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Greetings All!

OK, I'm thinking the long-term solution to the question in this post title is to buy some sort of plotter. However, rather than asking "what model plotter should I get?", I thought I'd ask something a bit more open-ended, because it sure is obvious that you guys come up with some CREATIVE solutions!

I'm currently buying 19 and 20 inch square boards from local thrift stores for maybe $1-1.50 each. For the moment, I've got some full-page labels that I can print up and apply...which to me means each quadrant gets a label that must be carefully aligned and trimmed.

But I'm curious about the long-term solution that I should start striving for.

Thanks!

-= Dave =-
 
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Rod Batten
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I only build single boards, I don't make mulitples. Here in Korea I can go to a sign shop and have my graphics printed onto heavy polymer-based material for a relatively low price. Then I spray mount it to whatever stock I'm using.

How many boards do you want to make?

If it's just for prototyping and you're doing a lot of it then buying a plotter might be worthwhile. If it's for occasional use I'd say use a sign shop or pre-press service (for full-size board-mountable prints.) A commercial grade plotter is a pretty hefty investment, but it does an excellent job.
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Matthew Kloth
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Are you making fancy prototypes with the boards?

I don't even mount most of my prototypes, and I don't really see a reason to improve the quality of something that's temporary by design.

If you're talking about making finished product to sell to customers you're talking a whole different ball park. You need to either pay somebody else to do it (only cost effective at 500+), or you need to invest in tools and supplies to hand make them. Even if you're hand making them it still might be cheaper to have the board and box wrap printed at a low volume print shop (likely a poster printer). Dealing with large printing machines is both an art and science. I don't think you can ever over estimate how many problems can turn up with a print machine (even a "simple" extra wide format inkjet).

To hand make boards and boxes requires binder's tape, glue, and a massive amount of patience and determination. There are tutorials online. If you make it past 100 copies and still have a will to live I'd be amazed.


Manufacturing boardgames is a complete job unto itself. I'm excited about the on-demand boardgame printers popping up right now. I hope they can compete with quality and cost of the low end major printers (500+).
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F H
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Your best bet would probably be to use an online poster printing service, or the newly founded online board game producing company...

http://www.thegamecrafter.com/
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Jack Neal
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I have taken to splitting the board into 8 x 10 slices. From there, you can take each slice and print it like a photo (although I haven't yet) or print it out on standard paper and trim (and fold and mount) from there.

Not too hard to do. Depends on your needs.
 
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J C Lawrence
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For prototyping and home-copies of PnP games, I got an inkjet printer (HP K8600) that can handle up to Super-B paper (13"x19"). I don't bother with mounting game boards. Paper under perspex/plexiglass is fine for me. Sometimes laminated, usually not.
 
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Matt Worden
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www.mwgames.com/JumpGate ... check it out! ;-D
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Raiderjakk wrote:
I have taken to splitting the board into 8 x 10 slices.

I do what Jack describes. I seem to settle on 20"x15" boards, which quarter out nicely into 4 10x7.5-inch pieces ... which print nicely on a standard sized piece of paper.

-Matt
 
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I'll clarify what I'm doing:

I'm self-publishing the game, one copy at a time. It's something that will have a very local demand only. Let's just say that if I sell 50 copies, I'll be thrilled. Anything beyond that and I may sink the money into a plotter and really start cranking 'em out.

I'm "recycling" game boards (which I pick up on-the-cheap at local thrift stores). All boards are either 19" or 20" square.

I've got an ancient laser printer that does a remarkably good job, but alas, it can only handle 8 1/2" x 11" paper. So, at the moment, my layout is going to consist of 4 normal sheets of paper, trimmed to a little over 9" in length...and then a thinner strip that's a little more than an inch in width running up the center of the main fold. But I'm thinking I'll probably slap another piece in the center with a cool graphic on it, overlaying the other pieces. Maybe.

Sure would be easier if I could do it all in one piece. But I'm afraid to see what Kinko's would charge for something like this.

 
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Jack Neal
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Quote:
But I'm afraid to see what Kinko's would charge for something like this.


Very true. Have you thought about trimming shipping labels and applying to your gameboard?
 
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Martin Gallo
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Been a few years since I dealt with plotters, but they are expensive and the consumables (paper and ink) is more expensive. Some of the plotters do not handle graphic intensive print jobs very well (streaky or light printing) so 'photographic terrain' images will look terrible.

I second the idea of a local print shop. You get better paper choices that way also.
 
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Nicholas Vitek
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Plotters, the old school ones with the pens, went away a log time ago. Commercial Large Format printers are reasonable affordable now and are what the print shops use.
 
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Raiderjakk wrote:
Quote:
But I'm afraid to see what Kinko's would charge for something like this.


Very true. Have you thought about trimming shipping labels and applying to your gameboard?


Yeah, that's what I had in mind. Full sheet shipping labels.
 
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Greg CZ
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I use this to slice up the image and print it on A4 full labels. Easy. Fast.

http://posterazor.sourceforge.net/
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Markus Rathgeb
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+1 for PosteRazor - works fine for me.
 
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Wow, that looks pretty cool!

But I'm wondering (and I'm at work at the moment, so I can't test this)....what's the difference between Posterazor's ability to split-and-print and... say... MS Publisher's ability to split-and-print?

Does Postrazor NOT put that little strip of white space around each page (despite one having zero margin settings)? (Or, perhaps I should be blaming my printer for that white space?)

Just wondering.


-= Dave =-
 
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Don Barree
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My answer isn't particularly helpful but if I need large size prints I do it at work. We can print full color up to 48" x 60".
 
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