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Subject: Best way to get many different hexforms cut out rss

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Mat Thorne
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Hello guys, hope you can help me out here. For my WIP I need to cut out several different hextiles for different terrain types. Take a look here at the upper half of what I am looking to achieve:


So far I have been printing out the designs on paper, cutting them out with a utility knife, glueing them on cardstock/cardboard and cutting it out again with the utility knife. Especially the cutting of the cardstock/board takes ages.

Do you guys know any faster method, or even is there a possibility to order special tiles like this printed and cut out already with the designs? I am really thankful for any advice, else I will have to cut for weeks yukgulp
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Bradley Eng-Kohn
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Laser or craft cutter (like a Cricut)
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Jake Staines
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Are you looking to produce many many copies of the game, or are you just trying to make one set for yourself?

How much are you willing to spend?

If you're buying equipment for this how much do you care how easily you'll be able to use it for something else later?




To my mind, the gold standard for this kind of thing is a die cutting machine. You can get small home models which are relatively inexpensive, but they tend to be limited firstly to a maximum cut size of around 15x18cm (6x7"?) and secondly to pre-made dies that only have generic shapes. There exist single-hexagon shapes but not to my knowledge multi-hexagon map overlay shapes. If you have the money to burn and don't have other requirements, you can buy a bigger semi-industrial model and have dies custom-made for you to cut whatever shapes you want. These are great for large batches of cuts, you can pump pieces out probably quicker than any other method and it'll provide an excellent cut quality. The pieces look exactly like regular board game pieces because that's exactly how regular board game pieces are cut as well.

A laser cutter is a great choice if you don't mind it taking a while to cut your pieces and the edges being blackened and the whole thing smelling like burning. The great benefit of a laser cutter is that you can load different shapes in really easily, and design new ones with a minimum of fuss on your PC, so it's an excellent option if you're doing a few one-off pieces but want to be able to use it for other, different projects in the future.

Most of the plotter-type craft cutters (Cameo etc.) specify that they'll only cut through thin cardstock at most, and aren't specified to cut the thick greyboard that game components are made out of. I've heard of people having some success by telling their cutter to make many passes over the same shapes, but given the way that they work I would still expect such a machine to have trouble with anything thicker than 1mm (a little over 1/32"?) board.

If you don't want to spend proper amounts of money, then you're realistically left with the knife and the steel ruler and the hours of time. ;-)
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Mat Thorne
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Well thank you for that elaborate answer!! Yea at the moment I am just looking to do prototype tiles for my own testing. This is already the 6th change of different maptiles while developing, so I had hoped for some easier way, as I probably will change something again in the future
I will probably have a look if there is local printshop with access to a laser cutting maching or will do it myself over time oh boy whistle
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
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Google for "stiff adhesive felt". You can cheaply buy sheets of felt that are stiff (like lightweight cardboard) and have adhesive on the back side. Print your hexes on paper, stick the paper to a sheet of felt, then cut out with scissors. It's pretty fast, and much easier and quicker than cardboard, rulers, and knives.

It's only suitable for prototypes, of course. And when I did it, I had larger hexes; but I don't see why it wouldn't work for smaller hexes as well.
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Luke Phillips
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Why not glue to the cardboard first, one less set of cuts to make?
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James Johnson
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A faster method would be to print on full page mailing labels, stick the full sheet onto 1/8" foam board, then cut the foam board with a razor or rotary knife.

It still takes some time, but you'll only have to cut once and cutting through the foam board is a breeze.

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Dan Durkin
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I use a Cricut machine. You are even able to print on cardstock (with your printer) and cut with the Cricut.
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Mat Thorne
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jjpuzzles wrote:

A faster method would be to print on full page mailing labels, stick the full sheet onto 1/8" foam board, then cut the foam board with a razor or rotary knife.

It still takes some time, but you'll only have to cut once and cutting through the foam board is a breeze.



Oh, very nice idea! I presume those are relatively weak though?
 
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Jimmy Hensel
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Also if you arrange the hexes so they touch at the corners and align the sides so they make straight lines (forming equilateral triangles between the hexes, you can make cuts all the way across the sheet, except the edges of the sheet. This would reduce the number of cutting strokes per hex, while "wasting" more material than the layout you pictured but likely still less expensive than a laser or die cutter.
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Jake Staines
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pawnpusher wrote:
Also if you arrange the hexes so they touch at the corners and align the sides so they make straight lines (forming equilateral triangles between the hexes


This is a good technique for individual hexagons, but if you check the example pictures in the OP it looks more like he's trying to cut shapes made of many hexagons stuck together - as are commonly used for terrain/special-feature overlays onto hexagonal grid maps.
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Ben Crundwell
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I've had limited success with a laser cutter. They work great on thin plywood (3mm) but burn the hell out of paper/card, so you get really obvious black powdery edges.

I'm also trying to make hexagons (although mine are separated) so I'm keen to hear your feedback on what works well
 
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Ben Crundwell
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durkinphd wrote:
I use a Cricut machine. You are even able to print on cardstock (with your printer) and cut with the Cricut.


How thick can a Cricut cut?

(that's not a tongue twister!)

Could you cut tiles or player mats?
 
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James Johnson
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Laoakai wrote:
jjpuzzles wrote:

A faster method would be to print on full page mailing labels, stick the full sheet onto 1/8" foam board, then cut the foam board with a razor or rotary knife.

It still takes some time, but you'll only have to cut once and cutting through the foam board is a breeze.



Oh, very nice idea! I presume those are relatively weak though?


Actually, they are quite stiff. The foam core sheets are foam sandwiched between paper. I think they will hold up better than cardboard. They are light-weight though, and wouldn't be suitable for a breezy area.
 
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Andrew Tullsen
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http://www.printplaygames.com/product/chipboard-hexagonal-di...

We offer a bunch of blank or printed diecut hex pieces.
Hexes are a pain to cut out yourself no matter how you slice it.
Our chipboard is 1.5mm thick, so a decently thick tile.

For those specially shaped ones, that aren't just a hex, we use essentially a big pair of scissors, a 12" pair of shears, which cuts through chipboard like butter.
 
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Jimmy Hensel
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Howitzer_120mm wrote:
http://www.printplaygames.com/product/chipboard-hexagonal-di...

We offer a bunch of blank or printed diecut hex pieces.
Hexes are a pain to cut out yourself no matter how you slice it.
Our chipboard is 1.5mm thick, so a decently thick tile.

For those specially shaped ones, that aren't just a hex, we use essentially a big pair of scissors, a 12" pair of shears, which cuts through chipboard like butter.


I wonder how tin snips might work.
 
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