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3D-printed strategy game

Magnets hold the game elements together
Author: Mathias Schröder, Bern, Switzerland
Online since: 09/09/2022, Number of visits: 2417
I am a fan of strategy games with different settlements and towns and decided to print my own game board with my 3D printer. This makes playing even more fun. I then attached magnets to the individual elements of the finished 3D-printed board game. This way, the game elements stay together and don’t shift out of place.

Print the landscapes

The game consists of different landscapes. I have a profile on Thingiverse, where you can find various print templates for the 3D printer. You will need three parts per landscape. The landscape itself, the frame in which you can insert the magnets and six covers. The magnets should have a diameter of 3 mm and be 6 mm long.

Use axially or diametrically magnetised rod magnets

Once you have printed all the parts of the board game, you should insert rod magnets into the small notches of the frame. They will hold the individual elements together. For my landscapes, I used rod magnets type S-03-06-N with a diameter of 3 mm. These magnets are axially magnetised and therefore need to be embedded in the frame in a specific order.

Please note: You could also use diametrical magnets. The orientation does not matter with this type of magnet. However, the rod magnets should be able to move freely inside the mould.

Note from the supermagnete team: Axially magnetised magnets have their poles on the circular surfaces. With diametrical magnets, on the other hand, the magnetisation runs parallel to the diameter. You can find out more about this topic on our FAQ page about magnetisation directions.

Insert the magnets into the mould

For individual tiles to hold together, the way you place the magnets in the mould must always be the same. You can see this clearly by looking at the red and black colouring in the photo above. If the magnets don’t point in the same direction, the base pieces will not attract each other. Here’s how I did it:
  1. I placed the magnets in front of me. This way, I always knew where the poles were and how to insert them.
  2. I embedded the magnets clockwise. Make sure, that you place the magnets so that the poles always point in the same direction.
  3. Afterwards, I closed the holes in the frame with the help of a screwdriver using the small parts specially printed for this purpose.
I repeated this process for each base. For one base tile, I needed a total of 6 rod magnets. To add magnets to all parts of my strategy game, a grand total of 222 magnets were needed. Lastly, I glued the landscape to the frame with a bit of glue. And with that, the game elements of the board game were finished!

You can see more detailed instructions on how to insert the magnets and fascinating information about printing in my YouTube video.

Don’t have a 3D printer at home? You can also modify standard game pieces with magnets to make the game more stable and prevent individual landscapes from sliding apart. Find out how in our customer project Joining game tiles (only available in German).