Board games and tabletop wargaming belong to hobbies that were heavily influenced by the advent of 3D printing. You can revive your old games by printing replacements for lost and no longer produced parts, improving the existing ones with better looks, or increasing the replayability of the game by adding completely new pieces. Or, you can make the gameplay more quick and organized by using various 3D printed card boxes and token trays, dice towers, and so on.
It is not just about practical aspects, though, but also about making your game set personalized and unique. Sometimes, sprucing up the game becomes even more fun than actually playing it.😁
We have already touched on this topic in articles about printing with kids or about printing tabletop miniatures on an FDM printer. A year ago, we also held a designer contest focused on tabletop games and puzzles.
In this article, we will focus on all the various gaming accessories – basically on everything but the miniatures (those represent a whole topic worth another dedicated article). Let’s look at some models that we printed and tried out ourselves:
Many modern board games include a variable game board that you somehow assemble on the fly while playing the game. This is an interesting gameplay concept, making every game kind of unique, but in reality, it could be somewhat annoying, as it’s easy to accidentally shift the board parts around.
As an example, we have chosen the Czech game Karak, which is very popular here in Central Europe. The player characters go through a dungeon, which is assembled from cardboard squares, adding them one by one as new rooms and corridors are discovered.
To keep all the squares in place, you can use these printed tiles that are assembled together in a jigsaw fashion. They have an embossed stone-like pattern, so they go nicely with the dungeon style.
There is probably no need to introduce Gloomhaven, a game with worldwide acclaim, currently ranked 3rd among the best games on BoardGameGeek.
Here is a simple but efficient dashboard for organizing your character, ability, and inventory cards. You can use it either in-game or fold it into a nice storage and transport box.
Alright, we already mentioned these tiles in one of the older articles, but they are so cute that we cannot skip them.😀 Plain and simple, they replace the printed cardboard with plastic hexagonal pieces with three-dimensional sheep, trees, mines, and whatnot. Similar to the Karak example above, there is also a jigsaw system neatly holding all the board pieces together.
If there is a 3D-printing application for tabletop gaming that has truly endless possibilities for players and designers alike, it’s the terrain pieces. Surprisingly, even companies like Games Workshop offer just a few different products, in contrast to their huge range of actual miniatures.
As for fantasy/medieval settings, the best thing we could find is Ulvheim by Terrain4Print, a whole city with several different buildings and ruins or individual wall pieces – these are just a fraction of this beautiful, incredibly modular range of models.
Here is a bunch of Khorne’s Bloodletters👿 lurking around a remixed Ulvheim Noble House.
The trees are originally intended for Gloomhaven, but they are perfect for any other tabletop game as well.
Moving on to sci-fi – this desert house can fit into pretty much any futuristic setting from Star Wars to Warhammer 40.000.
Here is a modular bunker system consisting of battlement bridges and corner towers.
Apart from the Ulvheim, Terrain4Print also provides many sci-fi pieces, like these shanty obstacles that can be grouped together into whole barricades.
Some prints don’t have to be spectacular, just useful, like these miniature bases of all sizes…
…or these bases for cards or cardboard cutouts.
Galactic warp travel 🚀 of whole invasion armies can be easy with 3D-printed storage and transport systems.
Here is a very practical tray insert that snugly fits into the cutout corners of a plastic Ikea box.
Here is another similar storage system, modular and stackable with jigsaw edges and multiple floors.
Dice towers are devices with a long history – since ancient times, they are used to provide a reliable throw without having to fish for the dice under the table. Admiteddly, they are more useful for games where you need just one or two dice (and not Warhammer, where you regularly roll like a dozen at a time).
Let’s face it, there is hardly a more badass way of randomizing numbers than throwing the dice into the eyesockets of a skull.💀
However, if you need to tone down the badassery just a tiny bit (for example when playing with small children), here is a nice wizard tower as an alternative.
Since the game result depends on the dice so much (skill is overrated), it is a good idea to protect them from your opponents, who might jinx them while you are not watching.
Here is a simple jinx-proof box that can be also used as a hockey puck, so it’s not just for nerds.🏒
This one is for a slightly larger arsenal of dice, like that dozen or two needed for Warhammer.
And that’s all! Of course, the links provided above are just examples. There are thousands of models available in these categories on Printables.com:
If you designed something interesting yourself, or if you find any model particularly useful while browsing the links above, please share it with us in the comments!