5 Awesome 3D Printed Gifts for Your Loved One

It’s that time of the year again! As cliche as many consider Valentine’s Day to be, there’s nothing that puts a smile on a person’s face like a well-thought out gift from their better half.

If you’re sick of buying your partner the regular 1-2 combo of flowers and chocolates, perhaps you should consider 3D printing a present.

The variety available means that there’s literally something for everyone out there. If you’re spoiled for choice, Malta 3D Printing can point you in the right direction. Here are 5 of our favourite presents for that special someone:

1) Gift Boxes

The traditional gift box has been revamped thanks to 3D printing – and customized to your liking. Break the news gently with an “It’s Over” gift box or offer yourself to the person you desire with the classic “Be Mine” box.

Hide a small present or an engagement ring inside, be creative!

If you’re not feeling so adventurous, there are a variety of heart-shaped boxes and other simple designs.

2) Valentines iPhone 6 Case

Is your clumsy better half always dropping their precious iPhone 6? Give it some added protection with this durable phone case which will help absorb the shock from a fall. Besides the practicality aspect, we’re also happy to customize this item to your liking.


3) Ornaments & Decorations

Whether your a hapless romantic or enjoy showering your partner with regular gifts, have a look at these heart-melting products. Our favourites include a classic red rose in a vase and an interlocking heart, but the cuddling salt and pepper pots pictured really caught our eye.

If you’d like to go a little overboard and spoil someone, check out this over-sized set of heart gears which are sure to have heads turning.

4) Cookie Cutters

Baking can be tonnes of fun for the family. A delicious treat can turn any frown upside down, especially if it’s a tasty cookie shaped in a clever way. This is one particular area in which 3D printing excels – the creation of unique shapes.

Two great examples of this are the ‘Heart Wings’ set and this delightful ‘Kids kissing’ cookie cutters. As usual Thingiverse, has a wide selection of similar products available.

5) Fashion Accessories

We’ve all heard of the fantastic items of clothing 3D printing has been able to produce. While we might not all be able to afford a printed dress fitted with Swarovski crystals, other options are always available.

Nothing says I love you better than a neat little bracelet made out of red and white hearts, or a customizable heart chain. If you’re not in the market for those kind of accessories, check out this cool fractal heart barrette, great for girls on the go!

Valentines day will soon arrive and be gone in a flash, but 3D printing is here to stay. Should you want any of the aforementioned products printed, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Malta 3D Printing.

If you’re interested in a 3D printed gift, but nothing was quite to your liking, then check out this Thingiverse page for a huge selection of Valentine’s Day presents. We wish you a happy Valentine’s!

Previous: 7 Reasons to Choose Malta 3D Printing

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7 Reasons to Choose Malta 3D Printing

Our priority is to ensure your complete satisfaction as our customer. Print with us and we guarantee you won’t hesitate to make us your number one selection.

1) Unparalleled Customer Service

The utmost respect for our customers is mandatory. Regardless of your knowledge of 3D printing, our staff will ensure the purchasing process runs smoothly.

Our live chat service via Facebook means that any questions or orders will be taken as quickly as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask us anything, we’ve probably heard it before, after all. We’re also available via e-mail and telephone (+0035627031403).

Alternatively, make an appointment and we can speak face-to-face at our Birkirkara outlet.

2) Customization Options

  • Size
  • Colour
  • Resolution
  • Material
  • Infill (density)

Besides providing you with the power to choose the aforementioned possibilities, customers can also select a number of..


3) Post-Print Methods

A shiny new print fresh-off the build plate is still an unfinished product. Support removal, sanding and painting are also catered for, as well as chemical treatment using substances including acetone, amongst others. The extra man hours required to complete these works are factored into the quote you will receive, should you decide to print with us. Certain post-sale techniques merit an additional price.

4) Worldwide Delivery

Not only can you request a print from the comfort of your own home, you can have it delivered to your doorstep too. The joys of the internet! Locally, one of our deliverymen will bring your product to the locality of your choice at a time convenient for you.

5) Price Match Guarantee

We can’t stress this offer enough. Any product made available by any 3D printing company around the world will be sold by us at an equal price. In fact, we’ll even beat their whatever they’re offering. Our high standard of printing means that local customers only serve to benefit from this offer.


6) Bulk Discount

If you’ve placed an order exceeding a certain price, we’ll happily give you a discount for choosing to print with us.

7) In-house 3D Designers

The latest additions to the illustrious Malta 3D Printing team are two experienced designers with a passion for the exciting new world of 3D printing. Expanding our horizons means we’re perfectly capable of producing our own files. Have you got an idea you want turned into reality? Get in touch. You won’t be disappointed.

Previous: 3 Incredibly Easy Steps to 3D Print Your Product

3 Incredibly Easy Steps to 3D Print Your Product

Confused about how a 3D file becomes an object?

This short and sweet guide is tailor made to help you through the simple process of acquiring a 3D printed product from Malta 3D Printing. Anyone with a basic understanding of computers will be able to glide through these steps with ease.

1) Get a 3D File

Visit Thingiverse or Youmagine, two of the most popular databases jam-packed with 3D files, all available for free. Enter keywords into the search bar (such as ‘Batman’ or ‘Fishing lure’) and a number of results will pop up.

Imagine Star Wars IV is about to hit the theaters and you’d like an eye-catching collectable to take with you – go for a light saber or a Storm trooper helmet! Go wild, use your imagination!

If you feel swamped with choices or can’t find what you’re looking for, share your concept with us via Facebook and we’ll lend a hand.

If you’ve designed a file yourself, we’ll happily accept that too. Generally, we work with .STL and .OBJ file formats, but other file types are also acceptable.

2) Send us the 3D File or a Link to the File

The aforementioned databases (Thingiverse & YouMagine) allow anyone to download the 3D files required, so when you’ve found what you’d like feel free to send us the file/s via Facebook or e-mail.

Alternatively, you can just send us the link. After doing so, we can discuss customization options which include:

  • Size
  • Colour
  • Quality
  • Resolution
  • Material
  • Infill (density)

If you’re uncertain on any of the above, we’ll be happy to explain in further detail once you’re in contact with us.

3) Receive a Quote From us and Collect Your Product!


Once you’ve chosen the specifications (if any) for your file, we’ll quote you a price and if you’re happy with it, we can begin printing.

We can alter the product size or quality to match your budget, meaning your favourite prints will always be affordable. Collect your product from our Birkirkara store or have it personally delivered to your doorstep.

Hint: When searching, remember that 3D Printing’s net has been cast far and wide: games, gadgets, ornaments, tools, toys and much, much more – someone has probably already made a file for it.

Previous: Malta Comic Con 2014 Recap

Malta Comic Con 2014 Recap

For the fantastic fans who attended the 6th installment of the Malta Comic Con, and those unlucky enough to have missed it – here’s a heartfelt review by Malta 3D Printing to echo the great vibes we felt over the weekend.

The well-organized staff knew they had their work cut out for them, but they really outdid themselves. We’re ecstatic to have contributed to this magnificent two-day journey, which ran smoothly throughout.

It came and went in one bright flash, but the memories and experience we’ve gained will not be forgotten.

Every fascinating nook and cranny at St.James Cavalier had an alluring exhibition. World-renowned sketch artists and comic book creators like Dave Taylor (Batman, Judge Dredd etc.), Andrew Wildman (Thundercats, Transformers) and Mike Collins (Spiderman, Doctor Who), amongst others, reached out to their Maltese fans.

Budding local illustrators also contributed pop-culture mash up, alongside heated gaming competitions, workshops for parents and children and a Fantasy Showgirls performance.

Now that the local public is getting a slice of the Malta 3D Printing pie, many know what to expect from us. We encountered a lot familiar faces, but plenty of fresh ones too.

We anticipated hordes of cosplaying crusaders, and as we predicted the turnout was excellent. The incredible level of detail put into the costumes was inspiring to us.

As a company that prides itself on customization, we were impressed.

A young Darth Vader, Big Boss and Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Mercury from Sailor Moon, Captain America and an assortment of Batman characters like Poison Ivy all made cameo appearances.

Our pair of ‘Ultimaker 2’ printers and colourful array of products attracted interest from a terrific assortment of people. The video below is a tiny sample of proceedings at our stand over the weekend.

https://www.blogger.com/video-thumbnail.g?contentId=df0e1f8efbf8ace2&zx=amklp0gy6jn0

Similar to the Comics Expo, this event was the first time many people came face-to-face with 3D printing, a hot topic in the ever-expanding world of technology. Therefore, we received a flurry of questions from wide-eyed children to those young at heart, and the Malta 3D Printing trio answered every and any question.

Droves of passersby were once again lured into our puzzle competition.

Ten lucky individuals solved the enigma and were rewarded with a translucent Pokémon of their choice. Those unfortunate enough not to have completed the puzzle, although feeling slightly frustrated, still left with a smile on their face.

As we promised in our previous blog post, we conducted printing sessions on the spot for customers. Puzzle cubes in various colours were a popular request, while other creations included a pair of monsters from the popular League of Legends game.

The prospect of winning one of our products on display had attendees with a twinkle in their eye.

The three products available to those who chanced their hand at our raffle were a blue glow-in-the-dark Aztec warrior, a red ‘hell-skull’ and a crowd favourite, the Terminator T-800 skull in grey.

The lucky winner, Axel Scicluna, took home the menacing ‘hell-skull’ as a reward.

At one point, members of our team invaded the hallways of St.James, armed with an assortment of 3D printed weapons, spreading knowledge and wisdom.We sincerely look forward to working with some of the bright minds we met at this event.

As we slowly regain consciousness after this 2-day spectacle, we can only hope that similar events in the future can maintain the same intensity. Malta Comic Con 2014, we salute you.

Previous: Top 5 Weirdest Things to 3D Print

5 Reasons to Visit Our Stand at Malta Comic Con

This weekend on the 29th and 30th of November, at the Malta Comic Con, Malta 3D Printing is back and better than ever. We’ve learned a great deal from the amazing customers we met at the last event.

Organized by Wicked Comics, the event is the 6th installment of its kind, hosted at St.James Cavalier, Valletta. Both days will be choc-a-bloc with foreign and local artist exhibitions, gaming competitions, workshops, discussion panels, lectures and plenty more!

We’ll be there before the first person arrives and after the last one leaves. Here are 5 reasons why you should visit our stand.

1) Bigger and Better Products

Image from Capture Me Photography

For an event of this magnitude, we’re bringing out the big guns. And swords. In fact, we’ve got a picturesque Hellboy Gun and a 2-foot long Adventure Time sword to scare off the competition.

We’ve got tricks up our sleeves and aces in the hole. A re-imagined army of Pokemon and a life-sized Master Chief helmet (from the Halo series) will be at the front of our stall.

Find out what the rest of the exclusive products are by dropping by this weekend!


2) Win FREE products!

Every attendee has an equal chance to win a prize with Malta 3D Printing. Enter our raffle for a chance to win one of three products.

Reckon you’re great at solving puzzles? Try your hands at our super-popular 3D cube puzzle. Form a 3×3 cube within 20 minutes and win a free Pokemon. It looks simple, but looks can be deceiving.


3) Learn about 3D Printing

Image from Capture Me Photography

If you’re confused about how a printer morphs material into a fine plastic model, we’ve got the answers.

Take this unique opportunity to learn about 3D printing first-hand. Whether you’re clueless about the entire process or you’re familiar with fusion deposition modelling, we’ll gladly answer any questions you may have.

4) Live Printing Sessions

Witness first-hand the creation of a product from the first layer of plastic to the final touches. We’ll start out by printing simple products like business card holders or badges, but we’re fully equipped to take orders on the spot.

Image from Capture Me Photography

Select a 3D model of a character from your favourite series, and within a few hours or less it will be ready. Talk about efficiency!

If you’re not 100% certain on what you’d like, we’ll happily recommend something. Observe our technician fine tuning our machines, or stand back as he carefully detaches a fresh, hot product from our Ultimaker 2 build plate.

5) Buy An Original Christmas Present

Best friend an X-men fanatic? Check out our Wolverine Claws or Wolverine bust.

Our stand will be overflowing with eye-catching products from your favourite pop-culture universes. Now is the time to purchase a Christmas gift which your loved one will never forget. Remember, you won’t find our products in any other stores.

Alternatively, add a little spice to your cosplay outfit with one of our products. If there’s nothing on display that matches your costume, inquire with us and we can print it as soon as you’d like. You can also place a personalized order and have it ready for the Christmas period.

Previous: Top 5 Weirdest Things to 3D Print

 

Top 5 Weirdest Things to 3D Print

We’ve heard the stories about the life-saving organs created by 3D printers. We’ve shed a tear reading about prosthetic limbs produced to help amputees, marveled at the houses built by 3D printers and sat in awe as we read about NASA’s zero-gravity printer.

Let’s not forget 3D printing’s dark side, capable of producing dozens of weird, wonderful and even dangerous products.

Join us for a wild ride filled with a list of strange products printers can produce. Parental discretion is advised.

1) Sex Toys

Image from Textually

The popular movie ‘Neighbors’ starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen featured a Bukobot 3D printer which printed out dildos. That’s right – for all the different beneficiary products 3D printing can produce, sex toys are in the mix too.

SexShop 3D allows owners of 3D printers to create dildos, plugs or vibrators at any size for only $5. As usual free alternatives exist, and Markerlove are more than happy to push the boundaries of the open-source community.

It’s not only male body parts that are being printed.

This Motherboard article claims that a 26-year old teacher from New York felt a sense of empowerment after scanning and printing her own vagina.

In related events, a Japanese artist also scanned her vagina, but she used the data to 3D print a boat.

What an exciting time we live in – we couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried. She was subsequently arrested for allegedly distributing ‘vagina selfies’. Oh the woes of being a misunderstood artist!

2) Drones

3D printing has conquered both land and sea, and is now becoming a master of the sky. Ever heard of a perosnal UAV?

Short for unmanned aerial vehicle, these lightweight machines are slightly different to their cousins that drop bombs from high altitudes. Attach a camera to them, learn how to fly one and you’ve got yourself a unique perspective for filming live events, sports matches or even home-made films and documentaries.

The video above provides a detailed explanation of the hand-launched UAV, created by a team at the University of Virginia for the Department of Defense. Speeds can reach an impressive 120mph, at the cost of quickly draining the battery.

Eventually, 3D printed drones could be irreplaceable in recon missions. The ability to 3D print a new one and have it up and running within a few hours makes it extremely desirable.

Supposedly, the world’s first 3D printed drone was designed and built across the pond, in Southampton. The SULSA drone can be assembled within 10 minutes and is comprised of only 14 parts.

Hopefully, hobbyists won’t use these to spy on their neighbors.

3) A Fetus

Wait… what? There’s actually a good explanation for this.

A 3D Printed Fetus

Image from ABC news

For those overzealous mothers out there who would like to hold their babies before they’re even born, a 3D printed plastic fetus is probably the closest they’ll get.

Think of it as a souvenir for 9 months of struggling.

If you’re ready to fork out about 100,000 Yen (683), you can cuddle up to your plastic fetus as much as you like. Fasotec and the Hiroo Ladies Clinic in Tokyo are the ones responsible for the ‘Shape of an angel‘ service.

The impressive Biotexture technology is used to render the 3D data, after which a high-end resin printer begins to dual print the mother’s transparent womb and the fetus’ body.

Fasotec have been in the industry for over 30 years, so if there’s anyone you should trust to print your fetus, it’s definitely them.

A 3D Printed Bong

Image from Reddit


4) Drug Paraphernalia

Malta 3D Printing doesn’t condone the use of drugs, but we’ve always got an eye open for unusual, niche products. A novelty item if there ever was one, a 3D printed bong is sure to have stoners out there saving up their weed money.

Besides water pipes, other paraphernalia like grinders, ash catchers, splash guards, pipes and cleaners can also be printed.

With the infinite customization options available to users, you may be smoking out of a skull-bong modeled from your own head soon enough.

5) Guns

In case you’ve been living under a rock, 3D printed guns have been around for more than a year now. Originally, they would malfunction and explode upon being fired, but their development has since improved.

The ‘Liberator’

Image from Daily Mail

As of yet, nobody is known to have been killed by a 3D printed gun, but a Japanese man was arrested for the possession of printed firearms.

Most cannot fire more than a few rounds. It is sobering to imagine the potential dangers of such a product, created by the same machine which is about creating, not destroying.

Contrary to the Daily Mail’s fear-mongering article which implies that anyone can 3D print a gun, they are in fact very hard to make. As anyone with experience in the world of 3D printing could tell you, printing a complex, functioning product is far from easy. On top of that, building something which requires multiple pieces that can fire live rounds makes it an even tougher nut to crack.

Luckily, most of 3D printing personnel we’ve met aren’t hell bent on spreading anarchy by promoting the proliferation of plastic guns.

Previous: Malta Comic Expo Recap

Malta Comics Expo Recap

Malta 3D Printing would like to take a special moment in its blogging history to share our terrific experience at the local Comics Expo that blew us away between the 31st October and 2nd November. Jam-packed with interesting vendors, panels with celebrity guests, gaming competitions and artists displaying their work, this event symbolized pop culture at its finest.

Taking centre stage in the main hallway at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, our stand attracted countless curious expo guests. The mechanical sounds of our printers churning away were drowned out by the expo’s array of interesting noises – whether the host was announcing the arrival of Bane, or Paul Eiding was shouting out “SNAAAKE!” at the top of his lungs.

Our stand was flanked by two stalls which captured the essence of the event – a graphic novel and comic book stall to our left and right respectively. On the opening day, the celebrities were stationed right in front of us, and only a stone’s throw away from our printers, one could find a splendid collection of vintage automobiles.

These included the A-Team van, KITT from Knightrider and Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino, amongst others.

Our Ultimaker 2 Finishing off a Klingon Bat’leth

Image from Capture Me Photography

Our three-man team met a number of different, interesting people from all walks of life – artists, cosplayers and comic book fans from America, France, Italy and beyond. Participants did not take the cosplay competition lightly – one cosplayer claimed to have spent 900 euros on his Assassin’s Creed outfit! Jack Sparrow and Catwoman were the weekend’s odd couple, while Batman costumes seemed to be the most popular.

We were elated to receive positive feedback during and after the event, and interest in our merchandise did not wane throughout the weekend.

People particularly appreciated the level of detail in our products, from the finely chiseled chin on Batman’s face to the intricacy of our Terminator T-800 Exoskull. Most people seemed to be taken aback, amazed at 3D printing technology in general.

Attendees loved our Wolverine claws and Dr.Doom mask. Our Hell Boy gun was pointed at many a head, and Adventure Time sword carried around with pride. Other fan favourites included our Portal book ends, Batman bust and of course, the translucent Pokemon.

To highlight 3D printing’s ability to provide quick, on-demand products, we conducted live printing sessions, pumping out business card holders for ourselves and nearby vendors, who appreciated our kind gesture.

As friendly lightsaber battles raged on in front of our stand, we continued to produce and sell items including a glow-in-the-dark gyroscope and a hidden-blade from the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

A Few of Our Finest Products On Display

Image from Capture Me Photography

While this technology may have been around for decades, most people have never seen a 3D printer in action. After getting an eyeful, most did not hesitate to inquire, and we happily discussed the basic principles as well as the technical aspects.

The majority of people were unfamiliar with printing procedures, so we elaborated on the process of creating a three-dimensional shape from a 3D file. Others were curious as to what materials are most commonly used (PLA, ABS, Rubber etc.), and how long the average product takes to be printed.

Hordes of people lined up to attempt our challenging cube puzzle, but surprisingly, less than a dozen managed to complete it.

A highlight of the weekend was being fortunate enough to spend some time with the down-to-earth celebrities that attended. As a token of appreciation for the countless hours of entertainment they’ve provided us with over the years, we donated some 3D printed products to them.

Things came full circle for ex-Star Trek star Robert Picardo. He may be used to the ‘Replicator’ device, dreamt up by inspirational Star Trek writers, but our 3D printers are the real deal. We gave the doctor his first dose of 3D printing. He left with a big smile on his face and glow-in-the-dark letters spelling out ‘N-E-R-D’.

Joseph Gatt, the God of War and Game of Thrones star received a free door-stop in the shape of a slice of cheese, courtesy of Malta 3D Printing. Popular voice-actor Paul Eiding (voice actor for Metal Gear Solid & Ben 10, etc.) was kind enough to sign two ‘Fox Hound’ badges printed on the spot, and even took another home as a souvenir.

Robert Picardo Examines A 3D Printer

Image from Capture Me Photography

In the end, we were sad to see the event come to a close, but this has only served to strengthen our resolve.

Now, we’re fully focused on future events of a similar nature. Expect us to return with a passion – more puzzles, bigger and better products and the chance to win free 3D printed items.

A big thanks to all those who showed interest in what we’re passionate about. Witnessing the smiles on people’s faces is just as rewarding as removing a freshly printed product from the build plate!

iPhone 6 Special

In light of Apple’s latest record-breaking smartphone, Malta 3D Printing has selected a number of useful printables to enhance the iPhone experience.

Early purchasers may have been left with a sour taste in their mouth due to some unforeseen problems, but our selection of unique products will help turn their frowns upside down.

This stylish iPhone 6 charger is sure to save your blushes in a sticky situation – remember that time you accidentally deserted your date, only because your iPhone ran out of battery? What about that time you got lost in the woods searching for your camping buddies?

iPhone6 3200mah Charger with USB Power Out 3d printed Accessories Music
The 3200mah Charger by CustomPowerSolar

(Image from Shapeways)

This versatile gadget annihilates any chance of those awkward situations becoming reality.

Not only does it charge your iPhone faster than a regular charger, it also extends the battery life. Gone are the days when our trusty cellphone batteries would last a couple of days in the red zone. In 2014, low-battery means it’s time to panic!

Using Wi-Fi, 3G, or an application (practically any smartphone function) drains the battery like crazy.

Simply slot your brand new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus into the case and voila.

For the energy conscious customer, a solar-powered version is also available, helping you bring your electricity bill down.  The electronics required are simple to attach to the case, but a full-kit version with no assembly is also available.

If you’re looking for something simpler, this standard iPhone dock will do the job.

There’s nothing unique or special about it, but sometimes simplicity is all you need. On that note, 3D printing marketplaces are now jam-packed with different iPhone 6 cases. Some are quite stylish, like this steampunk case, and others quite basic.

iPhone 6 Dock by lclemente

(Image from Thingiverse)

While you’re still buzzing from the familiar smell of a freshly opened iPhone, savor the moment by blasting your favourite tunes. Should Apple’s sound hardware not provide you with the kick you needed, try a set of 3D printed enhancement speakers.

This model by Thingiverse user Datheus is sure to turn a quiet night in with friends into a thumping house party. All that’s required is for users to place their smartphones into the device and prepare for the onslaught of noise complaints.

Speaker for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone users on the go will be tired of fumbling around whilst driving in search of their trusty smartphone – a recipe for disaster. Imagine dodging traffic as it rings away in your bag or pocket, only for you to have missed the call by the time you’ve fished it out.

Debuting on Thingiverse only two days ago, this simple case protects the iPhone and allows drivers to safely answer calls without too much attention diverted from the road.

It’s also been modified to accommodate for charging.

iPhone 6 Car Holder by blarbles

(Image from Thingiverse)

Only released a few weeks ago now, the list of 3D printable enhancement products for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is still relatively small – but having smashed all previous iPhone and smartphone sales records, we can expect the list to grow quickly.

Tabletop Fun

A bright mind and a 3D printer can go a long way. Combining aesthetics and entertainment value, 3D printed games range from chess sets and larger-than-life Rubik’s cubes to entirely new gaming universes created within a matter of days.

Effectively changing the rules of manufacturing, 3D printing will have fans of tabletop gaming stoked when they realize the scale of their favourite pastime just got a whole lot bigger. Printing already has a place in gamers’ hearts’, producing key items like dice and custom landscapes – essential for any serious tabletop gamer.

Exciting breakthrough projects like Breach, Pocket Dungeon and Pocket Tactics have invaded the market dominated by Games Workshop. According to their Thingiverse pages, some of these exciting are yet to be fully completed.

Pocket Tactics

(Image from Wired)

Pocket Tactics is perhaps the most famous of the bunch, and is basically the size of a small travel game – you can play it on any flat surface. Creator Arian Croft, also known as ‘Dutchmogul’, claims to have thought of the idea on a Tuesday night, and by Friday had a functioning prototype ready.

While designers like Croft are busy ping-ponging new ideas around the Ill Gotten Games office, well-established games like Warhammer 40k and Warmachine may need to look over their shoulders.

Sure, it will be difficult for small companies to pry the hands of loyal gamers away from the most popular tabletop games, but what if they bought miniatures from a different company? Some official gaming kits can cost hundreds of euros, and more.

3D printing is allowing for high-quality miniatures, and Hero Forge serves as the proof in the pudding. Their Kickstarter page reveals the length at which they’re willing to help their customers customize their favourite gaming pieces.

Ironically, the digital revolution is helping the analog world.

Customize and materialize!
A Unique Miniature built by Hero Forge

(Image from Kickstarter)

Raising over $360,000 (more than triple their original target), their Kickstarter financial goal was met back in February. The appeal to gamers lies in the unprecedented level of detail one can add, with users able to choose different armour, poses, weapons, equipment and character sizes.

Moving on to a different branch of games completely, a quick look at the leading online marketplaces like Shapeways or Thingiverse will reveal the extent of the different board games, puzzles, desk toys and life-like models available.

Chess fans will feel right at home here, as the classic game has been a target of 3D technicians around the world. Since all it requires are pieces and a board to play on, the levels of customization are limitlesss.

Minecraft Chess Set

(Image from Thingiverse)

If you fancy novelty, check out this portable Star Trek 3D chess set, or if you’re eager to take on two foes at once, this impressive three player set from Acryl should do the trick. Lord of the Rings fans will melt when they gaze upon this classic chess set with characters from Tolkien’s universe.

Our next pick is for the puzzle freaks out there. If you’re a fan of the age-old Rubik’s cube, this extra-large, fully-functional 3x4x5 cuboid will certainly catch your eye. Now being produced en masse, this nifty puzzle requires a bit of DIY assembly – requiring users to use their own springs, screws and washers.

The 3D printing gods have been kind enough to provide us with entertaining products in bountiful amounts, and for this we are very grateful. At this rate, our children of the future will be spoiled for choice!

How 3D Printing is Affecting the World of Sport

Think that 3D printing is for nerds? Tell that to the growing number of sports freaks diving into the 3D world.

Printing’s versatility is the reason it’s infiltrating the sporting scene. From the creation of equipment like hockey pucks, racing helmets and football cleats – to surfboards and yachts, who knows what will come next.

In the future, we might walk into 3D printed stadiums, sit in 3D printed stands and watch sporting superstars score in 3D printed goal posts.

While all that may be possible, we’ll just sit back and admire the great sporting achievements additive manufacturing has already achieved – and trust me – you won’t be disappointed.

Kira by Sebastian Campos Moller
Moller’s Award-Winning Sail-Yacht

(Image from SebastianCampos.com)

Helping sailors reduce their carbon footprint, this impressive 3D printed sail boat is powered by solar cells located in the sail. Certified by a Swedish naval architect, this sailboat’s intelligent design allows it to be controlled by a single person via the main computer.

Created by designer Sebastian Campos Moller, it clinched the bronze prize at the ‘2014 International Design Excellence Awards’. Known as the ‘Kira Sail-Yacht’, Moller’s hybrid targets seasoned sailors and less-established seafarers.

Shoe giants Nike have also boarded the 3D printing train, using it to custom build a pair of football shoes, a manufacturing process which may become a staple for them in the future.

Fast-footed footballers will be happy to hear that these super-stylish boots are reported to improve sprint speed. The ‘Nike Vaper Laser Talon‘ pictured below weighs in at just 5.6 pounds, granting wearers maximum traction, an important asset in a game which involves turning at high speed.

3D Printed Football Cleats

(Image from NikeINC.)

These streamlined boots were created thanks to Selective Sintering Technology, or SLS. As usual, the process begins with a 3D model, and involves infusing powder-based materials together using lasers.

The method is ideal for resistant materials, and Nike claims it is sports’ first 3D printed plate, and also the first-ever 3D printed football shoe.

The list of ‘firsts’ for this line of manufacturing continues to expand at an alarming rate. Millions worldwide unwittingly witnessed the power of 3D printing at this year’s world cup, as 29-year old Juliano Pinto kicked the tournament’s first ball.

But what’s so special about that?

The Exoskeleton In Action

(Image from 3DPrint.com)

Amazingly, Pinto is paralyzed from the waste down. He used a revolutionary, thought-controlled exoskeleton to move his legs and strike the ball. As the neurons dedicated to movement in his brain lit up, his legs swung towards the ball.

The helmet that was attached to Pinto’s skull was 3D printed, making it a key part of the entire design.

This one-minute video shows the Brazilian proudly completing his task, a reward for the millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours that went into it’s construction. People with disabilities around the world looked on in awe as Pinto took one small step for himself, and one giant leap for millions of people with disabilities.

We didn’t even touch on the 3D printed fishing reels, sports masks or the extraordinary bow that has received top reviews. From now on, sports and 3D printing will share a special relationship.