2020 has been a reasonably great year for the gaming industry. Nearly every other sector went on a hiatus after a pandemic hit the world. But in the gaming scene, everything carried on with little to no distractions.
Of course, most people have stayed at home for the better part of the year. And although not everyone has been productive, gamers that like 3D printing have shared lots of interesting creations.
Does that mean 3D will finally get the attention it deserves? That depends on how successful the things gamers 3D-print are. To provide some content, here’s how the 3D printing industry has been influencing gaming in 2020.
Creating Tabletop Games
The objective is simple. You 3d print figurines used to play table top strategy games like Dungeons and Dragons. The benefit is that you can customize your miniatures by race, gender, hairstyle, weapon-types, everything.
The drawbacks are that figurines can’t move or talk or swing their swords like real video game characters. But then again, people 3D printing miniatures already know and appreciate the limitations of their creations.
All the same, the goal is to create miniatures you can use to play your favorite board games. From chess and monopoly to Scrabble and Dominoes, only your imagination limits what you can 3d print.
Creating Gaming Accessories
For a long time, video game players have had to buy accessories at exorbitant prices online. Not anymore, at least not when they can print these devices from the comfort of their homes. You can 3d print things like mouse pads, headrests, controller stands, and Nintendo game cases safely and at a low cost.
Crucially, it’s not just armchair gamers that 3D print accessories. Some well-known brands like IKEA are also turning to 3D to print ergonomic gaming seats and biometric wrists. IKEA is also creating 3D printed mouse clamps to free gamers from the irritation of tangling cables.
Steam and Counter-Strike creator Valve is also working on 3D projects for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s designing a mechanical CAD geometry to accompany the soon to be released Steam Controller. Additionally, it’s running a program to reward Steam fans that create the best gaming accessories.
Recreating Online Casino Games
When most people 3D print games, they choose chess, scrabble, monopoly and other childhood favorites. But for an increasingly number of casino players, 3D printing is providing a unique chance to create their favorite blackjack, poker and bingo games at home.
Sure, you might not receive the 100% bonus Casino Dreamz and other operators give out when you make your first deposit. But you’ll have fun and bond with friends playing your favorite card games. Afterward, you can log onto your gaming accounts and play these games for real money.
Interestingly, some casinos are supporting 3D printing even though it takes customers away from online gaming. They provide the blueprints players need and even recommend printing machines they can buy. Essentially, it’s a selfless act of support technology instead of fighting it.
Repairing and Re-distributing Broken Toys
Millions of toys with broken or malfunctioning parts are thrown away throughout the year. But thanks to 3D printing, parents will no longer have to discard old toys unnecessarily. They can buy machines and print these parts or they could purchase them cheaply from people with 3D printers.
Like casino and video games, the big brands are on the forefront of supporting 3d printing. For example, Hasbro has a partnership with 3D printing brand Shapeways that helps fans 3D print G.I Joe, Transformers and Monopoly toys legally.
On the flip side, Mattel is working alongside AutoDesk to create a device that could help customers create Mattel products’ inspired toys from home. You can purchase an early release of the device for $300 and be first among your friends to print realistic Mattel toys.
Reviving Classic Games
We live in an era of nostalgic inspired gaming entertainment. So, it’s not surprising that 3D printers have been attempting to revive classic games, gaming devices and accessories for the fun of it.
In many cases, printers print figurines of classic games like Mortal Kombat, Pokémon and Goldeneye. Of course, they could also 3D print accessories. But the goal is to recreate the gaming experiences of classic games. And as such, 3D printing a replica of PS2 might be over the top.
Everything you need to revive classic video game figurines is available online, from requirements and directions to files and how-to videos. Crucially, you could also personalize your miniatures so that they appear precisely as you want them to look like.
Designing Gaming Additives
Additives are like accessories except that they are not really necessary. For example, you don’t need to customize your PS4 R2 button to resemble a computer’s keycap. Yet, that’s something hundreds of gamers do every month.
Another example is a scuff controller: an add-on that helps increase ergonomics and reduce latency while gaming on consoles. A pair of these device costs anywhere from $100 to $400. That’s a lot of money, especially when you can 3D print the same gadgets free.
Creating Original Games
One of the best benefits of 3D printers is that they help actualize your dreams. If your dream is to create a unique board game, all you need is an idea. Then you can print the gaming pieces and teach your friends how to play it.
Alternatively, you could improve or add a new twist to a famous game—say chess. There are over a dozen variations of the game. So, why not create your own chess type? If people like it, they could help popularize it for you.
Although many industries were disrupted by nationwide lockdowns, online gaming has been continuing unscathed. That means people forced to stay at home have been playing video games more often than ever before.
The most creative gamers, of course, have been improving their favorite titles through technology like 3D printing. Form creating toy parts and video game accessories to reinventing classic and casino games, 3D printing has been pretty influential on gaming.