A5 Gamer's Notebook

A5 Gamer's Notebook -- Kicktraq Mini

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Games Workshop vs 3D Printing

Games Workshop are having a bit of a Space Sulk.  They've got stuck into a guy because he sculpted some figures which were similar in 'style' to their own ranges, and then put them up as a digital files for fellow 3D printer owners to download and er ... print.  Further details can be found on Wired.com.

I've talked about 3D printers before, and although the technology still isn't quite ready for the consumer market, there is even less doubt that it is going to happen in the next 2-3 years.  It might have been a lot early than that, but it now seems likely that consumer models will ship with an intergrated scanner unit which will be able to photocopy objects.  Basically, you will be able to put a Space Marine (sorry "Future Soldier") into the machine, press copy and print out a few hundred of them.

You can see why Games Workshop are worried, but it's ludicrous going after a fan who has uploaded a similar, but original design in the 'style' of one of their figures.  The reality is, as soon as their customers get access to a 3D photocopier which can produce half-decent, cheap copies of their models, the Comany's current business model is finished.  They might mitigate the damage by getting into the market themselves, where they could at least sell digital copies of their models.

From my point of view, I don't want to print out loads of Games Workshop figures, or rip-off recent figures from Reaper, Otherworld, et al.   However, I do have plenty of old out of production Asgard, Ral Partha and Grenadier minis which I would just love to able to make copies of.

3 comments:

  1. When the 3-D printers start making more printers, that's when i'll grab my guns. Can you say skynet and lot's of terminator's!!

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    1. I like it. Judgement Day would be Skynet vs Games Workshop's Lawyers.

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  2. @Baronzemo - check out RepRap, whose goal was to make a self-replicating 3D printer. They are nearing the ability to print the circuitry as well as the structural elements even now.

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