If you’re unfamiliar with collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering then the need for tokens probably means very little to you. Many of the cards that are used in the game, or the effects from playing certain cards, require a certain amount of tokens to work. Tokens can be used to represent everything from energy to damage to creatures under your control and even the duration that card effects stay in play. Because Magic is a card game, the tokens are typically not sold with the card, so players often need to get quite creative with what they use as tokens. They often use things like small stones, coins, scraps of paper or boring people just write down their token counts on a piece of paper.
But when you have a 3D printer at your disposal and a little bit of imagination, you can make something way better than scraps of paper. Thingiverse user Dr. Usual decided to design and print a set of super easy to make 3D printable collectible card game tokens that can be customized for just about any player’s taste, or to match the deck that they’re using. Each token is made of three separate parts that need to be glued together once they have been 3D printed. There is a face part with a number on it, the opposite face part with a negative number on it and a center part that holds them both together. If that sounds a little complicated for a simple token, there is actually a method to the good Doctor’s madness.
Because both sides of the tokens are meant to be used, Dr. Usual wanted the resulting smooth finish from his printer’s glass printing bed to be consistent on both sides of the tokens, so the numbers all should be printed face down. Each of the center parts has four holes on it that will line up with two posts on the back sides of the number parts. The negative numbers have posts that are opposite of the posts on the positive numbers, so they will line up perfectly on the vertical axis when flipped over. Additionally, by designing the tokens in three parts they can be printed in different color filaments, so each token can be completely customized.
Dr. Usual designed the tokens in OpenSCAD with a routine that offers users some customization options. The orientations of the posts can be changed so the coins will flip over to any orientation that you want. The faces of the tokens can also be altered with different text, or even an image or icon of some kind. Unfortunately the good Doctor has only uploaded the models needed to print 1 through 4 of the positive and negative numbers, but he does encourage anyone interested to contact him for the OpenSCAD file.
“I used OpenSCAD — the OpenSCAD file helps a lot because you can change the orientation, a bit of the ornamentation, the size of the text and the actual text displayed, etc. I just uploaded the models needed for -1 through +4 because those are the most common needed for gaming,” noted Dr. Usual.
The tokens pictured here were printed on Dr. Usual’s FlashForge Dreamer, but they’re such simple models that they can easily be printed on any 3D printer. He used 20% infill with no rafting and no supports at a resolution of 2mm. If you decide to modify the token and replace the numbers with an image or an icon, it might be a good idea to bump up the resolution a bit, but it probably won’t matter too much if you don’t. The printing will actually be done in only a few minutes, so there won’t be any overnight waiting involved in this project. Once all of the parts have been 3D printed, just use a bit of superglue to hold them together and you’re done.
No matter how many amazing and incredibly intricate and complex 3D printing projects that I come across doing this job, there is nothing like finding something that is really simple and easy to print. You don’t have to be a master 3D designer or 3D printing expert to make useful and unique things, there are software programs for just about any skill level these days, and most of them will easily convert whatever you design right into an STL file. Most gamers love being able to show up to the game table with something that makes them stand out, be it a custom carrying case, color-coded tokens or a unique game piece of some kind, and with a 3D printer every gamer can have that. Are you a Magic: The Gathering fan? Discuss in the 3D Printable Magic: The Gathering Tokens forum over at 3DPB.com.