Recommended Print Settings for 3D printed Terrain

3D print settings for tabletop terrain

When 3D printing tabletop terrain, the goal is to get the best looking terrain in the fasted possible time, while using a minimum amount of PLA filament. Whether you’re using Cura, PrusaSLicer, Netfabb, Simplify3D or something else, this careful balance between speed, time and quality is controlled by the settings in your slicer.

Below are some suggestions and considerations to help yo get the best results from your FDM 3D printer.

Quick Start: The Cura ‘Standard’ settings work well for printing terrain if you lower the Infill to 5%.

Quick 3D Print Settings:

Layer Height.2
Perimeter / Wall2
Infill5-10% (Lines or cubic)
Top Layers7
Bottom Layers2

The above can be used on a printer such as the Ender 3 with a 0.4mm nozzle.

Level Your Bed: Most printing problems happen if your bed is not level. Take the time to level your bed (when it’s heated). This can be done quickly by placing a piece of paper between the nozzle and the print bed at the corners and center. You want the paper to have slight friction.

What Temperature Should I print at?

Most PLA filament will come with recommended printing temperatures from the manufacturer, this will usually be between 200-220°C. Note that transparent PLA may require a hotter temperature.

Your print bed should usually be around 60-65°C.

Is your bed clean? – If you have PLA residue, dust or grime on your printing bed, you may encounter adhesion problems where the print won’t stick. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean the bed – A spray bottle and link free cloth makes applying this super easy.

What Slicer do you recommend?

Cura is a great, free slicer that works with most printers and can be used with network print options such as Octoprint.

How much infill for terrain?

Most terrain can be printed at 5% infill, however if you need something a bit sturdier or will be using OpenLock Clips, you may wish to increase this to 10%.

Good infill patterns are lines or cubic.

What nozzle Size for terrain printing?

Standard 0.4mm nozzles are great for 3D printing terrain. Changing the size here won’t be much benefit.

Do I need to print with supports?

Pretty much all of the 3D printable terrain designed by Saucermen Studios can be printed without supports, this means you can just open the model in your slicer, choose your settings and hit print. We design and test our models so that door ways, overhangs and arches print easily. Depending on your particular printer, you may need to remove the occasional stringing with a sharp knife or lighter/heat gun.

Star Wars Legion Terrain Ideas

Star Wars Legion Terrain Ideas

We’ve been loving Star Wars Legion at the Saucermen Studios and really appreciate the diversity of world building on offer when designing tables. Star Wars Legion Terrain comes in all shapes and sizes, so we’ve put together a few terrain ideas ideas to help you tell the best stories and play memorable battles in a galaxy far, far away…

How to build terrain for star wars legion

There’s many options for terrain including scratch built DIY terrain, MDF scenery, official plastic kits and 3D printable terrain, but we prefer to go the 3D printed terrain route as it’s affordable and delivers incredible detail! We’ve got some recommendations for which 3D printer to choose if you’re considering getting one.

How do you set up terrain in Star Wars: Legion?

What size mat is Star Wars Legion played on? – Star Wars Legion is usually played on 3×3′ or 3×6′ tables

Balance & fair placement – Ensure that the battlefield is placed without benefiting one side over the other. EG, elevation, vantage points, cover and ease of movement should be shared equally on both sides of the battlefield.

Make room for dice! – Don’t forget to make your table something practical to play on. Dice should be able to land flat and movement tools should have space to be used.

Choose a theme – Consider the narrative of your battlefield and choose terrain based around it.

Types of Terrain – Include a variety of terrain on your battlefield. Ensure you include larger, line of sight blocking objects, area terrain and smaller scatter terrain.

Star wars Legion Terrain Ideas

Spaceship Crash Site

Battle amongst the wreckage of a crashed Star Destroyer or scavenge through the bones of a spaceship graveyard. You crash site can include walkways, gantries, broken engines and hull fragments.

Battle Damaged Buildings

Destroyed by the imperial invasion or sabotaged by rebels, the battle damaged or ruined buildings off creat options for cover and verticality on the battlefield.

Cargo & Supplies

Crates and shipping containers make great options for cover as they can be sprinkled around the battlefield or added to other scenery to add variety. If you own a 3D printer, these can be printed really quickly too!

Objectives, machines and consoles

Instead of using objective markers, placing small items of scenery is the way to go. Adding small consoles, supply crates or other thematic objects such as broken droids or machinery parts is an easy way to enhance the narrative of your game.

Star-port

Building a star-port often involves combining a number of other scenery or terrain sets such as Landing pads, cargo, buildings, loading machines, etc. it’s best to decide what kind of star port you want to build such as an imperial compound, off-world colony or Tatooine merchant port for example.

Get this 3D printable Rocket Launch Facility

Industrial Compound

This could be an unmanned factory complex operated by droids or a run-down mega-factory on a poor desert planet. Large machines and smaller scatter offer great options for cover whilst pipes and walkways give opportunities for moving across the table.

IMG 20210612 140107 2

Imperial Junk Yard

A spaceship graveyard full of broken ships, New republic prison workers, cranes processing machinery and large sections of wreckage is a super-fun table to play on.

Junkyard Scrap 3D printable terrain stl

Markets

Market stalls and street vendors selling food, droids, ships and other wares make for an interesting game to play around. Larger kiosks can be used for full cover whilst tables and stalls offer cover bonuses.

City

There’s a lot of options for city building terrain in the Star Wars universe!

3d printable terrain tower stl

Spaceship Interiors

Battling through the corridors of a star destroyer, Rebel Alliance bunker tunnels or transport ship cargo bays is a unique experience and a LOT of fun. Modular spaceship terrain is easy to set up and playable interiors can have removable doors and line of sight blocking scatter terrain.

Walls & Barricades

Attack and defend missions wouldn’t be the same without barriers scattered across the battlefield. the core set of Star Wars Legion includes a set of basic barricades but adding more options and larger, modular wall sections is another option for placing quick and easy terrain. Consider having different sizes and if you have a 3D printer, consider changing up the scale for variety.

Temples & Ancient Ruins

The galaxy holds many ancient secrets and long forgotten Jedi temples. Ruins could feature sections of broken walls, half buried artifacts and sites of primitive rituals.

Star Wars Legion Terrain STL Files

If you have access to a 3D printer, check out the range of terrain and 3D printable scenery at Saucermen Studios. There are many free STL files available as well as individual models and mega value bundles.

Is the Ender 3 Good for Printing Terrain?

is the ender 3 any good

Getting started 3D printing terrain is easier and cheaper than ever, but choosing a 3D printer can seem overwhelming with all of the options available. You’ve probably heard about the Creality Ender 3 as it’s affordable, easy to set-up and delivers incredible results for the price! But is it any good for printing terrain?

Creality Ender 3

The Ender 3 is GREAT for printing terrain!

Simply put, yes, the Ender 3 is a great 3D printer to get started 3D printing terrain. Here at Saucermen Studios, we have several of them in our workshop as they are cheap, reliable and can churn out 3D printed terrain for days without needing the occasional tweak. This means we can easily test our STL files for 3D printable terrain during production.

What results Will I Get from an Ender 3?

You can see a few examples below of terrain we printed on the Creality Ender 3. As you can see, the Ender 3 will print with some layer lines, but once primed these are barely visible. You can even use very fine grained sandpaper to smooth any imperfections out even more!

What Settings Should I print Terrain on?

We recommend using the Software Cura to ‘slice’ (print) your 3D terrain files (STL files) from. You can use ‘standard’ print settings but we suggest printing terrain with 5% infill to save time, but you can also raise this to 10%… Anything higher than this isn’t necessary when printing 3D printed terrain.

Is the Ender 3 Good?

As mentioned above, the Ender 3 is GREAT for the reasons previously mentioned but do consider the following:

  • The Ender 3 bed size has a max print area of 220x200mm
  • You have to manually level the bed
  • You may need to unclog nozzles and tinker / carry out maintenance
  • This is a budget printer compared to it’s pricier alternatives

Don’t forget that the Ender 3 has evolved over time, so different versions are available. EG The Ender 3 V2 includes more upgrades and features.

Is the Ender 3 Worth it?

If you want to print terrain on demand, scale buildings, mirror scenery or even get into custom terrain design then YES, this printer is a great purchase. It will require some tinkering but 3D printers are here to stay so it’s well worth adding one to your hobby space or workshop.

Will Ender 3 Print STL?

STL files are the standard file format for 3D printable models. The Creality Ender 3 will print these. You need to send files to your printer via a ‘Slicer’ such as Cura.

What Can You Print?

Necromunda Terrain Ideas & Tips

necromunda terrain ideas

Necromunda is absolutely dripping in theme and packed with opportunities for incredible narrative game-play. As a popular skirmish game, the battlefields are often full of verticality, walkways, scatter terrain and twisting pipelines, all of these can even be 3D printed as cheap terrain on a 3D printe3 . In these Necromunda terrain ideas and tips, We’ll explore ways in which you can create, build and set-up your perfect Necromunda table by discussing various terrain ideas.

What theme is Necromunda?

Set in the 40K universe, Necromunda is set in the guts of the Underhive or in the desolate Ash Wastes. It is heavily themed around decaying technology, gothic architecture, overworked industrial environments and the gritty, Grim Dark setting of Warhammer 40,000.

Necromunda Terrain Ideas

Chem Vats & Storage Tanks

Bubbling toxic waste in giant vats with tentatively placed walkways, stacked liquid storage containers with ladders and small explosive fuel barrels all add line of sight blocking terrain or provide cover to your battlefield.

Walkways, Ramps & Stairs

A solid variety of modular walkways with different configurations for railings with stairways, ladders and ramps is essential. Consider having damaged versions and even hinged walkways for easy set-ups.

Industrial Platforms

These are an easy way to add height and variety to a board and modular platforms allow you to set-up different configurations.

Machinery

Add some additional cover by placing machinery around the battlefield.

Pipelines

Modular Piping as terrain is an easy win, they can sprawl outwards, offering cover throughout the battlefield, rise upwards past walkways and gantries or wrap around walkways to offer additional platforms or cover. Consider adding broken sections of pipe and manifolds to allow for interesting variation along the pipe’s route.

Wreckage & Ruins

What scenery collection would be complete without some kind of damaged building, downed spaceship or vehicle fragments. Below you can see some 3D printed terrain examples for Necromunda.

Walls & Barricades

Quick and easy cover can be placed using barricades or modular wall sections. We recommend free-standing wall terrain that can be attached and customised. Consider including gateways, movable barriers and sections with varying height and features.

Supply Crates & Cargo

Used as line of sight blocking terrain, objectives or just basic cover, supply crates, shipping containers and cargo pallets are a quick and easy way to get terrain on your table.

Playable Interiors

Playing a skirmish game in an interior setting is a great way to shake things up. The tight corners and claustrophobic environment might get you hooked! It’s definitely worth investing in some modular interiors shich could include Serwers, abandoned bunkers, Underhive Tunnels or Gang Hideouts.

Buildings

Hab blocks, factory buildings, industrial storage facilities and merchant stalls are just some of the buildings found the the Underhive. Consider having different sized structures and a selection of building footprints. The Flatline City terrain series in an excellent example of how buildings can be easily customised.

Meat Grinders

The Underhive is miserable… reflect this on your table with the corpse grinding recycling machines

Corpse Grinder Terrain 3D printed

Billboards & Signage

Adding signs to your tabletop game give you extra cover and terrain variety. Freestanding billboards can be placed around the battlefield or added to rooftops or walkways to provide extra cover. You can 3D print a range of signs or get some FREE printable posters to print and glue to billboard models.

Urban Scatter

Every city needs objects scattered around to add cover. This could include seating, market stalls, vending machines, signs and more!

Tell your story…

Build your table around your narrative and potential missions. When playing a Necromunda campaign, plan ahead and prepare something unique by researching Necromunda terrain ideas. If you own a 3D printer, you can quickly obtain stl files for terrain and print them out very cheaply.

Combining some of the terrain ideas above, you could bring it all together to create any of the following:

  • Gang hideout
  • Enforcer district
  • Supply warehouse
  • Toll road of protected tunnel eterance
  • Manufactorum
  • Hab block
  • Vehicle repair bay
  • Market district

What is the board size for Necromunda?

Necromunda is usually played on a 2×2′, 3×3′ or 4×4′ boards depending on the size of your game. Often people use 12×12″ ‘zone mortalis’ boards. Themed game mats or 3D printable floor tiles are available to suit your terrain.

Cheap Necromunda Terrain

Getting a large collection of quality Necromunda terrain doesn’t have to be expensive. We recommend 3D printing all your terrain as you can get a lot of scenery from even a single spool of PLA filament and an entry level 3D printer such as the Creality Ender 3.

3D Printed Necromunda Terrain

You can get incredible results on very cheap 3D printers now. Getting started 3D printing for tabletop terrain is easier than you think and stl files are readily available for a range of terrain.

Necromunda STL Files

Grab Some Airbrush Stencils

Which 3D printer for Warhammer Terrain?

3D printed spaceship

3D printing tabletop terrain has become an incredibly affordable way of getting more scenery on your table. Online printing communities are accessible on many platforms, with many people offering assistance to help get users started and overcome any issues they encounter. With all these opportunities, now is the time to get 3D printing for tabletop gaming!

Quick Overview…

To get started printing terrain quickly and cheaply, we recommend FDM printers, specifically the Creality Ender 3 V2 with PLA filament. If you can afford newer or pro versions, they usually include all of the essential upgrades to avoid common issues.

Why 3D print Terrain?

Once you’ve made the initial investment of buying a 3D printer which is often less than $300, you only need to purchase filament, download STL files and other have a small stash of consumable supplies.

Printing terrain and scenery is CHEAP compared to buying plastic sets and has a huge amount more detail than MDF scenery. Once you have the file, you can print as many copies as you like so you can grow a large collection of tabletop terrain with a number of different themes really easily.

What results can you expect from a 3D printer?

With each generation of 3D printer, the quality and speed improves. We’re now at a point where even cheap 3D printers can deliver incredible results. While the STL files are published with incredible detail, you can choose how quickly or detailed these are printed out. When primed and painted, you can often not tell the different between 3D printed terrain and other scenery.

Example print from the community
Example 3D print from the community

Considerations when choosing a 3D printer for terrain

  • Do you need help with bed leveling?
  • What size print area do you need?
  • Do you want a pre-built or kit printer?

So, which 3D printer should you choose for tabletop terrain?

Best Budget 3D Printer: Ender 3

Hands down, the most popular 3D printer for beginners is the Creality Ender 3. The Creality Ender 3 has a max print volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm. Check out the Ender 3 V2 for a few more features too!

Ender 3 V2

Ender 3 Pros:

  • Very cheap 3D printer
  • HUGE amount of online support communities
  • Easily upgradable

Ender 3 Cons:

  • Comes as a kit (but is easily built)
  • No automatic bed leveling (BL Touch) as standard
  • Be prepared to tweak and tinker occasionally

Mid-Range 3D printer: Creality CR-10S Pro V2

With a few upgrades and bigger printable area, the Creality CR-10S Pro V2 has a max print volume of 300x300x400mm.

CR10s Pro v2

CR-10S Pro V2 Pros:

  • Better build quality than cheaper printers
  • Large print area
  • Automated features
  • Dual Z motors for extra stability
  • Less assembly than cheaper printers
  • Filament run-out sensor

CR-10S Pro V2 Cons:

  • It’s a BIG printer (very tall)
  • Auto bed leveling can sometime miss the mark

Top-end 3D printer: Prusa i3 MK3

With a hefty price tag, this is the upper tier of 3D filament printing as it delivers more consistently higher quality and superior build quality. It has a max print volume of

Prusa i3 mk3

Prusa i3 Mk3 Pros:

  • Faster, quieter, more reliable printing
  • Excellent build quality
  • Auto bed levelling and calibration

Prusa i3 Mk3 Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other brands
  • Availability in some countries

Where to buy 3D printed terrain?

Saucermen Studios have a range of excellent 3D printable scenery available through the online store. Some of the popular terrain sets are available below.

What about resin printers?

Currently, resin printers are great value for miniature printing but FDM printers such as the Ender 3 are still the clear favorite for printable scenery. Resin vs Filament cost is the main factor here but also the size of the printer plate or bed are really important to think about too as FDM printers can usually print larger items and for a lower cost.

Keep resin printers for miniatures, bases, scatter terrain and small, highly detailed scenery.

Painting 3D printed Terrain: Spaceship Graveyard

Painting a 3d printed spaceship graveyard

This terrain painting tutorial explains our process for painting 3D printed spaceships and starship wreckage terrain. We will use the Lost Colony: Spaceship Graveyard Set to demonstrate.

We used an airbrush and airbrush stencils but similar effects could be achieved with brushes or rattlecans.

Which paint to use?

Painting 3D printed terrain? Which paint should you use? After going through buckets of Citadel Paints, Vallejo and Army Painter on previous terrain projects, we came to the conclusion that cheap craft paints are defiantly the way to go! Just follow these steps to mix your own airbrush paint:

  1. Grab a few empty paint bottles – Remember that terrain uses a LOT of paint
  2. Squeeze some craft paint into the bottle
  3. Add some de-ionised / distilled water – This helps it going stinky in a few weeks
  4. Add some airbrush thinner (aim for the consistency of melted ice-cream)
  5. Throw in a glass bead and shake (don’t use metal… it may rust)
Which paint for terrain

1 – Good quality 3D prints

Terrain is best printed on FDM printers such as the Ender 3 or Prusa i3 due to the size and amount of materials used – Resin prints would look great but it’d use a lot of resin and require larger resin printers. If using Cura, we recommend printing on standard settings with 5% infill. None of the Saucermen Studios terrain in this set requires supports.

3D printed spaceship

2 – Priming

We’ve tried a few primers for 3D printed terrain and found that Primer / Filler for cars works great for filling in any print lines. it’s important to take your time, spray multiple thin coats and keep a good distance between the spray and model – This will avoid pooling or thick areas of paint. Drying time is under 10 minutes too!

Primer filler for 3D models
Primng 3D printed models

3 – Panel Lines & Dark Areas

Using A dark grey / black paint, spray across the panel lines and dark areas of the terrain such as metal areas or deep recesses.

4 panel lines

4 – Add Highlights to Panels

Using a white or light colour to paint highlights onto the main areas of the panels, this cleans up any messy panel lines and adds contrast to the model.

5 lighter

5 – Stipple Rust & Dirt

Using an old, thick bristled brush with brown / umber paint to jab or stipple grunge onto dark areas of the terrain. Don’t worry about being too messy here as it will be dry brushed later.

6 stipple brown

6 – Drybrush Metal & Silver Areas

Using a large dry and silver paint, drybrush areas of metal. On these example, we used two different brushes for smaller and larger areas. A cheap house painting brush works great!

Drybrush terrain
Drybrushing terrain

7 – Adding More Colours

Repeating the steps above or applying base colours, then highlighting each panel with a lighter colour, you can add variety to the panels. Using masking tape or a carefully held masking board here is essential to isolate individual parts of the model.

Painting 3D printed terrain

8 – Applying Airbrush Stencils

We used adhesive vinyl airbrush stencils here to add decals and detail to the models. Stencils are a great, clean and effective way to easily boost the aesthetic of a model.

Using Airbrush Stencils
8 panels
how to use airbrush stencils

9 – Edge Highlights (with a pencil)

Using a white artist pencil you can quickly and cleanly apply edge highlights to terrain. Just use the side of the pencil and rub it on the edges!

Using Pencils for Edge Highlights

10 – Sponge on Some Damage!

Using a contrasting colour paint, use a torn sponge to add damage, dirt and grime to the edges. Aim for areas that see some usage or would get scratched up easily. Think about doorway edges and corners, etc.

9 stipple

All done – Add Some Brush Detail!

Grab a small, good quality miniature brush and paint on some of the fine detail for panels, wires and lights, etc.

Crashed Spaceship Wreckage 3D printed terrain
Star Wars Legion Zombei Stormtrooper
spaceship wreckage 3D printable terrain stl

Want this Terrain?

How to Choose Terrain

How to choose terrain

Whether playing an epic, competitive 40k battle, story driven game of Stargrave or a casual skirmish game of Infinity, Killteam or Necromunda, scenery is a key part of any battlefield and coming up with cheap ideas for terrain can be time overwhelming. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you get started building a range of impressive terrain so that each battle is fresh and exciting.

How to make cheap terrain?

There are many traditional ways to create scenery but we highly recommend using 3D printers such as the Ender 3 to create your terrain as it allows you to access a wide variety of buildings, ruins, scatter terrain and obstacles with minimal effort. It’s a great alternative to laser cut, MDF scenery or terrain and you can print as many as you like for a fraction of the price.

3D printing is the way to go!

Buildings

Hab blocks, shops, factories and other large structures are the building blocks of most battlezones. They easily provide line of sight blocking cover and the 90 degree corners make for great firing positions. Modularity is a key consideration when using buildings as it allows for different set-ups and themes if you can change the height, switch out the rooftops or add thematic features.

Internals 01
Buildings provide great large scenery pieces

Ruins & Wreckage

Thematically, a battle-damaged building or crashed spaceship have a lot to offer. The irregular, line of sight blocking fragments provide interesting opportunities for snipers and partial cover to units whilst objectives can be hidden in the twisted remains.

spaceship wreckage
Crashed spaceship wreckage are great to explore!

Walkways & Gantries

Stairways and platforms can twist through your table across and provide vantage points that win the game. Modular walkways are an excellent addition to any game where warlords meet with no-where else to run! A good gantry system should allow you to build upwards as high as required and also stretch outwards.

Walkways
Modular walkways

Industrial Districts

Factory structures and modular pipeline systems are great for constructing your Hive City or Mechanicus factories. Chimneys block line of sight and armoured containers provide scalable cover.

3d printed terrain for 40k
Industrial Terrain

Scatter Terrain

Not only does scatter terrain add tons if thematic value, but it also provides excellent cover and vantage points. Scatter terrain can take many forms, but these small terrain pieces can include models such as shipping containers, ammo crates, debris, computer terminals and more!

City Scatter Pack One Outdoor
City Scatter Terrain

Playable Interiors

Whilst not suited for large scale battles, tightly packed corridors and thematic rooms can be great fun to play on. Playable interiors include space ships, underground tunnels, dense city scapes or even factory floors amongst the busy machinery.

Tunnels Setup
Underground Tunnels

Add Lighting

It’s relatively easy to include LED lighting into your terrain. There are options ranging in complexity, to wiring-free solutions, all the way up to programmable micro-controlled Arduino projects.

Wargaming terrain with LED lighting
LED signs

Suggested Products

Painting your terrain

We recommend using cheap and easily accessible paints such as craft acrylics or rattle spray cans. An airbrush can really speed up the process too! Below are some quick and easy painting tutorials for a range of terrain.

Get Free STL Files

freebies 2

We regularly release free STL files for tabletop gaming. See below for a range of free 3D printable terrain models.

Current Freebies:


Want free STL files straight to your inbox?

Join the Saucermen!

How to Include Add-ons to Kickstarter Pledges

FLC Add Ons

Add-ons are additional sets offered at discount bundle pricing that can be purchased when you back a Kickstarter project. See our latest Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/saucermenstudios/flatline-city-second-wave

To include an add-on to your pledge, follow these steps:

1 – Back the Project

Click the green button labelled ‘Back this project

image

2 – Select Your Reward

Here you can choose your specific pledge, E.G. ‘All in’.

image 1

3 – Configure Reward

At this stage you can bundle the Add-ons. Just click the ‘Add’ buttons to include extra discounted sets to your pledge.

image 2

4 – Log in and Pledge!

Continue to you login / registration. Remember that you can add or remove items from your pledge at any time before it ends – Thanks for your support!

FLC2 LIVE

Flatline City Community Showcase!

Flatline city printed examples

Here’s some of our favourite set-ups of the original Flatline City terrain set.

Do you have awesome pics of this terrain and want to be featured? Send them on over via social media or to info@saucermenstudios.com.au. Don’t forget to let us know how you’d like to be credited/linked and we’ll add them to the showcase!

Videos

Get Flatline City

Flatline Website Header 01
FLC2 LIVE

Images

Popular STL Files