Category Archives: Games

How TheLaserGirls Create Faux-Steel Swords

For our next installment of Cosplay Tips from TheLaserGirls (see past posts here and here), Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford share with us how they created a two-toned steel effect for their Buster Swords. Don’t miss your chance to check out their shop for utterly unique last-minute holiday gifts. And read on for all the details on their sword creation process.

The Final (Fantasy) Products!

The Final (Fantasy) Products!

In order to create the desired two-toned, steel effect for both of our Buster Swords, we set out on an extensive testing period to cover all our bases.  Experimenting upon familiar and unfamiliar materials, we were not only able to refine the “chroming” process we commonly use on our projects, but we also created a nuanced reference library of test pieces to go to for upcoming projects, saving us a lot of time for future work.

Prep Work

As mentioned, we decided to use the same kit and process Sarah used last year on her suit of armor, for it was the most familiar to us, the least time consuming, and the least expensive option for our time frame and budget.  For more information on the specifics of that process, click here.

Keep in mind, this process yields an effect that is more akin to “silver” than “chrome,” especially in terms of achieving a mirrored finish.  We like using this process because of these results.

In a nutshell, the  process is a 4-step spray painting procedure: colored base coat, urethane gloss adherent, aluminum dust (which gives the metallic finish), and another urethane gloss layer as a topcoat.  This project gave us the opportunity to play more with the different tones of grey we could achieve from simply changing that base coat color (which ended up being a happy accident when working on Sarah’s pieces last year).

Test Cards

At this point in the project, we were unsure about what materials we were planning to print in, so we decided to test on the top three we were considering:

ProJet 7000 SLA (laser sintered liquid): A glossy polypropylene-like ivory plastic  (Printed via the LaGuardia Studio)

Polished and Unpolished Nylon SLS (laser sintered powder, either polished in a machine or left :raw”): A photo-polymer plastic (Printed via Shapeways)

Our testers were 3 X 5 X .125 inch “cards,” each labeled with a number and a letter that corresponded with the material it was printed in (U for Unpolished Nylon, P for Polished Nylon, and 7K for SLA). We printed 10 of each card for safe measure.

Reference images in hand, the next step was to get some paint for our first base layer. We tested on the following (we added notes where we felt necessary):

Alsa Corp Killer Can in Jet Black: A ”retro matte” black base coat that comes with the spray chrome kit.

Mountain GOLD Series in G7090 Coke: A less pigmented (“natural black”), but heavily textured black

Montana MTN 94 Series in RV119 London Grey: A soft dove grey with an olive undertone

Montana MTN BLK in 9001 Black: A rich black paint semi matte paint

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Neutral Grey 5: We found that all the Liquitex paints definitely had the look of acrylic paint, especially the white.

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Iridescent Rich Silver: Neutral metallic silver paint

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Neutral Grey 3: ultra matte finish

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in Titanium White: matte finish

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in White Paint (Gloss and Matte): On the cool side of white

Krylon Metallic Spray Paint in Silver: Your standard silver spray paint

Krylon Color Master in Gloss White: Your standard High Gloss spray paint

Raw Paint Tests

Raw Paint Test Chips 2

Close Up of Silver Chips

Close up of Black and Gray Chips

Raw Paint Test 3

Raw Paint Test 4

Raw Paint Test 5

 

Base Coat: First Impressions

Overall, we had a solid line-up of tests, but we definitely had some standouts, for good and bad reasons.

Alsa Corp Killer Can in Jet Black:  looked great on all 3 materials, and did a great job of diminishing the texture of the SLS prints.  We liked the automotive feel it gave the SLA prints and the velvety feel it gave to the SLS.

Montana MTN 94 Series in RV119 London Grey: Loved the shade, disliked the spurting spray that was difficult to finagle- easily solved through replacing the cap.

Mountain GOLD Series in G7090 Coke: Preferred the Alsa Black due to its ultra matte finish and lack of texture- this paint was significantly textured in comparison; not great for imitating metal, but ended up being perfect for Sarah’s Fenrir Pauldron.

Liquitex Professional Spray Paint in White Paint (Gloss and Matte): Looked good on all 3 materials and also helped with the surface texture; however, it did appear more like acrylic paint and less like spray paint.

All Chromed Up: First Impressions

Krylon Metallic Silver

Liquitex Metallic Silver

Gloss White

Alsa Black

Dark Grey

Matte White

Light Grey

Gold Tests

We found that the SLA coat was much smoother than the SLS, but the Polished turned out a lot better than expected; the material has a good tooth for spray paint, which made every coat fall evenly across the tests. We also did not experience any flaking on the SLS compared to the SLA.  Further sanding the Polished with fine-grit (400+ grit) sandpaper yielded an even smoother and more reflective result- the same goes for the SLA.

The Unpolished was heavily textured but still felt quite smooth, had strong reflectivity, and took paint effortlessly.

In terms of color changes, the grey paints yielded the most steel-like effect compared to the other colors, and the white yielded a finished closer to sterling silver.

If you have scrolled through the gallery above and found that every test looked quite similar, there are several reasons for that: firstly, the high reflectivity made the tests very difficult to photograph, and we did our best to capture the essence of each material.  Secondly, there were very subtle differences in each test in terms of tones and how the colors flashed and changed in different lighting.  This was something that we only really realized after completing our testing.

Conclusions and Decisions

 

After some deliberation, we ultimately decided that the Alsa Black and London Grey would suit both of our swords perfectly; they worked beautifully as a pair, especially in their nuances- they truly captured that steel feel.

Material wise, we did choose the SLA material not only due to our familiarity with it, but also due to its ultra smooth, high definition surface that would cut down on work time, as well as give us a crispness necessary for a blade.

The Polished and Unpolished SLS, while yielding great results in reflectivity, pigmentation, and coverage, just did not have the surface quality we were looking for in this project. We felt that for our vision that it did not mimic steel in terms of finish and in “weight,” not necessarily in terms of physical grams or pounds, but in in look and feel; it had a lightness to it that we felt was opposite to that of a heavy, steel blade. If you are going for a more hammered appearance or an aluminum finish, these materials work very well in achieving that, both from a cosmetic and physicality sense.

Some Takeaways:

It comes in a kit for a reason: We found that at the end of the day, the paint that came with the kit worked best with the chrome process- they were designed to work together after all. That may sound obvious, but this is why testing is so important; there are exceptions, and you will not know if you try.

Do the prep work: Sanded surfaces worked much better in terms of reflectivity across all the materials we tested.

Polished Preferred (at least in our opinion!): In their pure forms, we found that the Polished SLS prints worked better than the Unpolished prints for the look we were going for (see above).

Regarding the Alsa Killer Chrome Kit: Buffing and hand polishing after the chrome process actually lowers the reflectivity and shine of the prints. Using any other glossy spray paint as a topcoat in lieu of the kit’s topcoat also matte-ifies the surface.

- Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford

This blog has been reposted with permission from TheLaserGirlsStudio.

7 Boredom-Busting Stocking Stuffers

It’s the cherry on top of Christmas morning: the stocking, stuffed with a few extra goodies. It’s also a gifting challenge. Stocking stuffers should be unexpected, interesting — and tiny. Luckily, our designers are experts at delivering big impact in small packages. Helping you to deliver gifts that are the opposite of boring. This week, as we highlight Last-Minute Finds for every budget, discover seven stocking stuffers they may end up liking better than their real presents.

1. Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner

Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner by Idle Hands Development

Micro Pocket Fidget Spinner by Idle Hands Development

Fidget spinners have been big in 2016. Just add a couple of roller skate ball bearings, and you have a handy tool to keep your hands busy while your brain focuses. It’s true — fidget toys can actually help us focus. Plus, this one is small enough to keep your fidget toy obsession on the DL.

2. Santa-Approved Cookie-Dipper

Little Dipper by Craig Kaplan's Mathematical Art

Little Dipper by Craig Kaplan’s Mathematical Art

Some people just want a milk-soaked cookie, and not an entire glass of milk. We suspect that Santa is one of those people. So he’ll feel pretty good about leaving behind the Little Dipper in your little one’s stocking.

3. Bacon Mobius Strip

Bacon Mobius Strip by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Bacon Mobius Strip by Joaquin Baldwin 3D Printed Designs

Mobius strips are amazing mathematical objects (read all about them here), and when combined with shockingly realistic bacon details, rendered in full-color sandstone, this one could become a bacon-lover’s favorite — and most unexpected — holiday gift.

4. Kaladesh Die

'Kaladesh' D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

‘Kaladesh’ D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

Trust us, the roleplayers in your life will go insane over this Magic the Gathering-inspired die.

5. Wow, Such Doge

doge by Ryan Kittleson's Sculpture

doge by Ryan Kittleson’s Sculpture

Doge is the meme that keeps on giving. He’s adorable, and he’s just excited to be here. Give your giftees a dose of doge with this stocking-sized figurine.

6. Klein Bottle Opener

Klein Bottle Opener by Bathsheba Sculpture LLC

Klein Bottle Opener by Bathsheba Sculpture LLC

The Klein Bottle is an amazing one-sided object that math nerds love. Play with the concept with this Klein Bottle that actually opens normal bottles.

7. Knuckies

Cat by Knuckies - Phone Stands, With a Twist

Cat by Knuckies – Phone Stands, With a Twist

These cool little tools are phone stands, phone grippers, and fidget toys all in one. Maybe the most useful stocking stuffer they’ll receive this year.

Check out our full selection of finds in our Holiday Gift Guide, and make sure to order soon. All of our holiday order deadlines can be found here. And let us know in the comments what you’d like to find in your stocking on Christmas morning.

Kerbals: The Out of This World Gamer Gift

NASA is obsessed with them. Elon Musk thinks they’re awesome. And the gamers in your life just might have spent countless hours with them. They’re Kerbals, intrepid space explorers — and they only come to life on Shapeways.

Jebediah Kerman on IVA by Kerbal Space Program 3D Prints

Jebediah Kerman on IVA by Kerbal Space Program 3D Prints

Kerbal Space Program is a game that invites players to design spacecraft, pilot missions, and explore new worlds. Based firmly on real-world physics, complex engineering challenges, and principles of spaceflight, few games have managed to combine science and lovable characters — the Kerbals themselves — in such a delightful way. Luckily, the Kerbals’ creators have chosen to offer 3D printed versions of the Kerbonauts and their worlds in vivid full color sandstone, exclusively on Shapeways.

Kerbin by Kerbal Space Program 3D Prints

Kerbin by Kerbal Space Program 3D Prints

Whether you’re looking to bring to life a team of Kerbals, their moons and solar system, or Wenher Von Kerman himself, the Kerbal Space Program Shapeways Shop has you and your gamer giftees covered.

Kerbal IVA Bundle by Kerbal Space Program 3D Prints

Kerbal IVA Bundle by Kerbal Space Program 3D Prints

To learn more about how the Kerbals came to be, read our Kerbal Space Program Designer Spotlight, featuring 3D artist Dan Rosas.

You can find hundreds more ways to Geek Out on holiday gifting in our Gift Guide. Let us know in the comments which geeky passions you’re shopping for this holiday season.

Give Dice Worth Showing Off

You keep them in a special pouch. You imbue them with luck to protect you from eldritch powers. And, you definitely mind when others ask to use them. Dice are a game lover’s secret sauce. So, as we celebrate all the ways our loved ones Geek Out this holiday season, we’re highlighting some of the most uniquely beautiful dice we’ve seen, by one of our community’s most prolific gaming designers, Chris Vos of Tiny Tokens.

His D20 Balanced Gaming Die, as featured in the Gamemaster collection in our Holiday Gift Guide, is designed in the visual style of the Kaladesh Magic the Gathering expansion. Its unusual artistry is sure to set apart anyone lucky enough to own it. As a regular D20 die, this piece works for Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and other RPGs. A spindown version that can be used as a life counter is also available.

D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

D20 Balanced Gaming Die by Tiny Tokens

And, if you’re looking to spoil your favorite gamemaster, the Starry Gaming Die Set below will set them up for whatever the game’s adventures bring.

'Starry' Gaming Die Set: D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, D4 by Tiny Tokens

‘Starry’ Gaming Die Set: D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, D4 by Tiny Tokens

3D printing has allowed for an explosion in creativity in the world of game design, resulting in intricately detailed collectors’ items like Chris Vos’ creations — perfect gifts for players who want to stand out from the crowd.

Discover even more incredible dice and gaming accessories in our Gamemaster collection, and check out our full Holiday Gift Guide for everyone else on your list.

Designer Spotlight: Jady Swinkels – Swinks

This week, we’re celebrating the many ways that Shapeways lets us geek out this holiday season, whether it’s by creating (and gifting) D&D game pieces or developing arcade game mods. Jady Swinkels’ shop Swinks is a perfect example of how a designer is using 3D printing in innovative ways to do just that — creating accessories and modifications for pinball machines. We wanted to find out more about how this pinball wizard got his start.

Congo Pinball Hippo (Schleich 14681) Mount by Swinks

Congo Pinball Hippo (Schleich 14681) Mount by Swinks

How did you become interested in pinball machines?
I was part of the era in the ’80s when there were pinball machines in the arcades near the movie cinemas and fish & chip shops here in Australia, and I really enjoyed playing them. Then, in 2010, I discovered that lots of people bought them for their homes, so I purchased my first game.

Over the last six years I have bought eight different games, but at the moment I’m back down to two games, which are the first two games I purchased. The first was a 1976 Gottlieb Surf Champ, a surfing pinball game, and the second was a 1992 Bally Creature from the Black Lagoon which has great art and is a fun game with a cool drive-in movie theme in which I have produced many different custom designs for.

How do you determine the types of accessories and add-ons to create?
Custom accessories in the pinball world are known as pinball modifications (shortened to “mods”). They’re accessories that enhance a feature of a game that it could be lacking, usually by adding a 3D touch or more character. Many people like to personalize their own games with mods. I strive to design a mod that has a purpose and looks cool, but is fairly simple to install. A good mod is one where people are wowed by it and comment that the game should have had the mod as a standard feature when the game was made, though this is personal and hard to achieve as everyone is different. A good mod is also one that is removable and allows the game to be reassembled back to original if desired.

Then there’s another side to pinball parts, which is that older games often suffer from having no parts available anymore due to stock running out and then not being remade. So, in some cases, fellow pinheads have asked if I can help them out with a replacement part. I like to help them and others where possible to keep an old game playable — it’s rewarding.

How personalized or custom-designed can one make a pinball machine?
Some people like their games to stay stock/original. Others like to personalize it with a few quality features, and some like to fill it up. It really is a personal taste thing, and that’s the great thing about pinball mods: there is variety out there. Currently, at a rough guess, there are probably 40-50 people around the world designing quality pinball mods, each with a unique flare or game preference, from older games to newly released games and certain themes. Some specialize in casting, others in decals, and some experiment with 3D printed parts while others prefer machining parts. Some games are really popular for mods, and people could spend above and beyond $2k on mod accessories for their games when a game itself costs $5-6k.

CFTBL Tail Light Mod - Tail Light Lens by Swinks

CFTBL Tail Light Mod – Tail Light Lens by Swinks

Are there any modifications you’re particularly proud of?
Custom Flipper Bats are one of my cool designs as traditionally pinball machines have a cast, one-piece fixed-length bat. I wanted to approach it differently. Traditionally, the bat’s post passes through the playfield and is fastened to a mechanism. For a beginner, it’s a component that stays in there for years as the bats are awkward and sort of a pain to change out. My solution has 3 benefits:

  • It’s still is a pain to change out the first time, but now the bats can be swapped out in a few minutes instead of an hour for a beginner, all without lifting the playfield due to the designed-in square drive .

  • People can put in standard-length bats, shorter ones to make a game harder, or longer ones to make a game easier.

  • People can customize with custom colors or features.

Designer Jady Swinkels of Swinks

Designer Jady Swinkels of Swinks

Check out Jady’s shop and see the way he’s totally pimping out people’s pinball machines with his custom modifications. If you’re a pinhead, leave a comment here and let us know of your dream mod!

3D printing and Game Design Collide at GameSmash

Last week I had at the awesome opportunity to participate in the first GameSmash Tabletop Game Design and Fabrication Challenge at the Fat Cat Fab Lab in New York City. Hosted by MakerOS and Ultimaker, groups of designers were challenged to create a brand new board game from scratch. The games had to be based around the idea of “Bed-time stories”, be playable in a short amount of time and include 3D printing components.

 

Shapeways Ultimaker makerOS gather at Fat Cat Fab Lab

The Teams gather at Fat Cat Fab lab and prepare to playtest and judge the final games.

With only 48 hours to complete the games, teams of game designers raced against the clock to conceptualize, prototype, playtest and iterate on their designs. To meet the challenging deadline set, teams had access to all the tools and materials the fab lab provides. These include multiple 3D printers (provided by Ultimaker), a laser cutter, a wood shop and a table full of cards and paper.

 

Shapeways 3D printed lasercut ultimaker board game pieces

Close up of a Grimm Task by the Doomsday bunnies. Parts created on laser cutter and 3D printed

 

By working in small groups to quickly iterate a game concept, we could quickly move through prototypes to a final game product. Without the support of the group or the access to technology, this would be much more difficult. Getting together with a group of like-minded game designers gave us the ability to share feedback and test hypothesizes around game mechanics and figure out how to use digital manufacturing process to create unique game pieces.

 

Playtesting the Winners of the competition: Wraith of Heaven by team Lazerdog

Playtesting the Winners of the competition: Wraith of Heaven by team Lazerdog

 

With a hard deadline fast approaching, the massive advantage that 3D printing provides quickly became clear: Using 3D printing game designers could prototype very advanced mechanics quickly and with ease. “Greener Pastures” included a fully functional catapult. Landfall Saga had modular shapes to control the fall of ball bearings. These ideas simply couldn’t have been executed this quickly without 3D printing.

 

Bedtime Frenzy by Fractal Attack 3D printing with Ultimaker MakerOS Shapeways at Fat Cat Fab Lab

Playing the spinning Bedtime Frenzy by Fractal Attack

board game Shapeways Ultimaker MakerOS GameSmash marble rolling game of Landfall Saga by Zack Freeman

Check out this incredible marble rolling game of Landfall Saga by Zack Freeman

 

Finally, every group was given Shapeways credit to make a final version of their models to be playtested again at the 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn and displayed at the Ultimaker exhibit space at Maker Faire in early October. Through quick iteration in a group of creative game designers, each game can grow and potentially be shared via a Shapeways shop or Kickstarter project.

GameSmash Shapeways

Team Doomsday Bunnies shows of our game, soon to be in a store near you!

 

Custom Medieval Inspired Armor: Sovereign Armor from Lumecluster

Earlier this year Melissa Ng of Lumecluster made the Dreamer Regalia Armor for actress and cosplay extraordinaire Felicia Day. With support from Shapeways, she crafted a beautiful custom made piece of fantasy themed wearable artwork. It may not come as a surprise but she’s been very busy since.

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways

Photographer: Eric Anderson
Model/actor: Marisha Ray

Ng recently unveiled her newest project, the Sovereign Armor. After the Dreamer Regalia armor Ng started to consider how she could take her design to the next level. When she launched it with Felicia and Shapeways, it sparked a lot of discussion around design, craft, gender and the functionality of artwork. She came away with two new concepts to explore; first to show the public that 3D printing is a craft that requires hard work and creativity, and second to show that even decorative armor for women doesn’t need to follow the gender stereotypes of fantasy and video games.

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Cosplay Elasto Plastic

Sanding the raw Elasto Plastic

In her blog Ng explains “A lot of people also still think that 3D printing does all the work for you…it doesn’t. Even so, there were debates on whether I actually had to do “real work” since I use 3D printing as part of my process to create intricate and complex pieces. “

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Spray Painting Cosplay

Spray painting the primed Elasto Plastic

To show the work that went into this project, she outlines in detail the total hours it took to create her masterpiece: over 518 hours (not including the time it took Shapeways to manufacture). As she did last project, she breaks down the steps it took and clearly demonstrates the care and artistic skill it took to conceive, design and post process the armor into its final form. Ng chose to print everything in Elasto Plastic due to its additional flexibility. After printing she polished and painted the armor, then added fabric and LED lights.

While exposing the craft and labor that went into the armor, Ng started to question the implications of aesthetics and functionality of the work.

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Cosplay Moving

Testing the motion of the historically based armor design

“there still seems to be an overwhelming belief that fantasy armor that doesn’t have actual breasts just “isn’t sexy,” “isn’t showing off those feminine curves enough” or “doesn’t help people easily identify that she’s a woman.” I know this is just my opinion but how are the below images not badass??”

 

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Cosplay Female

Inspirations for armor design and concept

As someone who started pursuing fantasy art seriously only a few years ago, all these discussions got me wondering how I wanted to grow as an artist. Did I want to throw my interpretation into the mix to help show that a woman can look just as beautiful and sexy in practical looking fantasy armor (that actually covered her body)? Of course “

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Cosplay Moving Helmet Mask

Putting on the mask of the finish custom armor

Melissa Ng was armed with a sense that her next project had to not just be beautiful but achieve a sense of meaning through functionality, that the armor was meant for a warrior to defend herself and not just be visually pleasing for a male audiance. Ng started to research traditional armor making techniques and discovered an expert in the  medieval craft: Ian LaSpina, a youtuber who goes by Knyght Errant. She contacted him and he agreed to be her armor consultant.

 

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Cosplay

Comparing the Dreamer Regalia and Sovereign armors

Knyght Errant’s Youtube channel and website offers easily digestible content that explores medieval history, armor, armor maintenance, and various types of armor attire and undergarments. His channel and website are an amazing source of inspiration and knowledge that’s perfect for the complete medieval armor beginner, cosplayer, costume maker, and anyone interested in getting an intro to historical armor design and expanding their visual library.

Custom 3D Printed Medieval Armor Shapeways Cosplay LEDs

Testing the Gloves and LED lights for the armor

Ian was kind enough to review my design progress every step of the way through Sketchfab’s 3D viewer to ensure I didn’t make any impractical armor components that might inhibit the wearer’s movement or…y’know…end up harming the wearer instead, haha (I’m looking at you, dangerously spiky pauldrons!! :P )”

The results speak for themselves. Check out the video below, and make sure you dig into Melissa’s Blog about creating the armor here, and actress Marisha Ray’s  photoshoot in the armor for her Geek and Sundry here.

 

Getting My Game on at Gen Con 2016

This weekend I went to Gen Con 2016 in Indianapolis. The largest convention for boardgames, tabletop wargaming, role playing games and all manner of cosplay and geek culture. People worldwide descended on the Indianapolis convention center for 4 days of gaming, exhibitions, films and revelry.

IMG_4779 (1)

Shapeways was introduced to the Gen Con community years ago when several of our makers started using 3D printing to make dice, game pieces and miniatures to bring their video games to life in the physical world.   Being on the exhibition floor was almost overwhelming to see the vast number of ways 3D Printing could be used to expand the gaming experience. Vendors, Game Designers and artists cover the floor showing off their newest games and prototypes.   My gamer self was in creative overload!   I will try to keep this short and share my top, top favorites…

Some of my favorite miniatures are from Wraith of Kings by Cool Mini’s or Not.

IMG_4844 (1)

Miniature painters were all over the floor showing of their techniques. For example I love this lighting effect of this glowing sword by James Wappel.

IMG_4991

Impressed by the quality of painted figures on the floor, I decided to try my own hand at it in the paint and take area, where we were generously given free figurines and a paintbrush by Gencon.

IMG_4981

I also attended to a workshop by David Dresch who gave some expert advice on how to create terrain for wargaming tables. Here’s my work in progress of adding grass and dirt below.

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Naturally Gencon is all about gaming, and I got the opportunity to play numerous great Role Playing games including Dungeons and Dragons. Here’s a scene from a short and fun campaign where we save christmas from being ruined by the minions of Cthulhu, featuring Dwarvenite Game Tiles terrain shown by Dwarven Forge.

Dwarvenite Game Tiles terrain Dwarven Forge shapeway

 

But of course, Gen Con is all about meeting cool and colorful new people. Whether they are in awesome cosplay costumes as your favorite video game characters, acting in a 6 hour LARP quest or just goofing around with some D20 dice, Gen Con was a blast to make new friends. The best part about Gen Con is the way it brings the gaming community together to play and be creative.

IMG_4921 IMG_5010

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What games do you play? Do you use 3D printing to make your game pieces? Are you making your own game? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Ways to Stay Entertained On a Long Airplane Ride

Imagine this scenario: You booked your flight too late and got stuck with a middle seat. You’ve got four more hours to kill but your phone is going to die and the inflight movie isn’t your cup of tea. The guy in front of you is snoring loud enough to drown out some of the noise from the crying baby sitting behind you. The good news is you planned ahead and brought some awesome 3D printed puzzles and games to keep you occupied until you’re safely back on the ground.

 

1: Flight boarding? Time to kick boredom to curb with board games! If you’re traveling with a friend,  why not challenge them to a scholarly game of chess?  This ultra convenient, credit card sized chess set can provide hours of fun.

Credit Card Chess Set by Innovo

Credit Card Chess Set
by Innovo

2: Wear your entertainment. Then wear this crazy cool steel puzzle that fits on your finger. Once you solve the puzzle you can put it back on.

Holistic Ring metal by Oskar_van_Deventer

Holistic Ring metal
by Oskar_van_Deventer

3: If you need a real head scratcher, try this horseshoe ring puzzle. The hours will fly by.

Horse Shoe and Ring puzzle by stop4stuff

Horse Shoe and Ring puzzle
by stop4stuff

4: Here is our final portable puzzle of this list, The Superstrings Cube. The puzzle gets bonus points for bold colors and convenient sizing for carry ons.

Superstrings by richgain

Superstrings
by richgain

5: Given the hours you’ve got in the air, this could be a great opportunity to start a role playing campaign with the passengers next to you. Roll a critical hit in this clever, foldable mini Dice tower.

Mini Dice Tower, foldable by Roolz

Mini Dice Tower, foldable
by Roolz

More in-flight fun

Whether You’re a DM or GM You Need This…

Posted by in Games

A dungeon or game master is nothing without his dice. One roll can make or break a game, deciding whether a character defeats a dragon or gets roasted to cinders by it. You can’t trust these matters of fate to just any dice. You need a set with character.

Die1

#1 For the prickliest of GM’s we recommend the Thorn Dice Set by CeramicWombat. Though they look sharp, the maker says they won’t scratch tables.

Die2

#2 The “Twined’ Dice Gaming Die Set in steel by Foxworks have been crafted to ensure that each die is “fair and well balanced” for unbiased throws.

Die3

#3 For those who prefer a lighter weight die, Figurebang D20 Bone Dice are made “from the littlest finger bones of only the luckiest elven children.” Well not really, actually they are 3D printed in white plastic with a smooth white finish, ready for hand painting if you prefer.

With dice like these, you’re practically guaranteed to come out the victor. Want to see more? Check out dice crafted by makers from all over the world.

Click to Roll The Dice For More

Five 3D Prints To Celebrate International TableTop Day

Posted by in Community, Curation, Games

International Table Top Day is right around the corner and we wanted to curate some of the coolest 3D printed products on Shapeways designed by community members to help you take your table top gaming to the next level this year. Whether you’re into RPGs or card games, these 3D prints are sure to impress your family and friends.

1) Celtic Dice Set by eondesigner

2) ‘Twined’ Dice D20 Spindown Life Counter Die by Foxworks

3) Catan Card Management designed by Carpemortis

4) Role Playing Counter Blades Set designed by Berian

5) HeroForge Custom 3D Printed Miniatures - Making custom  3D printed tabletop gaming miniatures gets real easy with the Hero Forge App.

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We have a very active and engaged tabletop gaming community on Shapeways and you can always explore more tabletop game inspired designs on our game category on Shapeways. What are some of your favorite table top games to play? Let us know in a comment below or feel free to tweet at us @Shapeways on Twitter. 

Gifts for the Gamer

One of the best things about 3D printing is that you can create incredibly unique pieces that you aren’t able to find anywhere else. This really comes in handy when you need to find the perfect gift for a friend who has very particular tastes. Many of us know (or are!) someone who considers themselves a “gamer,” and while most people think of video games when they hear that term we actually imagine a whole other group of people – the tabletop gamers! From card games to board games, there is plenty fun to be had with these 3D printed game accessories. Find something special for the gamer in your life!

Steampunk Dice Set

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Intricate Card Holder

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Catan Card Management System

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Globe-On-Pillar: A different board game counter

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For more unique, customized gifts check out our full Gift Guide!

Seven Days Of Games: 3D Printed Puzzles

Posted by in Games

Game week continues and the game of the day is 3D Printed Puzzles. Whether it’s mazes or Rubik cubes, puzzles are the ultimate brainteasers. Add 3D printing to the mix and you get super innovative puzzles that wouldn’t be possible with traditional manufacturing methods.

You can find a large selection of 3D printed puzzles on our puzzles page here and have a look at a few of these unique 3D printed puzzles that can be found on Shapeways.

Golden Orb by PuzzleForge

6 corners of the world by MaxiOli

Skewb des Soleils by shim

Holistic Ring metal by Oskar_van_Deventer

Ocean Waves Puzzle by hajot

There are so many crazy and fascinating puzzles on Shapeways. Which one is your favorite? Tweet us @Shapeways on Twitter and let us know!

 

 

Seven Days Of Games: 3D Printed RPG and Board Game Pieces

Posted by in Games

Game week continues with 3D printed board game pieces ranging from RPG games like the The Settlers of Catan to Monopoly. Check out these game piece inspired 3D prints from the Shapeways community.

Role Playing Counter: Original Weapons Set by Berian

Stand out on the battlefield with these cool 3D printed small RPG weapon replicas.

Monopoly Tank by Woetra

A custom 3D Printed monopoly piece, why be a car when you can be a tank!

Catan Card Management System by Carpemortis

This Card Management System is for the basic plain old Settler’s of Catan, holds all the Resource decks.

Knucklehead by echodos

Totally be a Knuclehead and use this as a game piece or simply own one as a toy.

Plus/Minus Tokens by cokane

Counter Tokens suitable for Magic The Gathering (MTG) or any other card or board games.

Have you designed a custom game piece or have a favorite on Shapeways? We like to see them! Tweet us @Shapeways.

 

 

 

 

Seven Days Of Games: Minecraft

Posted by in Games
Game week continues and the 3D printed game of the day is Minecraft. We’re sure there are many Shapies out there who have played Minecraft or knows someone who is addicted to Minecraft. Minecraft is one of the most creative and fascinating computer games out there where there are no specific goals or objectives; Minecraft is complete creative freedom to build, create, and do whatever you want. Minecraft is essentially your sandbox where you have the freedom of creation using three-dimensional objects. 

It’s no coincidence that people would be interested in bringing their awesome Minecraft creations to life and Shapeways provides a platform for users to do so with 3D printing. The free program Mineways makes it easy to select a model from a Minecraft world map, render it, and 3D print via Shapeways. Also check out Eric’s Mineways Shapeways Shop for examples of incredible Minecraft 3D prints. You can also turn your Minecraft character into real life using the Minetoys app here

Do you have a Minecraft creation that will blow our minds? Share a snapshot with us by tweeting us @Shapeways.

How does a Minecraft player get his exercise? He runs around the block…