Designing for 3D Printing

The Game Crafter makes its own plastic game pieces using a 3D print farm. The parts made on the farm are to supply stock components to our parts catalog. At some point in the future we may also open it up to make custom parts for your games, but we do not offer that at this point except through Laboratory. Though you can't make parts specifically for your game, if you would like to contribute models to The Game Crafter's parts catalog, we do accept model donations. However, they must conform to the following rules:

Rules for 3D Model Design

  • Must print without supports of any kind.
  • Try to fit your model's bounding box inside of a 25mm cube. If your design is greater than 25mm in any dimension, then ideally the extra length should be found in the Z axis (height) rather than the X or Y axis to minimize the model's footprint and maximize the number that can be printed at once.
  • X & Y details must be 0.4mm or larger. We print using a 0.4mm nozzle, which means anything smaller than 0.4mm in the X and Y direction will be lost.
  • Z details must be 0.12mm or larger. We use 0.12mm layer heights, so anything smaller than that in the Z axis will be lost. The first layer of Z is 0.2mm thick.
  • Overhangs must either be greater than 50 degrees from horizontal to print without supports or overhangs should be supported naturally by the model itself.
  • The footprint area of the model that touches the build plate needs to be greater than 10mm² for the model to stay adhered during printing. The footprint must also be contiguous to the model - there should be no small areas of the first layer that aren't connected to the main body somehow. See the photo for examples of good, contiguous footprints:

Rules for MiniFigs

We currently offer miniatures in 2 different varieties, those with a 25mm threaded base, and those with a 15mm threaded base. We will apply the threaded base to your model, but the model must be designed to work with a circular base.

  • 25mm Threaded Base - used primarily for RPGs
    • Human Scale
      • 32mm at the top of the head
      • 28mm at the eyes
      • A stance that fits within the 25mm base area
    • Base
      • 25mm diameter circle
      • 3mm tall
    • Details
      • Feet must be firmly planted on the ground to ensure reliable printing
      • Arms (or other appendages), clothing, weapons, and equipment must all have natural looking supports
  • 15mm Threaded Base - used primarily for Board Games 
    • Human Scale
      • 28mm at the top of the head
      • 25mm at the eyes
      • A stance that fits within the 15mm base area
    • Base
      • 15mm diameter circle
      • 2mm tall
    • Details
      • Feet must be firmly planted
      • Arms and other details should remain very close to the body, usually touching the body.

Rules for Coins

  • 2mm thick
  • Back (touching the build plate)
    • Surface details inset by 0.32mm
    • Must have a rim or border at least 1mm thick around the outer perimeter
    • Must have enough raised detail touching the build plate on the first layer to support the inset details on the next layers being printed above it
  • Face
    • Surface details inset by 0.6mm
    • Denomination must clearly be visible with a numeral (not words)
  • Edge
    • May have reeding (the ridges carved into the edge of a US Quarter), but remember that details thinner than 0.4mm will be lost
  • Must have 3 denominations 
    • Smallest denomination
      • Color is usually Bronze
      • 18mm diameter
      • Value is usually 1
    • Middle denomination
      • Color is usually silver
      • 20mm diameter
      • Value is usually 5
    • Large Denomination
      • Color is usually gold
      • 22mm diameter
      • Value is usually 10

Available Colors

  • The Standard Eight
    • Black
    • Blue
    • Red
    • Green
    • White
    • Yellow
    • Purple
    • Orange
  • Auxiliary Colors
    • Grey
    • Silver
    • Bronze
    • Gold

Color Guide

Our goal is to print things in as few varieties as makes sense for the model. 

  • 25mm Threaded Base Minifigs
    • Heroes and NPCs
      • Grey
    • Everything Else
      • Anything but Grey
      • We do have some rules about specific species, but we can chat about that with you if you want to build something like this
  • Board Game Pieces
    • "The Standard Eight" colors
  • Coins
    • Gold
    • Silver
    • Bronze

How To Submit Your Model

If you would like your model considered for inclusion into our parts catalog, you can email it to jt@thegamecrafter.com. Note that in doing so you are granting us the right to print your model and sell it in our shop without royalty in perpetuity. 

You must own the 3d model you are submitting. Do not submit models from 3rd party web sites. You must have created the model, or commissioned the model and have the rights to give us the right to print the model without royalty in perpetuity.

Your model will then be evaluated by our team upon the following criteria:

  • Salability - Do we think enough people will want the model for us to go through the effort of vetting it for the shop, producing it, inventorying it, and selling it?
  • Structure - Does it print well according to the rules above?
  • Profitability - Can we print the model efficiently based upon how much human time is involved, how many we can fit per build plate, how much material it uses, and how popular or desirable the part will be?
  • Suitability - Does it represent The Game Crafter's brand in a positive light (based both on subject matter and quality)?

Please note that we reserve the right to reject or modify any model for any reason.

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