Terrain for table top board games is usually easy to buy, but finding the right pieces can be challenging. Needing new pieces but not wanting to buy them, we decided to use necessity as the mother of invention to design and build our own terrain pieces. Here is a demo of one of our processes, using digital technologies as a tool for a physical manifestation.
3D print file
2 part epoxy or clay
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Choose Your Texture
This technique focuses on transferring a pattern from the digital environment to the physical world. Any pattern imaginable can be used for this process, but focusing on that process would be a different instructable. This project focused on realizing a prototype with a few steps and as little work as possible as a test for future projects. With that in mind, we used a resource that lends itself to rapid prototyping, https://www.thingiverse.com , to start sourcing an existing model that would work for this project.
There are obviously many patterns available ready to 3D print, but we went with the simple brick road to start, found at : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2167847
Step 2: Print the Model
Without editing or scaling any part of the model, which can be done depending on your finish model scale, we printed the model using PLA. Check your own 3D printer for best settings, but we used 2.5mm filament with a 0.4mm nozzle and printed at 215 C. The finished model is 5.5cm tall.
Step 3: Make the Road
With the finished print we were then able to realize our brick road using a base board of plywood and a 2 part epoxy. Once mixed, the epoxy took on a putty feel and when rolled out flat on the board held its shape, and when rolled over with the brick mold took the texture perfectly. While this was the end of the mold making process, what is not included is the finishing that can be done to really make this brick road feel aged in a time of fantasy or reality. I hope this encourages you to be curious about making your own terrain, its very doable and can be fun and rewarding!