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Subject: Who can Create my Prototype Ruler? rss

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Robert Wesley
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As another had already mentioned, then there is some 'carpentry' measuring device, that had segments of around 6-inches apiece which unfold up to I believe 6-feet. These may be available in a 'plastic'-form of which could suit your purposes then, while the one that I had isn't designed to 'flex' much except along where it has been fully extended.
 
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Matt D
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lastspartacus wrote:


The question is: Who can I commission for prototypes? :)


I like it!

I'm looking forward to this type of measuring system and can see many games where it would be far preferable to simple templates.

If I was going to make a game based on this idea (and Daniel King's elegant solution practically demands I must), may I suggest one enhancement to our collective ruminations : make the pieces modular so that you may change the basic length by snapping on and removing segments in the snake/chain.

Now depending on the physics system you're going for (low relative friction) it may be that speed drastically changes turn radius, but I can imagine many games where rather than having many multiple rulers it's 'fun enough' to have a few rulers which can grow or shrink to regulate max movement (or even min movement).

As for making it, what I would do is quickly model up one generic link in Sketch Up or Blender, then go to a 3D printing site like Shapeways and print off a set of 4-5 links.

The math for the turn radius is quite simple. Think of each link in your snake as it is at the most tightly wound position. It's approximating a part of a circle, except that the links are straight lines. Now if you consider one link, you can see that it describes an isosceles triangle with one point at the center of the circle and the two others at the hinge points of your snake links. If you cut that isosceles triangle in half you get a right triangle with one point still at the center, one point still at the hinge and one point in the center of the link. With that you can easily solve for any variable you want using only basic trigonometry. If you know the link angle you want to control you can calculate the turn radius, or vice versa for any given link length. If you fix the radius and angle you can solve for the link length.

Depending on the game I can see either keeping the link length fixed or keeping the angle fixed and varying lengths...

Hmm... with modular links I think you could even model acceleration/deceleration over one game turn by inserting the proper links in the right sequence...
 
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Wes Herndon

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How would properly sequencing the links simulate differing speeds?
 
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Matt D
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lastspartacus wrote:
How would properly sequencing the links simulate differing speeds?


Acceleration / deceleration.

If you change from speed 1 to speed 5 in one turn, you build a chain of link from length 1 to 5 and use that plot your move. It's lower resolution at higher speeds, but simple. Of course you could also say as your speed increases you add X links of lower turning radius instead but that seems very fiddly.
 
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Daniel King
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adorablerocket wrote:


Acceleration / deceleration.

If you change from speed 1 to speed 5 in one turn, you build a chain of link from length 1 to 5 and use that plot your move. It's lower resolution at higher speeds, but simple. Of course you could also say as your speed increases you add X links of lower turning radius instead but that seems very fiddly.


Two things to add here. 1 is that an individual "link" cannot have a turning radius. It is only the combination of two links that will create a radius limit. On that note, here's a drawing for you.

This is a 60 degree radius turn segment. Just like in the last drawing, just cut them out and glue them on top of each other. The completed links can be placed down on top of each other easily. Just to let you know, this design can be expanded to any degree of flexibility up to 90 degrees. That being said, it will get very unstable as you approach that value.
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Matt D
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1. Yes of course, but if the next link in the chain has a greater or lower radius than the current link it effectively increases or decreases the max bend at that hinge.

2. Heh, thanks for the link. I'm just going to 3D print mine as I want some slightly more complex geometry. Rather than rulers I'm thinking of a game where you actually build the chains and leave them there as obstacles to future placement - think of the light cycles in Tron. Thus I want something that's easy to place and pick up so I've been thinking of something like below:



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Daniel King
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That link looks great. The only problem is the front area. The rounded part seems to end in two spikes that point outward. They need to point inward in order to allow for rotation. You need your design to have a leeway of twice the allowable angle so it can go both ways. Other than that, very cool.
 
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Matt D
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Sorry I should have drawn the other end. Next to the pin is just a tab that stops on the "spikes". Of course there's bunch of ways to express the limit stops, but I figure if one side is always a tab it's easier for me to just update one side to adjust the angle.



Although now that you mention it I think it would look nicer the way you suggest... :-)


I'm actually getting excited about this!
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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In case you're interested, I have a simpler solution
Rate of Turn "Mechanic"

But it might not fit your game; it depends on the mechanics.
 
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Daniel King
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Your renderings are great, but still, those pieces, when stuck together, will not move. Or they will. Actually is that little rectangular bit there to stop the turning? If it is, then yeah, it will work. But the part that looks like a guy celebrating ( |\O/| ) would be better if it was transitioned to a man with his hands down. I think it will be more elegant that way. Here's a fairly inelegant image:



Again, this is a 60 degree segment. I don't think Sketchup is great for 3d printing because it renders curves as a series of straight lines.
 
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Matt D
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Chris,

Yes your bits will work, but they are actually the exact same things we have already been describing. Slightly different topology perhaps but mathematically equivalent. Legos would work too (kudos to any project involving Legos), but custom pieces are actually easier believe it or not.

Daniel,

Yes, I agree. The square bit in my drawing wa teh stop, but as I mention in my post it is slightly more aesthetic to widen the stop as it were and have both sides have "their arms down" simply because it avoid pointy bit.

You're right about sketch up, I figured for low res printing it wouldn't matter since STL always tessellates anyhow IIRC, but Blender is easy enuff...
 
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Matt D
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Chris, I see what you are getting at. I have difficulty parsing your phrasing so I apologize if I misinterpret what you are saying.

You're right the ball and socket pieces are a good way to make a repeatably 'snapable' chain within the flex tolerances of the plastic.

The pin in my tile design would not be a good foundation for a snap fit, but it's also not intended to be such.

In my game idea the links are better thought of as flexible templates that you'd leave on the table, but can easily pick up so the pin is merely a hinge point and registration aid when dropping the next tile into the sequence. Think of it more like Techno Witches templates but with flexibility in how they come together. You'll see if you go back to my posts that I was also exploring both the use of variable angle link features and variable length links.

I'd be a little concerned about a chain of stamped ball and socket pieces in the ruler use case that OP requested because it will tend to fall apart if you flex it on a different axis than the hinge - but maybe quick release is a feature.
 
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