Saturday, April 6, 2019

3D Printed Game Counters

Above: Group 1 with lettering
Challenge: To produce a set of individualised counters that would be suitable for use with a specific board game.
Background: As part of a general unit of study that the students were involved in for the Whio Duck the students accessed a boardgame to play related to the topic.   The board itself was the only material available - there were no counters that were specific to the game.   The students were instructed with the task of in small groups to produce a game pack so that the game could go to other classrooms, we produced rules (as there were no present), used virtual dice (although in the past we have produced 3D Printed die but these are easily available and mass produced) and made the decision to give the students the opportunity to produce 3D Printed counters for the game.   The counter squares on the game measure 45mm by 35mm and it has a 'snakes and ladders' style board and approach.   While we could have used regular counters from a set (non descript plastic counters) it provided a good practical use for the 3D Printing to produce something that was small but could be customised.  As it was a small group whole class activity the students were given the opportunity to design according to a planning session.  Group one choose to produce a counter with a
Above: Group 2 with basic design
single letter on display on it, as shown in the photo.   Group two opted for non-descript counters with the intention of spray painting them later specific colours.  The students in group three opted for large pieces with a bird theme on the top and other animals that fitted with the style of the game.
Level of Difficulty: Low - students were producing a basic design piece that needed little adjustment the group three item was slighlty more complicated but only took ten minutes to design the others were under three.
Timeframe: For group one the total print time was forty five minutes.   For group two the print time was thirty minutes.   For the third individual piece the print time was ninety minutes, although significant reworking of this deisgn was required as its base was to large.
Size: The small counters were 20mm across and 5mm high.  The other (third) design of the individual bird was 50mm across and 30mm high.   This was going to be considerably reworked to ensure that it was more manageable. 
What we would do differently: This was a short term print and a short term design project designed to work with small groups collaborating together to produce something simple.  More complex designs were possible (as opted for at least one group) - and this post will be updated once the other groups have completed their designs.

Board game with Group One designs compared to the size of the board.

Larger piece from group three shown on the board illustrating the size relative to counter designed.

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