Category Archives: Games

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.

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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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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

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.


#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.


#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.


#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


Intricate Card Holder


Catan Card Management System


Globe-On-Pillar: A different board game counter


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…

Seven Days Of Games: Kerbal Space Program in 3D

Posted by in Games
Game week continues and todays 3D Printed game features the Kerbal Space Program. KSP is a interactive computer game where players can manage and create their own space station. It’s a fun game where a crew of Kerbals need to build a spacecraft and fly into space, the moon, and other planets.

If you’re a gamer this is a game worth checking out and with 3D printing, KSP were able to turn these digital green characters into physical figures which you can own. Check out some of the KSP 3D Prints and their shop on Shapeways.

Have you played the Kerbal Space Program before or own one of these popular 3D prints? Tweet us a photo to @Shapeways and show us your Kerbal love.

Watch Scott Manleys video review of a 3D printed Kerbal from Shapeways here.

Seven Days Of Games: 3D Printed Dice Sets

Posted by in Games
Game week continues and todays 3D Printed game of the week is dice. Whether you’re playing Monopoly, Magic The Gathering, or Dungeons & Dragons; dice play a essential role to the experience. Did you know that this week marked the 40th anniversary of the popular RPG game Dungeons & Dragons? Lets commemorate 40 Years of D&D with 40 3D Printed dice!

Here are just a few examples of awesome 3D Printed dice to help you take your gaming to the next level. To see more check out our Pinterest board or Dice featured page.

Jack Dice Set by avandius

Celtic Dice Set by eondesigner

Overstuffed Dice Set with Decader by ceramicwombat

Top Dice Set by ceramicwombat


Flower Dice by WillLaPuerta

d4 portal Dice by lougon

D8 Shell Dice by Magic

Dragon Dice Set by avandius

Cage Dice Set with Decader by ceramicwombat

Ossuary Dice Set by aegidian

What’s your favorite dice game or dice related recreational activity? Tweet us @Shapeways with the hashtag #3DGameOn and let us know!

Seven Days Of Games: 3D Printed Chess Sets

Posted by in Games
It’s the week of the big game. THE SUPER BOWL, the most popular sporting event in America. The Super Bowl will also be broadcast across the world and while everyone is preparing for the big game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, there will be those engaging in non-sport gaming / recreational activities.
This week we’re having a game week of our own and will be surfacing popular game inspired 3D prints from traditional board games to classic computer games. Today’s 3D Printed game of the day is Chess! Take gaming and chess to the next level with these 3D Printed Chess sets.
Credit Card Chess Set by Innovo

This is arguable the worlds smallest chess set. Keep in your wallet for that unexpected chess emergency!

Typographical Chess Set by OneSaveSolutions

This chess set incorporate each piece’s name as the focal point of their design.

Sea Chess Pieces by WillLaPuerta

You will certainly “sea” chess different with this underwater chess set design.

Pandov Chess Black Set by lucipopescu89

This Chess set takes inspiration from the battle aspects of chess, Lucian Popescu’s Pandov Chess pieces play up the conflict between the two warring sides.

FiligreeChess by WillLaPuerta

These Chess pieces are made of crossed, filigreed panels.

What’s your favorite game? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #3DGameOn and visit back tomorrow to see the next 3D Printed game of the day.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” - Vince Lombardi 

Chess Inspired 3D Prints

Posted by in Games

Chess is one of the all time classic strategy board games. In chess two individuals battle it out with nothing but their minds and 16 piece army on a checkered board. Chess is even a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee. In the world of 3D Printing brains most certainly reign over braun and with the creative minds that we have on the Shapeways community, the classic game of chess is still the game but it’s design innovated. Here are a few chess inspired 3D Prints. 

Typographical Chess Set by OneSaveSolutions 

This chess set inncorporate each piece’s name as the focal point of their design.

Sea Chess Pieces by WillLaPuerta 

You will certainly “sea” chess different with this underwater chess set design. 

King – Key Chain or Necklace Pendant by Collective 3D 

“Any man who must say, ‘I am the king’ is no true king.”- Tywin Lannister, That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show off your King-size attitude with this King piece pendant.

Pandov Chess Black Set by lucipopescu89

This Chess set takes inspiration from the battle aspects of chess, Lucian Popescu’s Pandov Chess pieces play up the conflict between the two warring sides.

FiligreeChess by WillLaPuerta 

These Chess pieces are made of crossed, filigreed panels. 

If you’re a avid player of chess or are looking to own a unique chess set hopefully these prints will inspire you. 

“At the end of the game, the pawn and the king go back in the same box.”- Italian proverb 

3D Printed Dice Sets: Let The Good Times Roll

Posted by in Games

The world is full of gamers and life itself is essentially a RPG game. We’re spending billions of hours weekly playing online games from World Of WarCraft to Diablo that we forget to show a little love to classic offline games like Dungeons and Dragons and Magic The Gathering. In most popular RPG games dice are an essential commodity. With 3D printing and Shapeways you’re no longer limited to the traditional boring dice sets. Here are a few fantastic 3D printed dice sets to help you take your gaming and dice recreational activities to the next level.

Steampunk Gear Dice Set by avandius

Gears and steampunk themed dice.

Thorn Dice Set with Decader by ceramicwombat

If you’re looking for a unique dice set, this one will really catch your eyes.

Celtic Dice Set by eondesigner

These beautiful dice have a Celtic-knot inspired theme.

Flower Dice by WillLaPuerta

Dice set made of flowers. Play with these dice and watch your skills blossom.

Sphere Dice Set by Magic

The Sphere Dice are solid dice obtained by intersecting a regular polyhedron and a sphere.

Gaming gives us an outlet to escape from our normal lives and allows one to become something else unbound from reality. Gaming has the power to incentive, motivate, and reward behavior that makes us want to do more, be more, and achieve more. Let us know in a comment what’s your favorite game either online or offline. Also here’s a great TED Talk by Jane McGonigal on how gaming can make the world a better place to live in.