Are you a technology geek and also enjoy playing board games with your friends? Have you ever thought about finding the best 3D printer for board games so you can just print any game you want? 3D printers come in a variety of types and forms, with different price ranges, from affordable to expensive ones.
The number of printers on the market today can make it difficult to make a good decision. Since that, we have put together a list of guidelines and our product suggestions for you to find the best 3D printer for tabletop games.
The Top-Rated 3d Printer For Board Games (Recommendations)
On This Page
- How To Print A Game?
- 3D Print Board Game Accessories
- Some Board Games You Can 3D Print
- Best 3D Printer For Board Games Shortlist
- Best 3D Printer For Board Games: Choose Your Suitable One
- #1. DREMEL DIGILAB 3D20– TOP PICK
- #2. FLASHFORGE 3D PRINTER CREATOR PRO– WORTH THE PRICE
- #3. LULZBOT MINI 2 DESKTOP 3D PRINTER– BEST FOR NEWBIE
- #4. CREALITY 3D CR-10S PRO V2– EXCELENT FFF PRINTER
- #5. MONOPRICE SELECT MINI 3D PRINTER V2– BEST BUDGET
- #6. ELEGOO MARS PRO MONO MSLA 3D PRINTER
- #7. ANYCUBIC PHOTON MONO
- Factors Need To Be Considered Before Choosing Your Best 3D Printer For Board Games:
- Best 3D Printer For Board Games: Frequently Asked Questions
How To Print A Game?
A game can be printed in both two ways. If you want to use an existing game, you can find its 3D design files on a design website and download them to get started. You can also find their directions around the Internet.
Are you making a new game? Then you will have to put in a lot of time and effort. If it is a strategic game, you will need to carefully design and 3D print the board game pieces, as well as the board. It ensures that everything fits together and makes sense. If you are making a fantasy game, you can let your imagination run wild by creating stunning landscapes and characters.
There are some printing tips for you:
Read the instructions before printing:
This is how you evaluate whether or not a game is worth printing. It is typical for 3D printed games to have complicated rules, making them difficult to play. You will get a feel for the game by skimming through it quickly. If you have concerns about the rules, many game designers in this space are open to suggestions, and you can typically clear up any questions with a short email.
Look for games that contain pictures of real prints:
This is not unusual advice for people who want to print something, but it is especially true for 3D printable games. You can be fairly confident that someone has played a game if you can tell it has been printed. Try to reach out to people who have made it and ask them what they think about it on platforms like Thingiverse.
Look for beta versions:
There are many beta versions of tabletop games on the Internet. However, they are not very well marked. Why not take a look at these versions to know what needs to be improved for your copy?
Color your games:
This is entirely optional. In many cases, a colorful effect can be achieved using a variety of filaments. A little bit of color, in our opinion, goes a long way.
3D Print Board Game Accessories
Along with making your own games, if you have a set of board games and one or more pieces are missing, you can easily 3D print the missing pieces to complete your set. You can print die, cardholders, token holders, and other game-specific items for simpler games. You can also get 3D models of your characters, their accessories (armor and weapons), as well as complete environments, for more complex games. Of course, you may have to repaint the whole thing.
There is one caveat, though: make sure to check the licenses for some of the games, as some of them prohibit you from making an own copy. So stay out of trouble and double check all the relevant details with the blueprint files once you have downloaded them.
Some Board Games You Can 3D Print
1. Words Of Wisdom
In the game Words of Wisdom, players must spell words in order to create a route for their character to enter the Mountain and achieve his big reward.
The game is entirely 3D printable, print qualities are mentioned in the instructions.
Find at: Pineshape
Tetris, along with Pacman and Snake, was the first computer game and one of the first games for cellphones. With a 3D printable edition, you can now play it in real life. A fun game for kids to practice their motor skills or for adults to remember about their childhood.
Find at: MyMiniFactory
3. Pokemon Go Board Game
Pokemon Go was a worldwide phenomenon. Thus, it is a good way to make it into a physical board game. The idea is a hunting game that is based on the classic game Fox and Geese.
Find at: PinShape
4. Seven Stones
This is the Star Wars version of the turn-based game Seven Stones, which tells stories around the magical number 7. This game has been more than a digit throughout history and many cultures and religions. The aim is to have more colors or symbols than your opponent by the end of the game or to carry all seven towers of a sign to his side to automatically end the game.
Find at: Thingiverse
Hive is a board game that can be 3D printed. The objective is to use strategic tactics to encircle the other player’s queen bee and capture and take over her hive. Similar to chess, each bug is given various maneuvers, but since there is no underlying board, the “board” is constantly moving and changing.
Find at: Thingiverse
Best 3D Printer For Board Games Shortlist
Best 3D Printer For Board Games: Choose Your Suitable One
#1. DREMEL DIGILAB 3D20– TOP PICK
- Pre-assembled printer
- Fully enclosed
- Full-color LCD touch screen
- PLA filament only
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 is not the most affordable printer on the market, since it costs around $600. However, it has one of the best prices for a printer in its class. We consider it a good buy because of its long-lasting build and useful features. This price is not too much for new 3D printing enthusiasts seeking to gain their first hands-on experience. The best part is that you get high-quality models for a printer that is, in our opinion, fairly priced.
The product comes as a fully assembled package. The advantage is that you get consistent quality control while also saving time figuring out the settings. It also has a closed architecture. Furthermore, the bright LCD touch screen makes it even more pleasant to use.
Nevertheless, the printer becomes a little noisy while working. It sounds almost like a microwave.
- Good price offered
- Easy to use
- Fully assembled
- Good quality prints
- Easy bed leveling process
- The software is no longer supported or being developed
- Only support printing from SD card, no external connectivity
Dremel Digilab 3D20 unboxing and review:
#2. FLASHFORGE 3D PRINTER CREATOR PRO– WORTH THE PRICE
- Sturdy metal frame
- Aviation level aluminum plate
- Capable with a lot of filament types (PLA, ABS, PLA Color Change, Pearl, ABS Pro, Elastic, PVA, HIPS, PETG, TPE, TPU, Conductive Filament, Flexible Filament, Metal Filled Filament, Wood Filled Filament, and PP)
The FlashForge Creator Pro stands out from the crowd because it is the best 3D printer for board games with dual extruders, allowing for dual color printing. Furthermore, we discovered that this model had fewer bed adhesion problems than many others. Unfortunately, the print quality was not as good as expected, and the program suggested was ineffective, too.
In general, this machine is simple to use and has a lot of potentials. Due to the setup process and manual filament adjustments and bed leveling, it is not the most solution available, but buyers should not be afraid of little tinkering and troubleshooting.
- The enclosed chamber insulates and protects prints
- Support a variety of filaments
- Bad customer service
- Print heads get clogged easily
FlashForge Creator Pro review:
#3. LULZBOT MINI 2 DESKTOP 3D PRINTER– BEST FOR NEWBIE
- Maximum print size: 160 x 160 x 180 mm
- Tool head: E3D Titan Aero with 50mm nozzle
- Maximum temperature: 290 oC
- Heat print bed: Borosilicate glass with maximum temperature: 120 oC
- Print volume: 281.4 inches
LuzBot Mini is a high-performance 3D printer for board games, perfect to use on desktops at home. It comes fully assembled and can be set up and ready to use in minutes after opening the box. It has a lot of features that make it easy for new users to get their designs printed. For example, the auto-leveling bed adjusts itself during the printing process to print the design as required, with no need for human involvement.
LuzBot Mini has Open Source Hardware, which means that it was created as a result of a group of professionals working together. Allowing you to get started with 3D printing right away, even though you have no previous experience. With some little adjustments, you can use a wide range of filaments. The Mini is ideal for board games because it accurately prints all of your designs in fine detail. Although the platform appears to be thin, it is still ideal for personal use.
- Reversible glass heated print bed
- Quiet operation
- Self-cleaning, self-leveling technology
- Fully assembled
- Hard to put the SD cards in
- Printing quality does not meet the expectation
LulzBot Mini 2 overview and features:
#4. CREALITY 3D CR-10S PRO V2– EXCELENT FFF PRINTER
- BL Touch auto-leveling
- Upgraded silent motherboard
- 500W Meanwell power supply
- High-quality extrusion mechanism
- PTFE tube with high temperature resistant
Creality 3D CR-10S Pro V2 is our top suggestion for those trying to the most bang for their buck when it comes to the best 3D printer for board games. It will surprise you with extremely high-quality prints as an FFF printer. Moreover, it is super easy to operate as well. It has a large build envelope and is a capable machine in general. Thus, this is a good option if you need to 3D print board game components.
What makes it suitable to print tabletop games is its large build volume measuring 300 x 300 x 400 mm. You can use any 1.75 mm filament that does not need a temperature higher than 160 cC.
- Compact form factor
- Easy to use
- 2 connectivity options: USB cable or microSD card
- Large build volume
- Support center could be better
- A little bit more assembly than other printers
Creality CR-10S Pro V2 unboxing and review:
#5. MONOPRICE SELECT MINI 3D PRINTER V2– BEST BUDGET
- Support for all filament types
- Compact desktop design
- Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
- Heated aluminum build plate nozzle with cooling fan for printing
For the price, Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is very impressive. For the features, it has a heated print bed, is very convenient to use, and produces clear and accurate prints. Once it is up and running, this is a fantastic little machine with a lot of functionality. It performs as expected in most cases, and the quality of the modes we tested far exceeded our expectations.
Of course, with that price, you cannot expect it to be perfect. Variable temperatures when the hot end is in use cause a strange anomaly, and it appears to malfunction while printing at high speeds. Monoprice’s calibration procedure is a disadvantage, too. And the AC power brick that came with it died after just 12 hours.
- Fully assembled
- All filaments supported
- Has WiFi connection
- Affordable option
- Low-speed print
- Hard to calibrate
- Unprotected build plate
- The inconsistent hot end temperature
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2 unboxing and testing:
#6. ELEGOO MARS PRO MONO MSLA 3D PRINTER
- Fast printing, longer lifespan, and stable performance
- Ultra accuracy printing
- Sturdy build quality
- Provide a safer experience with a silicone rubber seal for the cover top
- 1-year warranty
The Elegoo Mars Pro is simple to set up and operate, and it produces high-quality prints. All is ready to use straight out of the box, so you can focus on slicing files for printing rather than fiddling with hardware settings. This is one of the most cost-effective UV curing SLA printers available, comparable to the other products in its class. Although resin printers have a smaller build area than the other printers, for many customers, the quality tradeoff is worthy.
The consistency of the print is mostly influenced by the file settings. It may take some time to deal with the setting that produces smooth and accurate prints with this printer. The type of resin you use, the exposure time, and the adjustments you work in all have an effect on the final print.
- Valuable for money
- New vats hold more resin
- Free MSLA printing
- The silicone does not fit well
- Quite loud operating
- Z-axis tricky lubricated
Elegoo Mars Pro unboxing and how to setup:
#7. ANYCUBIC PHOTON MONO
- Has LCD screen
- 5X faster than the regular printers
- Transparent cover blocks up UV rays and reduces wasting of resin
- 1-month free return, 1-year warranty
The metal body is one of our favorite features of the Anycubic Photon line. Although the yellow UV covered screens are supposed to be translucent, we like keeping them with the protective cover on because it makes the printer feel more premium. It enhances the appearance of the printer while providing full protection. The Mono one has a good feel of power and that solidity aids in the production of excellent detail in the prints. The build platform is kept secure by the dual linear rails and lead screw, and the bed has a leveling mechanism that holds it locked in a place print after print.
- Faster printing
- Full metal body
- Support WiFi connection
- Decent performance
- High price for newbie
- Bad software
Anycubic Photon unboxing and testing review:
Factors Need To Be Considered Before Choosing Your Best 3D Printer For Board Games:
In fact, 3D printing is a hobby that is appropriate as long as it only used for personal purposes. It should not be used to avoid your duty to pay others for their creative effort, ability, and hard work. Furthermore, if an artist or organization who owns an image, sculpt, or artistic work makes a claim against the sharing of a visually similar product, both digital or physical, even if it is not for profit, the claim should be respected by the original artist. It is immoral and possibly illegal to use a 3D printed copy for profit.
Thus, check carefully if the game you are going to print is allowed for copyright or not. Some games are available for free download on the Internet. However, some require to be paid before downloading.
When it comes to 3D printing board game figures, precision is perhaps the most important feature of a printer. This figure, which is measured in millimeters, determines how small the details in a print can be.
Technology is also a key factor. There are many types of printers on the market nowadays with different features, such as SLA (stereolithography), DLP (digital light processing), FDM/FFF (fused deposition modeling), etc. Moreover, you have to make some researches about the additional features or enhancements that may enhance your 3D printing experience.
4. Build size
Although the build size is not a major factor when choosing the best 3D printer for board games, it is good to have the option for printing larger models if necessary. As a result, we can look at how big of a printer can print to make the final decision.
5. Ease of use
The ease of use of a 3D printer will dictate how much work you will have to put into your model to get it up to your standard.
Last but not least, the price point is a key factor to consider. Since not all printers are affordable to everybody, we can compare what each product has to give in the other 5 categories to their price point to see whether you are getting a good deal or actually overpaying.
Best 3D Printer For Board Games: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I Buy A 3D Printer For Tabletop Games?
Definitely yes. Masters can craft the entire landscape to picture-perfect detail using 3D printers, from the base tiles to character units to complete landscapes. 3D printing can be a very useful tool for people who do not want to spend time crafting the details for their games and instead want to get right into the action. On the Internet, you can find a plethora of blueprint files containing a complete set of instructions for these games.
2. How Much Does It Cost If I Use 3D Print For Board Games?
Our response has always been “it depends” because there are a variety of factors that influence the cost of 3D printing. Based on these factors, the cost of your process could range anywhere from $3 to $1000 or even more.
3. What 3D printing material is the most durable?
It’s polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a type of plastic. It Is the undisputed king of desktop 3D printing materials. The strength of polycarbonate amazed us as well. Its tensile strength of 9800 psi, compared to nylon’s 7000 psi, makes it the perfect material for high strength, functional components.
4. What Is The Toughest Material For 3D Printing?
ABS, TPU, PET-G, PA, PAHT CF15, PP, and PP GF30 are the most durable 3D printing materials. These filaments’ strength varies, with some being more impact resistant and others being structurally solid or even fatigue resistant. Before using, look carefully at the differences between each filament.
5. Is It Possible To 3D print carbon fiber?
In the case of carbon fiber, the fibers increase the part’s strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability, allowing it to outperform its base plastic counterpart. Chopped carbon fiber 3D printing materials can be used in the same way as regular 3D printing plastics, with the added benefit of improving certain material properties.
Since 3D printers are both inexpensive and dependable. They are a great option for hobbyists looking to have their own copies of board games or add some unique elements.
If you are a newbie in 3D printing and just want to print small projects such as board games, we suggest you choose the DREMEL DIGILAB 3D20. It is affordable but still offers enough features to give you a decent printing experience. ANYCUBIC PHOTON MONO is a new face on the market but has already gained some good comments from either hobbyists and experts. Thus, you can give it a try.
The best 3D printer for board games has a lot of factors that need to be considered before buying. We hope thanks to our article, the picking task is now easier for you.