Products and Design, The Community

Make Your Own Fun: The Settlers of Catan

It’s hard to name a modern board game as popular as The Settlers of Catan. Released in 1995, this classic German game has friends sitting down to slay hours of free time as they wheel, deal, and build their way to supremacy. Since 2014, over 18 million people have found their way to the ever-changing isle of Catan, making it one of the most successful board games ever made. And in the American market, it’s a breath of fresh air for those who equate board games with memories of wasted hours playing Monopoly or Risk.

Thanks to the joys of 3D printing, playing Catan has never looked more appealing. The Shapeways community also happens to be full of massive fans of trading wheat for sheep, creating dozens of custom-made pieces to enhance their own versions of Catan.

Chez Reno’s Beautiful Game Tiles

Catan Volcano Hex by Chez Reno

At the beginning of each game, players create the island of Catan anew, tile by tile. Normally, the tiles would be flat hexagons. But thanks to the Chez Reno Shapeways shop, you can have your own beautiful, 3D-rendered island tiles created in Shapeways Full Color Sandstone. Pictured above is the volcano, a cool take on the mountain design. The Chez Reno pasture even has sheep in it! It’s a wonderful way to add an eye-catching, premium feel to your tabletop experience — but you’ll have to get creative when “shuffling” them.

Icy Cactus Design’s Custom Card Holders

Intricate Card Holder with Icons by Icy Cactus Design

Have you ever found yourself with a mess of cards on the table only two or three turns into your latest game? So has Shapeways creator Jonathan Leskowski, owner of the Icy Cactus Design Shapeways shop. He’s created two different styles of Catan cardholders to keep all of the unclaimed resources in one place. Pictured above are his intricate card holder with icons for each of the game’s resources. A simpler, less expensive holder is available in his minimalist design.

This Awesome Replacement for the Robber

Robber Rex by zheng

Anyone who’s played Catan knows the torment of having the Robber unleashed upon your fair hamlets. He destroys the resources of a particular hex tile and makes vital resource acquisition impossible for players who benefit from the tile he lands on.

So what better representation than a massive T-Rex? Smashing the trees, eating the sheep, eating those trying to get to the ore… it all works! Creator Jim Rodda gives us this hilarious take on the Robber, and a great story to go along with it in his product description.

Honestly folks, I’m just scratching the surface here. The creativity and style of the Shapeways community makes a rather unassuming game look magnitudes better with just a little ingenuity.

Do you have a tabletop game modification you’d like to share with us? Maybe even a whole new game you made yourself that’s entirely 3D printable? We’d love to get our eyes on it, so leave a comment below.

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