Want to spruce up your tabletop games? Sure, there are official D&D miniatures you could buy. But if you've got access to a 3D printer, you could make your own menagerie of beasts and bad guys to fling at your D&D group (As a DM, not just chucking plastic toys around), all thanks to the hard work of Miguel Zavala.
Zavala has been going through the latest edition of D&D's Monster Manual and designing simple models for as many creatures has he can. Zavala then turns the designs into plans that can be printed into multi-piece parts and glued together to use as cheap models for tabletop games. There's already a ton of monsters available, from Dragons to Owl Bears, from Tiamat to even the long running D&D joke monster the Dread Gazebo.
Seriously, look at that thing. How could you not want that miniature in your next game? Zavala also paints his models so they're not just the colour of whatever plastic he uses with his printer, but you could leave them blank if you wish. 3D printing is already a pretty great tool for nerdy stuff, but using it to make your own tabletop minis is a splendid idea. I'd say it'd save you a bit of money from buying the officially licensed models, but then again 3D printers are still very expensive so it'd be a tough initial investment, that pays dividends with lovely D&D figures in the long run!
You can download the files for any of Zavala's D&D minis over on his thingiverse page to print them out yourself.
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