This week I’ve been design and creating dungeon tiles rollers for terrain crafting. The goal is to create a simple pattern that can be replicated around a roller to create a consistent imprint on XPS foam.
The first version was kludged together and mostly work, but the imprint was not square and the design process wasn’t elegant. The second version highlighted errors in the process which could be seen in the distortion when comparing the X & Y directions. 25mm (1 inch ) in X to 29 mm (1 1/8 inch) in the Y direction. Rescaling the size of the cylinder corrected this mistake. Finally, I just need some more patterns…
Research & References
Most research starts with a search (Duck Duck Go in this case) to find suitable images & other resources. It has been very useful having the name of the tile patterns, along with the images to use for inspiration.
A few years ago, I was working on a set of science fiction themed floor tiles with the idea of releasing them on Shapeways. However, I was not happy with the design as the legs of the pieces snapped off quickly pointing to a flaw in the design. It’s one that could be easily fixed, but the time lag and cost of iterating the design would have been prohibitive. So with other priorities pressing in, I let it slide to the back burner.
Now, just recently I get my first 3D Printer and have been looking as Devon Jones’ designs on Thingiverse. The Terrain tiles and miniatures that he and others have created is truly inspiring, and I’ve been bitten by the 3D design bug again. So, I pulled out some old designs I did in Blender and reworked them to improve the design and create a set of sci-fi dungeon tiles that I could use with Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Infinity, or Starfinder.
The first was a set of plain tiles, to use as a template for the other designs. Then I took the designs for an age ago and tweaked them to suit the printer.
About a month ago I created a 3D model of a sandstone bridge, put it up on shapeways. The printed model only took a week & half to arrive (from the other side of the planet). Now that I’ve proofed the physical copy, it’s up for sale on shapeways.
Overall, I’m happy with this model. Some of the colours are a little darker than expected, but not insanely so. The topology needed some correcting. You can see the line of bricks in the center of the bridge.
This render of the finished bridge shows the corrected brick tiling. the terrain fearture is available in sandstone and grey stone
Having a keen interest in 3D Printing and teaching Blender in a high school for my day job, I couldn’t resist getting the DVD, Blender for 3D Printing. In fact I downloaded it immediately instead of waiting for the physical DVD to arrive. With most of these tutorial or training DVDs, I tend to be disappointed with the presentation style of watching someone work through a single project in real time without a break, which I find very boring and frustrating because I want to skip a head, but on the other hand I’m worried I’ll miss something useful.
So with this in mind, I found that best bit of this DVD was the style of presentation. The presenter, Dolf (Macouno) Veenvliet, provided concise explanations and easy examples of how to apply that idea. This allows me to view a section to understand the content or review it to reinforce an idea. Also where most training DVDs are purely screen capture this combined that with a view of Macouno working, in which he would turn to the camera and discuss a concept, before using Blender to demonstrate it.
The section on Checks and Fixes provides an excellent overview of the new 3D printing tools in Blender 2.67 and it makes the DVD worth purchasing on it’s own. The previous section on Colouring Models is also high quality and informative. The final section on Making Sintel Printable gives you a summary of the process followed without the many hours the how it was done video, and the final version is available on shapeways.
Overall, I think that this would not suit an absolute beginner, but someone with a little experience in using the software and wanting to gain knowledge for entry into the 3D printing market or just to make some cool stuff, because the focus is 3D Printing and he simply high-lights effective tools and techniques in that direction. For example; in the Using Modifier’s section he does gives a brief outline of the four types of modifiers and then focuses on the two or three that are useful in 3D Printing.