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If someone creates a 3D model of a character for 3D printing can I import that model into Unreal engine or Unity 3D for use in a video game? Also is the inverse true? Can I get 3D model of Mario and send that to a 3D printer?

Specifically, it’s more important to know if I can pull a 3D printer model into an unreal game project

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Yes. You can import it into Blender, but it will need "bones" and "armature" if you want it to move at all. In Blender, you can manually add armature and "Rig" it, if you want animations.

You can probably convert whatever file type the 3D model is (probably STL) to fbx with Blender

For animating, start with a super basic 2-bone rig YouTube tutorial, then learn about vertex weights or automatic weighting.

But you'll have to UV map it too. The UV map tells textures where to go on the model, STL doesn't have those.

Your time is 100% better spent finding a model that's ready and moving on with your project.

Check Unreal Marketplace.

Also,
https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/free/low-poly/character

https://www.cgtrader.com/free-3d-models/character?polygons=lt_5k

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Regarding the second question: "Can I get 3D model of Mario and send that to a 3D printer?" meaning successful print, the answer depends on the model and the printer. Basically you can send any model to print, but each technology has its limitations of quality, size, physics. For figurines, resin printers (SLA or DLP technologies) seem best choice.

Printed figurines would be non-movable and empty inside (to some extent), unless are specifically designed as mechanical toys. I think this is the key difference between mechanical movement ability and modern 3d object animations.

As you already noticed, the mesh files could be reused here or there. So static objects like furniture pieces could be suitable for both purposes.

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