The worlds of 3D printing and gaming are increasingly overlapping, as fans can now choose to order their favorite game characters through services that will 3D print them and ship them direct to your door. But you’ve always been a DIY type, and you are an avid World of Warcraft (WoW) fan. Say you want to 3D print your favorite character from the game, but how do you do it? Kripzy has designed a YouTube video tutorial, which you can watch below, to take you through these steps and have you playing your game surrounded by whatever 3D printed models you choose to print in no time.
The first step is to familiarize yourself with the WoW model viewer program. This program describes itself as “a tool used by Machinima Artists to view and capture model and character animation from World of Warcraft. As an open-source project, we encourage the development of features that may be useful to current or future artists.” It is basically where you go to get game related accessories, so it is the go-to place for all things WoW and 3D printable model-related.
Once you are familiar with the model viewer you will be using, it is time to download it. Before you download the WoW model viewer program, remember to exit the WoW game or else it won’t work. Next, open the model viewer program and search for the character model you want in the search bar. Kripzy chose two models and the Swift Spectral Tiger character is the example we will use here. To get the Tiger model once you’ve located it through your search, choose “File” and scroll down to “Export Model” and then choose “Object” from several other options. Now, name and save this file somewhere easy to find, like your desktop, because you will be opening it up very soon in another program.
What is this other program you will be using? There are many software programs that convert model files into 3D printable files. For this project, you will be downloading MeshLab, which describes itself as:
“…an open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes. The system is aimed to help the processing of the typical not-so-small unstructured models arising in 3D scanning, providing a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering and converting these kind of meshes.”
Once you have downloaded the program, you import your Swift Spectral Tiger file by going to “File” and scrolling down to the “Import” choice. Choose the file you want to import by clicking on it and then clicking “OK” in the box that should pop up on your screen. Go to “File” again and scroll down to choose “Export Mesh As” — changing the file to STL by scrolling down to the box below the file name box. Then save that file again as an STL on your desktop. Now you have an STL file that is ready to go to your 3D printer. I would rename it something like “SpectralTigerSTL.”
From there, if you have ever 3D printed anything before, you should know the drill. Turn your 3D printer on, and open up your Swift Spectral Tiger STL file, send it to the printer, and wait patiently. If you are as big of a WoW fan as Kripzy appears to be, it will be worth the wait! Discuss in the 3D Printing World of Warcraft forum over at 3DPB.com.