Miniature Figures FAQs
How does it work?
We use a 3D scanner, coupled to a laptop to scan you. It does require you to stand very still for 1-2 minutes as we scan you, so unfortunately this means scanning young children and animals nearly impossible (although we can try!).
Once we have scanned you, we take the 3D scan, refine it in 3D software, fix any small errors, and then send it to the 3D printer.
We have our own 3D printer which takes around 1-2 hours to print one figure. You could normally expect the miniature to be ready in a few days (perhaps longer if demand is high). Once printed you can collect, or we can post for a small fee.
What do I get?
We produce a miniature version of you, printed in durable plastic! Each figure is printed at a maximum height of 10cm, and we can print the figures at a smaller scale if required, maybe you need the figure to match the scale of a model railway, or race car?
The figures are printed in white ABS plastic (the same stuff Lego is made from). It’s a very strong material, and is also easily painted and finished. The miniature you’ll receive will be unfinished, and it’s up to you as to what you do with the figure. Most people will lightly sand the figure, then use a primer paint, and then hand paint colour a texture.
The figure could be an ideal Christmas gift for family, or an ideal accompaniment to a toy set. You could come along dressed as a Thunderbird and become part of the adventure! Or perhaps you just want a 3D family portrait!
Can you 3D print in anything other than plastic?
Our 3D printer is currently set-up to print only in plastic, however we are looking into printing in other materials such as wood, metal, rubber and carbon fibre! These are relatively new to the 3D printing market, and as such require some research and development before it’s ready.
We can out-source certain 3D printing though, where there is a wider range of materials to print in, such as gold, sandstone, and many more. Please get in-touch with us to discuss this if it’s something you’re interested in.
Can you print in colour?
Unfortunately we only print in white, and leave the colour to you. Our scanner does scan in colour, so maybe in the future we will be able to print in colour.
Are there any limitations?
The printer only has a certain resolution, so small details (less and 0.5mm) won’t be printed. We can generally print something as small as fingers, but this is often less than ideal, and may result in a less than ideal print.
Also due to the scale of the miniature print, items such as glasses can’t be printed, as they are just too small, so we would always scan you without glasses. Handbags, hats, and other larger items are OK, and will print fine.
How long does a 3D scan take?
The actual scanning process take approximately 1-2 minutes, and occasionally we may need to re-scan you if something goes amiss with the scan, scanner, or if you move! Please allow approx 15 minutes to be scanned. We then spend some time refining the 3D scan, making adjustments, and fixing any errors.
How do I colour / finish my 3D print?
To finish the print is really up to you. Most people will lightly sand the miniature, as from the printer it can have a rough finish. Then a primer can be applied, this can give a smoother finish too, especially where it’s difficult to sand. After priming you can then paint the miniature. Enamel modelling paints work well, which are used in Airfix kits, but you can also use acrylic paint or any other type of paint. You could even use coloured markers for a more stylised look!
How strong are the 3D prints?
The figures are printed in ABS plastic, the same as Lego toys, so they are strong, but as we know even Lego isn’t indestructible! These miniature figures are intended ideally for display purposes only, and could break if played with, dropped, or bent as some parts of the miniature could be small than 1mm.
Can you scan & print animals?
It’s impossible to scan anything that moves, so unless your pet is incredibly well behaved, then no we can’t scan animals.
Can I print more than one figure?
Once we have scanned you, and turned you into a 3D digital model, we can re-print you at any-time. Just like digital photography, the 3D files are stored and never deleted, so we can re-print the miniature. The cost for a re-print is £5.00, plus postage.
I want to create a building, can you do this?
Of course! We can create almost anything! Please get in touch for a quick chat and we can discuss your requirements and the best way to go about creating what you require.
Where can I find 3D models to print?
If you Google “3D models to print” there are 100s of sites dedicated to supplying 3D models, some are free, others paid, but be aware not all 3D models will be ready to print, and some may be very bady made!
Personally we recommend Thingiverse which is run by Makerbot, who sell 3D printers. The website has a lot of content, is well organised, and most of the models are actually ready to print! You can also check out our free 3D models for you to download and use!