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From Digital to Physical: The Journey of a 3D Printed Army

Updated: Apr 10

In the vast expanse of modern technology, the art of 3D printing has emerged as a bridge between the digital and physical worlds. It's a process that transforms ethereal ideas into tangible realities, enabling our artists to bring their most intricate visions to life. This is particularly evident in the creation of a 3D printed army, where every miniature stands as a testament to the marvel of digital fabrication. Thus, the army of the Crimson Wings turns from vision into reality.

free stl from the crimson wings kickstarter campaign

The Genesis: STL Files

The journey begins with the creation of an STL file, the standard file format for 3D printing. STL, which stands for stereolithography, is essentially a blueprint of the object to be printed. It contains all the geometric details of the model in a format that 3D printers can understand. Our designers create these files from scratch using 3D modeling software and you can download them when you subscribe to us. 

The precision and detail encapsulated in this digital file are crucial, as they directly influence the quality and compatibility of the printed miniature. Every feather in the wings, the smallest piece of armor - everything is carefully verified for subsequent printing. We check each STL file for compatibility.

The Transformation: 3D Printing Process

With the STL file ready, the next step is the transformation process using a 3D printer. There are several types of 3D printing technologies, but for producing detailed miniatures we use Photopolymer LCD. Within the heart of our studio, the glow of technology weaves magic, transforming liquid resin into solid forms with the precision of light.

This process is both fascinating and intricate. The printer's build plate dips into a tank filled with liquid resin. A light source then hardens the resin in precise locations according to the layer being printed. This repeats, layer by layer, gradually lifting the solidified structure out of the liquid, revealing the model in its physical form.

An essential aspect of the printing process involves the use of supports. These are temporary structures designed to stabilize parts of the model that might otherwise float or collapse. After printing, supports are carefully removed to reveal the pristine details of the miniature, a step that underscores the intricate dance between digital precision and manual craftsmanship.

We print every detail to check it against the digital copy and eliminate the slightest errors.

test printed miniatures the crimson wings

test printed the crimson wings kickstarter

test printed the crimson wings

The Artistry: Post-Processing

After the printing process, the miniature isn't quite ready to join its army. It undergoes a series of post-processing steps to enhance its detail and durability. This includes washing in a solvent to remove any uncured resin, curing under UV light to ensure the resin is completely solidified. We prime and paint miniatures intended for a photo shoot to bring the model to life with colors and textures.

painted miniature from the crimson wings kickstarter campaign

The Army Assembles

The final step in the journey is the assembly of the 3D printed army. Each miniature, now fully processed, stands ready to take its place in the ranks. Together, they form a tangible manifestation of what was once a digital file, a personal army born from the intersection of creativity, technology, and meticulous craftsmanship.


In creating The Crimson Wings army, we not only witness the transformation of bits into atoms but also partake in a modern form of alchemy that bridges worlds, from digital to physical.

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