With more affordable 3D printers on the market and board games finally re-earning their place in the mainstream, we thought it about time to run down the top 10 3D printed board games that can be yours today for, just the price of a few spools of filament.
With Christmas just around the corner, there’s no better time to dust off the printer and knock yourself up some family fun for the big day. These games might not be as sophisticated as the big tabletop games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, but what they lack in complexity they more than make up for in fun and flexibility.
A simple, but addictive marble-based game that requires players to move their marbles to their opponent’s side of the board without causing the table to fall. The concept is oddly familiar and can be picked up in seconds. Easy to play, difficult to master.
It might look a little like Balancing Boulders, but this game is far more complex. The idea is for players to plan and build cities, taking care of different tasks and making sure everything runs like clockwork. In essence, it’s like Civilisation or Sim City boiled down to their fundamentals. If you’ve ever played a ‘4X’ strategy game, you’ll be right at home here.
To keep your fingers busy while you’re waiting for Christmas dinner to arrive, this incredibly intricate puzzle is almost like a modern Rubik’s Cube, but is nowhere near as complicated. A gentle brain teaser, this makes a stocking filler for family members and friends that appreciate a good (but solvable) challenge.
Named for the big blue phone box that also doubles as an interdimensional spaceship in the iconic sci-fi drama Doctor Who, this is a game of risk management inspired by classics like Backgammon and Parcheesi. The game is designed to fold up neatly into itself and looks simply stunning. A great gift idea for Who fanatics.
This one is rather unique: a bowling alley that fits on your coffee table or desk and includes a wind-up bowling ball. We don’t necessarily condone drinking heavily at Christmas, but if you have to play one drinking game this year, make it this one!
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan (and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?) and you happen to own a 3D printer then you might be interested to know that Thrones creator George R. R. Martin has created his very own 3D-printed board game. Best of all, there are no strict rules, so players are allowed to make up their own. Whether you want to create a game that rivals the complexity of chess or settle on more of a medieval checkers, the options here are almost endless.
This is a classic game that asks players to solve a four colour code. It’s simple, elegant and has been thrilling families for decades. Given the simple nature of the game, it was always going to be the perfect print-at-home experience.
Staying with the nostalgia theme, who has never played Tetris? The classic puzzle has been brought into the physical realm here, with a game that allows children to stack the classic blocks to create shapes and hone their motor skills. For adults, it’s an epic nostalgia trip and for the young’uns it’s a great excuse to play with colourful shapes. Everybody wins.
Something a little different now. This game was designed to mimic the concept of Real Time Strategy video games, with players asked to build up their bases in multiple layers and attack their opponents with military precision. It looks very simple indeed, but it’s a deceptively deep game with a lot to offer.
It’s Scrabble. What more is there to say? The ability to print your own tiles, however, means the game could be opened up even further and expanded far beyond the initial rules.
If any of these 3D printed board games have piqued your interest and you happen to own (or have access to) a 3D printer, either follow the links above - or simply jot the name of the game into your favourite search engine and you should be able to find the CAD files with little effort. The only hard part is going to be waiting for your games to print!