Affecting the past and future with Sculpteo’s 3D printing technology.
Posted By Jess Hedstrom on Sep 29, 2015 | 0 comments
Many people focus on how the future can be affected by 3D printing technology, but one man, Doug Friend is focusing his sights on how the past can be affected by 3D Printing. We had the opportunity to chat with Doug and you can take a look at his Sculpteo customer success story below to learn more about how he used our services.
Can you tell us about what you (and your team) decided to make with our 3D printing services?
Absolutely! Well I have about 27 years of experience with computer drafting. My work background was actually working oil refineries, which required me to be very detail oriented; I’ve been a history buff since high school and that’s where the idea for HistoricalBoardGaming.com came from, I was able to use my drafting skills to create many game pieces and we successfully ran a Kickstarter for our game Amerika. I don’t do very much of the modeling myself anymore, instead I have many modelers that help me out, some are in the states and others are international.
And how did you learn about 3D printing?
I learned about 3D printing about 3 years ago, I was looking for an inexpensive means to create pieces for my game. Injection molding was out of the question due to price because I have 24 unique sculpts for the game Amerika alone, but in addition to the price there were also some issues with bending. In the traditional manufacturing process we experienced some bending/warping with some of the items, which we didn’t experience with additive manufacturing.
Another reason we decided to utilize additive manufacturing for this project is because it’s so much quicker than traditional manufacturing. The iterative process to correct sizing issues was corrected in a matter of weeks for us when we used 3D printing vs. 3 months to correct with traditional manufacturing. We were also very impressed with the quality, we printed with 60 microns and although it lost some detail with polishing it was not enough to be concerned.
That’s great to hear! I have to ask what were some of the struggles that you faced when you utilized 3D printing? I know that you spoke about losing some of the details after polishing but are there any others?
One of the difficulties we ran into was modeling for specific materials for example the way that you would model for plastic vs. full color sandstone is different and it took a bit of time to learn those material requirements. But it wasn’t a huge struggle. Once again I had 27 years of experience before delving into this project.
Another reason we decided to utilize additive manufacturing for this project is because it’s so much quicker than traditional manufacturing. The iterative process to correct sizing issues was corrected in a matter of weeks for us when we used 3D printing vs. 3 months to correct with traditional manufacturing.
We know that one of the strengths of 3D printing is customization, are you offering your customers any kind of customization options?
We are currently not offering any customization options just yet; however we are considering customization options in the future, for example one of our pieces is a fighter plane and we’re toying with the idea of putting tabs under the wings so that the piece can stay upright while the players are using the piece. This would be an option that we could see on the horizon being offered to our players.
So I know that your games are historically centered but I have to ask you where do you see 3D printing technology heading in the future?
Well 3D printing technology is going to eventually become a household item/technology. I believe that one day there will be a 3D printer in every home just like the microwave. And it will obviously continue to become a bigger asset for the toy and gaming industries both for final manufacturing and prototyping.
Are you using 3D printing for both prototyping and final manufacturing?
Yes we are currently using 3D printing for both final and prototyping.
Awesome! Do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to share with our audience?
Yes I’d like to say: listen to your audience, if you’re starting a small company your biggest asset is that you can talk with your audience, listen to them, and implement their suggestions quickly.