Skip to Content

Tiles that stack: best way to make them? Casting? Laser?

3 replies [Last post]
Twixt_Fanatic
Twixt_Fanatic's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2019
Lazo game in progress

My game Lazo uses tiles that stack on each other. I have attached an image of a game in progress. The board has holes in it. These holes could be described as three regular hexagons glommed together. Each tile has two layers. The top layer, which is the only layer you see in the image, is six hexagons. The underside has a 3-hexagon peg which fits into the holes on the board. The peg is about half as thick as the main layer. The peg also fits into the holes formed by three mutually adjacent tiles on the layer below.

Lazo is a two-player game, but I have another game Clamber for up to four players, which uses the same board and tiles (using two more colors.) Every tile on the upper levels shown here is supported by three tiles beneath it, but in Clamber, tiles are allowed to climb up and down levels. This means a tile may be supported from below by just two tiles beneath it, with one tip overhanging. Significant precision is needed for this to work. I have laser cut tiles in two parts. The layers are glued together, then molds are made for resin casting, specifically Alumilite.

At least, that is my plan at the moment. I resist the notion of using a 3D printer because interlocking parts may require experimentation to get them to work well. The tiles must be easily placed and removed, without sticking and without falling off. I really don't know if a 3d printer will behave consistently enough to make reliable production runs.

The nice thing about a laser cutter is, the laser cuts away the kerf, and the resulting pieces interlock smoothly. This is why many laser cutters are used to make stuff like jigsaw puzzles. BUT if I use a cutter on so much plastic, I could vent a lot of nasty chemicals out my window. There are filtration devices, but they are a tad expensive. And I still have to glue the layers together.

Alumilite uses Toluene, which is also a bit nasty, but seems like the only feasible solution to me. I am open to suggestions. This would be a very low volume operation. Ideally some injection molding publisher will decide to pick up my game after receiving a prototype from me.

I also have questions about the rules booklet, boxing, and other details, but I'm not sure if I should post them here or in Publishing. Your advice is welcome!

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
Raised Relief, etc.

Disclaimer: I have no experience in fabrication myself. I'm thinking of other games I've seen.

I wonder if rethinking your design (specifically in terms of its interlocking quality) may help. For example, Blokus has a raised grid (and many other games have gone this route as well). HeroScape has raised centers, which provide for easy, semi-rigid stacking. Puzzle-like ridges on the edges allow for (mostly) easy linking along the same XY plane.

Can you look into perhaps a "more forgiving" form of connection: both stacking as well as linking?

Best of success to you on this design. It looks intriguing! :)

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
It's quite clever, but in the

It's quite clever, but in the end I think what you'll be looking at is paying for plastic molds for the pieces and the board (which I suppose could itself be made up of these pieces, just glued to a backing?)

For a prototype..? Geez. I suspect this question is beyond the experience of people here.

I could help out with the paper-goods questions, I'm sure.

Have you tried to contact a manufacturer yet? If not, what I do/did is search on alibaba for products in the same category as what I need (and in this case you probably need a game manufacturer that can do their own plastic molds, or similar), and then email them.

My first such email was basically "I'm looking to make a game with: a 24 page rulebook in black and white, an 8 page rulebook in color, 10 large cardboard tiles 8" x 10", in double-sided color, ..." etc.

Jay103
Jay103's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018
"At least, that is my plan at

"At least, that is my plan at the moment. I resist the notion of using a 3D printer because interlocking parts may require experimentation to get them to work well. The tiles must be easily placed and removed, without sticking and without falling off. I really don't know if a 3d printer will behave consistently enough to make reliable production runs."

It will.

Or at least, you'd be able to tell that for sure once you print a handful of them. Obviously depends a bit on the printer.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut