3D printing has become the latest “wave” in the past few years, with people starting to find out the great potential in this invention. Which we owe to engineer Chuck Hull who invented the 3D printer in 1983 as a by-product of the pursuit of ultraviolet technology. It took over 20 years after its creation for it to get the attention it deserves(thanks to the media) and now the use of 3D printers is continually being expanded. Even not-too-savvy-with-technology persons can start printing models with it. In this article, we’re going to discuss the steps involved in helping you recreate your favorite video game character, so read on!
Steps Involved in Printing a Video Game Character
The 3D printing game, although much more improved since its conception, is still unable to print on autopilot straight from a given image like its predecessor, the 2-D printer. This is why 3D printer guides like this are important to ensure you’re doing it the right way. So, below are the steps involved in the model making process;
Step 1. This process starts with the use of CAD(Computer-Aided Design) to produce an initial 3D model, which will act as a prototype image for how you want your final 3D result to look.
Step 2. The next stage involves the conversion of the previously produced CAD image to an STL(standard tessellation language), a language the 3D printer can understand.
Step 3. The STL files are copied into the computer used to operate the 3D printer. After doing that, you can set up the size and orientation of how you want the model printed, just like it is done with 2-D printers where you can set up between landscape and portrait.
Step 4. The next step is to begin loading the desired material and adding all necessary components to the printer. Every project is different, so each project requires a separate and unique setup.
Step 5. At this point, the 3D printer will be running on autopilot to build your model. The process could take between a few hours to well past a few days, so supervisory personnel will have to be stationed at the printing location to monitor the entire process.
Step 6. Once the printing is done, the next thing to do is remove the piece (or pieces, based on how large the project is). This should be done with care and patience.
Step 7. After the pieces have been removed, there is usually the need for post-production treatment as they will not be immediately ready for use. Professional 3D modeling involves priming processes including washing, thorough buffing, and sanding, and also the use of a primer coat. All this must be done before you even consider painting the model.
Step 8. This is the stage that requires the most skill, the finishing stage. This is when you begin to paint and apply other finishing techniques as it takes some finesse to get your model looking ready. The painting will need several layers, section masking, and even intermittent buffing to get the desired custom color for the job.
Step 9. After the painting process has been finalized, a final protective coat is laid over the paint job to preserve the color and add a certain professional quality to your video game character model.
Tips for 3D Printing If You Want to Do it Professionally
● Don’t Cheap Out on Quality
Several 3D printers for ‘home use’ can be bought and used immediately. Although these printers are sufficient for light-duty jobs and quick fixes, they’re not even close to being good enough for the industry standard.
If you will like to produce officially licensed products, then it will serve you better to invest in a company that specializes in industrial 3D printing and priming.
● Be Aware That Size Does Matter
When we discuss size in the 3D printing world, most people like to focus on how large projects can be strenuous and difficult to produce.
Well, the same applies to the much smaller models, and although 3D printing can produce items like bracelets and necklaces, much smaller figures with intricate details may not be a good choice for 3D printers. They could prove problematic during the finishing process.
3D printing and production can span from micro-objects like rings and action figures to macro-objects like topographical maps. They are so dynamic that they have begun to print out food! Now that’s groundbreaking technology.
The following process above should be simple enough to follow as 3D printing has now been simplified to a few simple stages. We hope you enjoy making your favorite video game character as we enjoyed teaching you.