Post by flockofthese on Jan 25, 2015 15:23:15 GMT -9
World Works Games' TerrainLinX got me thinking abut modular systems that might be less work. One of their Platform Command sets had these wall connectors that the walls would just slide into. If your using an automated cutter, then they are not less work, but the system doesn't need slots and stuff, so it works with any wall pieces. The actual connecters are too high for a lot of stuff, and the texture isn't going to match everything. If I could make something similar that was transparent though, that would be useful. Then I could use the same connectors for multiple sets, and they could be used with plenty of stuff that's out there already. If something isn't compatible, a pair of scissors is all it would take to make it compatible.
Now, my question is what material would work to make these. I have never worked with transparency before, so I don't know if it can fold. Im pretty confident I could rig something up with just a cut up clear plastic folder, but there has to be a better material than that. Im not overly concerned with strength. I can use a black or grey colored rod in the inside corners that I imagine wouldn't look too bad. I don't know though. I'll have to experiment. I just don't want to buy regular transparency and be left with a stack of unusable material if it doesn't work, and inkjet transparency is a bit on the pricy side for this application.
Post by cowboyleland on Jan 26, 2015 4:31:02 GMT -9
I don't know that I can quite picture what you envision, but on general principal, I like up cycling. All the clear plastic packaging that comes into our houses might be turned to a good purpose. The easiest way to get it to fold tightly is to let it sit in near boiling water for a few seconds and then use kitchen tongs to fold it over. I think scoring it before the "bath" would be helpful.
Inkjet transparencies will fold, but if you force them through more than 90°, however carefully sometimes, they have a tendency to snap (and not always along the fold line). I made up some of the Kev's Lounge free Gelatinous Cube models a couple of years ago, so got to know the material quite well then. It's also worth saying that those models were held together, and partly surface-textured, with epoxy glue, which dries more or less transparent (to help make the Cubes look more "watery-alive" and less "plastic sheet"), so have ended up more robust than they would have done ordinarily. Overall, it seems to be a material that's happier not being folded.
Cowboyleland's idea of recycling discarded, clear, hard polystyrene packaging would be much more viable, I think. And yes, experience suggests scoring before applying heat would indeed be helpful!
Post by cowboyleland on Jan 26, 2015 5:49:24 GMT -9
Oh, I was thinking about making a clear plastic version of a terraclip. I think if you folded a backwards "S" that was attached it to a forward "S" you would end up with something that looks like what they call an "I" terraclip. (or possibly alphabet soup!)
On the other hand, maybe it's the herd that is crazy.
Post by flockofthese on Jan 27, 2015 19:58:02 GMT -9
I attempted a prototype. I don't think its going to work out. It can be done, but there will be a bit of a gap on the top and bottom of the structure your building. Its going to look sloppy. I used a clear plastic folder as my material. It seemed to fold okay for this perpose, but it does keep trying to return to its former shape. Its also hard to glue because of how smooth it is. So basically this whole idea is a bunch of not fun work to make something that looks sloppy. All the advantages I thought it might have are outweighed by the disadvantages.
Post by flockofthese on Jan 27, 2015 21:39:54 GMT -9
It did show some potential. Someone else might be able to take the general idea of a transparent connector built from cheap and easy to acquire materials and do something amazing. At the moment i'm not really satisfied with any of the printable modular systems I've seen. I guess TerrainlinX is my favorite, but its too much work, and I don't like seeing the anchors everywhere. Right now I would rather just build static models. I live in a one bedroom apartment though. Storage space runs out real fast.
I think a problem might be that transparent plastic is effectively not transparent because of the glare produced by the light reflecting from it. WWG had the same problem in the first TerraClips version, and they switched to smoke-grey translucent plastic for the release. It's more visible by itself but less visible in combination with the building elements.
I had toyed around with making walls and tiles four layers of cardstock, with the inner two layers cut like a TLX template. Then I'd make plugs like the TLX tabs, but out of two layers of cardstock. The tiles and walls could have a different texture on each side, and would be totally smooth. For corners, you'd make L or T or + shaped plugs, just make sure the middle of the plug is black so that it doesn't stand out so much. To connect a wall to a tile, just use a T shaped plug to connect the tiles, then slip the wall on to the part sticking up. You'd want a tiny notch on the top/bottom of the tile to accommodate the plugs.
I use spray glue, so warping didn't seem to be an issue. There were some concerns I had about the fact that without posts, it became more difficult to have small pieces that would slot into the corners like TLX can, but maybe that wouldn't be so bad. You wouldn't need to connect most walls to a tile - just a couple on opposite ends of a build would be enough.
L-shaped plugs could be used to support upper levels, too.
No foamcore! No anchors! Really compact! hmm... I'll have to dust off my notes and remember why I gave up on that.
Post by flockofthese on Jan 28, 2015 6:51:31 GMT -9
Assuming I'm picturing your idea correctly, It sounds like an excellent solution. I may even try messing around with the some of the ideas myself if you don't mind. I can see where upper floors could possibly need more support if your minis are a bit heavy. Could that be why you gave up?
Nope. I didn't make multi-level stuff, but I recall it being pretty strong. I'm imagining I didn't like trying to connect small-ish wall pieces (like TLX broken walls, or worse, things like the archways from my TLX mines kitbash). I just wasn't sure how to pull that off. TLX posts give you a nice, sturdy place to hook things onto.
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