Adding magic to the mundane, one filament at a time.

Month: May 2021

Music to Soothe the Savage 3D Printer

A Long Haul

It’s taken us two months, dozens of test prints, and several design reviews with the buyer, but we’ve finally finished the Jankó keyboard project that we started back in March!

But First an Apology

This week’s blog post is a bit late. Sorry about that! I got my second COVID vaccine shot (Moderna) on Saturday and it really wiped me out. Thankfully there was nothing super urgent to do for 3D Orcs, so I was able to take it easy and let my body recover from producing a bunch of very welcome antibodies. I’m now nearly back to normal, with just a sore arm left to tolerate.

Well, I guess I’m still tiring easily too, so today’s post will be on the short side.

The Final Stages of Jankó

Once we were finally happy with the key design, we still had a lot of printing to do.

Here’s the keyboard with most of the original keys, and just our few test keys installed at one end. But there are several new keys ready to go!

Because the Jankó keycaps overlap neighboring keys, they need to be installed in order from one end, so all of the original keys had to be removed first.

Here we’ve started installing the new keys. It was fun to see the offset black/white pattern start to emerge!

Getting close!

All keys installed!

It was awesome to see it all come together after so much work! But the best part was yet to come.

The Completed Jankó Keyboard!

Finally! Fully assembled and operational!

It’s very cool to see our 3D printed products incorporated into an actual functioning electronic device! And the customer is very happy and excited to learn to play it!

In Other News

One of the last things I did before my COVID shot wiped me out was play a game of Ticket to Ride – Europe. Like the last time I wrote about this game, we used several of our custom game pieces, making for a very eclectic board appearance!

This time I used green canoes from the Camping themed set, my wife used a set of black Christmas sleighs, my father-in-law used purple Steampunk roadsters, and my mother-in-law used the yellow heart themed set we gave her for Mothers Day.

Did you notice her spiral heart Train Stations? Those are new! So new, they’re not even listed as an option in Etsy yet!

Pursuing B2B

Aside from adding the spiral heart Train Stations, this week we’ll be turning our attention to exploring some B2B (business to business) opportunities. We want to see if some local small businesses are interested in buying 3D printed versions of their company logos, whether for their staff or their customers. Wish us luck!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Or the Berry, Seed, Rodent, Fish, or Nectar

All of these bird foods are now available in our Wingspan Food Tokens set on Etsy!

This set makes a great upgrade from the cardboard discs that come with the game.

And you can choose the quantity you want to match any expansions you like to play, including cute pink Nectar pieces for the Oceania set! A full set to replace the food tokens from the base game plus both expansions totals a whopping 215 game pieces!

Even better, these food pieces can be paired with our birdhouse styled dice tower to really raise your Wingspan gameplay to a new level of fun!

But It Didn’t Come Easily

With six separate custom pieces to design, we expected multiple iterations to get versions we liked.

What surprised us was that it was the worm that took the most attempts to reach a design we were happy with! Technically it’s a caterpillar, and is supposed to represent all invertebrate food sources, including insects and shellfish, but we usually just call them worms when we’re playing.

Here’s a pic of all six versions we printed before we were satisfied.

The first one is red just because that happened to be the color of filament in the printer when we did our first test print, which we didn’t expect to be final, but we wanted to see how the size and shape came out. We knew those details from our design software, but there’s often quite a difference between knowing the numbers and actually holding and feeling the shape and size of a physical game piece.

It was good, but pretty plain, so our second iteration added body segments to give it more texture.

Then we decided it needed legs to make it more of a caterpillar, rather than a worm.

After that it took three more iterations as we tweaked the size, number, and position of the legs, and adjusted the amount of the body that was raised above the table in order to get it to print nicely.

All that just for a worm! But we’re really happy with the set as a whole!

The Key to Success

Jankó Key that is. This week we’re going to push to see if we can finally complete the custom keyboard we were commissioned to print. Come back next Monday to see if we succeed!