Being able to create 3D assets is invaluable in the Video Games Industry, but many seem to forget that these skills can be applied in various other ways, especially as technology such as 3D printing continues to evolve and become more user-friendly. This has led to an emerging market which 3D Design Companies are increasingly keen to enter.
One such business is Hobgoblin-3D, a table-top gaming company who specialise in 3D models which are sold as blueprints for customers to print at home.
“We were always looking ahead at where technology was going, and what it could do” says Kevin Miree, Hobgoblin-3D’s Managing Director, or ‘Goblin King of Managing Things’.
“We had to look at the skills we had from our degrees at Teesside University, such as computer games art and design, which meant we had the design skills, we had the modelling skills, and I also took experience from past employment in engineering, so combining those skill sets as well as keeping an eye on where the industry was heading provided the space for us to do what we do.”
3D printing is a technology that has existed since the 1980s, but has had a resurgence in recent years.
Companies such as Prusa are creating printers that can be assembled and operated in households, making it more accessible than ever. Technological development creates many opportunities for businesses to thrive in competitive environments, and capitalising on them is crucial to success.
“3D printers are an example of the transition from Industrial Revolution to Industry 4.0,” explains Kevin.
“We are seeing printers become condensed to the point where they can be installed in homes or small studios, which allows for more freedom for small teams to get ideas out, designing, proto-typing and providing solutions. But it’s not just 3D printing – we have lots of digital solutions coming through, for example social media, that allow for businesses to grow a lot more rapidly than what was previously achievable.
“For three graduates to come straight from having a degree to manufacturing, designing, prototyping and marketing on minimal capital is pretty remarkable.”
Manufacturing using 3D printers is extremely efficient, because they use Additive Manufacturing to create products from the ground up from digital blueprints. As opposed to conventional manufacturing which requires a larger piece of plastic to be cut to shape, producing wastage.
As well as using an efficient manufacturing process for their products, Hobgoblin-3D also condensed their business model further by opting to use a completely digital distribution method.
“Where other manufacturers might be using large-scale industries and manufacturing, we’ve condensed that down using 3D printers, where the end-user can download the blueprints at home,” says Kevin.
“We create our products using a digital design, which we then upload and sell to people around the world. It has allowed for three graduates to trade globally from the get-go, because we provide a service that allows people to find what they need, download, and print at almost a click of a button.”
As technologies develop, businesses should too, as Hobgoblin-3D have proven, having built a dedicated worldwide audience for their products, and amassing over £21,000 for a future project on Kickstarter.
3D printing also has the potential to become a carbon-efficient manufacturing method of the future. You can watch Kevin discuss the potential below: