Apr - 2017

When Two Worlds Collide


What if a board game could come to life, where the pieces became reality? Robbie Cochran, a computer-aided design (CAD) drafter for a telecommunications company, uses his talents to transform a one dimensional game into a 3 dimensional one. One of his favorite games that he has designed was Settlers of Catan game pieces. He was first introduced to it in either “high school or middle school by a friend from church. It has since been a staple on board game nights,” Cochran said.  



board game  cropped-catan-pics-073b     

To give you a general idea of what Settlers is, it is a popular multiplayer board game that consists of strategizing, negotiating, and trading with other players. It originated from Germany and has since become a popular game to play around the world. To learn more details of the game see the video below:


After playing the game time after time, Cochran developed an idea to combine the world of his video games, StarCraft and Warcraft 3, with Settlers of Catan. Using his brand new 3D printer, he included as much detail as possible into each piece, which are approximately 1.02 inches wide. To make the pieces look more realistic and stand out, he painted each one by hand. Although he had some complications in the process of making them, “I’m super happy with how they turned out!” Cochran expressed.

piece 3 piece 6 piece 5piece 2 piece 4 piece 1

For those that get a little carried away when playing a game, he made sure to avoid the “problem of the board falling apart when someone hits the table”, by having all the “pieces interlock a little better than the basic set,” Cochran stated.


With each piece being carefully crafted, it was all worth it in the end. The next time you play a board game, you’ll be thinking about how to not only 3D print the pieces, but also make the game board come to life. Game On! Let’s Play! See here for Robbie Cochran’s 3D Settlers of Catan pieces of the board game. Check out his blog here going into depth about the game and other projects that he is working on.


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