Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Back to the drawing Board on Cosmic Encounter

I somehow managed to mismeasure my box  I can't fit the player boxes on their sides like I thought, because I have about 4 less millimeters than I thought I did. I think I can make, basically 2x2x2 and it should still allow much room for tokens.. though I will probably need to remeasure everything to make sure it will fit in my slightly smaller box.

Here are the pictures of my successful print that utterly failed.

I commit seppuku now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sketchup: Cosmic Encounters

Cosmic Encounter Sleeved Card HolderI have had some time to start review, revising and transcribing my designs from my clipboard of graph paper to Google Sketchup I am a little worried because I only have the base game, no expansions. I looked up the card pieces so that I could plan out how much empty space to leave for each card type (squeezing them in with sleeves, because you kooky boardgamers love sleeving your cards!) I actually had to use a mixture of boardgamegeek and the PDF copies of the rules that come with every expansion, as they give a perfect breakdown of all of the content included in each set.
Cosmic Encounter Sleeved Flare Card Holder
Cosmic Encounter Alien Card holderIn order to fit all the cards with sleeves from the base game + six expansions on my printer, I had to cut the biggest card section (for flare cards) into their own print. I can still fit them onto the printer side by side, just not length wise. I have one of the smaller printers, so hopefully it works for the folks on thingiverse.

I also design a large holder for the alien cards, based on ZekTheMad's large card holder on the Eldritch Horror project I printed earlier in the month.. I did all the measurements myself, just based on his.. I liked the look of the rounded slots.

With the expansions, two should be just perfect. they will fit in the box with some space to place the randomly sized cardboard pieces on top

Cosmic Encounter Player PiecesI decided that the best way to store all 8 sets of player pieces would be to make a lipped box and store them on their side.  I need to print one of them and test it with the player pieces, since the inside is just enough to fit the round planets. The rest of the box should be good though, more than enough space to fit all the ships as well as those planets, if the planets fit.

In the remaining space, in the corner at the end of the cards, I designed a generic token tray with a lid. It should fit 2 trays on top of each other.

Cosmic Encounter Token TraysNow, this said - I have no flipping idea if this will be enough storage space for all of the tokens and extra cardboard cutouts that came with the expansions. I may test my prints on Nameless Roommate #1's copy, as he has all but one expansion. I feel that this will give me a good enough feeling for what will fit.

My next step is to print out the files (I am still just waiting on the some plastic, my shipment from push plastics is est. delivery date of 12-6 (omg, wtf, amazon has ruined me) So when a CamelCamelCamel alert came up for Dixit Quest, I added some cheap PLA to the order. It should be here today, so I just need to export my sketchup files to the right format(.stl), and prepare my bed for printing. Hopefully I will have some kind of picture of a printed item to show everyone tomorrow.

Cross your fingers!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Unboxing: MTG Planechase Anthology

PlaneChase Anthology Box Art I was excited as hell to hear about this years Magic the Gathering Planechase Anthology. I decided to do a quick unboxing post..

I generally don't get super excited over anything, but I enjoy the planechase card, and in comparison to how much they cost on ebay, this is a steal!

I don't have a lot of text to go with it, so here are a bunch of images. The original special box that the anthologies come in, containing four premade decks. Each deck comes in a pretty cardboard box with art of the main legendary included in each deck. There are 4 20 sided dice in colors coordinated with the deck box art.

Deck and Plane Boxes internal art for each deck and plane boxes

Let me know what tweaks you are making to your preconstructed decks!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Designing an Insert: Stage 1

Hey guys! While I am out of PLA, impatiently awaiting my refill, I decided to sit down and start mocking up a design, so I have something to print when it gets here.I sat down with some graph paper, calipers, pencils, rulers and a couple boxes of games I have issues sorting/ storing/ setting up. 

The first game on the list was Dixit, one of my favorite party games. The issue I have with this game box is that it only accomodates the base plus 3 expansions as it is.  The cards are too large to sit on their side, so I will have to put them at an angle. The hardest part was holding the cards in place while I calculated angles. I had to take into account that the board still needs to fit in the box and there are player pieces. The original design for storing pieces is good. instead of having it 2x3, I thought it out and figured that it could go 1x6 and fit perfectly in the negative space. This drawing, of course, shows none of that - just some degree and measurement notes - I did get around to drawing it all out to work out my thoughts and keep them fresh.

The second game I started designs for was Cosmic Encounter. I don't have the expansions, but I looked into how many pieces each one added - Hopefully the design leaves enough space to add all of those in perfectly. most of it was adding extra players, which are easy to count, and extra cards, hopefully the card area is big enough for that. The alien cards, with all 6(?) expansion will triple the big card height. I am hoping a lot of the extra stuff they add will fit into the two MISC areas I had left over. Most of this was super easy, just squares, no angles, making sure the pieces will fit into smaller boxes an

For now all I have are a couple hand sketches, but my next step will be translating them into sketchup designs. (and uploading my first all-original designs to thingiverse!) Hopefully my next post will have some peeks at what I have mocked up.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Holiday Game Night: Chaotic Neutral Catan.

Settlers of CatanWhile I patiently await my shipment of PLA from Push Plastics that I grabbed on sale during the holiday, I have been filling my time with design and playing games. The designs I am not quite ready to start posting yet, as it's mostly just notes and measurements, nothing in the computer, just paper. I will have multiple posts once they are ready though, promise! 

King of Tokyo
So here are some photos from our game night last night, hosted by My Friend and Her Husband. His Friend joined us as well. 4 players is a great number for a lot of games! Enough to allow a buffer between super competitive people, and enough to play party games. (My Friend and Her Husband are the super competitive ones and having another person there dilutes the competitiveness. Their motto is "I don't care who wins, as long as it's not my spouse" Which I threatened to have put on their tombstones.

We started the name with the third round of Pandemic Legacy(not shown), a game that comes with a sticker sheet and hidden components you only add to the game when prompted. The premise of the game is that you only get a limited amount of plays, and the results are permanent and carry over between games.

Next we played Lanterns The Harvest Festival(also not shown) I forget to take pictures early in the night, until we are putting the game away. I had a slight issue with understanding rules (you go until all the tiles are placed, not until all the tiles are picked up) and it kind of ruined the game because strategies were planned wrong. I like it and the real rules make it more fun. I feel that Her Husband would have liked it 100x better if he hadn't squandered his win in ordered to sabotage My Friend.

SplendorThird, Splendor. My Friend won, I was close second! I love Splendor, it's a light game that could probably work well with any theme - baked goods, clothing/textiles, butcher shop. . but they chose Gems, and I like that! I would love to splurge on the upgraded gem tokens, or even non-canonical, acrylic gems - I feel that might be a cool upgrade that would be pretty thematic. You start trading in gems, then trade them to buy access to a mine, a trade route and then a front end shop. First to 15 points wins.

Then we played a round of Settlers of Catan, a favorite in My Friend's house. They have the nice anniversary edition in a gorgeous wooden box, and all wooden pieces, and it sees frequent plays. Her Husband won. It was . . a standard Catan game. I rarely ever win Catan. I started without a wood source and only got onto the #12 wood. (wood being a resource which is needed to do most things) I like Catan, but I win 1 out of maybe 20 games, so I have taken a self-imposed "lol-random" stance on how I play it. Chaotic Neutral.

While My Friend threw dinner together we played a quick round of King of Tokyo. I decided to go full aggro and kept Tokyo for many turns, and the turn before they killed me, I did 5 damage! I was happy. If I had made it one more round, I would have won on sweet Tokyo Occupation points.

EclipseWe had a quick, delicious dinner of stuffed peppers and then cleaned up for Eclipse, their newest game. This is our second game of Eclipse, as we played last weekend as well (a rare two-weekend-in-a-row event!) We played a long game, with lots of alliances, no betrayals (somehow) and a very close ending, with My Friend at 38, Her husband at 35, I had 30, and the His Friend got a 28, which really isn't a bad scoring spread. Eclipse reminds me a lot of Xia: Legends of a drift system, for it's exploration and Terra Mystica for it's resource management/earning system. There is room for as much or as little combat as possible. You can form alliances, betray alliances, fight NPCs, explore and claim new space.

We also finished the night with two rounds of Codenames. We paired "Chicks V Dicks" Me and My Friend vs Her Husband and His Friend. His Friend and I played Spymaster and did pretty great, our clues and pattern were spot on!  We got a 4-card-success!

On My Friend's first turn as spymaster, after I missed one, she blurted out "It was clearly Nurse!" to which Her Husband ruthlessly started calling her a cheater and we had to start over. He was angry because he had a perfect 4-clue lined up.

We ended on a funny note, as it was starting to get late.

Let me know if my regaling of game night aren't what you wanna hear, I'm trying to fine tune my content.

Friday, November 25, 2016

COMC: Jam-packedest!

I am busy with a design project, prompted by a conversation on reddit. Here's a gratuitous shot of my Ikea expedit and some new games I picked up. Can you pick out the new editions? Hint: one of them was crammed into the jam-packedest square. Too bad there are still 2 TTR games, so I may need 2 squares afterall, Though I havent gotten very many plays out of any of them except TTR:US. 

When we have our own place and I can pull my other shelves out from storage, those 9 non-game shelves on the bottom can go. A book shelf for my comics, a 2x2 kallax for my records and my art supplies and tools can go into their own areas.

At our old place I had two small folding bookshelves for all my magic the gathering boxes. We also had room to display all the dominion boxes, even though all the content is in the wooden box at the top right of that picture.

Also - there is a sheet hanging on the other side of the shelf, for privacy, as my bedroom is on the other side of it.

ANyway - This is just a post for posts sake, while I work on designing some box inserts. Send me pics of your game collections! How do you store everything?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

She's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Today I have some random garbage I have been working on, no finished project, just a little insight into my work process, which is kind of wasteful.

I have been looking into a storage solution for ticket to ride that fits for me. I have taken out and done who-knows-what with the original insert, so I need to make this work in a barely structured box space.  I also need to find(but haven't yet) a good solution for my cards (and I have 1910, so they are all full sized.)

For some reason all of the storage solutions I found pre-designed are weird. None of the lids snap or slide into place. This feels like it's a great way to end up needing to sort all your trains every time you want to play.

I can't find the source for the first box I had - it has been in my "to print" folder for a while, and of course I didnt save anything to attribute - but I didn't design it, if you did, give me a holler and i'll throw the link up.

the breakdown of what you are seeing:

Green & blue are in a simple design from thingiverse.. had to rubber band the lid to the body. I had an issue printing the lid and ended up needing to carve/cut up the lid to make it fit. I also adjusted the lip a bit so the lid would sink down into the box. But it has to be rubber-banded closed, which I hate. And you have to set the trains in just right (at least for the american map.) While I don't mind this, I know a lot of my friends and playgroups would hate this.

Yellow is in a second original design from thingiverse, designed by Nicofr57. I didn't like the relationship between the lid and body so i started changing stuff. The original design was made to allow you to keep the original insert for TTR:Europe. You should set the body in the cup, place the oversized lid on top, and then use a spacer to hold it in place and stack another body on top.

 Since I also have TTR:USA, and have lost the insert for it, i needed a slightly enhanced storage solution.

Black is modification no.1 from Nicofr57's design, All I did was raise the outer edge 3mm and in Cura set the width/height to fit inside the outer rim (66mm x 95mm) This is good and looks great when the bin is full and the lid is on. However, this didn't really solve my "trains all over the place when transported" issue, without rubberbands.

Red is in modification no.2 This is my favorite so far. I lifted the outer rim another 1mm and then pulled that 1mm out so that it would form a lip on 3 sides. I then lowered the front side to match the original height, that was preserved by the inner divider. The only issue I am having here is that it is a little tight. I think I can just make the change in Cura on the lid (make it half a millimeter thinner and take a millimeter off the width. I also added 3 mm to the length to create an overhang to give the player something to hold onto to yank that lid out.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with modification no.2, and once I get a Filament refil, I will be printing two sets  - one for TTR:Europe and one for TTR: USA

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I guess I could have taken more photos of what I was doing, but I was generally busy being grouchy and frustrated.

It is recommended to do maintenance on your machine frequently, especially after a meltdown like the one I had earlier in the week.

I ended up dusting out the fan by the extruder and tightening the belts. I took out some screws and put them back, etc. nothing too labor intensive, just tightening and printing calibration squares.

Nothing exciting at all, but here's a post to keep the masses entertained.

On a side note - for those of you hobbyists you are looking for deals on 3d printing, some dude on reddit has collected a list of 3d printing sales, filament and printers!

 Push Plastic is having a sale - buy 2 get 1 sale. I seriously contemplated spending my christmas present budget on it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A cause for calibration - or - Success! Codenames

I am going to spend the day calibrating, after a "success" but the successful print didn't work as intended. So I am going to use some calibration tools and document that, inc. tomorrow or maybe Wednesday.

In the meantime, here was an actual success! An organizer for the games Codenames. I had to use sketchup to edit it a littl bit, removing 2mm from each end do it would fit on my printer.  The original size would have fit perfectly the other orientation in the box, but this way, the hourglass holds it in place perfectly.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

If it Fits, I prints

Slicing Up BeforeA quick write up of my experience with printing the Eldritch Horror insert. Two of the larger pieces didn't fit. (sad face)  I covered this a bit in the last post, but I thought I would include more images.

Here I have a screenshot of my Cura(splicing software that sends prints to printer) and one of the two pieces that was too big for my printer. The blue checked area is representative of the area my printer can handle. When an item will not fit on the printer, it turns gray. As you can see in the above image, this image overhangs, but only on one axis, which is pretty easy to fix.

I imported the .STL file into Google Sketchup and cut the last compartment off the storage unit. As you can see below, the newly sliced piece fits both pieces on the bed, so I was still able to print it all at once.

After I printed the two smaller pieces, I used tacky glue to connect them!  It's not 100% aesthetically pleasing, but it works, and the glue is actually strong enough to pick it up by either side and it will not fall apart.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Success - MTG Life Counters

 I printed more of these - this time experimenting with mixing pieces from different batches - The black is harder to read, but I think the black framing the gold looks really good together.

Keeping it short - More tomorrow!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Success! - Eldritch Horror

Earlier in the week I posted some reviews of my favorite boardgame accessories - The Broken Token inserts.

While I love Broken Token, and would love to spend all my extra money on them, they don't have solutions for every boardgame I own. That said, every single new 3d printing site with free files is bombarded by searches for my favorite topic - board games, box organizers, specific board game titles, because some people don't know how to properly tag or title or describe their stuff to be easily found.

I have a folder of all the STLs I have found, waiting to be printed. Amongst them is a folder for a custom Eldritch Horror insert that ZektheMad created over on thingiverse. He did a great job! Except that two of the 9 pieces are too large for my tiny printer to accommodate. I printed the 7/9 small pieces that would fit, and then spent 4 or 5 days pouting about the remaining pieces, contemplating seppeku.. or even just contacting Zek or one of the commenters on that "thing" requesting the file. He did provide a .dwg file, but I don't have the software or knowledge of how to handle that/make google sketchup handle it. In reality, I was just hectic and busy the last week or so, trying to keep up with my blogging goals, and having a hard time of it.

I was able to get the original .stl files into Google Sketchup and cut them in half. Or really more like 2/3 + 1/3 & 3/4+ 1/4, making them just small enough to fit on my printer and then to be glued back together on before being placed in the box.

I actually got the chance to finally post something on thingiverse! It's just a remix, but it already has likes, shares and collection adds..

Down to the nitty gritty! It took me a while to print all the pieces, I only batched a couple of the smaller pieces, but the rest were individual.  There are supposed to be 9 pieces, but I have 11, since I had to cut two up. There is still enough room in the box for another board. Since I don't have any of the expansions yet, I may just print a couple spacers to hold everything in place.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the print. I feel that this might have been underwhelming and built up.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Note To Self - Clear the bed

Tuesday night I went to bed with my printer going - about 40 minutes left on a print. It finished beautifully. I had one more piece left to print in my upcoming project reveal! I have mentioned it a few times, but I will post pics and a write up when it's done.

Wednesday morning I set up the print in Cura, the software to control the printer, because i have just enough time to finish a 3-hour-print before work. Then I walked upstairs to make a quick breakfast. I usually catch up on my stories and eat a leisurely breakfast, snuggle the puppers, catch up on my Words With Friends, etc, morning stuff. I turned the TV on for the last round of Holiday Baking Championship, turned the tv back off without worrying about my DVR, cleaned my dishes and came downstairs. I figured I would have some Netflix and MTG card sorting before work.

"Let me check on that print and see how sexy it is," I told Charlotte the dog. I look at the printer and can't quite get my head around what I am seeing. Half of the print is completely finished. but the arm is jumping and twitching in a hardening puddle of plastic, the bed, I immediately notice is making a weird noise.

Why is the arm still down low, if half the print is already 2 inches tall?

Have you guessed?

I didn't take my print from Tuesday night off the bed before I tried to print again.

That's right, I literally tried to print over my print, so I could have a print while I had my print.

Cronenburg Print
The second half of the story: I peeled the Cronenberg abomination print from the bed, strip it, clean it, sigh deeply. (If I can interject on my own story on my own blog, the raft on piece one came away perfectly, like safefty guard on electronics... too bad the burned and weirdly melted pieces messed it up) I guess I could get the smaller of the two parts reprinted before work. Before I do that, I remember the weird clanking noise and check the screws on the bed for tightness. Everything's tight. I decide to print a calibration test - the standard 3mm square provided by printrbot.

Oh my. There is something definitely wrong with the bed's axis. I played with the pronterface - trying to move the x axis, hearing only thumps and whirring. I start to worry. I grab my coffee and set up shop in the office instead of the living room - it's going to be a long morning...

Look at that smooth Raft!
The story has a semi-decent ending, I promise. I unplugged it, disconnected from computer and removed the bed, dusting it off, nothing looked broken, the toothy belt that moves the axis was a bit loose. I cut the zip tie and tightened it, rezip-tying it.screwed all the screws back in, tried again. same problem.

I do it again. This time when I have the bed off, I live dangerously and turn it on, use the pronterface to move the x axis. it seems to be moving the belt, no thumping. I turn it back off and kind of "floss" the area, pulling the toothy belt back and forth for about 30 seconds. Reassemble the bed, turn it all on, try to move the x-axis. It works fine, the bed moves, no grinding, jsut the normal "whurrrr" as it moves.

I print another calibration square. this time it works perfectly.  I write up a post and it's time for work!

Broken Ass Bed on the left, tightened and jiggled on the rightDuring my down time on the phone i set the printer to go, printing the bigger piece, and then the small piece, It finishes about 30 minutes after I am done working and I tacky glue the two pieces together. The tacky glue worked just fine on the smaller pieces from the day before. I just gotta wait on that, and then I can takes pictures and write up my next piece!