3D Printing Models From Computer Games

Wouldn’t it be cool to extract 3D models from your favorite video games and then 3D print them? As it turns out, it’s pretty easy to do!

In the following video tutorial he shows us how to extract the 3D meshes from a video game called Chivalry, Medieval Warfare. The game is based on the unreal engine which makes it super easy to get the files.

Quick note on legality: If you choose to rip 3D models from your video games and print them, make sure you’re just printing them for yourself, not to sell. 

To start, you’ll need a few pieces of software to help you out. First up is something called Umodel, which is an Unreal Engine Resource Viewer, which allows you to view and extract files from any game that uses the Unreal Engine. Once you find your model in the game directory, you can open it up in Umodel and save it as a .PSK file. From there you can open .PSK files with another program called Milkshape 3D, and then export in .OBJ file. Finally you can use MeshMixer to import .OBJ files, repair the mesh by removing the extra shells (you can use the cloud NetFabb service to help repair files for 3D printing as well), and then finally save as .STL ready to print.

Easy right?

[Angus Deveson] is an industrial designer at 3D Printing Studios in Perth, Australia. His goal is to make all kinds of tools for 3D printing easy and accessible for everyone to use, which is why he’s started the YouTube channel Maker’s Muse, creating tutorials like this one.

21 thoughts on “3D Printing Models From Computer Games

  1. MilkShape 3D?! Dang, I haven’t heard of that program since the late 90’s when I first tried my hand at 3D modeling. Full version cost me $30 IIRC, and not bad for the time. Sadly it appears neither it or I have progressed much in 3D modelling since then :(

    1. It’s such a great little bit of software! Very sad to see it seems to have reached the end of its development… but I much prefer it to alternatives like Blender with lots of clunky plugins, milkshape just ‘works’.

  2. I tried doing this with the “Cobalt” model from UT2k4. Needless to say those models aren’t exactly made for printing… Someone needs to make me a nice model of Cobalt, in a side jump “stance”. I shall pay you with gratitude :P

  3. A lot of these files that are ripped from games or game engines (usually through DIrectX or OpenGL rippers) are not even close to watertight and most are still quite low resolution that use various mapping techniques to create the sense that they are much higher resolution than they are. It’s changing as hardware gets better but very, very slowly. That said, with the right algorithms to fix the watertight issues and setting aside that most printers only do single color prints, you can still get some pretty decent results. Just don’t expect it to be quick and easy until somebody comes up with a set of streamlined tools to make it quick and easy. I have not looked into this for a number of years so perhaps some better tools are now available to do this?

  4. I’ve used a similar method to 3D print models from world of warcraft. I used the aptly named ‘WoW Model Viewer’ to select models and export them into a editable 3D format. The hardest part is figuring out which format to export the models in, I believe I exported them as FBX files, which I took into blender for editing, then exported them as DAE files, which I imported into Sketchup, so I could export them as STL files.

    1. Make sure if you get the chance, and want to do this for World of Warcraft, you back up your MPQ files tonight. The new patch is changing them to a new format, and it’s likely there won’t be any readers for new model data any time soon.

  5. A further problem I’ve found is when a model has thin details, or sections designed to animate, the geometry may be too thin for the nozzle size size, so is left out. (ie. the fins on thinigiverse thing 150756)

    1. You can use the thicken command in meshmixer to give thin features more thickness, works awesome! It’s under the 3D Printing Tab at the bottom. Doing another vid on Meshmixer tools, should be up in a day or so.

    1. To clarify, it makes extracting simpler, because it’s not needed. But you still have to fiddle a bit to make models print.
      Regarding resolution, it’s pretty good for “desk figurines” sized prints, but if you want a bigger item, you can apply some subdivision operation in 3D programs and may be even add more details via ZBrush or Sculptris.
      I’m printing a full sized mask of the Lifestealer for Halloween and it looks awesome.

  6. Sounds cool, but lets say that I wanted to take a couple of my ships from Space engineers and have them printed? I know that the makers of Space Engineers have a website where you can do this however the restrictions are what sucks about that.

    No modded blocks
    A block count limit
    And if i remember right they have a size restriction as well.

    My Ships use Modded blocks, go WAY past the block limit, and are definitely past the size restrictions.

    Is it the same process essentially?

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