Miguel Zavala, a US Army vet, 3D designer, and Dungeons & Dragons player, was the focus of 3DPrint.com’s most heavily trafficked and shared article of 2016…or rather, the impressively detailed collection of 300 3D printed D&D monster models he created was the focus. He began this massive undertaking in 2015, and released the last of his models last summer. He created 3D printable models of the entire 350-page Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual, the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) from Appendix B, and the miscellaneous creatures from Appendix A. The STL files were all uploaded to Zavala’s Shapeways shop earlier this year and are available for purchase.
Even though this was a pretty huge project, we knew we hadn’t seen the last of Zavala, and we were right! His new collection of 3D printed minis is titled “Out of the Abyss,” and is inspired by the D&D source book of the same title. These are the Demon Lords of Dungeons & Dragons, and there are some pretty scary-looking characters in this collection. Zavala, or mz4250 as he’s known on Shapeways, imgur and reddit, says it took him about three months of 3D printing and painting to complete all of the Demon Lords. Just like in his previous collection, he used Blender to create the miniature models. However, he did not create all of them: three were modified versions from Thingiverse artist insaneferret, such as the model for Orcus, the Demon Lord of Undeath.
Then he used Cura 3D printing and slicing software to print the miniatures with PLA material, using his trusted Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer. He covered each demon model with XTC3D, a smoothing agent, got them ready for painting using a black primer, and painted them with standard acrylic paint. He finished the models off with a gloss or matte varnish. Just based off of the limits of my own artistic ability, I’m stunned that he was able to create these 33 models in just three months. They look to be painstakingly painted, and I can’t even complete one of those adult coloring books without getting frustrated.
Zavala said that all of the models in the Demon Lords collection can be accessed for free from his Shapeways page. If you’re interested in owning the collection, but don’t have access to your own 3D printer, check 3D Hubs and see if you can find one in your area. If you’d like to see more of Zavala’s D&D work, check out his updated Chromatic Dragons collection as well.
Zavala got into 3D printing as a hobby, and the first thing he created was a D&D Black Dragon miniature. He obviously got hooked, and says that his only goal is to give other D&D gamers the option to customize their games. Dungeons & Dragons has been around for over forty years, and if people show the kind of passion for the game that Zavala has shown, I think it’s safe to say it will be around for a long time to come. Discuss in the D&D forum at 3DPB.com.