table top gaming with dice and playing cards

Games of all kinds, whether it be RPGs (Role Playing Games), tabletop, console or board games, are boundless domains of entertainment and self-expression. While many people remain homebound and in need of entertainment options, developing games and accessories that enhance the gaming experience and cater to all kinds of needs is more important than ever.

Games give players the ability to inhabit other worlds and so their characters in these worlds are completely unique and subject to personalization. 3D printing allows for a new level of freedom in customization from the original design of the character to creating one’s own props, accessories and consoles. It also facilitates prototyping in the development of original games and has the option of being easily shareable with people all over the world via digital files. As the gaming industry evolves, customization is already a crucial component to immersive gaming experiences and 3D printing makes that possible at a never-before-seen level of efficiency and precision.

1. Custom 3D Printed Miniatures and Game Pieces

Customizing one’s character for any game is the first step in creating an experience that is unique to the player. You can have a say in your 3D printed miniatures at any stage in the design process whether you know how to 3D model or not. There are companies that offer customization services through digital scanning that could infinitely expand the possibilities. For example, Miniature You developed an app that allows one to scan his or her face and print it straight onto one of the hundreds of figurine options in the application library.

You can also choose from a multitude of open-source downloadable designs to work from. Or if you’d rather design the character yourself from scratch, you can always try modeling at a beginner level with programs like TinkerCAD. Owning a 3D printer isn’t necessary as you can prototype and print designs through Shapeways. You can have the same character in different positions, seated or in fight mode, for example, and that character can evolve as the player sees fit. This also goes for your character’s props, and the landscape of your gaming world. The possibilities in customization are endless.

Whether you need one game piece or 10, with a 3D file you can print the exact number of pieces needed and continue to reprint them as many times as you’d like.

2. 3D Printed Gaming Mods and Accessories

            Customization isn’t limited to personalizing the world of the game, but also can be used to enhance the context and comfort of the game play experience. There are hundreds of innovative and functional 3D printable bracket mounts, console add-ons, controller chargers and stands and much more. Add-ons like controller grips that help make the controller easier to handle or add style and fun to its original function are popular products. With new gaming devices regularly out in the market, gamers will continue to look for creative solutions to enhance their gaming experience. Because 3D printing allows for so much flexibility in creating unique accessories, every gamer’s needs can be catered to much more easily.

3D printing game pieces

3. 3D Printed Ergonomic and Accessible Pieces

            The use of 3D printing also means it is easier to make gaming more accessible to people who have specific physical needs. The DOTS RPG Project produces 3D printed tactile symbols and braille dice for the visually impaired, so that they can participate in games independently. Any tabletop or board game and its accessories could potentially have versions catered to different special needs allowing for even more people to enjoy and participate in these games.

4. Creating Original Games with 3D Printing

            3D printing is a multi-faceted resource as it not only allows for boundless customizing but also for the prototyping and production of completely original game ideas. You can create your own chess set with your version of the pieces, you can also create your own game completely from scratch and share it with the rest of the gaming community by making the files accessible for others to print and try out.

The gaming industry is a constantly evolving world and the needs of gamers evolve with it. The versatility of 3D printing means that solutions for these needs are more accessible than they have ever been. Already building a new game and ready to test the market? Let us know how we can help with your prototyping and customization needs.

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