Meeple Madness

This week we launched meeples in our Etsy shop!

They’re pretty basic compared to some of our other pieces, but we’ve been wanting to offer this boardgaming staple for a while now. And it adds Carcassonne to our collection of supported games!

Meeple Mercenaries – Raising a Cost Effective Army

With this launch we’re trying a new pricing approach. For the first time, you can save money by buying in bulk, with the best deal being 50 meeples for $15.00. The best part is that you can still get this bulk discount even if you want them in a variety of different colors.

When Good Gears Go Bad

If you read our blog last week, you probably deduced that we were planning to release some Steampunk-themed game pieces. That’s still in the works, but has been deferred by a week. While our designs are really cool, some of them are a bit tricky to print, and working out the kinks slowed us down a bit. The designs have now been finalized, but we haven’t had time to print enough samples for the photo shoot needed for the Etsy listing. We expect to launch sets for both Catan and Ticket to Ride in the next few days.

Spontaneous 3D Printer AI

One of the more amusing printing issues we dealt with was when our printer learned how to play Settlers of Catan. It probably arose out of the predictable camaraderie between the mechanical nature of the printer and the steampunk pieces it was printing.

The pieces intended to be roads for Settlers of Catan are supposed to look like this.

But our printer decided to go for Longest Road and produced this.

Time for a Second Printer

With 3D printers being sometimes finicky creatures, and orders coming in regularly from Etsy, we decided it was time to reinvest the proceeds from our recent sales and buy a second printer. At first I thought we’d buy something different, to diversify our printing capabilities. But after a lot of research I concluded that our current printer has all the features of other printers that cost more, and going for a cheaper one would remove some great features like the heated glass bed and auto-leveling. One day I’d like to get a printer with two extruders so we can explore multi-color printing, but the price point for those is still a bit beyond what we can justify for now.

So in the end we ordered a second Anet ET5X. This also means there won’t be a new learning curve since we’re already familiar with this machine, and all our print files that are optimized for our current printer should work the same on both.

This will give us a bit of a safety net if one of them needs a repair or maintenance, which should help us stay on schedule with our planned releases, while also fulfilling our customer orders (which always take priority). Though knowing me, I’ll just end up designing twice as many game pieces and the pair of printers still won’t be able to keep up.

An Exciting Week Ahead

This week should see the arrival of our new printer, as well as the launch of two sets of Steampunk-themed game pieces. How exciting! Come back next Monday to see how it all played out!