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Product Idea Questions:
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VonDan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to make theater sets out of foam that duplicate the look of red brick and stone new york city tenement building.

Then I used to make 1/72 scale castles out of all sorts of foam.

To cut i used xacto style blades, or a hot wire cutter,

hand held battery powered hot wire cutters with a mouth of up to 6 inches can be found at any craft store for about $10 new or $2 or $3 for a craft kit from the 70's that ends up unused at good will . You can build or buy bench mounted hot wire cutter than works like a bench mounted scroll saw. With cardboard templates pined to the foam on one or both sides you can use the hot wire and cut along the card board and get a clean consistent cuts

With a really close cell foam like the blue foam in wall insulation you can shape it with a fine grade sand paper on a belt sander

To glue i used liquid nail or silicon calking

For the stone I would melt/rough up the foam with acetone or thinner but test the power of the thinner vs the hardyness of the foam on scraps of the same kind.

To make a base coat for a stone look mix grey latex paint with wall spackle and water and paint it on as the primer


Von "They Called me Styro" Dan
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some shots of this gussied up.

The protype showed me some things I needed to fix. The entire thing lost an inch in height, as 3" walls made some rooms a pain to reach into, and stuff from other products (those stairs are Terraclips) don't work well at that height.

The prototype was really meant as a proof of concept, not for display, so don't hold its shoddy craftsmanship against me. (I can't cut foamcore to save my life.) I did hit the thing with a coat of "Stone" spraypaint, just to give it a look closer to styrofoam. Its not the gray color I'm getting the real things made from, but its better than foamcore.






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robert4818
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having put the last semester behind me. I've spent the last couple weeks putting together a 9 piece prototype. There's still some work to do to make it look good (right now its still pure white, not gray like the final manufactured product will be.

But here's a sneak peek for fellow savages.

I'm waiting on some quotes from my manufacturer, but thats one of the final steps before I start doing kickstarter for these. That's a yard stick for scale purposes. I will say that my own hand-cutting of foamcore is nowhere near as good as the final product process of molded EPS foam. For one, the final one won't have seams, as each tile will be a single piece. And, I'm sure they cut straighter lines than I do Smile


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Amaril
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something to consider is the increasing affordability of 3D printers. While right now they are still largely out of most gamers' budgets, that will change in just a few short years.

It might be a worthy business to instead sell files of 3d models for users to print their own. You then wouldn't have to worry about shipping and handling, and the printed products are much more durable.

For a fee, you could offer to print it for those who do not have their own printers.
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amaril wrote:
Something to consider is the increasing affordability of 3D printers. While right now they are still largely out of most gamers' budgets, that will change in just a few short years.

It might be a worthy business to instead sell files of 3d models for users to print their own. You then wouldn't have to worry about shipping and handling, and the printed products are much more durable.

For a fee, you could offer to print it for those who do not have their own printers.


The printing envelope is a bit of a problem right now. The tiles are 18" x 18" X 3". Home 3d printers don't come anywhere near that printing envelope. Many commercial one's don't ether.

On top of that, 3d printing wouldn't be cheap for these either. As designed, each tile is approximately 0.2 cubic feet of material. (One calculation I saw for a 1kg spool of material was around 962cc volume printable.) To print that same amount of material would take about 5 1kg spools of material @ around 50 dollars a spool. That's over 250 dollars a tile.

Granted, I could go through and re-work every tile design so that its "hollow", but many of the same issues remain, even if lessened.
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Amaril
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but you could also design them as smaller moduler pieces that can be assembled.
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amaril wrote:
True, but you could also design them as smaller moduler pieces that can be assembled.


While true, it doesn't actually solve the problem. I'm a huge fan of 3d printing. But, at the time being, this product doesn't fit the 3d printing concept well at all. One of the goals of this product is inexpensive table coverage. And no matter how small I chop the concept down for the 3d printer, the problem of table coverage pricing creeps back in.

However, if you wanted something like the dwarven forge product line, then 3d printing is a great solution. Though I am working on a tile designed to be cut up that allows for that as well.
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GamerDude
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robert4818 wrote:
Jordan Peacock wrote:
Another thought: Grids. Will there be any indication of grid-lines on the models? I can see pros and cons for including such a thing, but I just thought I'd mention it. (I personally just use a tape measure, rather than being confined to a grid when it comes to terrain.)


It may be possible to be a Grid, but it limits use to games that use grids. However, given the modularity of the product, a person can add a grid if they so choose.
While I have no worry about grids/no grids... what I look for is flexibility. I ran a HackMaster campaign back in 2000-2002 and one of the players had like six boxes of dwarven forge he brought for us to use. Great stuff but heavy and a little cumbersome when having to remove part of the map to lay down a new section.

What I want for myself is something like a peg board, little holders the walls sit in and get pushed into the holds. This does limit a little to straight lines/45 degree angles and such it's visually nicer than just marker on a matt.

Also visibility. I had problem with the one player who ran a halfling. Of course this choice meant is mini was only 1/2" tall (vs average 1" for humans, elves, and the like). The dwarven forge walls being like an inch tall meant the player had to get up off his lazy arse to see his mini - yet instead he choose to just bitch like a whiny... little... girl. Having 1/2" tall walls would be kind of nice (but I'll take 1" tall if necessary for production purposes).
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a hatpin with a large, teardrop shaped head on it. Paint it a bright color and stick it on the halfling. That way, like a little kid at the mall, you can look for the "balloon" tied to his wrist.



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GamerDude
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snate56 wrote:
Get a hatpin with a large, teardrop shaped head on it. Paint it a bright color and stick it on the halfling. That way, like a little kid at the mall, you can look for the "balloon" tied to his wrist.
SteveN
Nice idea. If I ever get into that situation again I'll remember it. Unfortunately that was back 2000-2002, the guy with the DF stuff moved out of town, and the 'halfling' pissed everyone off enough that he was eventually invited to leave not to be seen again until just recently (and gaming the same way just now in W40k instead of RPGs)
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, way back in the day, we had a guy too that would always show up with his 47th level warlock/ninja/priest of ba'al and try to weasel in to someone's game. Rolling Eyes



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Cryonic
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decent looking, but not sure I get the point. The walls are very tall and thick and I find things like this actually make it harder to maneuver miniatures around in without knocking around or down tons of other figures. Plus the scale of the drawn maps work better (walls are only 6" thick vs the 4' or so of thickness that these represent).
The stackability for transport might be nice, but a rolled up mat and markers take up less space and weight.
As for home 3D printing... a lot of those systems allow for expandability of the printing stage. The defaults are small as most people will use them for smaller things, like gears or figures a few inches tall. A floor with anchor points and printable walls would probably be better as a product as the floor would allow for customizability and the printable parts would allow for flexibility of the design (rock walls vs wooden vs dirt).
Angles and round rooms could be handled by not making the pegs a fixed part of the walls, so they can be positioned as needed along the part.
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warrenss2
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The walls are very tall and thick ...
--- I agree. It's a little bit too tall. Gamers will get tired of reaching down into it to move things around. Maybe pizza box height would correct this and make it easier to see the action?

Plus you could give more at the price and save on storage space too.
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robert4818
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warrenss2 wrote:
Quote:
The walls are very tall and thick ...
--- I agree. It's a little bit too tall. Gamers will get tired of reaching down into it to move things around. Maybe pizza box height would correct this and make it easier to see the action?

Plus you could give more at the price and save on storage space too.


Could I give more at the price? The answer is, not really. Raw material is a small part of the overall production price. (One option I chose doubled the raw material cost, but only increased the production cost by around 20%.)

2' walls seem to be fairly standard, which is what I'm using. (Terraclips and Terrainlinx from World Works Games uses 2" walls, Same with Dwarven Forge)
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Cryonic
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robert4818 wrote:
warrenss2 wrote:
Quote:
The walls are very tall and thick ...
--- I agree. It's a little bit too tall. Gamers will get tired of reaching down into it to move things around. Maybe pizza box height would correct this and make it easier to see the action?

Plus you could give more at the price and save on storage space too.


Could I give more at the price? The answer is, not really. Raw material is a small part of the overall production price. (One option I chose doubled the raw material cost, but only increased the production cost by around 20%.)

2' walls seem to be fairly standard, which is what I'm using. (Terraclips and Terrainlinx from World Works Games uses 2" walls, Same with Dwarven Forge)


Which means it did increase your costs which means it did raise your prices. So, as warrenss2 pointed out, you could lower your costs which would lower your prices which could result in more sales. No where did he say by how much, heheh.

The real standard that I see is a game mat and markers, not Dwarven Forge or World Works Games. Those are a huge cost investment by any GM and aren't really as convenient as one would like. I think the last group I was in that had them, the GM spent several hours of most sessions setting up and tearing down the various maps, whereas the mats required a few minutes of time.
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