Playable Prints taking over MiniHoarder & Wargaming3D

TL;DR: Playable Prints, a new company, is taking ownership of MiniHoarder and Wargaming3D. Jon is still reachable, but correspondence regarding the sites will go directly to Piete and Steve of Playable Prints. More information below!

From Jon

I realise the communication coming out of both MH and WG3D has dipped significantly in the past several months, and I wanted to take some time to let everyone know what’s going on, where we’re going from here and why. I started MiniHoarder as a way to serve the artistic and gaming communities in the 3D printing space. It was also a bit of an experiment to see what one person could accomplish with fairly limited resources and a dream to help a community that I care deeply about.

In a lot of ways, I’d say it was very successful. MiniHoarder and Wargaming3D currently provide a much needed service for an artistic community that is being taken advantage of in a lot of ways by other services. Over the past couple of years, we’ve helped distribute almost a million dollars worth of models through our support for Patreon and Kickstarter fulfilment, and continue to have a strong customer base.

One thing I did not correctly anticipate was how much time would be needed just to field and address questions and concerns from artists and customers alike once people started using the site. In all honesty, I also had no clue as to the amount of work it would take to build and continue to engage a budding community. Things eventually got to a point where I was not able to spend any time at all on real site development, and instead spent the majority of my time engaging folks and fielding questions from customers and artists. Slowly but surely, the advancements for both sites crawled to a stop.

This is not at all what I wanted (or currently want!) for the sites and communities. I want them to continue to flourish and add services that fill the needs of both the artists, gamers, and 3D printers of the community. The best path forward for that, I believe, is to find some truly unique individuals to lead the charge going forward. Today, I’m beyond excited to announce that those individuals have been found!

Happy Printing!

Who are Playable Prints?

We are Piete (developer) and Steve (product owner), we’re based in the UK, and you may have run into us if you’ve ever heard of the desktop model organiser Orynt3D (was Envoy – we recommend the prerelease!), built under our other company Hyperrational.

A couple of years back we started Hyperrational as a way of working differently. We saw problems with the ways models were organised and shipped around, so started playing with ideas on providing some tools around that. We caught up with Jon pretty early in both our respective journeys, and we’ve been chatting on and off ever since, looking for a way to help each other out.

We believe in making life easier for people doing great work, and we see ourselves as force multipliers: providing tools and processes to help people do what they do best. Ultimately this goes toward better experiences for customers.

Why is this happening?

If you’ve met Jon, you’ll know that this is an individual who is incredibly generous of spirit. While he wants to be able to give everything back, the laws of physics dictate that there’s only so many hours in a day. He’s worked diligently over the past 2 years or so to build MiniHoarder and take ownership of Wargaming3D in what little spare time he’s had, and now with a new job (congrats Jon!), the laws of physics have finally caught up with him and he could do with some more time back to live his life.

We’ve always wanted to help Jon, not just because of what he’s built, but because of who he is. We were flattered when he reached out to us about the idea of taking on MH and WG3D. It felt like a really good fit for our skills and a great opportunity to get more involved with artists and customers. We wanted to make sure that we had a strong structure to build from, and so Playable Prints was born.

What does this mean for you?

Right now, not a lot!

Both sites will continue to operate as they are for the foreseeable future.

Customer service should continue more or less intact as we continue to pick up the reins. If you’ve reached out to either MH or WG3D over August and September, you may have already run into Piete.

Purchases and payouts will continue to operate as they are, over both sites and we’re not expecting any interruptions while we transition ownership. If there are any issues, do bear with us!

What next?

Jon’s mission was always to focus on serving the artists, and it’s such a huge compliment from him to entrust his hard work to our care.

Step one is very much us making sure things continue to operate as they should, and getting all the financials correct. Given that this is a US-based company moving to the UK, there are some challenges to overcome here!

Step two is a little bit of consolidation and organisation. We want to look at documentation for vendors and customers, but also dig into policies and make sure everything is nicely described.

Step three is where things get a bit more exciting. We have some ideas on what to do next, but we also believe strongly in data driven decision making. You can expect to get updates from us on broad goals and progress, but also surveys to help us explore what’s important to everyone. These will be used to help create and prioritise our roadmap.

We’re so excited about the opportunity to serve this community, both artists and customers.

Got questions?

We’re active in our Discord, but you can also find us with the existing MH and WG3D email addresses and contact forms 🙂

Jon is still around a variety of places and we’re not letting him get too far out of touch, but he’s definitely overdue some rest!

We wish him all the best with the new job, and we’re really looking forward to working with you all!

Happy Thursday,

 – Piete & Steve

Necromancer’s Tower late pledges are live!

Since the close of the campaign we’ve had several people reach out to us to ask if we would be doing late pledges. Well if you’re one of those people or randomly stumbled across this campaign sometime after it finished, I have some good news for you–we are now accepting late pledges through the Top Doug Design store on MiniHoarder! We wanted to make sure that all of our initial backers had access to their rewards before we opened up late pledges, but now that we’ve sent out rewards to our backers, we’re opening it up to late backers.

All of the reward tiers from this campaign will be available on MiniHoarder, but to receive the Stretch Goals you do need to select one of the bundles. For the best deal and access to the exclusive God Titan model, we recommend going with the All In Bundle. Since all of the files are now live on MiniHoarder, if you’re a late Backer you’ll get access to those files immediately! Also, we are offering the late pledges at the Kickstarter price, but for a limited time only! Kickstarter pricing will only be available through May 27th, after that the models will still be available on MiniHoarder but the price will go up to regular retail price.

The Commercial Printing License Add On is also be available through MiniHoarder; these are limited to 10 total, so if you’re interested in selling prints of the models from this campaign you’ll need to pick one of those up asap because once those are gone they’re gone for good!


Artist Spotlight: Ember Smith Creative

Aaaaaaaaand we’re back with another artist spotlight! This month we had the pleasure of chatting with our friend Ash from Ember Smith Creative. He’s a seasoned 3D sculptor with experience in the game industry as well as 3D printable miniatures. He also happens to be a veteran of two successful Kickstarter campaigns (one that’s currently running right now featuring some incredibly unique goblins), and has a keen sense for business. On a personal note, Ash has done a lot for MiniHoarder, and it was a true pleasure to speak with someone that is not only invested in mastering his craft, but spends a lot of time thinking of ways to enrich the market for artists and creators.


Miniature Spotlight: Goblin Pirate


For every Artist Spotlight, we have one of the artist’s miniatures professionally painted. This months, we’ve asked our friend Max at MadMax Miniatures. Ash was kind enough to donate one of his models as a MiniHoarder exclusive. In fact, you can get this model for free just by signing up for our  newsletter! After seeing this fella, I know exactly what I’ll be playing in my next D&D campaign!


MH: We almost always start with a name related question… that seems like a good spot to begin with today. Where did you come up with the name Ember Smith Creative?

ESC: I wish I could say this is an exciting story… Unfortunately, it is not. I just knew I wanted my name to be affiliated with my creations. So I created a giant spreadsheet of possibilities before basically narrowing it down to a small handful and picking at random. I added ‘Creative’ onto the end because I did not want to be locked into any one specific thing. I wanted to be free to go beyond creating miniatures if I ever felt the need.

MH: How did you get your launch into the world of digital model sculpting?

ESC: It’s a typical story of a man at a crossroads, unhappy and unfulfilled with the direction of my life and really not knowing what I wanted to do. Then one day driving to work, I heard an ad on the radio for a school called ‘Academy of Interactive Entertainment.’ The ad completely sold me on the possibility I could make games for a living.

So after completing my course… I wish I could say I was living the dream. Hell, I was even made lead artist/art director at the studios I worked at with my limited experience. Unfortunately, I was stuck in an incredibly competitive and underpaid industry working under constant crunch conditions and suffering from burnout. Creating games I really didn’t have much interest in, and having all my creativity squashed and thrown out the window to instead mirror existing trends under mostly poor and uninspired direction.

After a brief stint as an apprentice electrician, I found myself once again unfulfilled and hungry for creativity once again. Eventually, I found 3D printing and it has opened up so many new doors for me. I have found an industry I truly love with so many avenues and opportunities to express my creativity. The best part is all the awesome new friends I have made already and getting to meet and share my work with so many wonderful new people. It’s the genuine joy in people when they reach out to tell me how much they loved printing my work that really keeps me motivated.

MH: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Where do you get inspiration from, and what tools do you usually use to get the job done?

ESC: I draw a lot of inspiration from comics and video games, as you can probably tell, I really try to reflect that in my work. My favorite artist,  like many others, is Joe Madureira. He’s the mastermind behind the Darksiders series, a series that inspired me to create art. Fantasy is my comfort zone, but I thoroughly enjoy the odd sci-fi model here or there. I work primarily in ZBrush for organic sculpting and utilize the modeling capabilities of blender for the hard surface stuff, such as armor, weapons, and props.

My process is heavily derived from game asset creation. Starting with a concept sketching in photoshop. I start with either a base mesh or a simple primitive in ZBrush, blocking out the anatomy and character design in a neutral A pose before posing the final miniature. At this early stage I ALWAYS keep my geometry resolution very low (often under 50k points per subtool for those wondering). This is very important for beginners to get used to, because it is far easier to manipulate the mesh and keep it clean when you have fewer vertices to move around. I often have artists approach me to ask how I keep my surfaces so clean and refuse to believe the answer I give them. It is simply working at a lower resolution to define and control your shapes. Trust me, I used to jump to one million points immediately too, when I first started sculpting.

After posing the character, I clean up all the anatomy and subtools that have been deformed by the mannequin process of posing before I begin to really have fun with expressing and exaggerating the anatomy. It is at this phase I have the most fun, portraying dynamic motion and expression while trying to ground a story into one single still 3D image. I may slightly break or push the initial anatomy as long as it remains believable if it helps to create a better piece. So don’t be scared to experiment.

Once I am happy with the model, I will use ZBrush’s Boolean feature to combine the model together and clean up any rat nests of stray geometry or resin traps inside the mesh that may throw errors in my slicer or cause problems for people during print.

Then, we support and we print… then repeat the process another 20+ times to compile a successful Kickstarter campaign, lol.

MH: Is there anything unique or special about your workflow when you’re sculpting? Do you listen to odd music, have any rituals that you do, or anything like that?

ESC: If you count procrastinating and scrolling through Facebook for about an hour before I start the workday… Then sure that’s my ritual lol. I am a bit of a procrastinator, but once I start I am very hard to stop.

My music choices while creating may be odd to some people, yet probably not unexpected. I really have to find ambient music that puts me in the mood for what I am sculpting, mostly chill lo-fi or epic theatrical scores. I love me some Hans Zimmer and on the extra odd occasion, I may even listen to calming jungle sounds or something for ambiance, lol. I have found that all of my favorite mainstream music that has words is a little distracting, but I also can’t work in silence.

An interesting plan I have once Goblinz: Mischief and Madness wraps up, is that I plan to get my iPad fixed (my brother rudely broke the screen and did not fix it!). Head down to the local/nearest river, plop in my fishing rod and just sketch my characters as a way to escape the 4 walls of my office and create in a stress-free environment… I don’t really care if I catch a fish or not, lol.

MH: What advice do you have for aspiring artists looking to move forward with their creative careers?

ESC: Oh gosh, there are so many things I could say. If I could give just one piece of advice today, I would say something hopefully smart and philosophical, like…

Becoming an artist is one of the hardest things to do, but if you enjoy it, it is the most rewarding. You will face many adversities and art blocks, but understand as long as keep creating (AND COMPLETING!!) you will overcome every obstacle art has to throw at you (actively reflecting and improving on your work can help speed this process up). So don’t compare your work with others and how far along they are. Art is a skill, and skills are learned not inherited.

A bonus tip just because it follows on from that – Art is an exercise of visual observation. It is a muscle that can be trained and you should always be trying to exercise it.

MH: What can we expect next from Ember Smith Creative?

ESC: Well, one thing about me is that I love to share knowledge of the things I am passionate about. I have always loved helping my artist friends overcome their art blocks. 

Currently, my plate is very full, but, I am hoping that sooner rather than later I will open up a workshop and mentoring service for character creation. Targeting beginner to intermediate artists. Covering all pipelines from game development to 3D printing for tabletop, from the anatomy of a polygon to fundamentals of character design.

As for the more immediate future. While I still have a few tabletop miniature collections I am focusing on building, I am really eager to get back to my game development roots and get to work on some ideas for print and play games that I think are going to be incredibly exciting. I certainly feel like the hobby of 3D printing is only growing and it is the future of product delivery. I am incredibly excited to be on the front lines of that.


Artist Spotlight: BlueWyvern

It’s that wonderful time of month again. The time for us to sit around with an interesting artist and talk about their work, the wonderful and weird hobby of 3D printing, and life in general. This month, we had a blast chatting with Christopher, the artist behind BlueWyvern. He’s been making his work available on MiniHoarder since he started, and has quite the collection available. He’s also has a Patreon that you can subscribe to, and receive all of his models for a low monthly cost.


Miniature Spotlight: Stinger

For every Artist Spotlight, we have one of the artist’s miniatures professionally painted. This months, we’ve asked our friend Max at MadMax Miniatures. Christopher selected one of the models from his recent “The Hive” collection, Stinger. Max did a phenomenal job bringing this model to life. You can find more work by BlueWyvern on their store here.


MH: We’ve had the pleasure of knowing you for quite awhile now, and remember when you first got started. Can you tell us about what first got you interested in sculpting 3D printable minis, and how you’ve ended up where you are now?

Christopher: I started BlueWyvern at the start of 2021 in February. But, coming up with BlueWyvern was a long and tedious journey. Having been in the 3D sculpting field for many years now I wanted to do something for myself. To set up my own company where I could bring my own original and unique looking fantasy miniatures to the Tabletop market and make a living off of it. That is a dream of mine that keeps me going every day. Creating an environment where I could independently create miniatures so I don’t have to rely on other people. Having to be dependent on other people to make content is something I absolutely despise.

At the beginning, when I started brainstorming about how I want to make my miniatures a reality. I took Character/creature design as a base. That was something I have always been passionate about and I knew I wanted to focus on. But I didn’t have an idea on what my selling point would be. After playing a lot of tabletop games months prior, I noticed that a lot of 3D miniatures looked very similar to one another. I felt like there really wasn’t anything unique going on with any of the miniatures I had seen both in real life and online. To me it felt like if I had seen one miniature, I had seen them all. So, it finally hit me. I could 3D sculpt original and unique looking miniatures that people could 3D print for their own tabletop games. Miniatures you couldn’t find anywhere else. That was a branch of 3D miniature sculpting that I could do completely solo. Perfect for what I was searching for.


I researched the market and found out that I was mostly right about my hypothesis. While you can find unique miniatures here and there, the majority looked and felt very similar. I now knew what I had to do. Though, I was a total newbie with 3D printing, so that was something I had to put time and effort into figuring out. After many weeks of further brainstorming about what kind of miniatures I wanted to make, what sculpting style I wanted to use and what I should call myself. I came across the creator Artisan Guild. I liked their style so much that I used them as inspiration for my own style. They have a very simple stylized sculpting style. And seeing how I’m all about efficiency and simplicity, it only felt natural to me to use them as a base for my own style. A semi-realistic stylized sculpting style.

Now I just needed a name. Being a fan of dinosaurs and dragons since I was a kid, I wanted to incorporate something with either in the name. Wyvern was something that rolled off the tongue very easily. So, I used that as a base, added Blue to the Wyvern and from that moment on BlueWyvern was born. It almost became RedWyvern at first because red is my favourite colour. But that didn’t sound very good. So I stuck with Blue and used that colour as a colour scheme for my entire brand. With that my dream was finally set in motion.

MH: What was it that pulled you into the 3D digital sculpting field in the first place?

Christopher: Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been in the creative field for most of my life. Not just doing 3D. I’ve done all sorts of things. Cinematography, photography, YouTube, game development, 2D design, manga’s, etc. I’ve always been curious about all sorts of creative disciplines and I’ve always disliked sticking to just one thing. I was curious about everything, and I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could. A jack of all trades but master of none kind of deal. Yet, out of all the creative disciplines, 3D is the thing I’m most passionate about. Having been a gamer ever since I was a kid and having a preference for 3D games in particular, 3D was something I slowly got interested in. However, I could never figure out where to start. It was only after finding out about how 3D models in video games were made that I really made a serious effort at learning 3D. I was fascinated by it, though, I was a bit overwhelmed. So I started simple, I just picked the first 3D software I came across and started making basic shaped models using poly modelling. At this point I didn’t even know 3D sculpting and miniatures were a thing. I only knew I could make 3D models in general and had video games in mind. Funny enough, my very first 3D model was a model of Kirby. A Nintendo character. It looked horrible. But, I’m a big fan of Nintendo IP’s so I suppose making a basic Nintendo character was a natural starting point.

After becoming somewhat skilled with poly modelling I came across the sculpting side of 3D design. Where, instead of 3D modelling polygon per polygon, I could just make models like I was sculpting something from clay in real life. I immediately felt a sense of freedom from it. A sense of freedom that I didn’t feel with poly modelling. Poly modelling can be very limited. I found out that with sculpting I could fully make anything I could ever dream of. That part immediately hooked me. I dropped poly modelling for sculpting and fully focused on mastering 3D sculpting. But, while 3D sculpting I didn’t feel like I had a specific direction I wanted to follow. I still wanted to do something with video games but I didn’t feel passionate enough to focus on that specific part.

A few years later, my opinion completely changed after I came across tabletop games and 3D miniatures. Both were completely new to me and I loved what I was seeing. I felt like my fiery passion only became bigger when working on 3D miniatures. These 3D miniatures were the answer I was looking for. The direction I wanted to follow. I fully shifted my focus to making 3D miniatures, started working on my own company and from that point on I became a 3D printable miniatures creator.

MH: It’s been a lot of fun watching your style evolve over the past year or so. What were some major influences in your work?

Christopher: I’ve always felt drawn to stylized styles. I wanted to develop my own due to my need for efficiency and simplicity. I never liked working too long on a 3D model and making them too detailed. With everything I do in life I want to do it as quickly, simple and efficiently as possible. That’s why a stylized style was something I’ve always naturally gravitated towards. As a source of inspiration I came across the creator Artisan Guild. I found out that they also have a similar stylized style for their miniatures. So it felt natural for me to use them as inspiration for developing my own sculpting style. My own version of a Semi-realistic stylized sculpting style.

MH: What can we look forward to from your Patreon subs over the next couple of months (if you know already)?

Christopher: People can expect to see all sorts of different creature and character races made into Miniature sets. Both Popular and underrated ones. Also showing more painted miniatures people can look at is something I’m working towards. Though, I really want to bring more spotlight to some lesser known/played tabletop races like Haregons and Loxodons. I’ve seen plenty of Goblins, dragonborn, kenku’s, gnomes, etc around. So it’s time to give the underdogs a moment to shine.


Besides that you can expect me to add some more new Rewards to the different Patreon Tiers when growth goals are reached. For example, I have a growth goal where I want to release Digital lore cards of Miniature design I put out that are also playable. Just some extra bits Patrons can play around and be more immersed with.

I’m always looking for new Miniature themes to design, new rewards to add, etc. Always going for the next new thing that hopefully my Patrons will enjoy. I just added two new merchant Tiers and a Paper miniature reward to my Patreon.

But, at the end of the day my biggest goal for the upcoming year would be to attract more people to my Patreon. I’m at around 28 right now. Yet, I want to at least reach 100 within this year. With another 100 the next. I’m working hard to get people on board my Patreon so that I will be able to work on BlueWyvern full-time as my actual job. I don’t know when I will reach that goal. But, I’m not second guessing myself. As long as I believe in myself, keep working hard and moving forward, I will eventually reach my goal. No matter how long it takes.

Like Sylvester Stallone said in his Rocky movies: “But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”. Nothing will keep me from working towards my dream of making BlueWyvern my actual job. So expect to see my determination throughout the upcoming year!

MH: What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned since you’ve started your sculpting journey?


Christopher: Learn by doing. If you want to reach a certain goal. You will never get there by only imagining getting there. Just start doing and don’t wait for something magically to happen that will make you reach said goal. Life is gonna hit you hard. Nobody is gonna do the work for you. You have to do it all by yourself. Stop worrying about failure. Dare to fail. Dare to go beyond your limits. Failure and the drive to learn from said failures will only make you a better creator. Failure is ok and is the key to success. Don’t worry about what might happen. Just do. Dare to see your creative future not as how it appears to be. But, as what it could be. Enjoy your work and the time you put into it. Have fun. Your quality of mind will reflect on the quality of your work. So just breathe and relax. Everything will be fine. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month or next year. But, it will eventually. Never stop dreaming.

Quoting the actor/comedian Jim Carrey: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love”. So just go out there, follow your passion and go for it.


When starting out you will probably come across a lot of doubters that will say that your dreams are impossible. That you can’t do it. These are the types of people that also have their own dreams. Dreams they don’t act on due to fear disguised as practicality. Don’t listen to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. The only person that can decide what you can and can’t do is you. Stay true to yourself no matter what happens and surround yourself with people that make you better.

Fifth Idólion Kickstarter and 6 month Road Map.

Ahoy People

We have our Fifth Kickstarter in Pre-Launch Fase. The Launch of Idólion Merchant Alley is expected next Week.

Our adventure is taken us through the City of Elderheim and will end up in the wilderness.
We will be continuing to switch between a Resin Set and a Pay What You Want Building for the rest of the Elderheim Chapter in our Story.

Elderheim Break Down:

Resin set: Merchant Alley – Launch March – Delivery April

Pay What You Want Building – Modular Merchant House. – Launch April – Delivery May

Resin set: Mayors Office (Set Name might Change) – Launch and Delivery to be announced

Pay What You Want Building – Modular Mayor House. – Launch and Delivery to be announced

Resin set: Through the Gate (Set Name might Change) – Launch and Delivery to be announced

Pay What You Want Building – Modular Gatehouse, Add-ons maybe Walls, Towers. – Launch and Delivery to be announced

Pictures From Merchant Alley:

First Picture of Wine Shop models in Merchant Alley.
First picture of Street Food Seller models in Merchant Alley.

Join our adventure as a Backer on our Fifth Kickstarter Idólion Merchant Alle.

Sail Ho !!


Necromancer’s Tower is live on Kickstarter!



After a long time of work and planning the Necromancer’s Tower Kickstarter is live and we hit funding in our first day! This is a collaborative project between Top Doug Design, Bad Tentacles Studio, and Dwarven Palette and will be delivered through the Top Doug Design shop here on MiniHoarder.

This project brings you some of the largest tabletop terrain to incorporate into your own campaigns alongside a variety of undead monstrosities, skeletons and other characters all for the 3D printing enthusiast. Dive into the realm of the Necromancer’s Tower and defeat the hordes of the undead… 

…or raise your own!

Check out this awesome project on Kickstarter!


Artist Spotlight: Imagine Minis

Aaaaaaand we’re back after a several month hiatus with another Artist Spotlight! To celebrate our grand return, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Ivo from Imagine Minis. Ivo and his miniatures have had a solid presence with us for quite awhile now, and it been a constant joy for us to see his releases show up on a monthly basis. In addition to individual (and beautifully done) models, Ivo runs a very reasonably priced subscription service through MiniHoarder. If you’re interested in receiving all of his new releases automatically through MiniHoarder, it’s absolutely worth a look!


On top of that, Ivo has generously provided a coupon, valid through March 12, for 30% off of all the models on his store! You can take advantage of this with the coupon code, ImagineTheDiscount30!.

For every Artist Spotlight, we have one of the artist’s miniatures professionally painted. This months, we’ve asked our new friend Max at MadMax Miniatures. Ivo selected one of his newer Defender of the Glades models and the results were incredible. You can find more work by Imagine Minis on their store here.


MH: We have a tradition of starting with the artist’s studio name. How did you come up with Imagine Minis, and what does the name mean to you personally?

Ivo: At first, I started with IvoMG. That is my name but, it did not sound very professional and I could not use it if I started to work with others, so I started thinking about how to create a name that kept IMG in it. I started brainstorming some ideas but did not like any. My wife came and suggested Imagine since it has IMG on it. It was a good suggestion but it did not mean what I was doing. I added the Minis at the end, and it sounded just right and easy to pronounce. It can also be used here in Brazil because the word “Imagine” exists in our language.

Imagine Minis sounded perfect because I am the type of person that even when sculpting I am already imagining the other miniatures I will do. I know that some people Imagine Miniatures differently from others and to appeal to as many people as possible, I like to add some kind of variation or modularity to my models. 

MH: I’ve really loved watching your sculpts come a long and seeing your style work evolve over the past several months. What kinds of modeling experience did you have before sculpting specifically for 3D printing?

Ivo: I started around 2015. A friend and I decided to make games in Unity. He would do the programming and I would do the modeling. So I started using Blender and watched a few low-poly YouTube tutorials. Specifically, I started to learn from a YouTuber, Pigart. I finished a few characters for the game but one day my friend gave up. I kept modeling low-poly but not with the same speed or discipline as before. Two years later, I decided to make games solo using Unreal Engine. Programming and modeling at the same time is not an easy task. Doing that while learning is even harder, and after a while without much progress I gave up. But I still wanted to make games. 

Prototyping board-games was my initial plan for buying a 3d printer. I finished a 6 players ludo, with different pawns (Knight, Bishop, Archer, and Pawn) and cards. After that, I started learning how to sculpt to make gifts for friends. Since I had a printer “why not give it a shot?”, and that led me to what I am doing today.


MH: What are your current tools of the trade?

Ivo: I mainly use Blender, Pureref, and Krita. For 3d printing Chittubox and Lychee slicer along with Elegoo Mars 2 pro. Also lots and lots of Spotify (Heavy metal), music is essential to keep the flow. 

MH: Can you give us a sneak peek of what you’ll be working on next?

Ivo: Right now I’m working on the second part of the Defenders Of The Glade, a Set of Night Elf-inspired units for RPG, Wargame, or Paint. This second part will take more than one month. I am working on a group of Male Druids that can also be used as Barbarians. Each will have two versions, a Bear hat or hair, and 12 hand options.

MH: There are a lot of artists out there doing 3D sculpting work now. How do you approach each set to try and set yourself apart from the others?

Ivo: I always like to hear what people wish to see on their table and, sometimes miniatures are hard to find exactly the way you want. I want to sculpt for people, no matter how rare their request (or popular), so I created a Patreon Commission. Every month I create a request post, and the fastest Patrons to reply can describe their requests that I will place on a poll. The most voted will be sculpted. 

Besides the Patreon commission models, I work based on themes selected by my Patreon Community. If a patron has a theme suggestion I can evaluate and even put it on the poll.
I am a person that can’t hold back some intel and when I finish sculpting and test printing I release the miniature. That’s the reason I don’t release miniatures in a batch. That way, people will have something new almost every week.
My welcome pack is also flexible. Every month I will add a previously sculpted miniature to it. That way there is always a reason to come back to Imagine Minis.

MH: Do you have any advice for folks that are interested in doing any 3D mini sculpting of their own?

Ivo: A few things that helped me to start: tutorials, practice, and goals. Without knowing what you are doing you will be hitting your head on a wall. Learn from those that are teaching. YouTube is a great place to start if you are not interested in a paid mentor-ship. Be careful: only watching tutorials will take you nowhere. You will need to practice. Practicing every day will make you faster.

When I was learning I had to search for tutorials all the time. After doing it a few times, it was already on my mind and I no longer had to watch. After more practice I could do things without even thinking much about it.
When I started I had clear goals in my mind. At first, I wanted to do games and later on, I decided to make gifts for friends. I always focused on modeling/sculpture, though. Set achievable goals, because if you fail or don’t see any progress you might give up or lose your motivation.
Always analyze your 3d printed sculpture. There is so much you can learn from it. Because of the scale difference, what you see on screen is not always the same as what you print. For instance, for 32mm sculptures I can zoom really close and do some really tiny little details in the software but, in real life, some of the tiny details will not show (Unless you scale it up). You will have to find a balance to what kind of details you wish to add. If you add too much it will take you time and will not show but, your miniature can be scaled up and still look good.
Don’t waste time make things functional. They only need to look like they are. You could model a nice functional belt buckle but, for a miniature, it does not need to be a belt buckle. Having something that looks like a belt buckle can save you time and will still look good in the end. Remember that all will be scaled down (unless you are making a 75mm or bigger).

MH: What sort of future goals and dreams to you current have?

Ivo: It’s my goal to grow and develop DIY board games. Right now in my free time, I am making a sketch for a free-to-play skirmish game that people can use any miniature they have. Since I don’t have the resources or time to spend, it will be a kind of unpolished manual. Maybe in the future I will run a Crowdfunding campaign to make the manual with a professional look. Even then, it will still be free-to-play.

I love miniatures and like anime, fantasy, and sci-fi miniatures equally. Unfortunately, I cannot sculpt all of those. I am only one person, and they appeal to different groups of people. I started with sci-fi minis but could not get much support so I changed my focus to do only fantasy miniatures. It’s my goal to go back to make anime and sci-fi miniatures when I have more people working with me.
Lady Audra, printed by @thingsi3dprinted, and painted by @pear.miniatures
I know that there is a long road ahead for success and I don’t intend to be anyone’s main 3D miniatures supplier yet. The more supporters I have, I will continue to increase the number of sculptures, and will try to continue to keep the prices low.  I want to supply the gaming community with affordable awesome miniatures, grow bigger like GW but with much lower pricing. I know it’s a bold statement but it’s my dream.
I am a sculptor, RPG player and always dreamed of being able to create games so that people can have a great time. Let’s Imagine Minis Together.
Temperature Tower

Making a Temperature Tower Test in Cura

Making a Temperature Tower Test in Cura

A guide by Slice Print Roleplay


In this guide, I will explain how to make a temperature tower test using the Calibration Shapes Plugin for Cura. This process works with any model and you can create tests for any printer that’s supported in Cura. The reason we’ll be using this plugin is that it makes the whole process much easier. With the Calibration Shapes plugin, we only need to add a few values to one script and the plugin will do the rest of the work for us. Once you understand how to use it, this plugin lets you create a temp tower test in just a few seconds!

If you are the type of person who learns better from a video tutorial then check out the video below.


Temperature Tower Tests Explained


Let’s quickly go over what a temp tower test is and why you would want to print one.


As the name suggests it’s a tower and each level of the tower will print at a different temperature. This allows you to find the best temp for each filament by printing only one test.

So what do I mean by, “Best temp”? Well, all filaments will have a minimum melt temp and a maximum melt temp. 

If you go below the minimum melt temp then the filament simply won’t melt.

If you go above the maximum melt temp then the filament will likely burn inside the hotend.

If your goal is to have strong functional parts then a higher temp is better. This is because the layers melt into each other and form a stronger bond.

If your goal is to have highly detailed parts then a lower temp is better. This is because it takes the layers less time to get below the minimum melt temp so they hold their shape better.

So how do you figure out what’s too hot and what’s too cold? You guessed it, you print a temp tower test. You can test a wide range of temps and then review the results to figure out what’s the best temp for your needs.


And remember there is no one size fits all temp for every type of filament.  It might sound odd, but it’s normal for two colors of the same filament to print at different temps.

For example, you might have blue PLA that gives the best finish at 200°c. But then have red PLA that gives the best finish at 190°c. This is true for most types of filament even when the colors are from the same brand.

Are you on the edge of your seat yet? Well, strap in because it’s about to get wild!

The other reason temp towers are so useful is that temperature values on 3D printers are not calibrated! *gasp* 

That just means you might set your nozzle temp for 200°c, but it could be 5°c to 10°c above or below. This is also why you might have two identical printers that print the same spool of filament at different temps.


So in short, if you want to get the best results for your needs then run a temp tower test when printing with any new filament on each printer.


Installing the Calibration Shapes Plugin


Installing this plugin is quick and easy. First, start Cura. Once it’s open, just click on the box labeled, “Marketplace” in the top right-hand corner. From there look for the Calibration Shapes plugin under the “Plugins” tab. Click on the icon and then hit “Install”. Once that’s finished be sure to click on, “Quit Ultimaker Cura”. 

You will have to quit and restart Cura after installing a plugin in order to be able to use it.



How to Add Calibration Shapes

The Calibration Shapes plugin comes pre-loaded with tons of different calibration models. To access them click on, “Extensions”, and then, “Part for calibration.” Here you’ll find different temp tower models as well as models to calibrate stringing, bridging, and so much more. How cool is that?!

For this guide, I used the option, “Add PLA TempTower.” However, you can use this process with any temp tower model.



How to Add A Temperature Tower Script

Okay, so here is the coolest part about this plugin. It also comes pre-loaded with easy to use calibration scripts. This means that you can create tons of different tests using the pre-loaded models and scripts all from the same plugin!

To access these scripts go to, “Extensions” then, “Post processing” then, “Modify G-code” and then click on, “Add script.” 

This will open a long drop-down menu with lots of options for different calibration scripts. When creating a temp tower you’ll want to select the script labeled, “TempFanTower.”



Temperature Tower Script Explained


For this script to work correctly we will need to enter data for each of the four values below.


Starting Temperature

As the name suggests you will set this to match the starting temp of your model. The temperature range of your test should always start with the highest temperature on the bottom/first block. Then move to the lowest temperature on the top/last block. 

If you start with the lowest temp first you run the risk of the filament being too cold to print. Then the first layer wouldn’t print which would ruin the whole test….Just trust me on this.


Temperature Increment

This is where you tell the script how the temperature should change when moving between each part of the test.

Temp towers for PLA normally drop by 5°c between each block. However, towers for higher temp materials may have a greater decrease. 

You can confirm this by reading any notes from the creator or checking the model for temperature change designations.


Change Layer

This is where you tell the script how many layers are in each block of the test. Or to put it another way, how many layers should be printed at each temp. 

Depending on the model and layer height, each block of the test will be sliced into 30+ layers. So you want to be close, but if you’re a little off it won’t be the end of the world. We’ll talk about this more in just a bit.


Change Layer Offset

This is where you tell the script how many layers are in the base of your temp tower model.

This value is important because, if set incorrectly, it will throw off the rest of the test.

This might sound a little confusing, but it’s really not bad once you get the hang of it.


Now that we’ve covered all of the settings, let’s go over setting it up step by step.


How to Setup Your Temperature Tower Script


It’s important to note that all of these values will change depending on the temp tower model and layer height you’re using.

So learning how to correctly define each value for your model and layer height is vital for getting good results.


Layer Height 

Unless you have very specific goals in mind, you’ll have good results when using a layer height equal to half the diameter of your nozzle. Since almost all printers come with a 0.4mm nozzle installed you’ll want to set your layer height to 0.2mm. To save time I would also recommend using the 0.2mm profile in Cura. This should be a quality setting in the drop-down tab for most printers. Obviously, if your printer has a different size nozzle then adjust accordingly.

Once you have your layer height set go ahead and slice your model.



Change Layer Offset

Once the model is sliced, figuring out how many layers are in the base is pretty easy. Grab the layer view slider on the right of the screen and take it down to the first layer. From there, use the up arrow on your keyboard to go up one layer at a time. It should be easy to find the layer where the base ends and the first test block begins. I’ve found that this process is even easier if you change your Color Scheme to “Line Type.”

You can see that the base of this model has 4 layers so our Change Layer Offset value is 4.



Change Layer

Finding this value takes a little more effort than the last one, but once you understand the process, it goes really quick. 

You know how many layers are in the base of your model right? If not check out the Change Layer Offset section above and then come back. Got it? Okay great, Now just subtract that amount from the total layer count of your model. You can find the total layer count by moving the layer view slider to the very top.


At a 0.2mm layer height, the model I’m using has 378 layers. So for this model, the first part of the process looks like this, 378 – 4 = 374. This tells us how many layers are in the test, excluding the layers in the base. With me so far?…. Good!

Next just count how many blocks/temperatures there are in your test model.


Now we divide the number of layers in the test by the number of different temperatures. For the model, I’m using that would be 374 ⁒ 9 = 41.55. It’s not at all uncommon to end up with fractional digits like that. However, we can’t use fractional numbers so let’s fix that. 

If the number after the decimal is 5 or greater round it up. If it’s 4 or less then round it down. Or have you forgotten, “5 and above, give it a shove. 4 and below, let it go.”…Because I sure did and had to look up that rhyme.

Okay, I said we’d talk about it, so here it is. It’s okay if the model doesn’t divide evenly and you have to round a little. The reason it’s okay is that there are plenty of layers in each block so being off the mark by a layer or two isn’t going to make the results of your test unreliable. This is especially true when the temperature is only changing in increments of 5°c – 10°c. So don’t stress over it too much. 

Okay so now we’ve got 42 which is our Change Layer value…And that makes sense since, after all, 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.


Temperature Increment

This is probably the easiest of the values to find. Simply look at the temperatures of the first test block and the one above it. How much is the temperature changing by? 

For the model I’m using, the temperature decreases by 5c° between each block of the test.



Starting Temperature

Just like Temperature Increment, to find this value all we have to do is look at the temperature of the first test block. The model I’m using starts at 220°.


For best results, there is an additional setting you’ll want to adjust. This setting is not part of the script, but adjusting it will ensure your test prints perfectly.

The setting is called “Printing Temperature.” and it can be found under the “Material” tab.

You want this setting to match your Starting Temperature. This will tell Cura to print the layers in the base at the same temp as your first test block. The reason this is important is that those layers in the base may start printing 20° or 30° less than your first test block. So by the time your nozzle reaches the correct temp the first test block might be half printed.



Enter Values, Slice, & Save 

Now, all that’s left to do is enter those values into the script, slice your model, and save the file.

Leave the box labeled, “Active Fan Tower” unchecked.



Congratulations You’re Done!

Just don’t forget to remove the script and put the “Printing Temperature” setting back to its original value before you slice another model.

Hopefully, you now know how to use the Calibration Shapes plugin to create a temperature tower using any temp tower model.

If you have any questions feel free to post them below and I’ll gladly help.



Help Support Slice Print Roleplay

Support from this amazing community helps me keep making tutorials and other helpful content like this.

If you found this guide helpful then I humbly ask for your support.

Joining my Patreon is a great way to support my work and get some awesome rewards, too!


Or if money is tight you can always show support by giving my videos a thumbs up and sharing them with your friends. 


Whatever you decide to do, your support is greatly appreciated!


Alright, now let’s go print something.


Improving the Build Plate Adhesion of Your 3D Printer with Slice Print Roleplay

In this guide, we discuss why you might want to improve your 3D printer’s build plate adhesion and how to do it. If your prints have mysteriously started failing after previously being successful, this guide might help save you a lot of heartache and frustration. Keep in mind there are several reasons a print might fail. One reason that is often overlooked is the ability for your print to actually stick to the the build plate.

Protect Your Hoard

Never get lose, or get lost in, your 3D Printable Hoard again. With our cloud based storage and organizational tools, your hoard will always be ready for when you need it, where you need it.

Why Scuff Your Build Plate

Over time, some build surfaces will begin to fill up with tiny bits of resin/filament and become smooth. That means there’s nothing for your first layers to grip. Scuffing your build surface “refreshes” it by removing those old bits of resin/filament. It also creates a bunch of tiny imperfections that greatly increase bed adhesion.

When to Scuff Your Build Plate

You should consider scuffing your build plate if you start to notice an increase in prints detaching or not sticking at all. While there are a lot of reasons your prints might fail, these are tell tale signs that your build plate adhesion is an issue.

The first things to check are bed level and print settings. After those have been ruled out, scuffing your build surface is a great next step in resolving the issue.

Note that this process can be used for both FDM & Resin Printers. However, some build surfaces should not be scuffed. Check with the manufacturer of your printer/build surface before following this process.

Required Materials

  1. One piece of 220 grit sandpaper roughly the size of a playing card
  2. IPA (or another cleaner)
  3. Paper towels
  4. Facemask
Required materials to scuff a build pate
Required Materials

Getting to Business - How to Scuff Your Build Plate

Before starting, let’s make a quick point. We use sandpaper in this process, but you shouldn’t think of it as “sanding your plate down.” Rather think of it as, “scuffing your plate up.” 

You DO NOT want to make circular patterns on your build plate like you would when trying to smooth a surface. Instead, you want to scuff the surface so the resin/filament can get a really good grip. Also note that one pass in each direction should be sufficient.

Step #1: Scuffing in the First Direction

Start at one corner of the plate and drag the sandpaper across the surface to the opposite corner. Then move forward roughly 3mm and move in a straight line back to the side you started on. Repeat until you have moved across the whole plate.

Scuff a build plate, step 1
Scuff Strokes in First Direction

Step #2: Scuffing in the Second Direction

Scuff a build plate, step 2
Scuff Strokes in Second Direction

Turn the plate 90 degrees and repeat the same process. You should be making intersecting lines that form a grid pattern.

Turn the plate 90 degrees and repeat the same process. You should be making intersecting lines that form a grid pattern.

Scuff a build plate, step 2
Scuff Strokes in Second Direction

Step #3: Clean the Plate

Thoroughly clean the build surface using a paper towel with IPA or another cleaner. You want to make sure all dust has been removed from the plate before use. The last thing anyone wants to experience is going through the trouble of scuffing your build plate to increase it’s adhesion, only to have your prints fail because the build plate is covered in dust.

Note: Put your cleaner in a spray bottle for easy use.

Clean your build plate
Cleaning the Build Plate

Step #4: Printing Glory!!!

3D Printing Glory!

Congratulations!! You are all done and ready to print!

Your build surface will now provide greater adhesion and should help give you a more reliable printing experience.

If you found this guide helpful please consider supporting me on Patreon. Support from patrons helps me make more great content like this. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Alright, let’s go print something.