Jun 14, 2016 | By Andre

Custom tabletop RPG characters and 3D printing make perfect sense when combined together. However, the characters found in established games such as Warhammer (well suited for the format) are locked down from an intellectual property perspective so there is limited access to duplication data. A recently launched Kicksterter campaign hopes to make the above point moot with an aim of creating a customizable character set based on the Anthro Scifi series that can be individualized and 3D printed at high-resolutions.

The concept is simple in that the purchaser of the custom game character only needs to alter key features of the avatars body and face. Similar to other RPG systems involving avatar creation up until a point, the idea of 3D printing your creation brings new life to the the urban/scifi mintures market this Kickstarter is trying to capture.

Of course, just like many Kickstarters out there, the hard work is yet to come. The $10,000 initial goal for the campaign covers character design and a range of possible modifications. As more funding comes in, a tiered breakdown is  presented with the addition of more character templates (including more casual creations in non-combat situations).

3D printing was chosen as a means to produce the hyper-custom 30mm avatars down the road mostly because of how the technology lends itself well to one-off kind production. The Kickstarter page sums things up nicely by saying that “by working with 3D printers, we can afford to maximize the number of new sculpts in this miniature line, which in turn grants the greatest variety of options for you, the customer. Since the primary goal of this line is to create custom "heroes" and not necessarily full platoons of troops, the slightly more expensive per-unit price is mitigated by the fact that most people will only be buying one or two of them, rather than a dozen or more at a time.

Naturally, there is no Kickstarter without risks and challenges. The organizers have to coordinate with both their design team (revealed as Imagine 3D Miniatures in Spain) and the Shapeways facility in the USA. The Visor character creation interface is currently in need of modifications and the Kickstarter page notes this by suggesting a light-weight variant will be used and we’re assured that this version of Visor will be up to the task.

So it really does seem, as the Kickstarter page implies, that the money raised will be heavy set toward funding the 3D design models for a limited first run of characters that can be modified, 3D printed (via Shapeways) with quality control to follow by Pierce Fraser (the Kickstarter vet behind this campaign.

From a rewards perspective, most of the contributions will get you resin cast replications of early character designs (remember, full custom avatars won’t be available until the design work is completed providing the campaign funds), your own custom avatar (if you’re willing to wait) or a variety of painted or hyper-custom (modelled to your specs by a trained artist).

The campaign suggests a broad audience appeal to their product. I believe this true to a point but have adoption worries even still. Time will tell whether the campaign hits the $10,000 initial goal (currently approaching the half-way point with 26 days to go) but no matter the result, this further shows how Kickstarter is an excellent vehicle to strengthen a support base established during campaigns and how 3D printing is a technology that can make it all possible.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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