Well, I’m back after a hiatus for dealing with family and work stuff. Postings will be less frequent, but I’ll try to get something up every couple of weeks.
I’ve been playing role playing games for decades, and currently have a weekly Pathfinder with a bunch of friends. So when one of them told me about Fat Dragon Games kickstarter for gaming tiles, I jumped at the chance to combine two of my hobbies.
Tom over there has been great, and the forums are active with tips and tricks. I’ve dropped some thoughts there, but this one’s a bit lengthy so I’m posting it here instead.
The first thing I wanted to check out was how the tiles worked with different nozzles, print settings and materials. First, the materials. I tried HIPS, PLA and ABS, and got good results with all three. I do end up leaving my gaming supplies in the car in the summer sometimes, so I dropped PLA from the list (it can warp).
Since HIPS is about half the price of ABS, and comes in the color I need (grey), I decided to go that route for the base tiles. It has good structural strength and dimensional stability. I did experiment with fill settings, and ended up keeping it set to 20%. That ties the floor to the walls really well – they shouldn’t break.
I’m going to end up painting the tiles, and printing a bunch of them, so I only looked at the medium and fast profiles that Lulzbot provides – the fine profile runs about 4 hours per tile to print. Likewise, I tried it with both a 0.35mm and 0.5mm nozzle, and settled on the latter. My sweet spot is a modified profile and 0.5mm nozzle. Good enough detail to be cool, fast enough to print a bunch.
Dialing in the profile settings has been a bit of a challenge, and I’m still working on it a bit. I’ve been tweaking the starting line width and first layer thickness to try to avoid the broader first layer – it interferes with the dragonlock clips. Right now I’m using 100% width and a thickness of 0.37mm with my 0.5mm nozzle. I do get a tad bit of lifting on the corners, but the tiles lay flat and are functional.
Fat Dragon has designed their models to be compatible with the rest of their products, so the walls take up ½ of one of the squares.
That doesn’t really leave enough room for two mini’s to stand side by side, so I decided to mod the tiles to make the wall thinner. It’s not perfect, but it’s much closer and good enough for use. Some of my friends are just planning on not considering the wall square to be usable space (i.e. a 10×10 wall tile is functionally a 5×10 wall tile).