3D printing is not limited to novelty pieces like Baby Yodas, Benchys, Pen Holders, or pieces that collect dust on your table. 3D printing has evolved exceptionally over the past few years. It is now playing a crucial role in various businesses and development sectors. In addition to its applicability in the production and manufacturing industries, 3D printing can also be used in homes for fun family projects. You can create practical and useful prints, from decoration models to replacement pieces for different household appliances, and many more. With a 3D printer, you can create 3D printed board games at your home that will make gatherings with your family and friends much more enjoyable and exciting.
What makes 3D printing special is that you are only limited by your imagination. Board games are an excellent way of spending quality time with your loved ones. By introducing 3D printing to the equation, you will elevate the whole experience. You can print any missing pieces, as well as design new ones. You can even create your own tabletop board game! It will not only save you money and time but will also give you control over what to include, modify, or remove. 3D printing board games also give designers a powerful tool to materialize their visions. They can create physical renders of their ideas—3D printing is a more effective and professional way of prototyping than pen and pad sketches.
3D Printing Board Games
For instance, let’s talk about the vintage board game, Dungeons & Dragons. This classic fantasy role-playing tabletop game revolves around storytelling. It was first introduced and published by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. in 1974. The gameplay involves each player choosing a character or a “hero,” which they have to then guide through various quests to unlock different treasures, battles, rescues, and more. In D&D, players use figurines, different scenarios, objects, props special dices. These items are set on a tabletop, and that has its own particular rules. Dungeons & Dragons sessions can go on for quite some time. As players use their imagination to navigate the game and interact with pieces, it makes the game more fun and dynamic.
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There are many online repositories where you can find board games to 3D print. Websites like My Mini Factory, Thingiverse, Pinshape, Cults 3D, and so on, have an assortment of models for tabletop games. There are also some specialized stores where you can find a variety of customizable models for your D & D games. Just like with everything else in 3D printing, you can modify and personalize models to create your own scenarios. As board games usually include an array of miniature, props, dices, figurines, landscapes, and various other accessories, you can tailor them to add a personal touch. It will make your board game experience much more gratifying.
Tips for 3D Printing Tabletop Games
Here are some things you should keep in mind when it comes to 3D printed board games.
1. First, read the Rules of the Game.
Apart from the classical games, there are a lot of new ones available on different repositories. As board games can have complicated rules, some players may find them difficult to understand or enjoy. So, the first thing you should do is to go over the rules of the game. This will help you figure out whether that game is worth playing or not. The rules are usually mentioned alongside the models on the website. You may also leave feedback for the designers, and in such spaces, they typically respond to the queries about their game.
2. Look for Images of Finished Prints
This advice is not just limited to board games, but 3D printing in general as well. Another way to save your time and money, when searching for a board game, is to look for models that have images of finished prints. Especially in the case of original games, they will give you a better idea of how it will turn out. You can also reach out to people who have printed those games for their impressions, experiences, and reviews.
3. Avoid Beta Versions
Sometimes you will also come across beta versions of the games. Not all of them are fully developed and may result in lousy printing or playing experience, especially for the less experienced. You can also find designers looking for some feedback on their game design. If you know your way around 3D printing and would like to provide valuable feedback, you can become a beta tester.
Tips for Playing 3D Printed Tabletop Games
Tabletop games come in all shapes and sizes and have different tactics and rules. Here are some of the general tips that will enhance your playing experience.
1. Customize Different Pieces
The most significant advantage of using a 3D printer is that it allows you to customize pieces. This ability comes in handy when you want to add a personal flair to a game. You can print different accessories, modify different props, and much more. You can either use CAD software or online sites like HeroForge, to create custom figurines and miniatures for your role play games
2. Alter the Rules
Similar to the customization of accessories and figurines, you can also alter the rules to your liking. You can adjust the set of rules along with using your own personalized pieces to create your adaptation of the game.
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3. Develop Your Own Game
Why play games made by others, when you can build your own? If you are one of those who have brilliant ideas about creating 3D printed board games, 3D printing allows you to bring them to life. You have the opportunity to create something amazing from the comfort of your home.
Whether you want to create your own version of Dungeons & Dragons or create custom figurines, figures, props, objects, or dices — a 3D printer can help you with both. Not only that, but you can also either remix and modify existing designs or build ones from scratch. 3D printing truly allows you to express your creativity.