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3D Printing - Bendy, Detailed or Sturdy (Part 1)

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With my first bee printed I had an abundance of questions and ideas.  This 2-part post and the next post happened in parallel but I’ve tried to put some order on the chaos.
I still find it difficult in 3D printing to find the line between the effect of the material used in the print and the effect of the printer.  Both advance and change so much, it’s still hard to tell.  The design changes are explained later so we will start with the materials. 
Check out the picture of the bee from the last post.  This was my first successful bee and it was done in yellow PLA, probably one of the most popular materials for 3D printing.  If you look closely you can see very thin horizontal lines in the body and jagged edges.  The lines are because the printer prints in layers of plastic.  The thickness between the lines is determined by the nozzle diameter.  Better printers mean thinner gaps.  This print had quite a fine nozzle diameter compared to some of the prints I have seen. 
As you can see,…

3D Printing - Beeeeees - The Difficulty of Design

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3D printing is new, shiny and a wonderful opportunity to make amazing things.  From the outside, it looks easy but it can be really difficult to get the good quality information on it.  That is where I struggled starting out.  Here I’ll share the things I’ve learned on my own journey so that you might get to skip the first few mistakes I’ve made. 
We wanted bees.  Fast.  I wanted big fluffy ones but that’s beside the point.  These beautiful little creatures are quite complex if you want an accurate representation of them.  I dove right in to try to 3D print them.  Reading the specs on various printers I naively assumed that if a printer could print a 100 micron layer then I could design to that size.  This was not my cleverest moment.  There isn’t much structural integrity in a strand of skinny melted plastic.  My very first design never even got to print as the tail and antenna were too thin.  So I started with a head, wings and body on a little stand.  He was tiny. 3DHubs.com was r…

The Game Mechanic - Hidden Roles

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Hidden roles add a layer of social deduction to a board game. Players must try to analyse other people's decisions to surmise their secret role. Do you have the same objective as everyone else? Are you a traitor and do people suspect you? Should you make a decision against your objective to cover your tracks? The rules of the game should allow players to deceive one another, to form alliances based on trust and to do other events typical of social competitions.

"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." - Benjamin Franklin

MafiaMafia is a party game created in 1986. It has one group of players secretly be the Mafia and another be innocent civilians. Every night the Mafia take out an innocent civilian. During the day, the civilians must deduce which are hidden Mafia members. This is social deduction at it's simplest. Players begin wild unsupported accusations from the very beginning. Players are keenly watching others for reactions or lack of reactions. T…

Download Free Board Games - How to Play Mafia, Werewolf

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Mafia and Werewolf are two names for the same game. It was originally called Mafia so this is how I will refer to it in this post. Mafia is a fantastic social deduction party game for all ages. One group of players are secretly the Mafia and the other group are civilians. Every night the Mafia take out one of the innocent civilians. During the day the civilians discuss who could have betrayed them. They must deduce who among them is covertly a part of the Mafia. By democratic vote, the civilians then eliminate their suspected Mafia member. Night and day continue until either all Mafia are eliminated or all the civilians.

    This is a simple yet satisfying game. You will wildly accuse each other of sabotage and betrayal. You will watch closely to everyone's reactions. You will be shocked when it turns out your kind friend was stabbing you in the back the whole time.

"This life of ours, this is a wonderful life. If you can get through life like this and get away with it, h…

The Game Mechanic - Dexterity

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Dexterity in board games is about incorporating the real world as part of the challenge. The sweat on your palms, the strength of your muscles, the speed of your reflexes. These things are different for everyone and change regularly. Does relying on the dexterity of the player create too much chaos? Does removing abstract systems change the experience?
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent." - Arthur Conan Doyle

Jenga Jenga was made in the early 1970s and has players build a tower of unstable wooden blocks. It requires nerves of steel and a steady hand. The enjoyment here comes from the tense moments as the tower wavers when players remove and place blocks. All the blocks are the same, however subtle differences occur during manufacturing that mean every Jenga tower ends up different. It's these varying levels of friction and size that adds continued enjoyment.


Catacombs    Catacombs is an adventure game where heroes battle mon…

The Game Mechanic - Cooperative

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Board games are currently in a time of renaissance. People around the world are realizing the best way to get people to talk, to challenge and to have fun together is around a board game. Cooperative games allow everyone to work together to beat the game. Does this take out the competitive element? Does working together make things easy or challenging?
"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Pandemic Pandemic was published in 2007 and since then has been the most popular and well known cooperative board game. This game turns players into a group of international doctors trying to cure the spread of diseases around the world. The game board is a map of the world. The theme turns people into saviors of the world, a last stand against total destruction. This brings people together to work on a common goal.

    Thi…

The Game Mechanic - Tile Laying

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Some games create a whole new world to explore, one tile at a time. This is a great way to create a new experience every time you play. Each tile placed carves out a section of the world to discover. I want to discuss how tile laying changes the control of a game. How can tiles change how people approach games? Is it too random or too controlling?

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

ScrabbleScrabble is an incredibly popular board game where players lay tiles down to form words. It started in 1931 as a game called Lexiko and ever since then people have argued as to whether or not they can spell. The board grows as more and more words are added. This gives players new opportunities for words. Players become paralyzed analyzing their next move knowing that other players will point out the faults in their plan. They are competing both with other players and with the draw of the tiles.


Carcassonne     …