Open Board Game is a Framework For 3D Printing Sophisticated, Interactive Board Games

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Open Board Game 3d printedBryan Salt wants you to download, print and play what he calls “the world’s first 3D printed board game.”

It’s called Open Board Game, and Salt, the founder and CEO of Thinker Thing, says the creation makes it possible for anyone to build their own professional board games using 3D printing and this new open source project.

It’s a project by the Chilean 3D printing company featuring a crowdfunding campaign to support the 3D printed board game framework. According to Salt, whether a user wants to design their own professional board game or play one created by someone else using the platform, the Open Board Game simplifies the process by utilizing the latest in 3D printing and hacker electronics technology.

“We’ve been making games for 25 years and been developing for 3D printing for the last three,” Salt says. “We’re passionate about gaming and we wanted to revolution the way board games are produced, new technology allows us to do just that.”

goldplatedsteelSalt says his work on the cutting edge of technology for the last 25 years has allowed him and his partners to develop innovative approaches to push technology. Back in 2001, Salt led the creative team that put the first 3D engine on the ARM 9 chipset, and an earlier venture, Televirtual, broadcasted the world’s first digital puppet on BBC TV in 1994.

“The advent of 3D printing means you can now self manufacture amazing professional looking games created and designed by the community,” Salt says.

It’s that experience, and his work on 3D printing over the course of the last three years, which has led Salt to consider what he calls a “revolution in the way board games are produced.”

Open Board Games is essentially a framework which allows the simple creation of board games joined with a community site which allows sharing those creations with the world. The framework is a set of components such as interlocking board pieces, figurines, cards, dice and a series of interactive electronic elements designed to allow for quick 3D printing on home machines or via service bureaus.

cardlogoSalt says the Open Board Game framework bricks have been in development for the last 6 months through a serious of hundreds of prototypes and possible layouts. He calls the result a “trouble free, easy to print, interconnecting board that can be adapted and refined” which includes internal support structures for the addition of lights, servos, sensors and mini controllers capable of making parts move and interact with a game design.

An example game, Rust to Dust, is a war-style strategy battle game with 56 Battle Robot figurines which have been designed to work with the system and for use as a test bed and community development tool.

According to Salt, by backing the IndieGoGo campaign, backers will have immediate access to a beta member’s site.

“We are passionately into the board game concept and believe you will be too. A crowd funding campaign helps us (and our backers) gauge the response the idea has, and a successful campaign will allow us to pursue this dream,” Salt says of the campaign. “The raised funds represent two months costs for our five-strong team of gaming professionals allowing us to dedicate our focus to improvements in game play, complete the second clan designs and improve the community website.”

The models come in STL file format, complete with supports for printing on common 3D printing machines. A $99 commitment to the campaign gets you a Maker Club membership which allows MakerSpaces, FabLabs or 3D printing Cafes to have their members print out the full 56 Model Double Clan set for the Rust to Dust Open Board Game.

What do you think of Open Board Game? Will you be contributing to the IndieGoGo campaign aimed at further developing the idea? Let us know on the Open Board Game forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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