So You've Got Files But No Printer...

When I'm not digitally writing, I'm digitally sculpting.

I give away a lot of my own files as a way of giving back to the hobby.  Maybe it's karma.  Call it what you will.

There are two main sites I utilize for these efforts.

One is

The other is called 

This post doesn't just apply to my Stereolithography (.stl) files, though.  You can buy files from a growing number of sculptors via their Patreons or other outlets like or

OR (Shameless Plug), you can buy a tank or other armored vehicle from last year's Motorpool STL File Kickstarter I helped produce with Rebel Minis.  Here's the link to those files, which you can now buy a la carte.

Once you have the file on your hardrive, free or purchased, but have no printer, what do you do?

Let's explore one way.  These folks are just one example, and this is by no means an endorsement.  Find out what works for you.

Let's say you wanted to download and get a few copies of a new sculpt I did, a dual barrel autocannon turret that was intended to replace a part on Dominus Imperial Knights.

We'll use the Cults3D page for this example, since Thingi can be a little clunky.

Here's the file's location...

If you like the file, you click that large purple button marked Download.

Cults3d has a three buttons that appear after you hit it, like you're placing an order.  You can download the file, or use a pair of vendors to have the part printed and sent to you.

If you choose the "3D Print Your Model With MakeLab" Button, it will take to you a screen like this...

It still wants you to drag and drop the files from your computer, so you might as well download them any way.  I didn't explore that route, just the middle button, which is from Craftcloud.  Again, no endorsement on my part, just showing you a possible route to turn free stuff on the interwebs into resin in your hands...

We click on the middle button from the Download option, which states "Compare Prices With Craftcloud."

That takes us to a processing bar, as the Craftcloud downloads the files for us to their site to give use material and shipping options.

Then, the three parts from the file come up as parts we want quotes for.  For this example, I'll keep all three in the request.

After things process, we get a choice of materials, from a variety of printing machines.  I don't suggest anything too fancy for game model parts, just standard resin.  I haven't sampled all the different options, but my gut leads me to this avenue, since that's all I'm doing with my home printer.

After I select the material, I get a quote.  For three custom parts, delivered, is a moderate sum.  Not too bad, if I only need certain parts.

Now, you have to ask yourself, is this worth it?  That $25 USD is 10% of the purchase cost of a home resin printer.
I encourage everyone to buy their own, but I understand why you would choose to outsource this stuff.
Printing can smell, can be messy, and the cost of the printer is just one expense, along with cleaning materials, tools, and post-processing needs.  And time.

So, if you don't have a printer of your own, here's one option.  There are more, if you want to find them.




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