3D Printing Is Infiltrating The Gaming Industry

3D Printing Is Infiltrating The Gaming Industry

Technology continues to change the way we do things both on a personal and industry-shaping level. One piece of technology that has been affecting many industries today is 3D printing. USA Today highlights how 3D printing has improved efficiency, quality, and lowered the cost of producing products in various sectors.

One industry it has begun to transform is the gaming industry. From 3D printing board game pieces to reviving retro consoles, the technology is quite literally changing the game. Read on to know more about how 3D printing is infiltrating the gaming industry and changing it for the better!

3D Printable Game Models

Have you ever wanted a physical replica of your favorite video game characters? Well, this is something that’s become possible with the rise of 3D printing. You can now take things from the realm of video games and print them out using 3D models. While this is great news, it’s important to know that 3D printing models from video games fall into a legal grey area.

ZDnet notes that while printing for private non-commercial use is still copyright infringement, large companies can do close to nothing to police everyone who wants to print out models of their favorite video game characters. So unless you choose to sell the figures, you should be able to avoid the ire of the video game companies.


Tabletop games are well and alive in 2020. New games and old games are beloved by the supportive tabletop gaming community but when it comes to 3D printing, one game stands above the rest. The resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has opened the floodgates when it comes to 3D printing miniatures.

The industry is growing with more players using services that can print out models. And the good news for players is that they can get their models very quickly, with Fictiv pointing out how the 3D printing process can take less than 24 hours. This is best demonstrated with the Traverse Area District Library and their 3D printer. They are able to produce parts within 12 hours (between the library’s opening hours), and their main customers are in fact Dungeons & Dragons players.

This means you don’t have to invest in expensive 3D printing tools to get the custom parts you need for your next game of D&D. You can have everything and anything printed out – may it be your level 5 Barbarian Dwarf with a scar running down his cheek or even the great city of Waterdeep. The choices are limitless and are entirely up to you.

Revived Retro Consoles

3D printing may well be the future of the gaming industry when it comes to manufacturing. What’s often neglected, however, is its capacity for reliving the past. Through 3D printing, it’s now possible to revive retro consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

With today’s technology, you won’t even need to print out the entire console. 3Ders demonstrates how you can revive retro gaming through the use of a 3D printed NES controller and a Raspberry Pi Zero model board. The possibilities are endless, as there have also been cases of 3D printing a Nintendo Game Boy and even an entire arcade cabinet.

If you want to read more on the innovations of the gaming industry, check out our article on 5 Games Showing What VR Can Do.

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