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Picture of 3D Catan. Designed, 3D Printed and Painted.

The Settlers of Catan designed by Klaus Teuber is an award-winning strategy game where players collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements and cities on their way to victory. The board itself is variable, making each game a little different from the next.

We are a couple who often host game nights with our flat. We have seen custom Catan sets made frequently and decided we wanted to make our own custom designed, 3D printed and Painted set to make the game more immersive.

This instructable will show you how we turned the original Catan into 3D Catan.

Note: You must still purchase a copy of the game in order to have access to the resource and development cards.

Step 1: Design the Models

Picture of Design the Models

We designed custom 3D game pieces in Blender version 2.79, an open source free CAD program. If you haven't heard of it, we highly recommend you check it out! However that is beyond the scope of this Instructable. Download Blender here:

All the hex tiles we designed are completely unique from one-another to make the game board even more immersive and detailed.

One of the files we have included for you is a blank hex tile. You don't need to print it but if you decide to learn Blender or already know a CAD program, you can use it it build your own custom tiles on top of.

We have attached all files we have created for you to use.

Rubbertje made it!6 days ago
Amazing board with lots of little easter eggs. sometimes a bit hard to print (some floating trees) or discovering halfway trough I should have printed with supports, resulting in me pulling the trees of the tile. But an overall great project to complete. I did it without the instructables and just based on the files. and have yet to print the towns and cities. Expect the main board to take about 80-100 hours of printing depending on the quality.

My first painting thing ever, and took me about 3-4 days to do. still have to put extra layers of yellow on the wheat fields, then matte coat it all!

ive also printed a handfull of tokens that perfectly fit in the board.

Thanks for the files and effort put in, i really appreciate it and soon i'll be setting out with the 3d catan!
Bees Knees (author) 1 month ago
We became aware of two of the mountain hex files not slicing too cleanly. The problems aren't too obviously but we have fixed the models and edited the Instructable with the (fixed) versions to make your prints the best they can possibly be!
The settlement aren<t slicing properly either. I had to pass through netfabb online to get a right model !
Bees Knees (author)  Eriobis12 days ago
Ah interesting! We're glad you sorted it out :)
Eriobis19 days ago
Printed on a Prusa I3 MK2.5 at 100microns and no post-processing required ! This is an awesome project. Will try to post pic when i'm done !
Bees Knees (author)  Eriobis19 days ago
Wow you printed the whole thing at 100microns!? That must have taken so long but I bet it looks incredible! Can't wait to see the finished pic! :)
Are your files available on thingiverse ? I am looking for a way to tip the author

This is the print time so far, as I am not done yet :P
City : 14h
Settlement : 6h
Sheep : 9h
Forest : 20h
Straw : 11h
Mountains : 16h
Brick : 9.5h
Bees Knees (author)  Eriobis15 days ago
It's not on Thingiverse but we're from New Zealand so don't accept tips :P Your appreciation of the project is all we need! :)
How many pieces do you have left? Have you started painting yet or are you waiting until all the printing is done?
I'm painting while the other parts are printing. I only have few hours a day to paint :P
Here is the painting so far. Note that this is the first time i"m painting something with acrylic, a huge thanks to all your tips and techniques !!!! I am really proud of the mountains and the forest so far.

Bees Knees (author)  Eriobis12 days ago
Those are absolutely beautiful! They look incredible at 100 micron and your painting is stunning! We're jealous!

Its amazing that this is your first time painting something with acrylic. You have a lot of talent! :)
Congrats! Instructables staff featured this project on our social media for #OpenSourceSaturday!

You can see the posts here:

We’d also like to send you a prize, so be sure to check your PMs. :)
Lina Maria21 days ago
AWESOME! Congratulations!
Bees Knees (author)  Lina Maria19 days ago
Thanks! :)
funtogether25 days ago
Wow! I'm gonna have to try this. I wish I'd thought of this myself!
Bees Knees (author)  funtogether25 days ago
Please do! Let us know how it goes :)
This is incredible! I love Settlers of Catan!! Got my vote! :)
Thank you so much! We appreciate the comment and the vote :)
You are welcome!
Knochi27 days ago
What brand of paint did you use? I tried a very cheap one on another model which wasn't a good idea.

Bees Knees (author)  Knochi26 days ago
It was cheap acrylic paint from a dollar store. If you're having trouble make sure that the model you are painting is clean. Oil from your fingers can be left on the model which makes it difficult for paint to stick. If your paint is REALLY cheap, you might need to use a few coats.
Dwargh1 month ago
That's AWESOME! If I had a 3D printer, I'd print your templates! Thank you very much!
Bees Knees (author)  Dwargh1 month ago
3D printers are getting a lot cheaper these days ;)
halffedelf made it!1 month ago
Great design! I just printed them all of and painted, they look gorgeous! I also made cases for the tiles that can fit in the Catan box
Bees Knees (author)  halffedelf1 month ago
These are incredible! You did such a nice job! The painting is amazing!
Can you post a link to the files for the cases? We'd love to print them for our set!
mars17171 month ago
Or I’ll find the game board
Bees Knees (author)  mars17171 month ago
Hi, I think some of your message is missing. Do you mind repeating the question?
Bees Knees (author)  Helder Cabral1 month ago
Thanks so much! :)
ecsaul231 month ago
Really nice! I like how each tile is different, it adds visual appeal. I can't wait to get my IVI 3d printer from kickstarter so I can try this! Thanks for sharing. Voted.
Bees Knees (author)  ecsaul231 month ago
The IVI printer looks awesome! The delta style printers are always interesting.
The vote is appreciated :)
OliverM181 month ago
Wow! An awesome take on DIY Catan. Believe it or not, I planned to have my own 3D catan in this contest, but boy, I’ll need to wait for next time, I hope competition will be easier then ;D. Good luck!
Bees Knees (author)  OliverM181 month ago
Thanks! :) Good luck on yours when you submit it!
RobertR1991 month ago
Love it! Thanks!
Bees Knees (author)  RobertR1991 month ago
Remarkable job indeed. Great work! Congrats!
Bees Knees (author)  FrancescoM761 month ago
Thank you!
AndyH71 month ago
Yes! This is great, even playable without painting. Could you include the 3-D printer files for the borders as well? That would make the set perfect!!!
Bees Knees (author)  AndyH71 month ago
We haven't designed any borders yet but we will design some within the week and update the Instructable with the files.
So glad you like it!
wibblehead81 month ago
this looks fabulous and has sorted my daughter xmas prezzie out! just printed the desert tile so we are off! many thanks for sharing this
Bees Knees (author)  wibblehead81 month ago
I hope she loves it! Good luck on your journey.
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