Introduction: Lets Make 3D Printable Tokens/coins

Backstory:

My brother and his friend run their own Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, I asked them both what aspect of their game could be improved on, since neither wanted to admit to their own faults, they came up with the idea that people don't try and role-play much to earn inspiration. (Inspiration in DnD is basically a tick box that allows your character to make someone or themselves re-roll and attack or ability check, this can literally mean the difference between life and death of characters. They only give inspiration when a person makes smart decisions or role-plays their character exceptionally.) I asked a few of their players why they don't try hard enough, and one idea I got out of it was that it was just a box they would tick and un-tick, and that feels boring.

So I went back to the Dungeon Masters and asked if they wanted me to design them some Inspiration tokens. They both agreed.

You may note that the picture of the tokens are World of Warcraft related, and not DnD. That's because I already designed the DnD ones before deciding to make this Instructable.

Things I used:

  • Computer with 3D modelling software (I used Autodesk Inventor)
  • 3D Printer (since I don't own one, I used the one at my local library, they only charge 0.10 AUD (10 cents in Australian currency) per gram of printing material.)
  • Internet (you'll need to find inspiration for details)

DO NOT use this Instructable to manufacture legal tender. that's illegal and bad.

Step 1: Step 1: Decisions Must Be Made

First thing you need to do is ask yourself:

What is the purpose of the coin?

This will help decide your size, weight, design and overall style of the coin.

Since I designed mine for my brother, I was able to ask what he wanted. He wanted something relevant to DnD and small enough that he could play with them in his hand while the players are doing their thing to encourage them to think as their characters would.

Step 2: Step 2: Starting and Sizes

So, pick a size, any size, not that size.

Since I had a ruler on hand. I figured 3 cm would work alright. But, since were going for details here, we're going to work in millimetres. This step is fairly straight forward, start a 2D sketch and make a circle in the center, make it as big as you want in diameter, as stated above, I went for 30 mm. From there, simply finish the 2D sketch and extrude it to how tall you want it.

NOTE: Since I worked with the 3D printer I was using before, I know it does not do underside details very well. I decided to make the coin in two sides and I'll later attach them together. I extruded both sides 2 mm so the solid part of the coin will be 4 mm thick.

REMEMBER, a larger coin will be able to have more details on it, I lost minimal detail but a smaller coin will lose more.

Quick Question for yourself.

Do you want this heavier than just plastic can manage?

Because if you make this in two parts like i have. You can cut out a circle from the underside at the size of a metal washer or something heavy and that will fit. Then just put it inside before you attach the two halves together.

Alternatively, if you make this in one piece, you can make the empty chamber inside the coin, then simply pause the 3D print once it passes the height of the washer, and slot it in, then resume the print.

Another idea is to make a sleeve that the sides and washer would fit in then stick them all together.

I was happy with how heavy it was going to come out as. So I skipped this idea.

If you're making a coin in two sides, save this part twice so you don't have to do it again.

Step 3: Step 3: Lets Pick a Picture

We're not all artists, let's admit it.

I don't admit to be one. So the next step is to go online or wherever, and find a nice picture you want on a coin.

Because I'm a nerd, I chose to use images from World of Warcraft.

Calm down Hordes, I did a Horde side as well.

Start a sketch on the face of the coin. A lot of modelling programs will allow you to insert a picture into it, so just throw it in there and re-scale it to the appropriate size. Put it where you want it, I left a good amount on the outside of the coin so I could later add a boarder stripe around the coin.

Step 4: Step 4: Trace and Fix

Alright

Leading on from the last step. We're going to do some tracing.

Since we're smart cookies we're going to notice that the image is identical on the two halves. This is vital because it means we only have to do half of the work.

To start with, place a single line down the center of the image, then we're going to use the function called 'Spline'. This is a curve generator that makes curved lines based on where you click, for large areas you don't have to use as many points, but for tight corners you'll want to put more in.

If the line doesn't look good, you can move the individual points to adjust the line.

Yes this takes a while, just put some music on and plough through it.

Once you've done that or just given up on most of it. Were going to use the 'Mirror' function. Highlight the image lines you've so expertly traced, and select that straight line we made earlier as the mirror line. Click apply and pretend you've put in twice as much effort. Remember to delete the center line, for no other reason than we don't need it.

Up next I'm going to introduce you to your new best friend. We call him 'Sketch Doctor'. You can find him by right clicking and learning to read. Next you'll click the 'Diagnose Sketch' and he'll check you sketched for any issues, these include 'Open Loops' where the lines aren't actually connected to each other properly. All you have to do is select one (focus on the open loops) and click 'Next' then the fix option.

Do this a bunch of times until it runs out of problems to tell you.

Then go get a drink because that may have taken a while and you have to keep your fluids up.

Step 5: Step 5: Final Additions

Next we extrude it. I chose 0.5 mm and it came out really well; how much you extrude is up to you. 0.5 mm was deep enough for the printer to use but small enough that its hard to accidentally pull any detail off by hand on accident.

From there I decided to all a bit more to the coin with a 1 mm strip around the perimeter.

And now the coin is half done, unless you want two of the same side.

I've included the Horde side I did to calm down the Horde players.

Step 6: Step 6: Export to Print

Up next we're going to export the files for printing, in the top left if you click the 'I', there's an export option.

Since I'm using a Makerbot printer, I want to export a .stl file. This file type should work with most 3D printers anyway.

But because Autodesk is sneaky, there's a setting we have to check. Go into the options and check what units the save file will be in, it will usually be Centimetres but we want Millimetres otherwise it will be a tiny save file (you can test if you don't believe me).

Step 7: Step 7: Print It

Up next: Printing

Alright, because I'm using a Makerbot printer, they have a good program to set up prints.

When you start it up, click 'Prepare' at the top and then go 'Add file' and add the .stl files to be printed.

You can also drag and drop the files onto it to place them in.

At the top, click Devices and then what printer you'll use and the tray will automatically adjust size for the printer.

The models will appear and you can use the four options on the left to manipulate it.

  • The Eye adjusts your view point of the model
  • Option A is the position of the model, you can move it in the X Y and Z directions. The 'On platform' button places the item straight down onto the printing bed. Its a good idea to press this anyway just to ensure no parts of the model are under the platform.
  • Option B is used for rotating the piece; there is an option for adding 90 degree movements
  • Option C lets you scale the model, since we made the file save in mm, we shouldn't need this. But you can use this as a last minute enlarger if you want a coin that's say 50mm.

Then we'll want to go into settings next to add file and choose what quality we want our coins in.

Because we want only the best of coins, we'll set it to high quality and a 0.10 mm layer height.

Raft was automatically on due to the library settings

Infill controls how much (on large volumes) of the object the printer actually fills. Since the coins are small and thin, this wont change much.

After, you'll want to press 'Preview' and it will bring up a simulated view of what it'll look like. Use this to check that all the detail you want is present.

Then simply click Print or export the print file onto a micro usb, plug that into the printer, then print.

Step 8: Step 8: Glue And/or Enjoy

You're either done or almost done!

If you did the two halves, glue them together and enjoy.

If you did it in one piece, you can enjoy too.

From here you can now paint it to look as good as you want.

I've included the coin I did for my brother.

And because I'm nice and some of you are lazy, I've included the files for the WoW coins.

DO NOT use this Instructable to manufacture legal tender. that's illegal and bad.

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