Home Forums General General Selling STL files through DriveThruRPG & Wargame Vault

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  • #155870
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Anyone have experience putting STL files on the site? I’ve been seeing a lot of RPG terrain on there but haven’t seen much for wargames.

    My understanding is buying an stl file from the site lets you print as many as you want. It works pretty well for RPG terrain where the buyer is unlikely to print more than a few copies of the same model. For wargames though it sounds pretty good for the buyer to buy a model of the M4 Sherman and print out thousands. Not so good for the seller.

    I’ve been thinking of putting up aircraft models on there but can’t see much interest since there’s already a lot of miniature manufacturers doing aircraft already. Also need a good resin printer to print aircraft to reasonable quality.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155871
    Mike
    Keymaster

    A lot of people are doing patreons with STLs every month.

    #155872
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I don’t like the idea of patreons. It feels weird taking money upfront.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155883
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Maybe here then>>

    https://cults3d.com/

    ?

    #155885
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    From my experiences with Patreon, please do not start one that is monthly subscription based (rather than by the project) if you don’t think you’ll have the motivation to consistently release content.

    A couple of people I subscribe to are great, a couple have been huge letdowns…

    In the end, as far as numbers the user can produce, there won’t be any difference based on platform you sell on.  I don’t know what cut of the $ Patreon takes, but DrivethruRPG/WGVault spell it out pretty clearly.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #155886
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Thanks, that’s a nice site.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155887
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    My Mini Factory (here) handles both STL files and physical models while supporting crowd funding.

    Etsy is my daughters regular ‘go to’ for RPG figures after local shops.

    Maybe see if a traditional retailer would stock the line? 4 Ground are doing this for MDF (here) and have an interesting collection.

    As for printer ownership – have a look at makexyz if you want to dip your toe into retailing but not wanting to handle the mess at the start.

     

    #155898
    Thomaston
    Participant

    That’s a lot of websites offering 3D printed minaitures these days.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155901
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    My understanding is buying an stl file from the site lets you print as many as you want. It works pretty well for RPG terrain where the buyer is unlikely to print more than a few copies of the same model. For wargames though it sounds pretty good for the buyer to buy a model of the M4 Sherman and print out thousands. Not so good for the seller.

    I don’t have a 3d printer, so I may be way off the mark, but I’d have thought you could justify pricing the files higher precisely because the buyer can print as many copies as they like.

    Military history author
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    #155907
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I don’t have a 3d printer, so I may be way off the mark, but I’d have thought you could justify pricing the files higher precisely because the buyer can print as many copies as they like.

    Pricing STL files is a weird topic. I’ve been told 3-5 years ago the rate for a 1/285 aircraft comission was easily $100-$150, but also depends on the details. That’s for manufacturers but 3D printing complicates this. I’m not sure if the pricing had changed since resin 3D printers became more common and more people are designing and digitally sculpting.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155908
    Thomaston
    Participant

    @DSG
    I’m pretty fixed no not using patreons. I don’t have the time to put into fulfilling something like that, not even a kickstarter. I’m just looking for a platform I can offload my existing files and contribute to “Thomaston buy a boat fund”.


    @andrew
    and everyoen else as well. What do you think about the demands for 3D rinted vehicles? There’s a few who already sells larger scale 3D prints of tanks and there’s a lot for spaceships but I haven’t seen much for micro-armor tanks and ships.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155917
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I’m pretty fixed no not using patreons. I don’t have the time to put into fulfilling something like that, not even a kickstarter. I’m just looking for a platform I can offload my existing files and contribute to “Thomaston buy a boat fund”.

    Like Andrew said, etsy may be a good call.

    #155918
    Mike
    Keymaster

    4 Ground are doing this for MDF (here) and have an interesting collection.

    I think some people have found their service to be less than expected so due diligence there maybe.

    #155932
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    There’s a few who already sells larger scale 3D prints of tanks and there’s a lot for spaceships but I haven’t seen much for micro-armor tanks and ships.

    My experience with printing 6mm stuff is that it takes a REALLY good printer to get the fine detail.  You do not want to print in 6mm with an FDM printer, resin all the way. I have purchased 6mm minis from various makers that were 3d printed masters then moulded for metal production and the detail is nowhere near that of handmade models/figures that are then cast in metal.  And that’s not bad, just the difference.

    Also, in the end product cost for printing 6mm minis you have to include printer time cost (material is next to nothing) which can increase the price of a mini significantly if you bought a really expensive printer.  However, if you don’t anticipate selling oodles at once it is a less expensive startup way to go than metal casting.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #155939
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I guess I’ll stow this idea away for another few years. A little daunted not seeing any 3d printed minis 6mm and smaller. Tom’s Modelworks is the closest to the models I have but as far as I know they print and sell them rather than sells stls.

    @DSG
    I did a quick calculation years ago and decided selling STLs might be less time intensive. Printing the models and selling them would be a full-time job on top of designing them.
    I’m very impressed by current resin printers and the quality they can do. Recently I’ve printed some 3mm minis and rifle barrels and sights actually printed without much issue.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #155946
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I think you should totally sell your STLs.  It is much easier than selling prints or casting minis, that’s for sure!  And, you don’t have to deal with actual stock or shipping.

    Ya know, maybe I’ve ben doing this all wrong…

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #155957
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I think I brought this up on the wrong forum. My models are more towards scale modellers, though some have used them for wargames. Tiny Air Combat was pretty much my most wargame friendly 3D models so far.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #156009
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Show us!  Show us!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #156013
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Probably 95% of my stuff are aircraft

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

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