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3D Printed Bagatelle Defies Its Name

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The Buzz Trace Nerve Game by Tony Jones

The Buzz Trace Nerve Game by Tony Jones

The “bagatelle” means something of little importance, a mere trifle. This is the unassuming name of the game that British designer Tony Jones decided to recreate using 3D printing.  While Jones has only been engaged in 3D printing for less than two years, this is already the second creation of his to garner sufficient interest to be covered here at 3DPrint.com with his Buzz Trace Nerve Machine making our list of top 3D printable 3DShare models back in June.

This latest creation, the bagatelle board, was modeled on the game board Jones used back in the 1960s made by Chad Valley. He created this 3/4 size replica for display in the booth set up by 3DFilaPrint and Global FSD during the TCT event held at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham in October. The Bagatelle created an opportunity for visitors to interact at the booth and that was something people were more than willing to do as the game received a great deal of attention over the two days at the event.

Jones, who is a retired software/hardware engineer, printed the piece entirely in PLA after designing the digital model in OpenSCAD. This creation was actually produced by another one of Jones’ creation: his own 3D printer.bagatelle print

In an interview with 3DPrint.com, he described the printer he built that was used for this project:20150910_113020e

“[This] was printed on my own designed and built printer. It feature[s] a large bed (340 mm x 290 mm) which is required for most of the parts of the bagatelle. The printer has now been in use for 1 1/2 years and run for 500 hours. The printer used Marlin firmware [and] I have since expanded the bed to 400 mm x 300 mm.”

Jones designed his bagatelle game using OpenScad, along with Slic3r and pronterface, with the spring inspired by a design he found on Thingiverse. He noted that while “the spring power is more than adequate for this project, using PLA,” superior springs might be possible using other materials. The finished game measures 26″ long, taking about 63 hours of print time and 1.5 kg of PLA for the 36 STL files. Only the balls were not 3D printed (and those are standard 14mm steel balls).

Bagatelle is a game that uses a table somewhat similar to that required for billiards and as there is no national body that has authority to regulate the game there are a number of variations both in play and in table. No matter whether a full size table or a table top game, the point of play is to move a certain number of balls past pins, which act as obstacles, into holes with guarding pins that players are penalized for knocking over.

scoreThe game is, in fact, the ancestor of the pinball machine, something for which I am truly grateful because I love the Who’s song ‘Pinball Wizard,’ – though I suppose they could have written it as ‘bagatelle wiz’ but that is neither here nor there. In any case, this smaller version is meant for table top play and the files are available through 3dsha.re for a 99-cent download so you can start to develop your own skills.  What are your thoughts on this unique design?  Let us know in the 3D Printed Bagatelle forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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