Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Coasters, D&D

A long time ago someone suggested I develop some D&D themed coasters (Thanks Runkle!) and it's been sitting on my To Prototype list for a least a year.  With the new printer I realized I could finally crank out a product worth adding to the store and before I'd technically finished the prototype it had already sold.

The coasters are sold as a set of five, each with a different bit of art.  There's the ever popular Yawning Portal, the head of the demon on the cover of the original DMG, Bahamut's emblem, the D&D ampersand, and WotC's Wizard logo.  And each coaster has a tray just large enough to hold a standard set of dice.  They have a little extra finish on them to repel condensation and the plastic's thick enough to be pretty sturdy.  So now they have a permanent listing up here.









Friday, April 6, 2018

Dice Cup, Vintage DMG

This started as a custom dice cup but didn't take long to decide to make it a regular listing.  The client wanted art from three of the class AD&D books so the trick was figuring out how to translate that art into a carvable design, especially at the scale of a dice cup.  I had to sacrifice some of the detail on the fiend and dragon but I'm pretty happy with how much I managed to cram in there.  I'll probably make some tweaks as I make more cups with this design but it's a great start.  The listing is up here.

 





Monday, March 19, 2018

Cosplay, Evil Dead Holster

I can't remember if this is the second or third of these I've sold but if it comes up again I might just cut to the chase and make it a regular listing.  The client this time wanted to be able to carry an actual shotgun (as opposed to a plastic prop) so I made a few material substitutions to the original pattern.  The fitting is still enough to turn my brain inside out and rub it wrong-ways down a washboard but it's a sturdy construction and the belt gives it some adjustment.




Thursday, March 15, 2018

Belt, Land Rover Pair

These belts are a gift for a fellow in the UK.  The story goes that they'd gotten a Land Rover printed belt years ago but it had worn out over the years.  The client ordered the tan belt as a replacement first and before it shipped decided to add the black belt to the same order.  The size of the belt was a bit larger than normal so I had to build in a splice but I found a nice way to work it in without being obvious.  Since these belts were made with actual leather I'm pretty sure they'll last a bit longer than the printed belt.







Monday, March 12, 2018

Journal, Legends of Sword Coast

I just added the journals to the shop about a month or two ago so I think this is the first one I've made for a client.  I wound up having to make the cover twice since it wound up warping too much the first time.  If that continues being an issue I might try switching to a milled veg for the cover so it stays nice and flexible.




Friday, March 9, 2018

Guitar Strap, Spider

The late guitarist for WHO, John Entwistle, had a pair of guitar straps that were fairly unique.  One had a skeleton arm stretching along its length and the other a white spider web on a black background. 



The client was hoping I could mimic either of those guitar straps.  It was hard finding photo references for either of them but I could see enough of the skeletal strap to determine that I probably couldn't practically replicate it.  I'd have to sculpt the bones, probably out of EVA, and that isn't a material I have enough experience with yet.  So we went with the spider strap. 

I didn't notice until late in the drafting that the original spider strap has a little spider sitting in the middle of its web.  It's hard to see as anything but a red dot in any of the photos so I made my own from scratch.  The bodies are 3D printed and then I sculted a little bit of latigo to give them some depth and color.  The lines were a bit trickier.  I'd go over them once and they'd look white then the paint would cure and they'd be grey.  It took 2-3 coats to get them to stay white.  It's a pretty neat effect though and one I hope I get to practice again sometime!






Monday, March 5, 2018

Yet another new printer

A little over a year ago my first printer, a M3D Micro, burned out.  That wasn't a huge surprise since M3D, at least in my experience, was running more a sham than a successful kickstarter program.  That first printer required a ton of maintenance and even then getting a successful, much less good, print was more luck than anything.  It failed even as a trial/introduction printer.

So I replaced it with another small printer to test it's applicability, MonoPrice's redundantly named Mini Select.  It was another cheap printer aimed at household use but it had the noteable advantage of being reliable.  You could give it the same print more than once and reasonably expect it to come out the same way.  I developed a lot of nifty things, notably the prop coins, on that little printer.  Then it too died a couple of weeks ago.  I was troubleshooting a sensor issue and in power cycling the printer there was a short that released the "magic smoke."  That would've been covered by the warranty but it'd expired a couple weeks earlier.

In any case, the MonoPrice definitely succeeded in helping me test how I could use a 3D printer for the shop.  I was able to print tools, tap-offs, and products as needed.  That gave me the information I needed to decide to invest in a full-size production printer.  After a bunch of research I picked a Lulzbot TAZ6.  I've been printing with it for about week now and I'm really happy with it.  The detail is a lot finer and more consistent than either of the previous printers.  And the build volume is about 11" cube.  It's huge! 


I'm looking forward to developing some really neat products with this thing.  In particular I think this'll let me bring back the old DM Toolboxes.  Those were a popular line I had to retire because they took too much labor with finicky results.  Thanks to this thing's huge build volume though I could print the entire structure of the box as one piece of plastic.  Wrap that in leather and it should be good to go!