Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Toy, and the Wizard's Tower

So, yeah, got a new toy: a Printrbot Simple 3d printer. I've been curious about that sort of thing for a while, and when it became apparent that I'd be able to use one to produce custom cookie cutters, it went from "interesting" to "order one now."

I haven't made the cookie cutters yet. I've spent the past couple of weeks experimenting and learning how to use both the printer itself (as much an art as a science) and the modeling software to make printable designs. But I've got a viable design, and I've put together some useful stuff in the process, which brings us to this stuff right here.

We play a lot of Castle Panic at our house, to the point where the board, cards, and pieces are showing serious signs of wear. While poking around over at Thingiverse, I ran across some Castle Panic game pieces and the extra pieces from the wizard's tower set. It was obvious I had to make some of those, both for inherent niftiness and to save wear and tear on our increasingly frayed bits of cardboard.

Most of the pieces I just sprayed with a bit of stone-texture paint (see down at the bottom), but I wanted to do something special with the wizard's tower, seen here shortly after printing.

There's a little window just below the turret. I thought that might go nicely with a light. After figuring out more or less where the center of the bottom was, I got out a half-inch spade drill bit and started boring a hole in the bottom where it's thickest. After a couple of inches, I switched to a quarter inch bit. Weird observation: when the PLA plastic I'm using gets hot because of the friction from drilling, it gets gummy.

 Through luck or good planning (it was luck), the bit poked a hole at the bottom of the window, just barely visible here.

From there, it was simplicity itself to give the tower a spritz of paint (in something contrasting the stone-textured walls and other towers), attach a couple of wires to a small LED, stick them down the hole through the window, and tape the other end to a couple of tiny hearing aid batteries. This is what the final setup looks like:

My new toy. Is much fun.