Cardboard Terrain Vs 3D Printed Terrain

cardboard vs 3d printed terrain

Two very popular choices for no-hassle terrain at the moment are 3D printed STL files and cardboard, foldable terrain with printed surfaces. Both have pros and cons, so we’ll explore which is best for tabletop wargaming terrain.

Cardboard Terrain Vs 3D Printed Terrain

3D Printed Terrain

3D printed terrain is becoming increasingly popular in the world of wargaming. The technology of both FDM and resin printers allows for intricate and detailed terrain to be created at very little cost, giving gamers a more realistic and immersive gaming experience. With 3D printing, terrain can be printed in a variety of materials, including plastic (PLA) and resin (SLA).

Incredible amount of detail

Can be re-scaled

Print as many as you like

Cheap to produce

Instant download of STL files

Often hugely modular

Strong structures

Many working parts such as hinged doors, LED integration, etc
Needs painting

Can take time to print

You’ll need a 3D printer

Cardboard Terrain

Cardboard Terrain is often provided in starter boxes, such as the Infinity ‘operation’ boxes, it is foldable, already has artwork printed on it and can represent a wide variety of themes. Cardboard terrain stores well but isn’t durable in the long-term.

Artwork already on the walls and floor

Folds down flat for storage

Basic shapes / very blocky

Easily damaged / torn

Not very strong

Why 3D Printed Terrain is the Better Option

OK, so we’re obviously biased as a 3D printable terrain design studio, but we feel that while cardboard terrain does have some great strengths and features, 3D printed wargaming terrain is just way more diverse, rewarding and encouraging of an immersive game.

If realism, durability a wide range of options and features is important to you as a gamer, the it’s definitely worth looking at 3D printed terrain. Once you make the initial investment of your 3D printer, materials and simple learning curve, you can access thousands of 3D printable scenery models and print out as much as you like! In addition, terrain painting projects can be hugely rewarding too!