Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Terraforming Mars and 3D Hubs

The next several articles talk about the convergence of 3D Printing and a traditional board game.

Almost two years ago I made my printers available on a service called 3D Hubs.  I did not do this to make money (in fact I donate at least 50% to the MS Society and the other 50% is used for expanding my collection of exotic filament).  What I did it for was the experience of working with other people's designs and subject matter.  It is this latter aspect that I now write.

The first job that I did is what got me interested in the intersection of 3D Printing and the world of models (tanks!).  A lot of the blog to this point has been dedicated to that topic.   My latest job was to print some tiles for the board game Terraforming Mars.  The tiles that I printed for the customer are shown by image #1.  They were designed by Frank Straus and made available here on boardgamegeek (signup is required).  They are a really nice piece of work.

Just as with the tanks order this one hits a spot for me in that I like science fiction and terraforming makes for an interesting story, and in this case, game.  There is also an overlap with the whole modeling topic.  So I am going a little bit over the top.  Not exactly unusual!

The first thing that I did was to design a new piece to replace one of the tiles that were part of Franks Collection.  I suspect that I could print the original if I spent some time tweaking my printer but I thought a more easily printed version might be a good idea.  There are two versions with the one on the left being more of a challenge to print.

Somewhere along the line I had found the instructions for the game and decided that I liked the concept well enough to buy one.  There in lies the rub.  They are not for sale anywhere except on the used market and then only for a LOT of money.  The game is being re-released next month so I will be getting a copy.  This is probably a good thing as I have started printing a set of tiles for myself.

There are two things that I am going to be playing with.  The first is the choice of filament for the tiles.  This might be a case where some of my inventory of filament gets some exploration.  The second is the chance to paint the tiles.  I have done a little bit of painting of tanks and do enjoy it.  It is distracting!  Here is a sample that I did while trying to convince myself whether or not to get a copy of the game.

Selection of filaments will be the next article.

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