A Look at How 3D Printers are Having an Impact on Gamers and their Gaming Equipment
Gaming is a multi billion dollar industry with more gamers discovering this world each year. It is currently estimated that approximately 1.8 billion people utilise gaming in some facet of their lives on a daily basis. These gamers have enjoyed playing in over 170 different consoles and playing devices since the inception of the first gaming system in the late 70s. Throughout that time, this supposed imaginary world inside the console has entertained kids and adults alike, but today’s technology is taking things to the ultimate level. 3D Printing is now being utilised within the gaming industry taking the experience to even greater heights and bringing new possibilities for the future of 3D Printers and gaming.
Although the games, themselves, are the most important aspect of the experience, the industry makes much of their money from marketing character figures to enhance the gamer’s love for the game. These figures tend to be mass produced and come in a range of different styles, but more people are turning to 3D Printing technology to get the most from their game figures. What this means for the industry is the gamers can get exactly what they want without resorting to the same figure mass produced in big name merchandise stores. Should any gamer decide they want a character that is unavailable or a specific character in certain pose, they need only to have the unit 3D Printed as per their instructions. The future of gaming and 3D Printing characters is a wide-open book and we can expect to see much more examples of the below video link in the coming years.
Full Consoles 3D Printed
Going to the store and picking out the newest console is a fun experience, but in a world where customisation is key, some console options simply fall flat. Again, this is an area in which 3D Printing technology is soon to take over. In the example video link below, a SNES Classic Mini is completely printed utilising the latest in 3D Printing technology. The unique aspect of this scenario is the many implications it can have on the ability to completely customise a console.
Even though the filament used here is largely plastic, theoretically, the same process can be used to make systems out of much more durable materials such as specific metals. That not only allows for the unique factor, but the range of uses as well. Imagine, 3D Printed game consoles made of these stronger materials for recreational use for our deployed military. Although we may only want to think of our military as defending our country, they need downtime as well and this 3D Printing concept can provide it for them. The concept also allows for consoles to outlive their suggested warranty for many years of play without pieces wearing down prematurely.
It never seems to fail, as soon as a new game system comes to light, mountains of available accessories are soon to follow. Each of these accessories add to the final cost and having them is often essential to getting the most from the gaming experience. However, the accessory possibilities are quite limited to what the game designer wants and does not always reflect the need of the player.
That notion is beginning to fall away as more gamers are discovering that through their own imagination and expertise, they too can design valuable gaming accessories. In the link below, Pixel 2 introduced a 3D Printed steering wheel for use with X Box One controllers. This was not sanctioned by the game developer or Microsoft, but by an avid gamer. They have since marketed their unique accessories for other gaming platforms and has gained quite a following the world over.
What Does this Mean for the Industry?
That is a good question and the truth is that the gaming world is wide open for customisation and equipment for all forms of gaming through 3D Printed options. Where the gaming industry does work to accommodate the desires of the vast majority of their gamers, it is worth mentioning that getting a specific accessory manufactured is rather difficult should the industry not see a market for it. Therefore, those that have access to 3D Printers have the advantage of being able to produce such unique items without going through the cavernous avenues of the industry itself.
The gaming industry is going to continue to grow and 3D Printed aspects are increasingly more a part of the process. From consoles, to figures, to accessories, the gaming industry is embracing 3D Printing technology like never before, so go ahead, use your imagination and see what you can come up with. You may have a 3D Printed hit on your hands.
The items produced in the above article reflect personal use items and have not been sanctioned by the gaming industry. Respect and alignment with all copywrite laws should always be adhered to and attempts to sell any item without consent from the original company may result in fines and law suits. It should also be noted that possible damage to the equipment may occur and will void any manufacturers warranty on controllers, games, consoles, etc..
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