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Help with Uni project much appreciated!!!

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Hey everyone,


I'm on the home stretch of my final project in a Design and Innovation degree, and I need your help!


I don't want to put you off helping by boring you to tears, so I'll try and be succinct;


My project is looking to offer something to those that don't have - or don't want to give - the time or skill required to convert / customise their models via the current means (i.e. green stuffing and / or kit bashing). 


The alternative I'm proposing? CREATION STATIONS (hoping to think of a better name, so I'm all ears if you have one)! The idea is that customers can cycle through a catalogue of model components and design their own miniature on an in-store computer, which is adjacent to a 3D printer. The customer can submit their design to the staff, the staff tell the printer to do its thing, then the customer comes back to collect their one-of-a-kind miniature! 


With the concept design established, I am at the point in the project where I need to identify and explore its technical and economic feasibility. In that spirit, as people that would be the target customers, I was hoping that you guys would be able to throw any thoughts my way. As a starter for ten, would you be able to give me your thoughts with regards to the following;


How much would you reasonably expect to pay for a 50mm base-sized model that you designed and printed via a Creation Station?

1) £1 - £20

2) £21 - £30

3) £31 - £40 

4) £41 - £50

5) £51 - £60

6) £61 - £70

7) £71 - £80

8) £81 - £90

9) £91 - £100

10) £100+ (if so, how much?)


ANY thoughts on the project are more than welcome... I would really love to hear what you guys think, as I'm sure that your feedback will make for a more balanced project. Although this starter for ten focuses on the economics of things, as I said earlier, I need to also think about the practicalities on a technical level, which some of you guys will know better than me.


I'd like to sign off by clarifying that this isn't an underhanded attempt at getting information for a business venture. I assure you that this information will go nowhere other than in my project report, and it's all just for fun (well, I'm not sure that I really want to describe it as fun anymore, but you get the point...).


Thanks guys,


John :)



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Depends largely on the quality you are capable of, but I would expect to pay a notch more than an equivalent model.

Ideally it would be great I could choose the quality (and therefore price range) too. So I could ask for an amazing centrepiece and pay (10) or go for a lower quality alternative to something and pay less than I would elsewhere.

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I'd say 2, 3 or 4 depending upon the quality, complexity and size if I were purchasing for an AoS army (i.e. a unique character).  Anything above that I'd want to put on a shelf and never touch.


Personally, my time is very precious.  I really only get weekends to do anything, so wouldn't be that keen on walking to a shop, spending however long building up a model and than having to come back later in the day.  For me, that would consume quite a lump of my limited weekend.  If I could build my model using an iPad or computer, I'd find it very appealing - plus you could get other people's opinion on it.  In theory you could take a week or more to build a model :)

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To be honest I'm not sure if 3D printing is there yet in terms of the quality needed. At that price you're talking about a fairly prominent if not centre piece mini after all.

In terms of viability I'd say your main competitors are companies like Kromlech that produce modular components that are interchangeable, and Avatars of War who offer many kits with additional heads and weapon options. There are also a number of bits sellers on made to order 3D printing websites like shapeaway who sell custom weapons, shoulder pads etc. for space marines. Lastly, most commission painters will offer assembly and some kit bashing, whilst some offer sculpting work as well.

The main issue for your venture would be that your USP means that you need to build up a significant enough catalogue of bits for your product to be seen as a custom mini and not just a third party kit with a lot of options. Bearing in mind the output rate of most designers, that leaves you with a long lead in time before you take your first product to market. Along with the cost of a good enough 3D printer, sourcing locations and overheads for staff, rent etc., your start up prices are going to be very high. This means you'd need to focus on the super popular armies like Space Marines, which already have an extensive fully modular range and a range of third party bits suppliers. I'm not sure there's a significant customer base for that.

Keep in mind that your customer base would have to be:

  • Wealthy enough to afford a custom figure on top of the other costs of this hobby;
  • Lack a significant bitz box despite their level of investment in the hobby, or be unable to kitbash from compatable minis;
  • Not quite rich enough or else unwilling to pay someone to convert a genuinely custom figure for them at roughly similar prices;
  • Live geographically near enough to your location to come into your store;
  • Not want to play at GW stores or at events which bar non-GW minis.

Bearing all this in mind, until high end 3D printers become a lot more affordable I think you're onto a non-starter.

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The concept sounds wonderful and i imagine that having a base model (Stormcast) along with a large variety of poses customozation to create something that is truelley unique would be outstanding.


If you could produce GW current standard quality then i would expect to pay no less then one mark up than the standard GW equivilant. Perhaps Forge World prices. But then again it really depends on just how unique and awesome the models look. if it just looks like a standard model with a head swap then i would rather convert myself.


As people have said its an awesome idea. But is the technology that can handle such a task cost effective?

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In order to give a more concrete answer, I will assume the quality will be at least roughly similar to the GW model that I am "replacing."

I also think you have a slightly larger market than some people have suggested, becauase I could be convinced to buy a Creation Station model if: it replaced a GW sculpt that for whatever reason I didnt like, I wanted multiples of a hero for gaming purposes and GW only had a single sculpt so this offered variety, or if I could reasonably use it in a different system if only it had a shield on its back (or something like that). Obviously it would greatly benefit from being GW approved so that you could play with them in stores and such. Without GW approval I would probably pay about £10-£20 more than the original model. Which might be more than getting someone to convert for me, I honestly have no clue, but the fact that I wouldnt have to deal with actually commissioning someone would be valuable to me.

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I like the idea!

I think there is potentially a big market out there for gamers who want unique models but don't have the modelling skills/experience to pull it off (myself included!). I would be willing to pay somewhere in the 3/4/5 bracket.

I also like the idea of being able to do this online and having it shipped.

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