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Subject: Printing Vinyl Game Boards? rss

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Todd Pytel
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Chicago
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Can anyone share any experience creating vinyl game boards, like the mats often used for Chess? I see there are a number of print shops that offer vinyl printing for outdoor posters - is this the same kind of material? Any recommendations for how to do a small job somewhat cheaply? Just how thick is the material? I'm considering making a vinyl board for Ogre that would lay flat without tape or plexi but also be able to roll up and fit back into a small case. I found this outfit online...

http://www.bigposters-store.com/Detail.bok?no=12

...which seems to have considerably cheaper prices than Kinkos, but perhaps I should also phone up some local shops? I don't know just how common the equipment is for this sort of thing. I'd really like to keep the cost under $40 shipped if at all possible, and even that's a little high for my taste.

Any suggestions?
 
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Tim M-L
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The Chess boards I've run into are on a thicker material than would easily go through a printer. They are screen printed, which could only be that cheap if you are making thousands or making it yourself. The material this company uses would probably be closer to the Battle Masters board, if you've ever dealt with that. It would probably work pretty well. you might have some trouble getting it to lay completely flat, depending on how tightly it is rolled and for how long between games.

You could probably get a better idea of the material by going to local shops, who should have a sample you can look at.
 
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Kent Reuber
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I've done a couple of vinyl maps at Kinkos. Just one warning--the stuff at Kinkos has a fair amount of memory. If you roll it up and leave it rolled, it will tend to stay that way.
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Bobby Doran
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I've used vinyl maps in a couple of my games. Check out Deep Space DrillerAce. I have no complaints about the way it came out. I would suggest finding a digital sign printer. They can adjust the material and print quality to meet your budget. Good luck with your project.
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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You might save money by buying a blank vinyl hex "battlemap" then adding your own terrain elements with stamps you make or buy.

Gorno
 
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Schrodinger's Dog
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I know of a person in my community who has been printing these for years... I actually asked him about the techniques, price, etc. and it's very close to printing posters, except with the square footage and colors determining the price of the end product. The machines themselves are really just giant printers that actually look more like looms(or, if you're familiar with drafting printers, you'll know what to expect.)

They shouldn't be that expensive... I think he was guessing the price of my 30"x 42" boards at about $15 each. Not sure if it was a special price or what, but even with markup, I could see them going no more than $40. Good Luck in your search.
 
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Stephen Tavener
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The HP Designjet 90 is an A2 printer that will print onto rolls of canvas. Add some spray to fix the colours, and you have a thick, durable game board. If you ignore the cost of the printer, I estimate the total cost at about £2 per A2 game board.
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Andy K
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Large-format digital printers have become very common in the sign industry. The sign shop I used to work for charged $6 per square foot for a decent-weight outdoor vinyl. I think that was an average to below-average price for this area (central Indiana).

I'd suggest stopping by a shop where they can show you samples of the materials available and maybe even do a test print for you.

Good luck!
 
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A Huckey
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Oregon
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kentreuber wrote:
I've done a couple of vinyl maps at Kinkos. Just one warning--the stuff at Kinkos has a fair amount of memory. If you roll it up and leave it rolled, it will tend to stay that way.
Too true! I made an awesome Dune board on vinyl and we always had to put spice counters in the corners to hold it down because of the memory of the board. I did like the durability of the printing on the vinyl though.
 
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