Hobbit - Map and 3D Printing Key of Erebor's Secret Entrence

in GEMSlast year


You can see the map and the key and others in my newly created instagram account. If you like what you see here please follow me on instagram too.

My instagram CBA_Studio - The Color Blind Artist

3D printed with Creality Ender 3 Pro
PLA+ Filament
Painted with acrylic silver paint with base color as black.
Print time : 6 Hours

Hobbit - There and back again : A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..

This is where all the story begins when Professor Tolkien writes these words on a piece of paper and begin to create the most amazing story ever written. But here is another person who is equally important for the story. Rayner Unwin 10 years old son of Stanley Unwin. Without Rayner Unwin there might never have been The Hobbit at all, and no Lord of the Rings either. He is the son of the publisher and his father gave the hobbit book to him to review which he will wrote in 30 Oct 1936 " This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations it is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9."

If you a fan of Tolkien's work like me, you probable read his other books like Roverandom. His stories are in fact for childrens. Roverandom is a story of a child who lost his toy in the beach, which the toy is infact a magical live dog. Tolkien told the story to his children to calm him about the loss of his toy. Really fascinating.

The hobbit is an amazing story of friendship, dedication and hardship. The company of Thorin Oakenshild along with hobbit bilbo and wizard Gandalf the grey, face many difficulties and near death situation and manage to stay together to the end. The movies are good also, my favorite scene is one of the opening scenes where Gandalf meets bilbo in front yard of Bag end. Where bilbo says " good morning " to Gandalf which he replies as " What do you mean? do you wish me a good morning, or do you mean to it is a good morning wheather I wanted or not, or perhaps you feel good on this paticular morning, or simply stating that this is a morning to be good on" I just love this scene. Probably watched hundred times.


I took this photo from my Hobbit book. This is drawn by Tolkien himself. He was an artist, too. The original design of the erebor. You can see smaug the dragon is flying in the sky. Later in the map of erebor we can see the secret entrence is marked.

Erebor : The Lonely Mountain

There is a key element - see what I did there :D - to the story which makes all this effor possible. According to the story the entrence of the mountain is closed by the dragon smaug and there is no way in. Except Thorin's father gave a scret key and a map to Gandalf for safe keeping and to give to his son Thorin Oakenshield. If it wasnt for this key, the whole quest wouldnt be possible.

Another important thing comes with the key is the map which contains secret messages to explain how the door can be opened. According to Tolkien's legendarium Dwarfs doors are invisible when they are closed.

Have a look at how I 3D printed the Erebor key and Hand Drawn the Thorins Map.


Erebor Key STL file
Key Stand STL file

The key is printed as sliced into two pieces. This makes sure a clean print without any support material to post-process after the print. I carefully glued them together with super glue. I applied two coat of black acrylic spray paint to the key. This does two important thing. One, it makes easier for paint to stick to the plastic, and two, it'll create shadow in the deep areas. In addition might hide some of the print marks on the print.


Now its time to use silver paint to make it look like metal. You dont need too much paint. Take as little paint as possible to your brush and wipe out excess paint to a tissue paper. Use complately dry brush for this application. Slowly build up your metal texture dont paint too much in one go.


Look how little paint is needed. And I brush of the excess pain to the cardboard. This is how it looks like after the first coat. High points will catch the paint the first which we want. in metals high corners will contact eveerything else and will be shiny compared to other parts.


After several coat of silver paint I dry brushed warm white on the edges and this is the final result. But this key wouldnt matter if there wasnt a map to show where is the secret entrence to the Greatest Kingdom of Dwarfs Erebor.



The paper I use for this map is 175 gr thick paper. I use tea and coffee to make it older. Drawn with waterproof ink and baked in the oven.

Stay with art and stay healthy.



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Nice crafting design and result, good job.

I guess with Tolkien world, you won't lack ideas to print ;)

Thank you, yes the world is big and detailed^^

Great job. Love to get some better understanding of what printer to buy.

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This is incredible, @ruen. You have a gift. It's really amazing how The Hobbit has capture and fueled so many imaginations over the many years since it was written, and continues to do so. I remember my family reading it aloud together in the evenings when I was a young child. I was so captivated.

It's really neat that you have found a way to bring wonderful reminders of the story's rich inner world to life.

Thank you. @jayna I still read the book sometimes, I open the book in random pages and start to read. Tolkien and his stories inspired thousands of people, we are still seeing his signature in books and video games. Tolkien is a good story teller, what he does in the hobbit is, he take one of the smallest creation of the story and put him against one of the biggest and strongest, the smaug. Even though story is for children, adults can learn lots of lessons from the story.