You’re probably looking at getting a 3D printer but have come with the choice between resin and FDM printers. Both of these 3D printer types are great tools for any tabletop gamer or hobbyist but which 2D printer is best for tabletop gaming?
3D printer types for tabletop gaming
There are two different types of 3D printing technology used in tabletop gaming:
Resin 3D Printing – These printers use SLA resin that is built up in sequential layers and hardened by light, projected in a particular shape. Once printed, the model must be cleaned up with isopropyl alcohol and finally cured using UV light. The process can be messy and PPE such as gloves, eye protection and ventilation is required as the chemicals can be harmful.
FDM / Filament 3D Printing – These printers us PLA filament that is heated to around 210°C and squeezed out of a hot-end. the precision motors move the hot-end around and the layers of PLA are slowly built up over many hours. Once printed, you simply lift the bed off the printer bed and you’re done.
Resin for miniatures / FDM for terrain
The biggest consideration when choosing whether to buying a 3D printer for wargames, RPG, terrain making or general hobbying is to define what you’ll be using it for. Essentially, you’ll want to use a resin printer for 3D printing miniatures but FDM printers for cranking out terrain.
Resin printing Pros
- Fast printing time
- Incredible detail
- Easy machine calibration
Resin printing Cons
- Messy process (involves chemicals)
- Small print area
- Involved processing and clean up process
FDM printing Pros
- Large printing volumes
- Cheap consumables (PLA filament)
- No clean-up after printing
FDM printing Cons
- Printers occasionally need calibration
- Limited definition for high detailed areas
- Bulkier hardware