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Thread: A guide to capturing and 3D printing Warcraft Fan Art

  1. #1
    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Las Vegas

    A guide to capturing and 3D printing Warcraft Fan Art

    This is a guide to capturing and printing characters from World Of Warcraft.
    Author: Charles Wirth

    I am an industrial 3D printer and this is the method I use to create "Fan Art" from the online game Warcraft. I have done several pieces for Blizzcon and E3 conventions, this is the method I used to extract and prepare the models for printing

    You can prepare models World of Warcraft in minutes and all you have to do is download some free software to get started even if you do not have a Warcraft account.

    The process is pretty simple with instructions, you can setup and repair 3D models like a professional in no time.

    To get started, download Warcraft free trial.
    Download WoW Model Viewer, its free.
    Download 3D Builder from Microsoft if you do not have it already. Free and no ads or upsells. Chances are it is already on your machine if you have Windows10.

    Blizzard Entertainment: Warcraft
    WoW Model Viewer
    3D Builder by Microsoft

    Once everything is installed you are ready to get started. Open the Viewer first and answer yes to load WoW.

    It will take some time to load the database but once it is loaded you will be at this screen.

    There are a few ways to find models we will start with the search

    Method 1: Search
    In the search box type in King and press enter and the viewer will locate all the models with King in the name. You will see a list in the left pane, highlighting and scrolling down will reveal each model. Not all models can be found this way.

    Method 2: Lists
    In the top menu pull down View to ?View NPC? or ?View Item? and the lists of models will appear in the left pane.

    Method 3: Players in MOG
    In the top menu pull down Character to ?Import Armory Character? and paste in the URL of the Armory character. This is how you access models stored on the armory.

    For this example we will use Method 1.

    [Model found]

    Once you selected the model you want to export you have more options. My first suggestion is to top the animation. Most models have animations and above the play button is a pull down box to view even more animations for that model. This particular model has a lot of animations. Adjust the frame slider to see each frame of the animation to get the best possible pose.

    Now you are ready to export the model, from the drop down File menu, click ?Export Model and then select OBJ format. Remember where you saved the export.

    You are done with Model Viewer for now.

    [Repairing for printing]

    Go to the directory where you saved the export and you should have an OBJ model, a .MTL material file, and a texture image file but these files are not ready for print.
    The problems with the export is the game is very forgiving to displaying broken geometry, particle effects, missing joints, and more. 3D printers need a solid model not broken geometry. Without this next step it would be very hard to 3D print the export.

    3D Builder is free and has the correct repair needed to fix your .OBJ export. 3D Builder is very powerful for being a free application and best of all it is threaded making its functions quick to perform.

    Right click on the .OBJ file and Open With ?3D Builder?, if 3D Builder is not on the list you need to install 3D Builder.

    At the top right click ?Import? and you will see something similar to the screen shot above. You will see a red box warning around your model and the warning window at the bottom right. Click that box and you will see the repair running. It takes a minute but should complete.

    Optional: After repair completes you can hollow your model by selecting your model, pull down Edit from the menu and select ?hollow? then select your wall thickness.

    Bonus: At this time you can open Task Manager to watch CPU and memory usage. In particular watch all cores being utilized.

    3D Builder will use all cores when you use the hollow function and very impressive performance from this feature.

    Once you have done the above you are ready to save and print, I would suggest saving in two formats. First would be what the printer would use and that is .3MF format and the other would be .OBJ or .WRL. With .STL you would would lose color but still a good option for monochrome machines.

    Now just send that 3D file to your slicer and press print.


    If you open WoW before Viewer, the Viewer will not load.

    Stopping animation and picking the exact frame yields the best results.

    3D Builder I believe was made by Materialize Magics. A professional 3D repair tool that I know does the work we need quickly, and for free.

    Many objects (swords, shields,...) in game can be found along with a lot of stuff not in game.

    Making costume pieces can be done this way.

    Tags: 3D Printing, WoW, Blizzard, Fan Art, models, slicing, 3D Builder, Magics, cosplay, gaming
    Last edited by Charles Wirth; 05-02-2020 at 10:12 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    That looks amazing!
    I'd love to buy one if you still print them.
    Dumitru from storage facility



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