Printed Solutions #makerproblems

Printed Solutions

So here’s the thing… At times I think I have a problem. Yeah, I currently see the 3D printer as the solution maker. And many times it can be. I have gotten away from making stuff through foam and cardboard, at least most of the time. When it comes to the stuff for Shadows of Brimstone, I found most of the time it can be better to print off a container instead of buying more Plano boxes. Hell, right now, I am working on knocking down the use of Plano boxes as best I can.

Which brings us to where I am right now…

One of the things I have been printing off lately has been end cap holders for SoB. The map tiles have connections to other maps (referred to as doorways or gateways, depending on the type of exit you pull with an exploration token). The end caps either denote a dead end or in some cases a gate that leads to a new world. I have end caps for every world I own (at this point I am up to nine possible worlds to play in). It’s a lot of cardboard.

One of the things I found was actually an end cap container. I printed off a container for each expansion that had new map tiles. This ended up being about 3 or 4 days of printing pretty much non stop. But it really freed up some space in the Plano boxes. That’s a huge win. I also had to print off another token holder because of some new tokens with the last otherworld expansion I picked up. I have been considering printing one more as well. It never ends…

Anyway, this got me to thinking of how I wanted to take care of all the cards that come with everything. We’re talking a huge assortment of cards. I have a baseball card sorting holder for when we play. It has enough space for all the cards we need while playing. And even then there are a ton of cards left in storage.

I had a system in place. It wasn’t a great system but it kept things organized. I mean, you knew I would have a system, right? Basically, for the longest time I have kept cards in sets through snack baggies and organized by world and such inside one of the other world’s boxes. Not exactly what I wanted but it did make finding what I was looking for a bit easier and things weren’t scattered all over the place.

I had found an STL file for a card holder. I think this holder was meant more for use during play and not for long term storage. I could work with it but it wasn’t ideal. I was already dealing with less than ideal so I figured I would just be switching the problem into a different direction. The worst of the new problem was how long it took to print the holder (about 24 hours). I would need probably 7 of them.

I was not looking forward to the prospect of tying up the printer for a week or so and using up a ton of filament for something that wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I kept looking for other solutions

I found a few things on amazon that could work. But the cost was way more than I was willing to deal with. We’re talking anywhere from $40 dollars upwards of over $100. That’s money that can be better spent on more minis or more filament or well, damn near anything else.

I ended up going to one of my local shops to see about alternative solutions. Mind you I was still expecting to shell out some cash to get this taken care of. Yeah, I took my original card box in with me to give them the better picture of what I was working with and where I wanted to go.

As it turned out, they found me a solution that ended up costing me less than $10 bucks, hell, for now it is even less than $5. Basically, all I needed to do was build a framework in the box with foam core. And then I could use some simple marker cards to separate out different sections. I could even write in stuff on the marker cards to make it even easier to find stuff.

I picked up a new sheet of foam core at the dollar store and had picked up a couple packs of marker cards from the game store. I went to work as soon as I got home.

Printed Solutions

Now, I made some bone headed cuts in the foam core. The framework isn’t the prettiest thing in the world. But I got it all assembled and in place in the box. Didn’t take long after that to remove the cards from their individual baggies and get them set into their spaces in the new organizer.

Of course, you had to know I was going to run into a snag in all this. The card packs I bought came in 10 cards to a pack. I only bought 2. All these cards need more markers than that. I figure I’m short about 4 or 5 more packs. And that’s hoping I have some left over after I get things fully set. I’m dealing with an almost finished project in the interim.

So yeah, I could have thought of this on my own. I have foam core on hand for just in case times and such. But I have been so focused on finding printable solutions that I completely forgot I could build something simple and cheap that would actually do what I want it to do. We have to keep our eyes open. The simplest solutions quite often are exactly the solutions we are looking for.


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