3D retro game printing


Manic Miner ON SALE NOW! LIVE Auction: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251806445111

Although still enjoyed by many, it's fair to say that the humble Spectrum game is widely regarded as a relic of the past. The plucky little machine, didn't have the best graphics of the era, nor did it feature the best sound, but it had something that mere hardware couldn't replicate: spirit.

This enviable quality, along with a large dollop of nostalgia, is what's carried the system's popularity well into the 21st century. Tech has obviously moved on a long way since the days of squealing tapes and now we can enjoy the delights of the speccy on the myriad devices we carry with us in our daily lives.

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Surely the spectrum has reached it's peak when you can play Saber Wulf during a morning commute?

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You'd be forgiven for thinking so, but to take it still further requires a little outside-the-box thinking as well as the application of yet more ground-breaking tech. The good thing about being a geek is that we usually have these prerequisites in spades and that's certainly true of Dan Birch of Dorchester 3D Design.

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A confirmed Sinclair enthusiast, Dan has applied his considerable skill to creating 3D models of 2D graphics. An interesting project which looks nice enough on the screen, manipulating the entire first level of Manic Miner into a fresh perspective.

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The project does have a greater purpose though and it's one I must confess to being quite excited about. Using 3D printing technology and the original bitmaps, Dan has created some unique works of art, bring these glorious scenes of yesteryear out of the familiar digital realm into the tangible real world with fantastic accuracy.

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Once the 3D plan is complete, there's still the matter of the actual printing. This is a painstaking process as they are actually printed in colour and not painted afterwards.

With 3D printing still quite a new technology, there are still a few gremlins in the system, so creating the larger parts increases the risk of printing errors, scrapping the part. The manic Miner level alone took around 7 hour to print and required constant supervision. Dan has generously blogged in detail about his adventures in printing.

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If there's there's one thing I enjoy more than games it's antagonising my wife with game related paraphernalia, but I would challenge anyone to deny the wonder and novelty of these gorgeous creations. Article by @clammylizard

Manic Miner ON SALE NOW! LIVE Auction: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251806445111

Dan Birch - pictured below:

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You can check out more of his projects here: http://www.dorchester3d.com/printing/blog

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