Shapeways is a professional print service that provides a variety of models that you can select and pay to have printed. Options for materials include various types of plastics, metals, and even sandstone or ceramic. If you don’t have a 3D printer or want high-quality stuff to really pimp out your games, this is the site to visit. Of course, you’ll have to pay and then wait a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, nothing on this site is free.
Where’s the tabletop gaming stuff? If you click in the search bar and start typing search criteria (such as “game” or “tabletop”) you will start to see suggested categories listed. You can then select a category, such as “game pieces” or “board games”. Once on a search results page, you will notice that categories are listed in more detail, with several options and additional filters.
Ease of use: Initially, it is confusing just having the search box on the main page, but once you try it, you will find the categories — they’re just buried a little bit. From there, you can navigate to more stuff. It is also relatively easy to upload your own designs and have them professionally printed. They even check your model and let you know if there are any issues with it before they start printing!
Cost: This depends a lot on the material and object size. The more material and the more expensive the type of material, the more the overall cost will be. Small pieces can run a few dollars each. The site has some tips on how to keep overall costs down.
- Lots of great designs
- Professional high-quality prints that arrive ready-to-use
- Easy-to-navigate site
- Lots of helpful information
- Costs that add up with multiple prints
- Cannot download and modify designs