> you're gonna see more and more companies offering 3D files for sculpts
Good point. I'm sure many sculptors only view miniature design as a hobby, or otherwise do not have or want to go through the work of casting and shipping miniatures. Someone's already made 3D prints for every D&D miniature and gave it away for free. Nice!
So here's my first two rules of technology:
* Any new technology will be assumed to be used to replace an existing one.
* The first mistake of a new technology is to use it to replace an existing one.
Non-customized miniatures are still inexpensive enough that any new way to make them doesn't save time or money over the current methods. That's why Hero Forge is such a success. They're not making 3D prints. They're making miniatures that don't exist on the market
. Not all gamers, just some, namely their target market of "let me tell you about my character" RPG
players. Dakka is slowly getting it, and Beasts aren't quite there, but army wargaming isn't the target market.
Anyway, at least for boardgaming, the 3D printer will be busy making all sorts of gaming aids, including storage, for boardgames, and plastic bling to replace cardboard tokens. For miniature gamers, possibly terrain, such as castles, may be more likely printed than miniatures, because of their current high expense (especially if you want a castle, not just a castle wall...), and lack of detail compared to human-sized 28mm. At the least, a 3D printer avoids shipping costs, VAT, customs, and other additional costs, much as email has done over letters. This, of course, assumes the hobbyist in the family can get access to the 3D printer, when the rest of the family is using it to make their custom storage, IP-infringing doodads, broken-thing-around-the-house replacement part, or anything that can be made out of plastic (or resin, or even metal).