Oct. 16, 2014 | By Alec

As any gamer will tell you, current video games are gold mines for 3D printing inspiration, as graphic designs have drastically grown in quality in recent years. It's hardly surprising that we've already seen a number of 3D printed fan tributes recently. Remember this cool 3D printed tribute to ArcheAge?

But wouldn't it be great if you could almost directly print something from a game? Well, you can. Just this week, avid gamer and mastermind of the YouTube channel Maker's Muse Angus posted a video tutorial on YouTube that enables anyone to create actual objects from the files of your most addicting games.

Being into the thrilling medieval wargame Chivalry himself, Angus explains all the necessary steps to printing a miniature version of his favourite in-game weapon: the giant hammer-like Maul. While not achieving a live size creation, he is nonetheless capable of producing a very cool miniature copy of some 10" or so in length. Not into Chivalry? No problem. There is no reason why these same steps couldn't be applied to other games as well, so be sure to try it yourself!

As Angus explains in a comprehensive and helpful video on the subject, virtually all modern videogames consist of a collection of 3D models, and it turns out ripping these out of the game and transforming these into printable files isn't so difficult. And depending on the size of your printer, you can reproduce these in just about any size.

As he explains, you will need a few software programs to achieve success, but most 3D printing enthusiasts will already have these. You’ll need Umodel to extract the files from the game, Milkshape 3D to turn these into workable files, the ever Popular Mesh Mixer to work with them and, finally, access to the Netfabb Cloud Service to easily create a single printable mesh. And, rather obviously, you’ll need access to the files of your favourite game and just about any type of 3D printer.

Here's how it works. Locate the Game's data folder, which are usually in your Steam files. Find the file of the weapon, character or attribute you'd like to print but be careful: don't change anything or edit anything in that game folder, as it could completely ruin the game itself. What kind of tribute would that be?

After locating the necessary file, extract it using Umodel. While Angus chose the brutal Maul, choose whatever you like. Then import Umodel's PSK files into Milkshape 3D. This program is rather old and not exactly free. However, it is perfect for transforming game files into printable ones, and it comes with a 30-day free trial so don't be scared off by it.

Milkshape 3D will allow you to create OBJ files, which can already be printed with various 3D printers. However, this will also allow you to open and tinker with the file in Mesh Mixer. This is absolutely necessary, for while the files usually look like complete and printable objects, they often aren't. Singling out the shells in Mesh Mixer will instead reveal numerous different parts; Angus's Maul consisted of 184 different shells.

You could manually create a single mesh out of these using Mesh Mixer, but there's an automatic solution as well: Using Netfabb, you can automatically fix this mesh and attach all the components to make one single printable version. Netfabb's cloud service easily and immediately fixes the file for you, so we finally print! Just save it as an STL file, and send it to any printer of your choosing.

These easy steps are all that stands between you and a very cool 3D printed tribute to your favourite game, so be sure to check it out. There's just one little problem: copyright. As you don't have permission to reproduce these 3D files, don't try to sell them to your friends or anything. While few companies would find fault in making a personal fan tribute, the images legally belong to them so don't try to make a business out of it. Just have fun with it!

For more on this process, check out Angus's useful YouTube clip:

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Vetkin wrote at 3/21/2018 4:07:05 AM:

I have a question, hope I will get an answer, I have been able to find various files for games but what I would like to do is actualy get an OBJ or STL file of a character in movement, how do I actualy find the motion I am looking for any help would be appreciated.

DoucheIndian wrote at 11/20/2017 12:54:07 PM:

AAAAHHH rich people

Aurum X wrote at 10/15/2016 10:25:02 PM:

Where can I find the files from my XBOX 360 so I can 3D print Skyrim weapons?

Spook wrote at 8/2/2015 2:36:49 AM:

I need one.

JP wrote at 5/25/2015 10:32:01 AM:

Think it comes under the part where you agree to not reverse engineer their software. But, I could be wrong.

JJ wrote at 12/17/2014 6:04:51 PM:

For personal use, no. It falls under, I believe, the fair use act. As long as someone doesn't sell the designs, then it's all okay.

Jeff wrote at 10/21/2014 6:24:41 PM:

Considering that most video games are copywrited, isn't pulling the data / designs / files out of the game and using them for this purpose stealing them (violating the copyright)?

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