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Subject: Customizable 3D Printable HexHex Boards for Marbles rss

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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Files on Thingiverse

I've created an OpenSCAD program to generate various sizes and styles of hexhex boards to use with dollar store marbles. The STL files on Thingiverse include a number of useful options. The large one changes hex style for odd rings so that it is easy to play with just part of the board and the medium-sized one has guides for sliding marbles.

In principle you can use the Thingverse customizer to generate your own (possibly for marbles of another size) and optionally have it printed for you. Using OpenSCAD directly and printing at home or on a public printer seems preferable.

The intent is that each person has a box containing one or two boards that they like, 2 to 4 colours of marbles in bags and rules for the games that they like. (Possibly with a Shibumi board tossed in.)

GeekLists with many game suggestions:

Games you can play with a Yavalath set
Games with Boards of 61 Hexagons (5 per side)
Games with Boards of 91 Hexagons (6 per side)
Games with Boards of 127 Hexagons (7 per side)
Games with Boards of 169, Hexagons (8 per side)
Games with boards of 37 hexagons
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David Bush
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I'm grateful for your work. Are the holes deep enough to support stacked layers? For example, the order 6 board with 91 holes might allow a total of 8 layers if you follow the convention that the triangular base for each upper level marble points away from your side of the board instead of towards.Layer 1 would have 91, layer 2 has 75, then 60, 46, 33, 21, 10, and 3 more marbles on level 8, for a total of 339. If you break convention after level 6, and put marbles on triangles that point the other way, you could go to 10 layers and 361 marbles, but that would produce an inconsistent lattice. How high can the marbles stack before the structure collapses?

EDITED numerical errors
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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8mm holes were taken from a Shibumi board. The spacing I have seems to work, but was designed to make marble access easy. I had marbles stacked up to level 5 before I ran out of convenient ones. My marbles are seconds they aren't consistent; some size variation can make parts of the structure unstable. I had parts that were rock-solid and others where carelessness could cause a cascade.

The point that you make about the triangles going in the other way is pertinent for usability. It is easy to accidentally try to place marbles against the lattice that you need. It is easy to place marbles so that things won't fit later.

Note that everything really is configurable. If you have your own printer you can tweak settings to maximize stackability. I like 8mm since it is a solid grip on a board that is just thick enough to be rigid and support the various details.

Do any games exist for this layout? Perhaps there is a Shibumi game that has an obvious parallel on a hexhex board.
 
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David Bush
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mlvanbie wrote:
8mm holes were taken from a Shibumi board. The spacing I have seems to work, but was designed to make marble access easy. I had marbles stacked up to level 5 before I ran out of convenient ones. My marbles are seconds they aren't consistent; some size variation can make parts of the structure unstable. I had parts that were rock-solid and others where carelessness could cause a cascade.

The point that you make about the triangles going in the other way is pertinent for usability. It is easy to accidentally try to place marbles against the lattice that you need. It is easy to place marbles so that things won't fit later.

Do any games exist for this layout? Perhaps there is a Shibumi game that has an obvious parallel on a hexhex board.


There is also Akron which, like Shibumi, uses a square base of 4 marbles to place upper layer marbles on. It's actually the same lattice structure as with hex layers, but oriented differently with respect to gravity. My game Lazo uses a hex base. My solution to the instability problem and the confusion involving where to stack a marble is to use specially shaped flat tiles which can be placed only the correct way when stacking. Here is an image of a game in progress, using my latest tile design.


The holes in this board are shaped like three hexagons joined together. The main part of each tile is like six hexagons. The peg on the underside, which you do not see here, is the same shape as the holes, and also the same shape as the gap between three mutually adjacent tiles on the same layer. The peg is half as thick as the main part of each tile, so tiles are never adjacent to any tile two layers lower.

It should be possible to play Lazo with marbles, as long as they are of consistent size and the holes are deep enough. It could lead to confusion during play, though, not just about where to place marbles, but when the game is over. Sorry about the topic drift.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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I think that this image was most clear:

I admit to having some really bad (but inexpensive!) marbles. However, given the weight of glass for the size of boards I saw on your pages, the possible confusion playing and the disaster if the pieces did destabilize, I wouldn't recommend marbles over the various clever solutions that you've tried.

I'll look into Akron.
 
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David Bush
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One crucial mechanism in Akron is removing a ball which might support one other ball from below, which might in turn support another ball on the next layer up, etc, Then you can watch a cascade of balls falling into place, plunk plunk plunk. The inventor, Cameron Browne, said he tried a triangular base and did not get satisfactory results. But with the right size balls of the right material using a square base, the cascade effect works very well. So I doubt Akron would work well with your boards, but you could always try it for yourself.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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I updated the program so that the customizer will let you generate boards without holes and added a feature to support interlocking edges. Using these features, I added and STL file for Storisende modules sized for mini Poker chips.
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