This article briefly describes two recently developed soft-lithographic techniques that can be used to fabricate complex, well-defined three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures. The first relies on the single or multilayer transfer of thin solid ‘ink' coatings from high-resolution rubber stamps. The second uses these stamps as conformable phase masks for proximity field nanopatterning of thin layers of transparent photopolymers. Although both techniques use the same pattern-transfer elements, they rely on completely different physical principles and they provide complementary patterning capabilities. The operational simplicity of the techniques, their ability to pattern large areas quickly, and the flexibility in the geometry of structures that can be formed with them suggest general utility for 3D nanomanufacturing.