back, grid support.

MonoPrice IIIP

Material: PLA
Settings: Layer height: .1. Shell thickness: 1.2. Bottom/top thickness: 1.2. Fill density 10%. Print speed: 40. Printing temp: 210c. Bed temp: 65c.

Robo3D R1+

Material: PLA
Settings: Printed at .1mm layer height.


Material: PLA filament 1.75mm
Settings: Printed 45deg orientation, 1mm thickness, normal print speed, heated bed, base down, 0.1 layers.

Ultimaker 2+

Material: PLA

Up! Plus2

Material: PLA<
Settings: Printed at 0.15mm layer resolution with a 0.4mm nozzle.

Do you have a question not covered by this guide? Please Contact Us!