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3d print

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OdysseyDyse
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My game board is composed of several smaller boards which move during play. Tiles sit on the boards which I want to stay in place as the mini-boards are moved. If I had boards with either recesses for the tiles or if the grids they are on were slightly raised (like Acquire only less so) that would solve my problem. The cost for laser embossing is a bit high. Does anyone have knowledge of 3-D printing costs?

I Will Never Gr...
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As a one off it may be

As a one off it may be feasable but still very costly.

A typical 1 inch tall mini is around $10 at most 3d printing shops last time i looked.

gilamonster
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3D printing is very expensive

3D printing is very expensive - laser cutting is much less so (but still not cheap).
For mass-production, die-punching is cheaper than both I think.
What about a board consisting of two layers of thick card glued (or hinged) together,
with the upper one having a grid of holes slightly bigger than the tiles punched out)?
You could possibly even have the upper layer of the board and the tiles manufactured at the same time (eg punch out two concentric squares, the inner one being the actual tile, with the outer "square ring" discarded to provide a reasonable clearance between board and tile.

radioactivemouse
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Depends on several things.

3D printing is not something that you can just get easily. The transition from 2d to 3d is huge jump.

Things to consider...

The actual 3d asset:

There are a lot of templates which are easily accessible and are ready for "print". Most likely you're looking for something custom, which means someone that has knowledge of 3d programs. As an instructor that teaches 3d animation and has a pretty extensive knowledge of 3d, it's not something like Word where you can just type it out and print. You'll need to find someone to to the modeling for you and there are a lot of people that may know 3d, but don't know how to either output or design with practical construction in mind, which brings me to...

The actual 3d print:

While 3d printers are starting to become cheaper, many of them can only create small physical assets. What is not mentioned is that it takes a buttload (excuse my French) of time to construct. Even then, there are practicals such as constructing an inner structure (will it be solid or hollow? Solid takes more time) and removing excess "print" from a finished product...which usually involves sanding and filing off edges to account for stability while the thing is being printed. After that, there's...

Mass production:

This is probably the easier part because the print is taken to a plant to mass produce your works. The downside is that you're not seeing that process, so you'll have to trust that the product will look the same as it was when you printed it. There's various Quality Control you have to keep an eye on...especially when mass production requires exact measurements; things can and will definitely go wrong.

But what about 3d printing mass production? Yeah, that's not how it works. It takes way too long just to get the print that it is inefficient to just "print" out mass production.

Most 3d services can provide pieces of the equation, but there are a scant few that are "all-in-one" shops. Usually you have to shell out $500+ just for a test (probably the size of a small fist) and even more if you go into production.

You can do it yourself, but you'll have to have knowledge of a 3d program (which is not easy) and a solid printer will run you at least $350 for a cheap quality one. Then there's deciding if you want liquid printing or from a stick (like a glue gun, but in a spool). Of course there's quality of detail; more detail will run you more money.

There's a reason why it's not something that's just appearing in everyone's homes. It's an option to board game designers because it either makes the game look pretty or is required for a specific gimmick, none of which (I believe) is needed to make a good game.

I see this question pop up a lot and I've been hesitant to answer it because I know how much it takes to even attempt such an endeavor. I mean, I HAVE the (professional) 3d skill, I have the connections to make and mass produce it, I just don't use it because I want the game, not the gimmick) to shine.

Of course, that's my opinion. Would I use 3d printing in the future? Possibly, but I'd be extremely careful about it.

I think you can do it without 3d printing.

OdysseyDyse
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2 layer cardboard

Thats not a bad idea. What I have now is strips of adhesive backed foam tape as borders for tiles on cardboard. Works well, but not very professional. So a local game maker like GameCrafters could do that, you think?

radioactivemouse
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prototypes

OdysseyDyse wrote:
Thats not a bad idea. What I have now is strips of adhesive backed foam tape as borders for tiles on cardboard. Works well, but not very professional. So a local game maker like GameCrafters could do that, you think?

For prototypes sake, you don't need anything fancy or professional. Even video game design companies put in the final art and sound at the end of the game's life-cycle; the game itself is far harder to balance.

...and you'll need as much play testing as you can

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