ittyblox2SimCity is a game that I have probably dedicated a full year of my life to, while a teenager. My entire high school career was devoted to coming home from school, turning on my PC, and loading my personalized city into existence. I attribute the game to my lack of social life that I had while in high school, but not for one moment do I regret the time spent building and running my very own city. It was fun, yet when I look back at it, also quite educational.

OK, I wasn’t quite a hermit, but I do admit turning down a few dates with cute girls because of my addiction to this crazy game. It’s funny how gaming technology is always changing – going from tangible to digital and now we are seeing it revert back a bit to tangible again. I see this with the popularity of card games such as Cards Against Humanity, and the increasing popularity of old-school board games. At the same time though, technology leaves its footprint on these newer versions of their older counterparts.

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One company, Ittyblox, is doing this with SimCity. They have taken a video game that has been successful for 25 years now, and used its “city building” idea to create 3D printed miniature cities (note that there is no affiliation between SimCity and Ittyblox). Using Shapeways, the company has created building sets from large cities such as Chicago, Miami and New York.

ittyblox4“Ittyblox allows you to compose your own miniature city diorama’s using a growing collection of buildings: offices, hotels, apartments, individual houses etc.,” Stef de Vox of Ittyblox told 3DPrint.com. “A set of buildings each represent a city, but they can also be mixed together. Because the buildings are printed on demand, instead of by the thousands, a large variety of buildings is possible. The level of detail is amazing and the buildings come out of the 3D printer in full color.”

Ittyblox sells the buildings as well as the baseplates, which act as grid-based holders for several buildings. They allow users to mix and match buildings however they’d like, to create their own unique cities. The buildings are very small in size. For example, one of the residential buildings from the Chicago set measures just 1.177 x 1.063 x 0.994 inches. Priced affordably, these could create quite the hobby for people like me who have a background in city building (or at least I virtually do).

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Buildings range in price from $9.90 to $29.00, with entire city sets available for $69.00. Baseplates cost an additional $19.95, and are included with entire city sets.

What do you think about these SimCity-like 3D printed cities? Do you see these becoming as addicting as the video game is, for hobbyists who prefer to play with tangible objects? I certainly wouldn’t mind playing around with some of these, but then again, I am a self proclaimed SimCity-aholic. Discuss in the Ittyblox forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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