3D printers have become a new fad among wargamers. I had been put off by the cost & the degree of difficulty in mastering the art of using them. But the price has dropped dramatically & a visit to Nick's place to see what he was doing with his, & knowing I had him as a mentor in the learning curve got me enthused. It took a week to arrive from Sydney. I took the box up to Nick's place to assemble it so I had his help & his assembled machine as an example to follow. I was glad I did. It would have driven me to the edge of insanity to put it together just from the instructions.
There is a plethora of ready made files of models on the web, either free or not expensive. The Thingiverse being the best source I know of. These have to be converted to a file that suits your printer by a program. I'm using Cura, a free download. This too takes bit of learning to use, but there are you-tube videos to help. This program also allows you to scale the model. The Thingiverse AFVs are nominally 1:100 so you scale them up about 180% for 28mm.
Then there is the learning to use the thing. They are cantankerous beasts & many things can go wrong. You have to make sure the bed is level & the right height every time as it can drift off. The nozzle can clog & the feed get stuck, so you need some spare parts & figure how to put them in. You need to learn the techniques to make sure the model sticks to the base throughout the process, & to provide it with support under overhangs.
The process is slow. A 28mm AFV will take about 5 hours. But the feed is cheap - about A$25 for a 1 Kg roll which will make about 25 models.
The pontoon bridge parts were easy ones to start with.
The Horsch on the right is as printed, the one on the left is Warlords resin & painted.
The vineyard row has been spray painted.