TerraForms Terrain

Attractive, durable, resin terrain for tabletop wargames. Check out our Kickstarter and pledge to help us make this a reality!

Prototype Process

Hey folks, we wanted to show everyone what we're doing behind the scenes as we gear up for the Kickstarter launch in a few days.

We want you guys to see how the process goes, how things start out and the process we go through for each piece as it moves through from a raw 3D print through the stages of post-processing to a final, mold-ready piece.

We start with the 3D design files (all of which can be seen in our gallery page) and print those out on our 3D printers. The standard printers we use are FDM (fused deposited material) printers that lay down in a layer-by-layer starting at the bottom of the piece. The image below shows the very first layers of the 'raft' being printed for floor 5 of the Residential Highrise from the Urban Terrain line.

We start with the 3D design files (all of which can be seen in our gallery page) and print those out on our 3D printers. The standard printers we use are FDM (fused deposited material) printers that lay down in a layer-by-layer starting at the bottom of the piece. The image below shows the very first layers of the 'raft' being printed for floor 5 of the Residential Highrise from the Urban Terrain line.

The finished piece come out looking rather rough and raw. There is a support raft on the bottom that gets removed and any excess bits of filament material are removed.

The finished piece come out looking rather rough and raw. There is a support raft on the bottom that gets removed and any excess bits of filament material are removed.

The layers of 'banding' along the sides are easily visible at this point. Those are the reason for the majority of the post processing we do. This simply would not be suitable to sell to a customer. You guys are expecting a finished, quality piece and we spend several hours per piece on the next several steps.

The layers of 'banding' along the sides are easily visible at this point. Those are the reason for the majority of the post processing we do. This simply would not be suitable to sell to a customer. You guys are expecting a finished, quality piece and we spend several hours per piece on the next several steps.

Once the raft is removed we begin layering on several very light coats of a filling primer. This will fill in the low areas to build up a layer of sandable primer. This also allows us to get our first good ideas of where we need to apply any filling putty. We usually put on at least 2 or 3 light coats of primer at this point.

Once the raft is removed we begin layering on several very light coats of a filling primer. This will fill in the low areas to build up a layer of sandable primer. This also allows us to get our first good ideas of where we need to apply any filling putty. We usually put on at least 2 or 3 light coats of primer at this point.

We alternate adding layers of filler putty where needed, adding additional filler paint layers, and sanding smooth.

We alternate adding layers of filler putty where needed, adding additional filler paint layers, and sanding smooth.

We have to make sure we get every side and every surface of the pieces. Often times the printers leave slight gaps between the layers when viewed from the top and we need to make sure that the master prototypes will create clean molds for the final parts of the post processing.

We have to make sure we get every side and every surface of the pieces. Often times the printers leave slight gaps between the layers when viewed from the top and we need to make sure that the master prototypes will create clean molds for the final parts of the post processing.

Most pieces go through anywhere from 4 or 5 repeats to up to a dozen re-runs of filler and sanding to get a glassy-smooth finish. Often the 'highest' levels of a piece will have the primer completely taken off down to the raw plastic material as we build up sufficient layers and get the finish we want.

Most pieces go through anywhere from 4 or 5 repeats to up to a dozen re-runs of filler and sanding to get a glassy-smooth finish. Often the 'highest' levels of a piece will have the primer completely taken off down to the raw plastic material as we build up sufficient layers and get the finish we want.

Most pieces are sufficiently finished with the first phase of post processing, and will have master molds taken from these finished prototypes.

Most pieces are sufficiently finished with the first phase of post processing, and will have master molds taken from these finished prototypes.

Some sections of certain pieces are very difficult to get to due to the designs. These pieces are smoothed and sanded as much as possible by hand, but sometimes certain steps are saved for a second level of post process. Those extra pieces involve a one-time mold and cast, and then the resin piece gets finished further to create the master for later molding.

We'll cover that in a later update, can't give away too much now!

So yeah, that's how it works! Check back again and get the latest updates as we go through the process of printing, finishing, and readying all of our lines to get ready for pouring molds! Spread the word to your buddies, your gaming groups and let them know that the Kickstarter will go live this coming Wednesday, May 25th!