Printing RPG Tiles with my 3D Printer

Printing RPG Tiles with my 3D Printer

One of the reasons I bought a new 3D printer was so that I could print my own miniatures and terrain for our roleplaying game.

Note: The STL files of all of the tiles in this post can be downloaded from my profile on Thingiverse. There's a good chance that there will be more as time goes on.

The day after I assembled my new Creality Ender 3 Pro, I started designing my own terrain tiles. Many people refer to them as "Dungeon Tiles", but that isn't what I'm making. Since our game takes place in the modern world (as well as all throughout time and space), I need more than just dungeons.

I decided to go with the OpenLOCKā„¢ system by Printable Scenery. I attained a license to use DRAGONBITEā„¢ (from Fat Dragon Games), as well, but I liked the larger number of templates available in OpenLOCK. While OpenLOCK is generally a Creative Commons license, I opted for the BSD license instead.

I like the idea of 3D printing the walls for my rooms, but I don't like the idea of waiting on an entire floor to print. That's a large surface area and a lot of material for creating a textured floor that can be done better on foam board.

So, I combined the best of both worlds and created OpenLOCK compatible walls and floors that allow you to insert 3/16" foam board into them.

My first floor prototype attached to foam board

The straight floor tile is an inch wide by two inches long. It fits into a standard OpenLOCK wall tile and connects to foam board.

back side of floor tile showing OpenLOCK clip
Another angle on the floor tile attached to a spaceship wall that I designed

I like the idea of using foam, because I can design the floor "texture" in GIMP on my computer and then print it out on my color printer. Then, I can glue the image to the foam board and cut it out. It makes it easy to measure because I can enter the dimensions into GIMP when designing the images. I can also put different floor textures on each side of the foam board and use it in multiple scenes.

Here is an example of a foam board floor with a floor texture glued onto it:

The floor texture glued to the foam board before making the cuts
Laser printed floor "texture". Notice the 1"x1" grid printed onto the paper.

Here's the floor image:

Image used for prototype floor

After creating and testing the middle floor piece, I decided to tackle the corner design. Here is the result:

The first prototype of the corner piece

I printed enough pieces for a partial room before getting inspired to create wall pieces, as well. The challenge with the walls is that I had to create a right and left side in addition to the center piece. I followed the same pattern of printing a wall texture on my color printer and then gluing it to the foam board.

Textured walls and floors inserted into my prototype tiles

Here is the rust texture that I used:

Rust texture for one of the walls

I also created a quick wall image that included a stained glass window. I printed two copies of it, once regular and then again with the image vertically mirrored so that everything would line up. I glued that to the back side.

Stained glass window wall

The above image will fit in a wall composed of a left, right, and middle OpenLOCK foam adapter. The images need to be 130mm wide by (at least) 43mm tall to fit this configuration.

After making my prototype tiles, I decided that I wanted to create some tiles that were textured with a modern brick pattern. In addition to the foam adapters, I also created a full size OpenLOCK "A" wall with the same pattern for a matching set. Here's what they looked like on the print bed after printing:

Brick textured tiles after a successful print
The full brick set printed at .1mm (fine setting in Cura)

I have plans to design more textured tiles. I think I will make it a point to include the foam board adapters in all of my collections. It just makes sense to have matching parts. I haven't decided on any textured floors. Those will be a bit more challenging because I will have to make left and right versions of those, as well. I might even have to make four different corners, depending on the texture.

I've really enjoyed my first half week with the printer. I like designing my own objects for printing. I am making them for my game, so I'm putting them up on Thingiverse to share in case anyone else can get use from them.