Products and Design

Tabletop Games: The Next Dimension

You might have noticed that, at Shapeways, we love games and gamers. You don’t hit up Genericon, PAX East, AdeptiCon, and Comic Con in the course of a month if you’re just messing around. But, if you’re new to Shapeways, you might not know exactly how 3D printing and games come together. Our new contributor Rick Castano breaks it down below.

Innovation is at the heart of what makes Shapeways Shapeways. Every day, the community blows us away with innovative solutions to super specific problems. Especially when it comes to their favorite games, where the Shapeways community is using 3D printing to unleash their imaginations in ways never before possible. Here are just a few ways our designers are taking tabletop gaming to the next level.

The Creator of the Complete 3D Monster Manual

Dread Gazebo by The DM Workshop

Miguel Zavala (aka the designer behind The DM Workshop) is a guy who loves Dungeons and Dragons so much he’s taken it upon himself to create 3D patterns of every creature out of the Monster Manual. However, that was only the first step. To date, he’s got over 500 models on his creations tab available for download, and shows now signs of slowing down. Even better, every single one of his patterns is available to download for free, so whether you need to print the Queen of all Dragons or the infamous Dread Gazebo, you can download it for free and have us print it out for you.

Warhammer 40K – Endless Customization on a Miniscule Scale

One of Matt Sweitzer’s finished pieces, courtesy his @popgoesmonkey Instagram

Warhammer 40,000 is another well-loved tabletop game that’s found new life here on Shapeways. The heavy metal and sci-fi aesthetics of their standard 28mm miniatures are incredibly detailed and highly customizable, more like tiny scale models than solid chunks of pewter a la old-school D&D. Naturally, our community has figured out a way to take this detail even further, with users like Matt Sweitzer and his over 1000 different ways to customize those miniatures even further, with hundreds of shoulderpad designs, shields, weapons, or whatever your character needs to wreak havoc upon their enemies.

The Craziest Dice You’ve Ever Seen in Your Life

Labyrinthine Die 6 by Made by Wombat

Dice are the lifeblood of most tabletop games, but on their own, they can be works of art. One of my favorite memories as a little nerd was getting my own set of dice, and while they were cool, they can’t touch the stuff you can find Shapeways designers making. From the gleefully abstract to the mathematically symbolic, no matter what game you’re playing, you can find a die set here to match it to a T. Better still, most of them come in several different materials, meaning the ones you find in bronze or brass will also probably be available in plastic, like this amazingly detailed labyrinthine die from dice master Made by Wombat.

The world of tabletop gaming has never looked cooler, thanks in large part to our community of creators. To discover more, check out the games section in the marketplace, and be sure to stop by our forums to see what we’re working on right now. And, let us know in the comments: How do you personalize your favorite games?

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