3D printing desk (Photo by Kamio)

3D Printing and Board Games

Where have I been the past month? After recuperating from a cold I picked up on the way home from the Christmas holiday, I’ve been non-stop 3D printing!

3d printing and board games are two of my most loved hobbies. In the summer of 2020, I started 3d printing as a Covid hobby and, over the years, ended up with 7 FDM printers and 1 resin printer. I could now print board game inserts, tray organizers, tokens, miniatures, and a board game table! Yet, 3d printing can be an extremely frustrating hobby. You’ll inevitably encounter many obstacles; sometimes, I’d go for months without printing anything.

Christmas Gift – Bambu Lab 3d printer

Then I got a new Bambu Lab P1S 3D printer for Christmas and was blown away by many factors – its speed, ease of use, quality, and more. I immediately bought a second one – the X1C with multi-color capabilities. I put up all my other 3d printers for sale (8 in total) and sold them all in one day. These new Bambu Lab printers completely rejuvenated my desire to create and print useful things.

As you saw in my Tesseract post last month, I printed some cool platforms for the dice cube. And, of course, I printed out tons of little moveable toys to give as Christmas gifts.

After Christmas, I decided I needed a suitable board game table ASAP. A Gameframe table is a modular 3D-printed game table that goes around your existing table. I received all the files from the Gameframe Kickstarter to print this out. I love that it is totally modular, and I can add/remove the modules from any table. I chose to print a higher base so I could add LED lights for the table. I estimate this table would cost me about $300 in filament costs and take a few weeks to complete.

I got caught up in other 3d printing projects before I finished, but if you want to see 3d printing and board games in action, check out the video below!

3d Printing Organization

I am organized and use spreadsheets to track my crowdfunding orders, gaming materials, and 3D filaments. Recently, I ordered a large amount of new 3D filament for printing, so I created a comprehensive spreadsheet to keep track of my filament inventory, including details like color, texture, purchase date, cost, and weight. 

Next, I needed more space for my filaments! I wanted to display them nicely in my loft, so I printed out some brackets, got some PVC pipe from Lowes, and had a nice shelf!

Now my two most used brands of filament are nicely displayed in rainbow colors! The top shelf holds mostly Overture Matte filament, and the bottom holds Bambu Lab. Then I have a closet storing all the rest.

Printing filament swatches and labels in various colors has been time-consuming but worth it. Just a few more days, and I’ll be done. The magnetic labels can be attached to label holders or metal shelves in the closet. It’s great to be able to visually see my available colors, including cool ones that can print in multiple colors depending on the part’s orientation. Some filaments are heat-resistant, sun-resistant, translucent, or exceptionally strong.

Having a hobby where I can 3D print so many things I need is so cool! These ProClip filament clips ensure the spools don’t get tangled and cause bad prints.

3d Printing and Board Games

And I can’t forget the very reason I got into 3D printing: board games! These are now my two top hobbies. I have printed out so many board game inserts and tray organizers. I will do a future blog post and list some great free links. For now, you can head to BGG and see lists of board game inserts and other accessories to print for free!

3D Prints for Board Games

Super-best-ultimate List of Free (Non-Insert) 3d Prints for Games

Currently, I love anything this guy creates for 3d printing and board games:
js500 on Printables

2024 3d Printing Station

I also started printing a multiboard, which is like a pegboard for the wall. This will hold all my 3d printing tools. This is still in the process of being built and still needs to be attached to the wall.

Below is my newly appointed 3D printing station for 2024. I can’t wait to see how it grows this year!

Outlook for 2024

What’s up for the blog in 2024? I’d love to continue this series of 3d printing and board games and chat about what I’m doing now and then. I hope to learn more about 3d modeling and make inserts and tokens.

But, of course, this blog will primarily focus on solo board gaming. The next post will feature Distilled – a game about crafting spirits in a distillery.

How About You?

How about you? Have you considered the combo of 3d printing and board games? Or do you already have a 3d printer? If so, what kinds of things are you printing?

2 responses to “3D Printing and Board Games”

  1. Richard Avatar

    Great summary. I’m also into solo board games and added 3d printing 2 years ago! (although only 1 printer at a time, unlike your previous collection).

    Recently upgraded from an Ender 3 V2 to a Bambu Labs A1, which unfortunately I’m now waiting on the resolution of the current recall on them (have opted for the replacement heatbed as I still think it’s an excellent printer).

    Have also just discovered js500 designs a couple of weeks ago and printed their insert for the TMB Trove Chest which turned out excellent! Tempted to print the Wingspan Nesting box insert next.

    One of the first things I printed on the A1 with it’s AMS lite were some tokens for Earthborne Rangers which turned out excellent as well, without wasting too much filament on the colour changing.

    1. kamio Avatar

      I’ll be printing that Trove Chest insert this spring! I don’t have the Wingspan Nesting box, at least not yet, so I haven’t looked into that.

      Right now I’m learning Fusion 360, so I can design my own inserts exactly how I want. I’m going to start with a small insert for Friday, took the measurements today. If that goes well, I’ll design an insert for Distilled, which will be my next blog post!

      I heard about the A1, hope it gets resolved for you so you can get back to printing soon!

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