It turns out that the Central branch of the San Diego Public Library has a free 3D printing lab. They appreciate a small donation for materials. For less than $5 I was able to try my hand at 3D printing a wagon for gaming.
It’s not quite as simple as going and finding a 3D model online and bringing it to the lab. The original model I found had wheels, for instance. It worked out fine for my adventuring party (who doesn’t love a broken down wagon as an adventure hook?) but if I’d wanted to get them printed as well, it would have meant more time and two additional prints (one for each wheel).
As it was, it took quite a while to modify the model I found online. There’s plenty of free 3D modeling software available, but most of it has a fairly steep learning curve.
One other thing to note is that, similar to character models in World of Warcraft, you want to make sure your model is sufficiently thick to be able to withstand some pressure. In my case, the wagon model had a woven texture that ended up being a bit brittle. You can see how one of the wagon sides came off. Again, perfect for a bit of battle damage but not great if I was going for something more pristine.
Sandpaper, a pair of wire cutters, a craft knife, and a great deal of patience was all I needed once I arrived. The print itself took about two hours, but it was definitely worth it.
One coat of paint later and I had a perfect prop for the adventuring party to clamber over and investigate.