Tuesday, April 19, 2016

3D Print School: Replacement Game Pieces

Replacement piece in cardboard (left)
Learning Challenge: To replace missing pieces of a game to ensure that the game is playable.  As part of the classroom resources there is a pack of 'wet lunchtime games'.  The purpose of these games is to ensure that the students can be occupied during times that the weather prevents them from going outside.  Some of the games have smaller game pieces that are plastic that overtime have been lost.

Some of the game pieces had been replaced by cardboard cut outs of various pieces (see right) - however the students when brainstorming ideas about using the 3D Printers in the classroom they felt that the could reproduce the pieces better and in more detail using the 3D Printers.

Tinkercad search of 'Cluedo'
Background: This task enabled the classroom of students to be involved in a straightforward task.  There were six items altogether that needed to be recreated, which meant that we had three to four students in each group.  In the first instance we looked at replacing the items with the original game pieces - these could be done relatively cheaply however we wanted to incorporate the technology.  We looked at Tinkercad to see if someone had already produced them - and couldn't find the existing regular items but did find a version of it.  However this didn't align to the existing cards that were produced with the games.   It meant as a consequence that the game couldn't have been played with the existing game cards.

Task: Students had to design the game pieces and 3D Print them to replace the following items: rope, lead pipe, knife, spanner/wrench, candlestick or revolver. These would be the size that would allow them to be used as replacement parts in the game.

Level of Difficulty: Some of the weapon items were straightforward - such as the lead pipe.  The more difficult items such as the revolver were extremely challenging for students to create the detail.  This group of students identified that Tinkercad had pre existing revolvers that they could have used however the intention was to replace with original student designs.
Some items to be improved...

Issues: Detail on the designs related to the size of the items - there were some items that required considerable detail and others did not.

Timeframe: The size of the six items to fit for their use in the game meant that under a regular print the print time was 70 minutes.

Size: Each of the items was of various size from 4-5cm with a width of between 1cm and 2cm. Process: designed on paper to start with, created in Tinkercad.  Converted to Cura and printed using Ultimaker 2.

Moving Forward: Replacement game pieces has potential to be a good introductory task for 3D Printing in the classroom.  It is a simple practical task (although it must be noted the difficulty of some of the items varied greatly) that would allow something to be used in the classroom and therefore could be particularly ongoing task.


  1. Love this blog and this post... So I know you'll accept this tiny bit of feedback...
    I think it would be fair to say that there's likely a better purpose for playing games on rainy days than just "occupying" students... (referring to: "The purpose of these games is to ensure that the students can be occupied during times that the weather prevents them from going outside. "). I think it would be better to say that that purpose is to give kids a chance to learn more - or continue the learning - through playing games!

    1. Yes I think that probably explains it better. It all depends on how much it rains and what the weather is like in your country. In New Zealand the students have to have fill in time when its wet. I think the learning could be best explained by using the 3D Printer to design something to help with it. Thanks for the feedback - your site is an inspiration to us. Keep up the amazing work.