3d Printing Tabletop Miniatures Terrain & Scenery

October 12, 2022 By joseph Off
3d Printing Tabletop Miniatures Terrain & Scenery

3d printing forever changed the way tabletop miniatures terrain & scenery are made. It’s easier than ever to make detailed pieces yourself. The price of various 3d printers has significantly dropped over the years and it’s now become fairly affordable. For around $200 – $600, you can get a good to great quality printer that can really show the details on 3d printed miniatures terrain & scenery. Once you have a 3d printer, you’ll need printing materials such as pla or resin depending upon the type of printer you have. It’s also worth joining a few Facebook groups related to your printers brand or model to get help with any troubleshooting or optimizing. 

3d Printing Miniatures Terrain & Scenery Buildings

Which 3d Printer Is Best For Miniatures Terrain & Scenery

Your choice for 3d printer will most likely come down to filament or resin. Both have their respective advantages and disadvantages so you’ll have to decide . Here’s a breakdown to consider first.

FDM/FFF Extrusion Advantages:

  • Lower cost for printer & initial setup
  • Easier to repair
  • Easy post cleanup
  • Cheaper printing materials cost (pla)
  • Various printing materials ( pla, abs, pet, tpu, etc)
  • Various upgrades available, most of which can be printed on the machine itself (machines upgrading machines)


  • Machines are generally more prone to wear & tear requiring maintenance & the understanding to repair various issues which can be a lot to learn
  • Most materials can’t handle heat or outside temperatures and are very prone to warping
  • Slightly lower detail with print lines able to be seen on most pieces
  • Generally, more prone to be a fire hazard because of the extruder being very hot and power supply issues some models have experienced

Resin Printer Advantages (dlp, sla):

  • Very high quality & detail in miniatures terrain & scenery printed
  • Significantly faster printing speeds
  • Prints are generally more durable and have a heavier feel
  • Printing materials are often more expensive in addition to the initial cost of the machine
  • Post cleanup can be a somewhat messy and toxic process if not done correctly
Whichever printer you decide to go with, be sure to do your research and understand the technical parts of the machine and its printing capabilities. 
3d Print & Paint Your Own Miniatures Terrain & Scenery

How Do I 3d Print Miniatures Terrain & Scenery

Well, first you need a 3d printer & printing material. Once you have that, you’re going to need something to print. There’s multiple places you can go to find 3d printable files, and a nearly endless amount of objects to print. You can also design your own files or have someone more skilled design them for you. Once you’ve got that, you’re ready to print. I recommend finding a group on Facebook related to your specific model printer which will greatly help with troubleshooting issues and optimizing your print quality and speeds. 

How To Paint 3d Printed Miniatures & Terrain

Painting 3d printed miniatures, terrain & scenery can be a bit different than what you’re used to. For most, dealing with visible line layers can be a tricky problem to resolve. This can be solved by a combination of fine tuning your printer, sanding & using a high quality filler primer. Painting with darker colors and avoiding bright highlights can further help hide any lines your miniatures might have. Another option is hide any lines or errors with additional small details like skulls, shrubs, moss and other misc scenery pieces.

With resin prints, it’s important to ensure that it’s fully cured. If it’s not, use a UV light or place it it sunlight for 20-30 minutes or until dry. Be sure to wash your miniatures thoroughly before painting or you could have problems later. Paint might not adhere properly or may peel & flake. Other than these issues, for the most part you can paint your minis as normal.  

Wesardry Painting Demon Tree Miniature Diorama

How To Store 3d Printed Minis

So you’ve just spent all that time printing and painting your miniatures to perfection. Great job! Now what are you going to do with them? Your first instinct may be to put them out on display for all to see. Not a bad idea but there’s a few things to think consider. While your pieces might look awesome on display, light and other factors can slowly damage the paint & ruin the quality.

Dust is another almost inescapable factor unless you have state of the art air filtration or your minis are encased in plastic. It may be worth storing those freshly printed and or painted minis away in a safe dark dry place for when you really want to showcase them. 

Looking For Miniature 3d Printing Services?

We offer miniatures, terrain & scenery 3d printing services in a wide range of printing materials such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, PETG, 3d Resins & More! We’re also able to paint your miniatures, terrain & scenery for you! Contact us now for more information.