3rd nov, 2014

3D printing moving in for the lawsuit or the kill?

3D printing industry has a nice article about a guy printing his own Warhammer 40k army
Instead of paying Games Workshop a 1000$ he printed the whole thing for 300$ – very promising idea for the tabletop gamer.

For Games Workshop I imagine it is seen not as a homage to miniature design but as a real threat to their business. GW is spending a lot of money developing rules, concepts, narratives and miniatures to support the different Warhammer universes.
As far as I see it this is a good example of how a new technology is threatening a legitimate business. Some would argue that GW could just cut their costs and offer the miniatures at the same costs. They would be wrong. GW is developing much more than just the miniatures, and if you want to enjoy the Warhammer universes in the future they must be allowed to enforce their intellectual property – and seek to limit the spreading of 3D models.
I look forward – as is the writer of the article – to see the legal outcome of this case.
In a previous article from 2013 – in tested.com – the conclusion is “So I don’t think Games Workshop and other miniatures manufacturers have as much to fear from piracy as they do from democracy. Miniature gamers know that they’re a very niche audience, and that widespread miniature copying would almost immediately put the local game stores (where they likely play) out of business”. I think it would be wrong to ignore this threat if you are a board game designer.


Yes, 3D printing will move new classes of products into the category of “unnecessary monopolies”, just as digital files did with music.

And while digital music was mostly an issue for young people this could become a much broader issue.

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