Skip to Content

Bakelite tile manufacturing.

32 replies [Last post]
MusedFable
MusedFable's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008

I have an abstract tile game I'd like to self-publish (small print run), and I'm looking for a manufacturer who can make the tiles.

Think tiles like in Hive or Dominoes. They don't have to be exactly bakelite. They can be any "clacky" tiles with colored engravings. I need square tiles between one and two inches (all tiles the same size). I'd like them to be black with each set (different symbol) having a different colored ink/engraving.

I've emailed a few dice manufacturers (Koplow, gameparts.net, gamestation.net), and am patiently waiting (just sent the emails). I've contacted a few others who have self-published similar games. I'm hoping I get a lead from one of these.

Overseas companies look like they are out of the picture because of the minimums and overall up front cost. Plus, I have no idea if I'll sell 100 copies let alone thousands.

I'd hate to make the game out of something inferior to the wondrous glory that is "clacky" bakelite.

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Acrylic

I think www.bluepantherllc.com can do acrylic tiles.

SiddGames
SiddGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/02/2008
Litko

I've never used these guys, but they do custom laser engraving on plastic (acrylic??).

http://www.litkoaero.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=L...

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Bakelite tiles

A few years back we tried to get our hands on mahjong tiles - blank ones - with a similar idea. The minimums wer3 50000 plus pieces.

You may want to contact the manufacturer of Hive to find out where they got theirs done.

If you can get the pieces, we can try engraving a shape on them for you.

SJ
Blue Panther

VeritasGames
VeritasGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2008
Steve, do you have a means of

Steve, do you have a means of inking the engraved portions of the tiles? I lot of etched tiles have white, black, red, or green paints or inks.

MusedFable
MusedFable's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
bluepantherllc wrote:A few

bluepantherllc wrote:
A few years back we tried to get our hands on mahjong tiles - blank ones - with a similar idea. The minimums wer3 50000 plus pieces.

You may want to contact the manufacturer of Hive to find out where they got theirs done.

If you can get the pieces, we can try engraving a shape on them for you.

SJ
Blue Panther


Yeah, you went through the same thought pattern I did.

I've contacted the designer/maker of Hive. He hasn't gotten back to me yet (but I just sent it today).

I found blank black mahjongg tiles for a reasonable price ($45 for 160 tiles). I've contacted them inquiring if a "bulk" order of 10s to 100 sets has a discount.

Then I need to find an engraver... why hello! Could you PM or email me (same name as here @gmail.com) a quote on engraving and inking thousands of these tiles. Each 2 player game (what I think I'll publish first) will have two sets of 20 tiles. Each set has a unique symbol/engraving. Each set has a unique ink color.

If inking is to expensive (time consuming) then I'll just do it myself. I did that once with some custom dice I made once.

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Bakelite tiles

Inking / filling is not an issue. The real question is how clean they engrave.

Contact me offline steve@bluepantherllc.com

gameprinter
gameprinter's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
bluepantherllc wrote:A few

bluepantherllc wrote:
A few years back we tried to get our hands on mahjong tiles - blank ones - with a similar idea. The minimums wer3 50000 plus pieces.

You may want to contact the manufacturer of Hive to find out where they got theirs done.

If you can get the pieces, we can try engraving a shape on them for you.

SJ
Blue Panther

We've had similar problems getting anything remotely resembling this kind of plastic. I don't think we had any minimums as high as 50,000 pieces, but they were high enough that most small press titles wouldn't be able to hit it.

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
How fast to hit the minimums

If you are publishing a game with 100 tiles per game, then the 50000 mininum would mean 500 sets of games - not a huge print run. We have a few titles that use the same size wooden tiles and achieve high quantities by ordering 10k, 20k + at a time for very reasonable rates.

But if you have a title with fewer pieces, or they are not the same exact shape as what is already manufactured - that's when the cost really starts to mount. Take for example, Hive - a game with 24 pieces or so - the bakelite version retails for $30-$35 and you get a box and a zipper bag and one rules sheet with it - so that's about $1.30 retail per tile - production cost would be about 20% of that - or 25 cents per tile. Wooden tiles, in quantity are a fraction of that price.

But what if a game used the same size tiles as mahjongg or a domino set? At that point, I would suspect the unit costs drop due to no tooling and volume.

If you or anyone knows a source that does blank dominos or mahjonng pieces - I'd like to get the email.

SJ

InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
bluepantherllc wrote:If you

bluepantherllc wrote:
If you or anyone knows a source that does blank dominos or mahjonng pieces - I'd like to get the email.
I can't verify with 100% certainty, but I'd check Crisloid Inc:

55 Porter St
Providence, RI , 02905-4520
Phone: 401-461-7200
FAX: 401-785-3750
eMail: crisgame@aol.com

http://www.toydirectory.com/CrisloidPlastics/
http://www.macraesbluebook.com/search/company.cfm?company=434791
http://www.thomasnet.com/heading.html?cov=NA&which=prod&what=dominoes&he...

"Manufacturer of dominoes, chess, checkers, cribbage, mah jongg & bingo games for adults."

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
News?

Any news about this?

Thx

Traz
Traz's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2009
Steve props

I can testify that Steve / Blue Panther not only does exceptional laser engraving, he does so at VERY reasonable prices. Check the gorgeous dice he did for my EXPRESS LINE here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/39975

I was able to procure the blank dice, have them shipped directly to him, and after he was finished with them... well - check for yourself!

I'll also vouch for his integrity on the customer service side. There were some miscuts in the final batch. I emailed him the list and had the replacements toot-sweet, no problemo!

When you find somebody that takes care of business, don't be afraid to give them a shout out. That's something I look for here on this website.

Good luck on your project!

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Steve

Yes, I'm working with Steve on this. We've been in contact for a long time, and he's even published one of my early desings.

But I need special tiles so he can engrave and paint them. They must be hexagonal OR squared and 10 mm thick.

This is hard to find. Any suggestions?

Thank you,

Néstor

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
Delrin

Have any of you considered using Delrin?

It will take a bit of hunting, and I'm not sure it'll work the way you want as I really like the idea of custom "clacky" domino/mah-jong pieces. Some Delrin rod comes in a hexagonal shape. Different colors are available, but they can cost a bit more. It also comes in "Natural", which is white. <--You might be able to use RIT dye on these to get the color you want.

These guys sell the hexagonal rods. Looks like they want a 10 foot minimum order. http://www.hexrod.com/Delrin.html

I don't really know how you'd cut it, but it's supposed to be pretty easy to work with. I think the easiest thing to do would be to get an electric chop saw, (or Miter Saw) and set the thickness with some type of stop. Seems like a metal blade, or hacksaw blade would work well. Now just feed the rod 'til it hits the stop and viola! You've got your first piece! Now just keep feeding it and cutting 'til you get the number you want.

OH! You know what else might work? Could you use poker chips? There are tons of manufacturers of custom poker chips online. They're not hexes, but they might be just the ticket for that nice, clacky feeling.

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
Bakelite!

Ya know?

It looks like these guys have Bakelite.

www.plastic-products.com

It's the same company I mentioned earlier, but a slightly different web address.

Perhaps it would be worth giving them a call?

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Thank you!

CloudBuster wrote:
Have any of you considered using Delrin?

These guys sell the hexagonal rods. Looks like they want a 10 foot minimum order. http://www.hexrod.com/Delrin.html

Wow! Thank you!

Can you cut this, Steve?

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Interesting idea

We'd be willing to give this a try - for prototype purposes.

Might be expensive, might not look as good as stuff like, say Hive.

But we won't know till we try.

Also - certain plastics work well for laser engraving (e.g. acrylic) - other plastics you don't really want to touch (anything in the vinyl family)

SJ

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
You're Welcome!

:)

Hey! I'm glad I was able to offer a potential solution to your problem! I read a bit more about that company. Looks like they're pretty knowledgable folks. I also checked and they're willing to cut the rod for shipping. They're also willing to provide smaller sizes, so perhaps you won't be committed to a 10 foot length of the stuff.

Interesting information about certain plastics working well for laser engraving and certain plastics not working so well. It never occurred to me, but it makes sense. They're different materials. I would imagine some plastics would just melt and not hold the shapes properly?

I really hope this works out. Would you please keep me in the loop on this one? Perhaps a post in the prototyping section if you're happy with the results? Even if this doesn't work, I'd like to learn from it, so posting anything you find would be great!

I enjoy the journey.

bluepantherllc
bluepantherllc's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Plastic Hex Rod

Spoke with one of the reps.

Way too expensive - a game the same size and material as Hive would cost $40 in material alone before any engraving or cutting is done.

It was a good idea, though.

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Keep thinking

:(

Well. I'm keep thinking...

Black Canyon
Black Canyon's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/30/2009
Casting

I've been following this thread and it just occurred to me that you could try casting the pieces out of resin or a stuff called dental stone. Here's a couple links from the same site:
http://www.hirstarts.com/casting/plastic.html
http://www.hirstarts.com/casting/dental.html

Casting is a very simple process, and it allows you to make countless pieces exactly to your specifications. Depending on the material you use, it can be laser engraved, but it would make more sense to simply engrave the few originals and make molds from those. Then your casts will end up perfect replicas of those originals, except made from whatever material you like. I think pieces made from a hard plastic or the dental stone would have a very good weight and feel during play.

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
Dang! Perhaps.....

bluepantherllc wrote:
Spoke with one of the reps.

Way too expensive - a game the same size and material as Hive would cost $40 in material alone before any engraving or cutting is done.

It was a good idea, though.

GAH!

Dang! I was hoping that would work. I'll keep looking around.

In the meantime, I wondered if hexagonal ceramic tile might work? Our City Hall was restored a couple years ago and they remodeled the restrooms with neat little 1" hexagonal tiles. I found a cool website that gives you a bunch of colors to choose from:

http://www.hextile.com/MelangeSeries.shtml

Poke around here a bit. Looks like you can get about 85 tiles for $11.95. They're pre-meshed, which I think means they're on a 12" x 12" square to remove the tedium of placing individual tiles. So....you'll have to cut the tiles off the mesh material. Each sheet weighs 1.80 pounds (lbs). Might make the game heavy and I don't know if I like the way the tiles will sound when they click together. Might be okay...might not. Perhaps there's some type of treatment that could be done to them...a spray, or perhaps dipping them into a rubbery solution of some kind might do the trick to make 'em seem less like ceramic tile and more like game pieces? I don't know what it's called, but they've got this stuff you can put on tool handles that insulates them and makes them more comfortable to use. You just dip the handles of...oh let's say pliers...into this stuff and when it dries, you have a rubberized set of pliers. Would dipping the tiles into that stuff work?

coco
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
ceramic

Nice! Thank you!

I had the same idea when looking for tiles for my bathroom last year (squared), but I don't know how to engrave/print them. And they are a bit heavy. Any ideas?

Néstor

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
Black Canyon wrote:I've been

Black Canyon wrote:
I've been following this thread and it just occurred to me that you could try casting the pieces out of resin or a stuff called dental stone. Here's a couple links from the same site:
http://www.hirstarts.com/casting/plastic.html
http://www.hirstarts.com/casting/dental.html

Casting is a very simple process, and it allows you to make countless pieces exactly to your specifications. Depending on the material you use, it can be laser engraved, but it would make more sense to simply engrave the few originals and make molds from those. Then your casts will end up perfect replicas of those originals, except made from whatever material you like. I think pieces made from a hard plastic or the dental stone would have a very good weight and feel during play.

I forgot to respond to this one. I LOVE this Dental Stone idea! BUT...do you know how to make the molds? I spent a long time on the website with the links you provided. Really interesting stuff there. WizWar is one of my favorite games and creating a board like that would be awesome.

So...if I wanted to make my own custom pieces, how would I create the molds? I suppose I could just Google "mold making", but I'd rather get a recommendation from someone here instead of searching around (read....I'm being lazy) :)

Thanks for your post!

As a slight aside....you can buy magnetic ink jet paper. I was thinking I'd print out my board on this stuff, line it up on chipboard and then sink a nut or washer into the molds so that my little space ship pieces would'nt fly all over the place while playing the game. While the dental stone is still wet, do you think I could hide a washer or some other piece of metal so the pieces will adhere to the board, but not so tightly they can't be moved? I think if the washer (or nuts) are completely covered, they won't be as likely to rust, will they?

Black Canyon
Black Canyon's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/30/2009
Mold Making

From the same site: http://www.hirstarts.com/moldmake/moldmaking.html

I would first sculpt the original and cast that about five or six times. Then I'd take those casts and build a mold from them, so you could cast many copies at a time. Start with a pane of glass, spray it with mold release, and arrange your tiles on top of the glass face up. Then you could construct the walls of the mold out of paperboard or whatever you have. I'd probably use an empty cereal box. Hit the tiles with some mold release and pour the mold-making compound on top of them (follow the directions in the above link). Once your mold is set, take out the tiles and you're ready to begin mass-producing the tiles out of whatever material you like. It's really simple.

On a different subject, I would not use ceramic floor tiles. They are too heavy, they'll chip and break, you can't really engrave them, and the undersides are usually textured or meshed to adhere better to grout. They don't make good gaming parts unless for something simple like miniature stands.

Black Canyon
Black Canyon's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/30/2009
On Magnetics

Concerning your idea of using magnetic boards. I've done a magnetic board game before. It used magnetic tiles on a non-magnetic board. If you want to use cast items, I would suggest placing a small, strong magnet inside the actual cast item, and then building the board out of a ferrous, non-magnetic material. I prefer a thing called Rubber Steel (http://www.magnetking.com/#rubbersteel) which is very similar to magnetic sheets, except without the magnetic properties. So magnets will stick to your board but nothing else will. As a plus, this stuff can accept any kind of vinyl printing or just plain old label paper.

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
coco wrote:Nice! Thank you! I

coco wrote:
Nice! Thank you!

I had the same idea when looking for tiles for my bathroom last year (squared), but I don't know how to engrave/print them. And they are a bit heavy. Any ideas?

Néstor

The only idea I've got for making the tiles lighter is to individually grind the bottoms with a belt sander (or some other method of shaving off the tile material.) That would be awful! A LOT of time invested AND your results might end up being lousy because Black Canyon makes a good point: The tiles might chip, or they might end up being even more fragile if you try to make 'em thinner.

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
Black Canyon wrote:From the

Black Canyon wrote:
From the same site: http://www.hirstarts.com/moldmake/moldmaking.html

I would first sculpt the original and cast that about five or six times. Then I'd take those casts and build a mold from them, so you could cast many copies at a time. Start with a pane of glass, spray it with mold release, and arrange your tiles on top of the glass face up. Then you could construct the walls of the mold out of paperboard or whatever you have. I'd probably use an empty cereal box. Hit the tiles with some mold release and pour the mold-making compound on top of them (follow the directions in the above link). Once your mold is set, take out the tiles and you're ready to begin mass-producing the tiles out of whatever material you like. It's really simple.

On a different subject, I would not use ceramic floor tiles. They are too heavy, they'll chip and break, you can't really engrave them, and the undersides are usually textured or meshed to adhere better to grout. They don't make good gaming parts unless for something simple like miniature stands.

GAH!
Well THAT's embarrassing! Here I've told you I spent a lot of time on the website and right there in front of my face is how to make the molds ON THE SAME WEBSITE! <--smacks palm of hand into forehead.

Thanks! I'll check it out!

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
Black Canyon wrote:Concerning

Black Canyon wrote:
Concerning your idea of using magnetic boards. I've done a magnetic board game before. It used magnetic tiles on a non-magnetic board. If you want to use cast items, I would suggest placing a small, strong magnet inside the actual cast item, and then building the board out of a ferrous, non-magnetic material. I prefer a thing called Rubber Steel (http://www.magnetking.com/#rubbersteel) which is very similar to magnetic sheets, except without the magnetic properties. So magnets will stick to your board but nothing else will. As a plus, this stuff can accept any kind of vinyl printing or just plain old label paper.

This rubbersteel stuff sounds great! The reason I wanted to make the board magnetic instead of the pieces is that I didn't want all the pieces sticking to each other. I thought if the board were the magnetic one, all the pieces could stick to it. This is especially important when playing the game. In certain situations, there can be more than one piece occupying a single hex on the board. I don't want these pieces clacking together when they're put on the same space. When you made your game, did you have to spend time separating all your tiles before you could play? How did you prevent them from sticking together?

Traz
Traz's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2009
just sayin'....

Are you hardwired into plastic? Have you asked anybody about wood? You might be surprised.

SiddGames
SiddGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/02/2008
CloudBuster wrote:This

CloudBuster wrote:
This rubbersteel stuff sounds great! The reason I wanted to make the board magnetic instead of the pieces is that I didn't want all the pieces sticking to each other. I thought if the board were the magnetic one, all the pieces could stick to it. This is especially important when playing the game. In certain situations, there can be more than one piece occupying a single hex on the board. I don't want these pieces clacking together when they're put on the same space. When you made your game, did you have to spend time separating all your tiles before you could play? How did you prevent them from sticking together?

How large are your pieces? If the magnets are all oriented the same way, say vertically and with north/south in the same orientation, I don't think they'd actually stick together. I learned this just recently when my young son got his first Bakugan. For those who haven't seen them -- they are small plastic figures that fold into a ball. These are rolled over "cards" that have a metal insert; when the magnet in the bottom of the figure passes close enough to the metal card, the magnet sticks to the card and the little plastic hooks inside the figure/ball release, making the Bakugan "pop out" into its figure form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv4nAcnVjmQ

This video is pretty lame -- sorry! but you can see how it pops open when the magnet "catches" the metal. The magnet is strong enough to trip the release and stick the figure to the metal card, but weak enough that they can't stick to each other from more than a few millimeters away (farther than the distance allowed by the size of the surrounding plastic) -- and with the same pole facing the bottom of the figure, they will never stick to each other bottom-to-bottom (north-to-north or south-to-south). Hope that makes sense.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut