3D Printing for traveller


Hi all!

I am new to these forums, but not to Traveller which I have been playing on and off for ten years and am now running my first homebrew campaign (which is a mix of Traveller, Bubblegum Crisis, Yamato and Macross). However, it is not the campaign that brings me here, but rather a side project!

I am not sure how many other people use miniatures in their Traveller campaign, but I have a lot of old star wars and reaper bones miniatures that I use in my game when there is a protracted battle. I have used battlemaps and drawn out things before, but it is tedious and hard to prepare beforehand. I have considered buying some 3D terrain, but it is very expensive and not usually to my taste. There is a ton of good stuff for fantasy themed tabletop, but sci-fi choices seem limited.

However, recently, my profession as a 3D animator brought me into close contact with 3D printing, and I realised that I could design and print terrain to my own liking, which I have done! I thought I would share my progress!


This is what I have on hand that is mostly finished, the beginnings of an engineering room with shield generators. I tried to use styles that inspire me, so there are lots of Foss/Cobb Alien set influences...


The doors open from the top...


On top of these, I have also designed some 3x2" staterooms (unpainted, but can show progress if there is an interest), low births/hypersleep chambers, and an airlock, although because of the scale, it needed to be 2x2" and has more of an Alien look than a classic traveller airlock which I guess is circular rather than square.

Process and
I modelled all the parts in Autodesk Maya and converted them to STL for printing. I print in ABS with my FlashForge Creator Pro using Simplify3D (expensive, but well worth the investment, it fixes many printing problems). I use medium quality, which is .2 mm/layer.

I had a much earlier design where I tried to make a shuttle, but I used much thinner plastic and my own snapping system that was just way too prone to problems. Fortunately, I noticed that OpenLOCK had an open license, and asked for one and got one, so I have used their system.

One regret I also have is having printed at 25.4mm scale - I wish I had done 30 mm, since then the minis barely fit in the squares and usually are 28-32 mm scale. They won't fit easily in staterooms with enclosed walls built in. A 30 mm scale would allow for walls on the individual tiles and more room - the benefit of 3D printing though is that I can just reprint them at this scale in the future! A few cents extra per piece, but oh well.

I have only base coated the tiles with grey base coat (some is spray, other pieces are just brushed on), followed by slight detailing, such as the yellow, then a shade wash and dry brush for highlights. There is no detail on the panelling - the look of rivets and patterns in the floor plates is actually a side effect of the 3D printing process! Each piece took me about 2-5 minutes total to paint.

So, that's where I am at... I guess I will post some more if there is interest!


Emperor Mongoose
Very nice! Thanks for sharing, Ben. I'm a big miniatures fan, myself and I while away hours painting up my old 80's Traveller Grenadier lines. More recently I'm a big fan of Hassle Free's sci-fi and moderns lines (if you like minis and are looking for quality, check them out: http://www.hfminis.co.uk/). Great-looking 28-30mm figs.

I use mats with erasable ink markers for my grids which is okay, but I'd really like to get some 3D hallways like you have. Please post more on your process. I might just mimic it. :D


Cool, Would be even cooler in 15mm... But I am a Traveller purist when comes to miniatures. Well that and there is a much larger selection of figures for SF in 15mm than any other size....


paltrysum said:
[ . . . ]
More recently I'm a big fan of Hassle Free's sci-fi and moderns lines (if you like minis and are looking for quality, check them out: http://www.hfminis.co.uk/).


OK. I'll buy that for a dollar.


I'm starting to like this. Methinks their art department doth not take themselves entirely seriously.


Thanks guys for the comments and feedback!

@Infojunky, you can scale these down to 15 mm easily. As it is, I will probably scale them up to 30 mm for my own games in the future. Of course, printing at 15 mm would also require printing at maximum quality.

@Paltrysum, thanks for the tip!

Now for some updates!


An overview of my progress... both painted and unpainted.


A shot of the new airlock.


The double stateroom.


I thought it would be interesting to show a shot of my models in Maya, before they are printed. As you can see, there is a lot of them.


And here is a shot of the printer after finishing a run of corner pieces.

That's all for now!


Really neat stuff!

I don't do miniatures much, but I thought it would be fun to make Traveller Credits as game props. Currency is easy -- just print it onto good paper and pretend it's TL15 extruded plastic. But Coins are difficult. With 3D printing, however, it would just be a matter of building a model for the Imperial Sun symbol, embossing it into four sizes of coins with text ("one quarter Imperial Credit", "one half Imperial Credit", "one Imperial Credit", "five Imperial Credits") and embossing space for a serial number and matix barcode on the reverse, and "printing" it.

Since most players probably don't want to keep accounts down to quarter Credits, they'd just be souvenir pieces, but they'd still be fun at the game table.