Recently, Venture Beat interviewed Miguel Zavala, who has managed to 3D print every monster in the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. In total, this process took over a year and a half to complete.
Zavala first got into Dungeons and Dragons, the eldest and most far reaching table top roleplaying game, back when he was six years old: “It started back when I went to Sunday school and the teenager who was bored watching over all these little kids in church decided to run a kid friendly D&D game. It’s funny, because this was back in the ’80s at the height of the D&D scare (‘Satanic Panic’), so she was clearly a brave kid. After that I played here and there, and really enjoyed it in high school.”
“It continued throughout my Army service and both my Iraq deployments. Heck even in Iraq I had two games going when we weren’t out on missions — I was a combat medic during my first tour and an infantry officer during my second. Gaming continued throughout college and to this day I still play once a week with friends after work. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends from the past, socialize with new people in your current circles, and all in all its just fun. I think I’ll always enjoy playing, since no matter how serious things can get in life, whether its work, war, or school, D&D never changes and is always a great escape for the mind and soul.”
This led Zavala into creating a 3D printing centered hobby concerning the game. “He went whole hog and printed the entire Monster Manual – 352 pages of more than 150 monsters.” Zavala elaborates: “my wife thought it’d be great to pick up an artistic hobby, since she felt I’m rather talented and shouldn’t let it go to waste. 3D printing was becoming very popular and given how much I love playing D&D, she thought it’d be cool to 3D print some of our own minis for fun. We found out the Washington, D.C., library offered 3D printing services, so we took full advantage of that. I got back into 3D modeling thanks to the D.C. library’s free Fablab classes. It started with Tinkercad, then I found out about Blender, and my skills improved further.”
A year and a half later Zavala had finished every monster in the manual and had shared each file with the gaming community on Reddit. As he concludes: “it’s meant a lot to me, given this was just a simple hobby. To have such a positive impact on the gaming community has been phenomenal.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Venture Beat