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Merchant of Venus» Forums » General

Subject: First Game Build - Considering an Alternative to Wood rss

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Michael Ledlow
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Greetings, Fellow Merchants!

I was very pleased to discover an active MoV community on this website. I was a long time MoV player for years. After discovering Dathkadan's beautiful remake, and reading and reading and reading! about all the creative implementations of this remake, I've decided to jump in and build my own. I reluctantly sold BOTH of my MoV original games about a year ago due to financial reasons. Imagine my excitement upon finding Dathkadan's artwork - I would have never thought to build my own!

I think the playing chits were pretty hard to deal with on the original. And I like the ideas I've seen surrounding the wooden disks (dye, markers, paints, etc..). But, I want something that looks a little more modern/sleeker. I have an idea to use acrylic discs through Ponoko.

The concept follows wolfzell's idea to build a disc bigger than the artwork, to allow for a nice border. It should be easy enough to design and order an acrylic sheet of cut out disks. Ponoko has several colors and thicknesses to choose from. I'm thinking about using black, 3mm thick acrylic.

So for example - cut a 21mm disc for the 19mm labels.

But, here's the twist - Ponoko does Raster and Vector engraving. An inner circle vector-engraved at 19mm with heavy-vector would allow the art-disk to be affixed to the acrylic disk below the surface of the disk. This could work a couple of ways:

1. self-adhesive Label disk of the art, as others have done

OR

2. Don't use label paper at all. Use non-label paper. If the gap between the top of the outer acrylic disk and the bottom of the inner acrylic disk is enough room, a thin layer of diamond glaze could be applied, sealing the artwork completely.

I've drawn up a rough draft of the idea using Google Sketch. I will upload it to this website shortly, and edit this post to link to the photo.

The uploaded image is here. Note that the diamond glaze would be applied only over the artwork, not on the raised border, creating a flat, uniform surface, sealing the artwork.

I plan on running a small experimental panel from Ponoko soon, using different sizes and thicknesses for the disks and different vector weights for the engraved inner circle.

Curious to hear any thoughts, ideas, feedback towards this experiment.
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Michael Ledlow
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I just uploaded another view of the Google Sketchup draft, showing the back of a shield chit. In the draft photo, the art is not flush with the lip of the engraving. But, that was just to show the detail of the circle engraving. In reality, the artwork will be flush with the side of the engraving.
 
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Filipe Cunha
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You gave me a GREAT idea sir!
I'll look for acryllic makers over here... Prolly it'll be easier to get it done than wood!
 
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Will
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Wow thats a very very interesting idea.

One thought though, what kinda pricing are you looking at? For the wood discs, its under 3 cents each (USD) for the 3/4" size at the quantities I ordered from caseys.

I'm not sure which country you are in, since you haven't set that part of your profile

Also, if you were waiting for your photos to get approved, if you upload them to your own gallery there's no approval nessasary
 
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Wolfgang Zelller
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frailn wrote:
But, I want something that looks a little more modern/sleeker. I have an idea to use acrylic discs through Ponoko.

It will be interesting what the cost of these will be.

Quote:
But, here's the twist - Ponoko does Raster and Vector engraving. An inner circle vector-engraved at 19mm with heavy-vector would allow the art-disk to be affixed to the acrylic disk below the surface of the disk.

It would be nice if this would work, I just have my doubts, since we gave this idea some thoughts before.

Problem #1: Depth of engraving. As far as I know laser cutting, the "engraving" is not that deep as you hope for. So I am unsure if sticker paper will actually end up flush with the surface.

Problem #2: Area engraving. Since the laser only engraves punctually, an area can only be engraved by doing many, many lines beneath. Now remember that the beam of a laser cutter is not positioned via optical mechanisms. The laser is fixed to a motor sled, always keeping the laser perpendicular to the surface. This means area engraving will need a lot of additional machine time due to the slow mechanical nature of the sled movement. And since Ponoko calculates (and rightly so) the price of a cut also depending on machine time, this area engraving of every disc will most likely prove very expensive.

I would be happy if you could prove me wrong though.
 
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Michael Ledlow
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Thanks for the input! From those who have already built a version of the game, this means a lot to me. Very much appreciated.

endou_kenji wrote:
You gave me a GREAT idea sir!

Thank you!

Yargo wrote:
One thought though, what kinda pricing are you looking at?


The price will surely be higher than the wood discs that are available at Casey's. However, I have some other projects unrelated to gaming for which I could use black acrylic cut outs. So I might be able to combine my interests on one large sheet. There is also the possibility of bulk order if one of the ponoko sheets is large enough to hold multiple games worth of chits. But, I don't want to go down that road, just yet, until I work out the experiment and the costs. I'm still looking into that...

I live in Kansas City, USA - need to round out my profile!

wolfzell wrote:
Problem #1: Depth of engraving. As far as I know laser cutting, the "engraving" is not that deep as you hope for. So I am unsure if sticker paper will actually end up flush with the surface.


According to Dan Emery on this Ponoko blog entry:

Dan Emery wrote:
The heaviest vector engraving is about 0.5mm deep and the light vector engraving is just enough to leave a mark on the surface of the material.


And, I found this label paper advertisement displaying the thickness of the paper at 6.8 mils.

A quick google calculator run (6.8 mils in millimeters) displays 6.8 mils = 0.17272 millimeters.

With the heaviest vector engraving, that leaves 0.32728 mm room for the diamond glaze.

But, I am not sure if my mils-to-millimeter conversion is accurate. I just used google calculator, so a more in-depth round of research might be in order.

wolfzell wrote:
Problem #2: Area engraving. Since the laser only engraves punctually, an area can only be engraved by doing many, many lines beneath. Now remember that the beam of a laser cutter is not positioned via optical mechanisms. The laser is fixed to a motor sled, always keeping the laser perpendicular to the surface. This means area engraving will need a lot of additional machine time due to the slow mechanical nature of the sled movement. And since Ponoko calculates (and rightly so) the price of a cut also depending on machine time, this area engraving of every disc will most likely prove very expensive.

I would be happy if you could prove me wrong though.


I have not fully considered this impact to cost, yet. I'm still working on moving this idea into Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator. Once I am happy with the results of the artwork design, I will upload it to Ponoko for an estimate and post back here.

I have a feeling this will be much more expensive than wood discs. I'm excited to find out how much.

Another idea that might save money and time:

Instead of engraving an inner circle on both sides of the 3mm thick disc:

Using the kerf chart, what about completely cutting out a middle circle in a 6mm black acrylic disc, thus creating a ring that is 21mm wide with an inner circle of 18.74 mm? Then, cut two 19.26 mm discs out of 3mm clear acrylic. Sandwich the art between two clear acrylic discs and snap them into the 6 mm black acrylic ring.

My measurements would need tweaking since the kerf changes between 3 mm and 6 mm thickness acrylic.

I'm not sure how viable either option presented here would be until I run the experiment. Also, I won't know how expensive each option is, yet. It boils down to long laser time on option one vs using a second acrylic sheet with double the discs on option two.

I'll keep you posted as I dig into this.
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Michael Ledlow
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@wolfzell -

I should also point out that I got the original idea from reading this post about creating jewelry from scrabble tiles. So, there is the possibility of using a paper that is less thick than label paper, reducing the amount of space needed between the depressed inner circle and the outer ring of the original chit idea. I was thinking of modifying the process used by the scrabble jewelry person to work with acrylic instead of wood.
 
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Wolfgang Zelller
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frailn wrote:
Dan Emery wrote:
The heaviest vector engraving is about 0.5mm deep and the light vector engraving is just enough to leave a mark on the surface of the material.

Still I am not sure whether an area engraving will have a constant depth of 0,5mm. A laser is not a router. Material burned away will leave a pretty rough surface. I guess if he is talking about depth of engraving, this might only tell how deep the laser line will be at it's deepest point. It won't be as deep over the whole width and you surely won't get a smooth surface when you do an area. Still: Regarding the thickness of the paper you found, it might still work out.

I stopped thinking about the idea because I was very sure that the wooden discs will be much cheaper and I was too lazy to do several test runs which would cost even more.

Quote:
I have a feeling this will be much more expensive than wood discs. I'm excited to find out how much.

I am very much looking forward to the results of your research.

Quote:
what about completely cutting out a middle circle in a 6mm black acrylic disc, thus creating a ring that is 21mm wide with an inner circle of 18.74 mm? Then, cut two 19.26 mm discs out of 3mm clear acrylic. Sandwich the art between two clear acrylic discs and snap them into the 6 mm black acrylic ring.

Right. You will need to consider the diameter change caused by the non-rectangular kerf. The two transparent discs would need slightly different diameters. But still the clear acrylic discs would stand out somewhere above the ring caused by the art paper in the middle which adds to the thickness. So you would need transparent acryl with a thickness of 2,6-2,8mm. And I don't understand how this should "snap", I think you will need to glue the construction together. And if that liquid glue flows into the gap between the transparent discs, the whole disc might not look that good.

Have you considered coin capsules (as coin collectors are using) as an alternative? Might be the cheaper and faster way to go. Those are available in almost all sizes. Price is still steep with 30 Euro-cent/piece though. Here is the first link I found in english after googling for them.
 
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Filipe Cunha
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Did you get how much it would cost from ponoko?
Last time I checked, it was 22 bucks for the material alone + 256 bucks for the making cost... so, that's a no no for me.
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Michael Ledlow
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Yep, it's too expensive....looks like I'm off to the wood pile!
 
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Chris Holm
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wolfzell wrote:
Have you considered coin capsules (as coin collectors are using)

And so it begins.
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Wolfgang Zelller
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islander wrote:
And so it begins.

wow surprise wow surprise wow surprise

This is so incredibly cool, I just don't know what to say.

Must resist doing this as well... Must... arrrgrrr.... shake

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Chris Holm
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Sneek peek of how one glue-less and wood-less copy turned out:



* if one does not count paper as "wood". Or laminate as "glue".
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Will
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islander wrote:
Sneek peek of how one glue-less and wood-less copy turned out:



* if one does not count paper as "wood". Or laminate as "glue".

What did you use for the counters?
 
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Chris Holm
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They are AirTite direct-fit coin holders, holding coins (nickels mostly) and laser-printed print-outs of DathKadan's counters. I think these will hold up very well to the rigors of play -- they seem incredibly scratch resistant for some reason
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