There's been quite a buzz around the net regarding the newly opened FigurePrints service, which prints 3D replicas of World of Warcraft characters. We've seen many articles, but most simply mention it briefly. Meanwhile, WowInsider posts a complete interview with FigurePrints founder Ed Fries. As a long-time WoW player (since it was Beta!) and tech-whiz, he came up with the brilliant idea to combine 3D Printing with WoW, hence FigurePrints.
- Ed realized the opportunity about a year and a half ago after looking at a 3D creature from Spore.
- Used the WoW Model Viewer (open source software) as a base to build the necessary software.
- Ed's venture has been encouraged by Blizzard (makers of WoW) all the way.
- Character information is extracted from Wow, combined with poses and attachment information and finally massaged by custom software to convert it all to 3D printable format.
- The figurines are basically handcrafted and therefore FigurePrints can't handle the expected customer volume - so they have a lottery system to draw "winning" customers each month. So far: 4000 entries. Keep trying, guys!
Ed does not reveal the printer being used, but based on the process description (color ink, white powder, blow off excess, etc.) we suspect it is likely a Z-Corp Spectrum Z 510 printer. Watch this video to see how it works.