Three-Dee Thursday: More Laser Cutting

Here are some of the laser cut designs I made tonight. Most of these designs I’ve drafted on the bus to/from work. It was pretty quiet in the Fab Lab today so I was able to send quite few jobs through! I was also able to experiment a bit with the deep etching I’m using on the Tetris pieces and try out some special acrylic glue – I had designed most of my cuts to hold together via friction, but having taken them home and had a play I think I’ll need to head back some time and get some more glue in them.



Regretting not picking up more colours from the acrylic supplier… another time, I suppose.

Three-Dee Thursday: AVCon Trophies

It’s time to kick off Blaugust again, the time of year that I can actually feel good about not updating my blog frequently, because it means that I have a bunch of content to throw up each day while other Blaugust participants have to create new content. Suckers.

Actually I think I’ll end up creating a fair bit of new stuff for this month anyway, so I don’t know when my older stuff will get to see the light of day. I guess I don’t have as much of a backlog as last year. My rough outline for this year’s Blaugust will be as follows:

  • Sheet-Music Sunday
  • Musical Monday
  • Watercolour Wednesday
  • Three-Dee Thursday
  • Fan-Art Friday

I also plan to do Strippin’ Saturday content, for which I intend to make comics, but that’s a bit uncertain. Tired Tuesday will be my day of rest, though if I’m feeling not-lazy I’ll find something to upload.

Anyway, today I’m showing off the trophies I made for AVCon this year, of which I’ve shared a couple of times on the Twitter machine.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Adelaide Fab Lab lately, where I’ve been getting quite familiar with their laser cutter. My first project was to make approximately 300 tokens for us to give away to AVCon attendees. I was then inspired by some trophies on display in the Fab Lab and realised we could make some really cool customised trophies for AVCon.


Also thanks to the Fab Lab I’ve been getting back into 3D modeling, so the first thing I did was to mock up a 3D render of how the trophy might look.


Using Blender I was able to work out the geometry of the trophy and ensure that there weren’t any impossible intersections of the material. I was also able to use Blender to export out the correct alignment of the required cuts in the trophy base.

Initially I had wanted to use some kind of stained wood for the base, and I experimented with MDF. (You’ll notice the plaque has been enlarged here from the demo render, the result of some trial and error, AKA poor conversions)


However as it turned out, there was a ton of scrap red acrylic available at the Fab Lab, and lazy me also didn’t want to work out how to do attractive wood staining. The final draft used acrylic throughout the trophy, with some gold paper for the inside of the Invader.


I ended making up additional thank-you trophies for our special guests as well. Chris Cason took a really flattering photo his!

Next time I try this, I’m going to have a go at mounting some little LEDs along the sides of the Acrylic. Apparently the effect is very cool.

Ticket to Ride UK

During Thursday-night board games at the house of Leaflocker we were introduced to the game Ticket to Ride. Very simple yet very fun, we were hooked immediately.

With John’s birthday come and gone I was torn about getting him a copy of the game. After all, which version should I get? The superior Märklin set with its wonderful train cards, or a new board? Or perhaps purchasing a copy of the game on Stream would do?

The Steam copy didn’t allow hotseat play, however, so to get any play time together we’d have to buy multiple copies. We resolved to make a copy of the game so we could play hotseat on one computer… though inspired by Thom’s home-made Settlers of Catan set I was equally tempted to build a bootleg board.

…Then, while browsing the Days of Wonder website I found links to a number of fan maps. Building a copy of a fan map felt like a great way to celebrate the game and try a map that isn’t the German map without making an investment. And I could absolve my guilt about bootlegging an official map.

Quickly disappointed by the Australia map, I settled on UK v 2.0 and built myself a copy…

It folds!

The folded board is nice and compact, a little under 26cm square.

We playtested on Wednesday night. Alex won on 139 points.

Jimmy would have been on 138 given one more turn, he also had the most trains left by far.

I ended the game with no trains left. I would have gotten 136 points instead of 107 had I placed my last train differently, but it didn’t make the difference between me winning so there will only be minor whining, not incessant whining.

Anyway we had good fun on this map, mispronouncing our way through the UK. My next step will be to make up some proper cards for trains and tickets.