Keying for modular 3d printable miniatures in zbrush

Everything you need to know to create keys for your 3d printed miniatures.

After many requests, we have created a step-by-step walkthrough course designed to teach the process of creating Modular 3D-printed Miniatures.

What you’ll learn

  • Learn how to separate a solid (dynameshed) model into pieces..
  • How to clean up a model that has been split into parts..
  • How to create and add “keys and holes” into your pieces so that they fit (“slot”) together when 3D printed..
  • How to quickly create additional modular options that use the “keys and holes” that you’ve created…
  • How to check your pieces to make sure that they will work when printed, and how to edit your pieces when needed..

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 1 lecture • 3min.
  • Separating a solid (dynameshed) model into pieces. –> 5 lectures • 33min.
  • Clean Up –> 4 lectures • 27min.
  • Keying –> 3 lectures • 25min.
  • Creating Additional Modular Pieces –> 4 lectures • 42min.

Keying for modular 3d printable miniatures in zbrush


After many requests, we have created a step-by-step walkthrough course designed to teach the process of creating Modular 3D-printed Miniatures.

This course is divided into four stages:

  1. The first section will teach you how to take an existing model and assess the best places to cut the model for keying. Josh then walks you through separating a solid (dynameshed) model to convert it into a modular one.
  2. The second section will teach you how to clean up a separated model and best prepare it for keying. Josh also walks you through this process, pointing out all the pitfalls you may run into and how to avoid them to ensure the best outcome possible.
  3. The third section covers keying itself. In this section, you will learn the best practices to create keys that work for 3D-printed miniatures and how to exaggerate features to plan for a margin of error.
  4. In the final section, Josh walks you through copying and altering existing keyed pieces (created during the third section) to create multiple alternate modular pieces that can be used with your new modular model.

This course assumes that you have taken one of our previous courses and/or are already familiar with the basics of zbrush. Unlike our beginner courses, we do not take the time to explain how to install and navigate zbrush, explain commonly used brushes, etc. We also assume you know how to get a model from zbrush to a 3D printer. (this process is also covered in all of our previous courses)

We will provide the model that is used in the course. However, using a model of your own making is also recommended.

Unlike our previous courses, which focused on the students copying what Josh does during the video lessons, this course aims to teach the theory and practical application of creating keys and modular models. The goal of this course is to prepare you to apply our workflow in any of your own models while avoiding the pitfalls that we fell into as we discovered this process through trial and error.

Because of this, I strongly recommend watching each lesson without following along to absorb the concepts fully. Then, after you feel you understand the ideas being taught, go back and apply them to either your own models or the model we provide.

By the end of this course, you should have the knowledge and skill to create your own modular 3D printable miniatures with modular connections (keys) of professional quality. (this is the same workflow we use on the modular minis we sell.)



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