A few months ago I spoke with avid D&D player and Shapeways user Miguel Zavala who had just uploaded a huge library of two hundred 3D printable Dungeons & Dragons miniature models. He created the library of figures from existing designs that he either heavily modified or for many of them simply designed himself from scratch using the Monster Manual as reference. For Zavala what started as a project to make his own D&D minis turned into a project that he hoped would help others enjoy a game that he has loved for years. When last we spoke he had promised that he was going to keep going and would only stop when he ran out of monsters to 3D print.
It looks like Zavala is keeping his word, because he just uploaded dozens of new 3D printable D&D monsters up to Shapeways that can be downloaded for free. Once again he did all of his 3D modelling in Blender, prepped them for 3D printing with Cura and printed everything on his Printrbot Simple Metal using PLA filament. In order to spruce the minis up a bit he smoothed them out with some XTC-3D from Smooth-on, painted them using standard acrylic modelling paints and then gave them a coat of glossy varnish.
This time around Zavala created a ton of new monsters and creatures, including his pretty great version of Tiamat, the evil five-headed dragon goddess. His ridiculous Treeant model is also pretty amazing, and comparably huge to the rest of his designs. As with his previous D&D monsters Zavala has uploaded everything to Shapeways for download, but while you will need to create an account to get his models, they are all free thanks to a deal with the owner of the Dungeons & Dragons IP, Wizards of the Coast.
“Wizards of the Coast requested my models taken down from Thingiverse. At first I was a bit surprised as I wasn’t trying to make money off of this or anything. Thankfully when I reached out to them and explained my intentions, which were just to share my files so that fellow players could have just as much customization in their games as I have, they were pretty fair. They just preferred the models were on a site they had an agreement with. So that’s why all my stuff is now on Shapeways. So long as I don’t try to sell any of their IP I can post away here,” Zavala explained to me via email.
As Zavala’s designs get larger and more complicated, they do end up becoming a bit more complicated to 3D print. Most of the smaller creatures are pretty simple to print and will only need a few supports, but the larger the model the more complicated the supports will need to be. Zavala said that he designed most of the parts so if they are laying down as flat as possible when they are 3D printed they should print fine with some simple rafting and small supports.
Zavala has promised to continue to make his way through the entire Monster Manual, so any of you Dungeon Masters out there with a 3D printer will have plenty of monsters to throw against your players. Be careful though, he warns that the Zombies and Goblins will be particularly difficult to print out, so choose the monsters for your next campaign carefully. But he also points out that he included detailed 3D printing instructions on all of the item pages up on Shapeways. You can find a huge Imgur gallery of all of Zavala’s D&D models here, and you can get the STL files directly from his store on Shapeways. Discuss in the 3D Printable D&D forum over at 3DPB.com.