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Customized Game Pawns

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Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

I'm a newbie, I'm happy to have discovered this forum. I think it's awesome! I have questions about customized game pawns. I'm in the process of creating a prototype for my game which requires customized 3D plastic pawns.

I have requested quotes from a couple of game manufacturers and I'm quite surprised of the rates they're sending me. A simple 3D customized pawn will cost anywhere between $6500 - $7500!! This doesn't even included the actual game pieces, just the molds. Do you really have to invest that much money for games pieces???? I really would like to self-produce my game initially but with rates like this, I'm starting to wonder if I will have to give up this dream.

My question is... Has anyone or does anyone know of a company that I can work with that can offer a lower rate or is this the type of money I should expect to spend??

Thank you in advance,

Spinner

buthrukaur
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

how many different style pawns are you looking for? Whats the size of the first run you'd like to do? You can purchase a molding kit and do it yourself. If it is only one or two different pcs, a small run and the pawns are simple you can get them machined fairly cheaply. This works great for prototyping and since they are metal and can be used to create the mold later.

Anonymous
Customized Game pawns

Wow! Didn't think I would have the option to do the molding myself.
Thank you for the tip!!

It's just two styles, I think the most complicated part for a do-it-yourself job is that the two pieces has to be magnetically connected so that they can stand separately or together. I haven't a clue how to do that but if I had the resources, I'd take a shot at it.

How do I get them "Machined"? Are drawing skills required to do this project myself? (I have none) Where might I purchase a molding kit? I'm in the U.S. A. I only want a small run, just to see if it's a viable design.

Thanks Buthrukaur!

Spinner

[/i]

buthrukaur
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

I'll try to find the details on the home molding kit. The parts will be resin rather then plastic.

As far as machined goes, most machinist will have CAD available and can charge you for the drawing if you don't have access to it yourself or are unskilled. as long as it is not too complicated and small the price should not be to bad. 50-100 dollars setup, 50-75 dollars an hour for CAD, per pc price will be varied based on material and quantity.

I think your best bet would be go to the local craft store and pick up some wooden craft parts: look at http://www.woodnshop.com for some ideas. You should be able to pick up some rare earth magnets there. If you really want to get creative pick up some Sculpey and mold the parts by hand.

Ben

Draconious
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

Soon.. if I ever get a 50,000$ loan LOL to lease the machine...
I will have a machine that can make prototype plastic parts... I will be catering to game makers and hobbiests...

each part will only be a buck or less!! Smaller the part the more I can fit in the build window... there is no tooling or setup fees... all I would need is a 3D computer file to make them!!! (or ill make the 3d file for you).

the site SUCKS now, but its just a page filler for now...
http://www.3D-Plastic.com

I realy should just get off my hiney and get a bank loan.. but I guess I want to have a few "I want this or that" customers before I go do that... so if any one is interested in 100% custom plastic parts.. were u dont need to order 10,000 and pay 8000$ to make a mold... let me know ;)

There are other companies that do what i want to do, but they all cater to the corporate sector and they still charge more, cuz their machines are even more expensive ;).

Anonymous
Customized Game Pawns

Ben,

Thanks for the valuable advice. I will continue to do some research, as well, for the home molding kit... that is until Draconious gets off his "hiney" :)

Draconious,

If you build it, They will come....

I think it would be awesome for aspiring game designers to use a company like "3D-Plastic.com", Especially for creating prototypes for game ideas. As you read in my original post, the rates charged by these corporate companies are quite expensive. We need help out here for the small fishes.

So, Count me in as one those "I want this before I do that" customer. I would be one of the first to try your services.

I hope you make it happen soon.

Good Luck and keep us informed.

Thanks,

Spinner

buthrukaur
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

I did find a resin kit available online at http://www.aceresin.com/
Not the one I was think of originally but it may serve your purpose...

Ben

Anonymous
Customized Game Pawns

Great Stuff!

Thanks Ben!

Regards,
Spinner

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Customized Game Pawns

I have seen somebody on television who was making his own metal miniatures. I think he was using a 2 metal blocks, he scrulpted the negative of the miniature on 1 side of both blocks. The he places the 2 blocks side by side and drop some melten metal inside it ( there is an opening on the top). After a few minutes the miniature is ready but hot.

If you use this technique, you will need to learn a bit about metallurgy and have some talent to sculpt your pawns.

If you want , you can model them with clay. Or there is a some sort of mastic that you can cook in your oven.

Another thing I have made in art, which was used to make a plaster mask, it could give you some ideas. You model your mask with some mastic. Then you cover it with a weak plaster. When dry, you remove the mastic and it gives you a negative model. Then you paint some kind of soap inside the negative mask at leat 3 times and then you drop yourstrong plaster in it. Then you cut the negative plaster. The problem with this technique is that you cannot mass produce the same model. Still, you can always use another material like wood to make the negative mask and then drop your plaster in it.

note: I have used the term "mastic", I am not sure if it is the right name. I am talking about some kind of paste which is sold to kids in many colors to model many things.

Anonymous
Customized Game Pawns

as far as molds go I liek the resin ones as you can run about a couple thousand hits on them without any warpage.

They also have molds made of fiberglas which you can sculpt which people make concrete decorations for your lawn from.

If Drac is in the USA and has the gumption to want to work together on getting those machines I am available to help. I am in the field as well as have contacts of machines and others in the industry of plastics who may be of interest. My focus has been on working on my game lately and I have not been working on the public venue for my company but for capital seed money a Private placement or a shell merge may be the way to take it.

If interested lets talk as long as you are in the USA. I dont know policies in other countries.

Mike

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

Drac, if you get that going, you'll definitely get good business.

Advertise your service to miniatures gamers and roleplaying gamers, as well. They love custom bits, and if the prices were reasonable and they could simply supply a file, I'm confident you'd get good business.

Enough to pay for the machine? I don't know. But good business.

I know I have several custom pawns I'm ready for you to make right now. :)

-- Matthew

Draconious
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

Well I have other uses for the machine as well... other parts to sell areas of hobby interest etc... been wanting this machine for years... but they were always over 1,000,000$ and did not realy do the right detail for figures and things, but now they are way cheaper.. and do the details... non toxic.. and are strong enough plastic, and I can do diff colors plastic etc...

seo
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Customized Game Pawns

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you want, but is way cheaper than 50,000...

http://www.zcorp.com/products/printersdetail.asp?ID=1

Seo

Draconious
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

The Z Corp machine is not adequate for my use, unless you soak all the parts in resin... to harden them, they feel kinda like a compressed powder.. like a sweet tart candy or something. Brittle..

the machine I plan to get is the Stratasys Dimension... 30,000 for the machine, and about 300$-400$ to reload it every week lol. (like a printer needs paper this needs plastic).

jkopena
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

(sorry, catching up on old threads)

The Z-Corp machines definitely don't have the resolution for any sort of figures (as of this writing). It also produces parts with a really odd texture. As Draconius said, a lot like a Sweet Tart or something. Pretty cool for rapid prototyping applications, not so hot for gaming parts. But, I'd be surprised if the Dimension machine can produce detail at our sort of scale either. Features like chain link and faces on figures require a pretty fine grain.

Also, note that at $1 a part (which I think was the number being tossed around), it's not really economical for producing short runs. I think it only works for prototypes or one shot customs, *if* the detail is acceptable.

VeritasGames
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Customized Game Pawns

Another option I'm going to propose is use standardized pawns and labels. Some pawns have a flat vertical surface that is specifically designed to have a sticker adhered to it:

http://www.plasticsforgames.com/specifications/spec.asp?product=standup

The link is for a round surface. I've also seen pawns with taller upright oval surfaces (to do a graphic of a person, for example).

I think this is probably a substantially cheaper option for you if you want the convenience of a pawn but don't want to pay for a custom mold.

Lor
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Customized Game Pawns

Until Draconius gets his desktop factory going, here is the method I've used to make custom game pawns for prototypes.

I got some FIMO, a popular craft clay-polymer which is reasonably easy to handle once you warm it up and soften it. I shaped it as a proto-pawn and then baked it for 20 minutes or so.

While it cooled, I tweaked the shape with Xacto, then I cut it in half, sliced vertically right down the middle, so I had two halves, and coated them with Vaseline.

I sawed off two shallow cylinders from a paper towel tube and placed the protopawn halves centered inside, on aluminum foil, flat against the surface.

I mixed up a small amount Plaster of Paris, poured the plaster over each half, holding the tube steady. I let each tube cure for half an hour.

At the end of that time I was able to extract the proto-halves, peel away the tubing and the result was two perfectly-fitting female mold halves-- in this case, of a small light bulb-in-socket to be used for a proto game about inventing.

I carefully joined the halves, clamped them, and marked an X across the base to guide alignment. I then drilled a pour hole in the base, opened everything up and dusted it out. Ready to go.

I lined the mold halves with vaseline and clamped them up again.

I gathered some colored dinner candles along with one white candle and melted what I needed.

I first poured in an estimated amount of white wax and let that cool a minute. Then I followed with yellow, red, green and blue for the base of the pawn.

Here is the result:

By regulating the white wax pour I got better and better at creating the bulp shape so the wax wouldn't blend into the base. These pawns were made 20 years ago from my second proto of the game and they still hold up!

stark1261
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Joined: 09/08/2008
Cost analysis of 3-d printer

Draconius-
I would advise you do do serious research if you are going to get a machine. I have used a Z-corp machine for some personal projects and mold making it costs about 1.25 to 1.75 a cubic inch for materials (powder and binding agent). The owner of the machine I used said that the plastic resin-laser machines cost even more per cubic inch for materials. I gurantee that to make any money (even to pay the loan) you will need another source of income coming from the machine. One idea you should look into if you are serious is prototyping buildings for an architectual firm or multiple firms. I know one in my area that charges $550 per model and the primary uses is for such things. Good Luck

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