Printing Objects Directly From Fallout 4

Fallout 4 was released about a month ago, and although we don’t have a ‘took an arrow to the knee’ meme like Bethesda’s last game, there are ample opportunities for cosplay and printing out deathclaws and mirelurks on a 3D printer. How do you turn files hidden away in a game’s folders into a real, printed object? It’s actually pretty easy and [Angus] is here to tell you how.

The files for Fallout enemies and items can be readily accessed with the Bethesda Archive Extractor, although this won’t give you files that a 3D printer can understand. You’ll get a .NIF file, and NifSkope can convert the files found in the Fallout archives to an .OBJ file any 3D modeling program can understand. The next step from there is taking the .OBJ file into Meshmixer and fixing everything with Netfabb. After that, it’s off to the printer.

[Angus] printed his model of a Deathclaw in ABS in multiple parts, gluing them together with a little bit of acetone. This didn’t go exactly as planned; there were some contaminants in the ABS that turned into a white film on the black ABS. This was ultimately fixed with XTC-3D, the 3D print coating everyone is experimenting with.

The finished product is a solid yellow but completely smooth 3D model of one of the toughest enemies in Fallout 4. The only thing left to do is paint the model. The best way to proceed at this point is probably doing what model builders have been doing for decades – an airbrush, and hundreds of tiny bottles of paint. [Angus] is opening up his YouTube comments for suggestions, and if you have a better idea he’s looking for some help.

40 thoughts on “Printing Objects Directly From Fallout 4

  1. I wonder how many designers will die, just because you copy and print their 3D models without paying for the copyright. Doesn’t anybody thinks of the kids, cat baby, dolphins and ice bears?? Everybody is going to die soon.

    1. Interesting point.

      The designers get paid the same either way, generally speaking. We, the production class, the programmers and artists – we are actually slaves in this life.

      We dont get a cut, we dont get points.. So Who Gives a Fuck.

      1. I’ll tell you who gives a fuck, the company who owns the IP that the designers toiled to create. The same company who until this very second had exactly zero plans to produce a deathclaw statue but will lobby their assess off to try to make this a crime. While still having zero interest in producing a deathclaw statue at any point in the future. Also the same company that would sooner spend millions in legal fees fighting it rather than willingly pay thousands to the designers where they to actually produce a deathclaw statue.

        Tho odds are if they actually did produce a licensed deathclaw statue it would be of significantly higher quality than the rough models you would ever be able to pull directly from a game :P

        1. Nice reply, I took a screenshot. Please don’t sue me, but sue the company who allowed me to take a screenshot since it might be far too easy to take screenshots. Maybe we should just regulate this and demand governing fees.

        2. I don’t understand why would somebody consider illegal turning a character from a video game into a 3D statue to have an unique collectors item. If he’s going to produce a bunch of them to sell at eBay is one thing, but making one for is own collection is totally acceptable in my opinion.

          1. Not taking that bet. I think I’ve white-listed all the scripts,images, frames, and xhr that go from here to your ad sources. But even with uMatrix level of controlled I can’t be sure I don’t have some ad agency blocked at higher priority. And if the adverts want cookies, does telling them “no” affect you guys?

        3. In that vein, while the cost of 3d printing has come down considerably, the big threat to companies that actually make and sell miniatures are the old-but-reliable mold making and casting techniques.

          If, say, your Imperial Guard army needs some more cannon fodder, Games Workshop has reason to fear that you can undercut them with not-terribly-difficult hobbyist molding materials.

          3d printing, on the other hand, is expensive enough, and often requires enough futzing and finishing, to be a relatively weak competitor to mass produced figures; but it is very, very, amenable to creative and transformative uses(eg. modeling bits for elaborate power armor costumes and similar crazed fan stuff).

          Purely legally, I suspect that pulling a mesh out of the game’s art assets and printing it falls right into ‘unauthorized derivative work’; but as an economic matter 3d printing is much less threatening than good old fashioned molding for companies that actually make minatures and action figures; but of great use to fan projects that express a love of the game and do not threaten products that the company actually makes, or would make.

          If Bethesda wanted to go high end, a lovingly detailed figure would be pricey and a relatively short-run product; but have a level of detail, surface quality, etc. effectively impossible to produce by 3d printing without a massive investment in cleanup and surface detailing.

          If they wanted to go low end, they can injection-mold deathclaws faster and cheaper than you can print them.

          This may change, if 3d printers get close enough to really-cheap-and-basically-a-magic-matter-compiler; but right now they are best suited to labor-of-love fan projects that, while legally iffy, the company would be ill advised to crack down on.

        4. Bethesda probably do not mind people printing low-poly objects for their own enjoyment, nor is it illegal (AFAIK). To sell them would be a different issue. Regardless, you would have to be stupid to get upset about that kind of fandom, and even stupider to make a public issue out of it.

      2. Seriously? Who gives a f*ck? You don’t own Fallout, Bethesda does. and it sounds like you didn’t even ask for permission. Nobody cares if you get paid or not, its not your

    2. The designs are already made for the game. IMHO every user has the right to do whatever with the game files. The game is already €60,-. Let us have some fun with the renders. For personal use, et-least.

  2. Uploading this Deathclaw ((property of Bethesda) to Netfabb (Microsoft) is in violation of the terms of use of Netfabb. Also I guess Microsoft will keep a copy of everything you upload. Who knows where it will end up…

    Is there a (safe) off-line alternative for Netfabb? I’ve got some designs I don’t want to share with Microsoft.

    1. Most models I encountered don’t need any fixing to work correctly in Cura. And Cura has a few “mesh fixing” options that help with tricky models like the ones exported from games. It does not actually fix the mesh, but applies extra tricks during slicing to get better results.

      1. it’s a coating you can put over 3D prints. It’s a epoxy that leaves a smooth finish because of surface tension or something like that, it fills in the bumps between layers of the print

  3. Imo he should’ve mixed in the bumpmaps tesselation and whatnot, now you just print the raw model, while ingame it looks less like its made from triangles due too all the shaders and extra stuff going on.

  4. There’s no point in printing the low-poly mesh files without adding in the material data and sculpting higher-quality detail back into the geometry.
    Otherwise, you just end up with an ugly blocky print.

  5. Great stuff, I wish someone could do this with GTA V cars.

    I know most of them are based on real-life counterparts like those from Lamborghini, Pagani, Porsche, McLaren etc. but each has a few disctinct changes, enough to avoid having to pour near unlimited amounts of money into lawyers pockets.

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