To print or not to print, that is the question.
We may think that, being our miniatures digitally designed, I should be extremely efficient for what concerns technology, and above all 3d printing.
After almost 6 years of adventures in the magical world of miniatures, for sure I learned something about (especially, how to identify a good print, from a terrible one), but I have never 3d printed a single thing, by myself. I have no idea about how it technically works, I just usually receive the .stl files from Valerio, I forward them to our 3d printing service and I let the magic happen.
I have many friends that I see experimenting with their 3d printers, and I really admire them because I must confess that the idea of put one of those machines at work, it just scares the inner barbarian in me, still used with analogical stuff like brushes, pigments, primers etc.
Said so, I'm not one of those individuals that refuse the progress or minimize it: 3d printing is a thing, nowadays, a good thing, and I'm pretty excited to see how much the quality of domestic 3d printers is growing. This can (and I think it will) revolutionize our hobby and, as a creator, I don't want to fall behind: not only it's interesting to evolve the way we approach things, but also it would be extremely stupid that a manufacturer, that digitally designs its products, doesn't take advantage of the full potentials of its digital sculpts!
So, yes, all this wall of text to introduce you big news: Durgin Paint Forge is going to launch the DPF Project (Durgin Prints for Free). Please, let me enjoy my odd passion for weird names.
The DPF Project is meant to start a journey on the free-to-print sector, and it will be useful to give you the chance to have on your desks products that we wouldn't be able, or just couldn't afford, to directly produce (think about large scale version of our sculpts, conversion bits etc). And, of course, it may help us to promote our upcoming projects: in fact, the first .stl file that we uploaded on the dedicated page, is the alternative version of our Elf Knight. A good way to start to become familiar with our new range, before the Kickstarter campaign opens!
Of course, being this the very first step in this direction, I will need all your feedback to improve and refine it: at the moment, you can download the .stl file of the Elf Knight sculpt, but I honestly don't know if it is 100% functional to your needs. It is the same file we give to our trusty 3d printing guy, but I don't know if domestic 3d printers have specific requires, so please: be patient 'till this little barbarian learn how to provide you with a smooth and perfect experience, and help me to achieve this goal with your feedback!
There is only one thing that scares a miniature manufacturer more than taxes: pirates (it's funny because, at least here in Italy, the difference between these categories is pretty thin!).
I've already talked about my idea of piracy, and it didn't change meanwhile: piracy is bad, yes, but considering that we can't really fight it, we just have to deal with it and, if possible, take the best from it.
One of the reasons why I was a bit scared of free-to-print, or just the .stl files sale itself, is that once you've sent the file outside your trusty stronghold, basically anybody can make anything with it.
People can print a miniature and re-sell it, people can modify your sculpt and re-brand it like one of theirs etc.
Let be honest: giving away (for free or underpayment) .stl files is just like offer an assist to all those pirates out there because, once a .stl file is gone, you (the creator) lose any kind of control over your creation.
This, my friends, is scary.
Said so, we can't just avoid doing things because we fear the perils that may surround them: it's like refusing to enter the Ocean, because of the fear for sharks, or it's like living a life without a single cake, because of the fear of diabetes.
Domestic 3d printing is a powerful resource that I think can help so much our hobby and, in specific, my little creature, and I can't ignore it just because I fear that some re-caster/pirate out there might exploit my hard work!
So, let put it this way: I prefer that a pirate has access to a good digital sculpt, than a crap 3d scan of our product. At least, I'm sure that my beloved creations won't be too much brutalized.
And let be honest: if you search for counterfeit miniatures, it means that you wouldn't buy any of my original products.
So, yes, the best way to deal with piracy, is to think "look, nobody would steal something that isn't worthy!", and focus only on the those who really matter: the loyal and trusted community that supports our projects.
.STL files on Kickstarter
So, here is the question that I've asked myself many times: should I give the chance, in our upcoming Kickstarter, to directly buy the .stl files of our products?
The answer is yes.
For the first time, I want to try to offer you not only the classic physical miniatures (you know, those beautiful works of art, perfectly cast in high-quality resin that for some reason smells really bad), but also the .stl files, so if you have a 3d printer at home, you can skip a step and start to print your DPF miniatures, saving money and without having to wait for the long times of production.
I think it's a fair deal: let me know your opinions about!