It was only a matter of time. Last week a Reddit member posted pictures of his Warhammer 40,000 3d-printed army. Technology changes all things…
|image via ingur(see above link)|
A user threw up that photo of his 3d printed “40K Blood Angels army” and everyone was off to the races.
I printed these mainly because it seemed like a fun challenge and I would like to play with a couple of friends. I wouldn’t be able to afford to play otherwise. The quality still doesn’t compare to actual models so it isn’t going to be the immediate death of GW (they already have all sorts of their own problems to worry about first).
On the other side of this early achievement we have the statement regarding 3d-Printing from GW’s annual statement from the Chairman Tom Kirby:
Because no one seems able to grasp the essential simplicity of what we do there has always been the search for the Achilles heel, the one thing that Kirby and his cronies have overlooked. These are legion. I run through the list from time to time when someone says that computer games will be the death of us – they are so much more realistic now! – again. This year it is 3-D printing. Pretty
soon everyone will be printing their own miniatures and where will we be then, eh?
We know quite a lot about 3-D printers, having been at the forefront of the technology for many years. We know of what we speak. One day 3-D printers will be affordable (agreed), they are now, they will be able to produce fantastic detail (the affordable ones won’t) and they will do it faster than one miniature per day (no, they won’t, look it up). So we may get to the time when someone can make a poorly detailed miniature at home and have enough for an army in less than a year. That pre-supposes that 3-D scanning technology will be affordable and good enough (don’t bet the mortgage on that one) and that everyone will be happy to have nothing but copies of old miniatures.
All of our great new miniatures come from Citadel. It is possible that one day we will sell them direct via 3-D printers to grateful hobbyists around the world. That will not happen in the next few years (or, in City-speak, ‘forever’) but if and when it does it will just mean that we can cut yet more cost out of the supply chain and be making good margins selling Citadel 3-D printers.
At the heart of the delusion is the notion that designing and making miniatures is easy. It isn’t.
So on the one hand we have some very early crude steps into what the future may hold by an single “early adopter customer”, and on the other hand we have GW saying they aren’t worries in the least and kicking out weekly releases of the size, detail, and complexity of Glottkin.