Prototype your next board game with 3D printing | Sculpteo Blog

Prototype your next board game with 3D printing

Posted By Allison Simonot on Mar 18, 2015 | 0 comments

Almost 5000 copies of the Chaosmos board game are now reaching the US! Back to a successful Kickstarter campaign, launched by Mirror Box Games and prototyped through Sculpteo.


Chaosmos game is not like any card-driven strategy game: its main asset is definitely its wonderful and unique alien miniatures. All of these miniatures are very unique and represent distinct alien life forms. Mirror Box Games decided that 3D printing was the best means to prototype those miniatures. They found their satisfaction thanks to the online services provided by Sculpteo.

The problem that Chaosmos’ team was running into with their 3D models was their extreme intricacy and high levels of complexity. Some of their files were over a million polygons in size. Many other 3D printing services rejected Chaosmos’ files as a result, but fortunately they found Sculpteo. We were the only 3D printing company which could face the amazing aliens and 3D print them!

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Chaosmos’ aliens

3D printing is a complicated technology that requires perfect 3D models to avoid unexpected failures during the production process. Even then, gorgeous 3D models do not promise printable 3D files. However Sculpteo has online repairing tools that can handle most problems that arise with a 3D model. Those repair tools will automatically analyze and repair issues that are sometimes rendered during the modeling process. Each of those problematic areas are even highlighted within a 3D viewer so you can see exactly which repairs are being made and why. Our online repair tools can handle even the most out-of-this-world problems, among them:

  • Edge Stops (surfaces that do not contribute to the border of a volume)
  • Singular sides and points (non-manifold)
  • Intersecting Faces (auto-intersections)
  • Inverted Faces (orientation)

For example, when transferring the yellow alien miniature on Sculpteo, they could see that even while the model’s exterior looked fine, the interior was hollowed in multiple shells – this visualization is thanks to our “cutaway view”, which you can find on our 3D viewing page. Those types of simple details can have an effect on the final print of the object.

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the yellow alien model, seen through the cutaway view of Sculpteo.

On the other hand, with the purple alien, there was a problem with holes and tears in its exterior, which prevented a single, solid mesh. Chaosmos’ team was able to spot and correct those issues thanks to Sculpteo’s free online repairing tools.


Hole on the surface of the purple alien 3D model. A common mistake that can cause problems during the 3D printing process.

This is how Chaosmos’s team handled to make perfect prototypes for their game! But the story is not over yet… Mirror Box Games still uses 3D printing to make exclusive hand painted limited editions. As for the regular prototypes, Mirror Box Games chosen our polyamide material. For hand panting, the material leads to amazing results. Also, if you want to know more about hand panting a plastic 3D printed miniature, here you go!

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The hand painted aliens

Finally, to enjoy Chaosmos’ game, you can check the official website. And if you want to order the aliens, you will be able to find them on Mirror Box Games gallery. Otherwise create your next board game.

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