Holy shit, the ball magnets solve all the random polarity issues with making snap together things like this. fuck you Karen, we are out here solving problems and bettering ourselves.


it is the openlock system, there are different approches to this for the system [https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1910974](https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1910974) [https://www.printablescenery.com/product/openlock-magnetic/](https://www.printablescenery.com/product/openlock-magnetic/)


I think the cool part though is that you don't have to worry about polarity or clips, parts just self align and hold together


true, but you have to either put the magnets in while printing or print in 2 parts and glue afterwards, i'm using the second option


Seems like a reasonable trade off to me.


I think a large part of the "holy shit" factor is that the magnetic balls are free to spin, so they can snap regardless of polarity... If you're gluing the thing together make sure you've gluing some sort of cover plate or such and not the ball itself, such that it can still rotate.


I made some of these. Just had to make sure no glue got on the magnets. Super easy to do. It was tedious but so worth it.


You really don't even need to glue them. Why not just make the two pieces snap together with one-way clips on the interior. the base has a lip, the other has the clip for it, snap them together and they can never unsnap. If you did want them to be able to unsnap, put pinholes on the sides of the base to be able to move the clip back or leave the center of the bottom piece open.


The top can vary. It can be a full tile, 3/4 tile with a wall, or a corner wall with an even smaller floor. It was simple and already designed and ready to print without having to modify the parts. I feel like adding clips would be a lot of trial and error and modification of the existing parts. Not a bad idea, just quick and easy.


ohh, thanks for this clarification. Totally makes sense, but I thought the magnets were fixed and had no idea how it would work. If the magnets are free to connect to any adjacent part, that's really flexible. I'm just getting into 3d printing, and it seems like there's a lot of potential with magnets


Should be able to print snap-together or self-locking pieces.


Technically you don't even have to glue to tops on, you could just put little metal shims on the "floor" tiles, and they magnet down onto the bases. The upside here is you could have way more "floor" tiles of different types (wood, stone, etc.), and only need to print 1 set of bases and use fewer magnets.


The issue with this tho: the holes where you put the magnets in are on the top and open. So having metal bits for the top part would make the magnets snap to the metal but it would pull it out of the base. Could maybe solve it by putting it upside down basically


Ah, good point. Maybe if the hole was slightly smaller at the top and you had to "pop" them in?


I just glued the tops on to hold the magnets in. Quick and easy. The holes are open so you'd have to glue something to hold them in anyway.


The settlers of catan board I printed had holes in the bottom for magnets. I put adhesive felt on the bottom to hold the magnets and make them slide easily


I always embed magnets mid print. It's a super clean solution.


Don't they stick to the print head?


I tried this a couple times, every time they snapped to the head or were not strong enough to have a nice clicky feeling when in use.


Not if they're close enough to the bed to pull down.


Only a matter of time before someone sells the spheres embedded in a standard cube. Mass produced halves would be dirt cheap to make and you could get a very smooth internal surface.


Two part is fine. Works like a charm. Gets expensive though those magenta aren't cheap


I did this. Glue all the way. It's totally satisfying to "snap" them together and worth the hours of work it took to print, glue, and paint so many.


Soldiering iron- melt the two parts back together


You split the model into two prints, top and bottom, come back and put the magnets in whenever and then print the top.


You don't have to do either, I designed a system where the bottom framework holds the magnets and the top tile is snapped on with a press-fit latch. Needs no glue and means you need fewer bases as they can be combined with a larger set of top tiles.


This would only work if the ball magnets are loose. Won't work if they're glued down.


I printed a ton of these last summer, they're awesome. Then I spray painted a bunch outside with a coat of primer and they all warped in the sun :(. So bummed. Might do it again in a covered spot now that I've learned my lesson, but it killed my enthusiasm for the project.


dang. don't let that discourage you! Now you know more and you'll be more successful next time!


Oh man, I'm so sorry. Don't let it get you down. I made a bunch of these about 3 years ago and it is the thing I'm most proud of. So much so that I've been wanting to make another set just because it was so fun.


Guessing you used PLA? If so, look into more outdoor-appropriate filaments and this shouldn't be an issue.


They don't normally need to be used outdoors, I just didn't think through it when I set them out to dry overnight.


Ah wow they warped in just one day? That sucks. Should be fine in the shade though!


Yep! If I had thought about it I might have considered the effect of the heat wave on my beautiful prints, but alas. I still have them, actually. A box full of sad deformed pieces I can't bring myself to throw out. Ah well. I'm getting enough encouragement here maybe I will go and reprint them. Some of them might even work okay for a run down dungeon!


Not that person but in the bit of Australia I live in it hits 40°C in summer. "You could cook an egg on the road" is no joke. Hell, you could cook an egg on the white concrete footpath. Warp in a day? Try 10 minutes.


I made a base that uses the Dragonlock system (since I like their clips for when I need them) and magnets. Works great.


I came here looking for stls and you delivered, thanks friend


You could also use diametrical imans


The ball magnets aren’t needed to solve the polarity issue. If you use 8 magnets and just alternate them (one positive, one negative, one positive, one negative, etc) it also works. There are these toys called “magna tiled” and this is how they work. https://www.magnatiles.com/product/magna-tiles-clear-colors-32-piece-set/


You are correct, but it requires that you get it right 100% of the time, and that's a lot of very meticulous work with a polarity checker. I feel like if you design it so that you can take them apart and fix it, then this approach might be feasible. But it's still going to take you a BUNCH of extra time. Designing it with the balls in mind means you don't have to worry about any of that and you can just drop them in and go. You don't have to design it to be repaired. Everything is faster.


Why do you need a polarity checker. Isn't that already what a magnet is?


Because you need to stay consistent across ALL of your tiles. A polarity checker is just a magnet on a swivel with “north” and “south” labeled. You would need to use one of these because you always need to know which pole is going where in your parts.


Ah, a compass!


Also, cubes are a pain because there's 6 potential orientations. Discs can be easier to work with.


I just keep all of my magnets in a stack with a dot on one end. Always come out in the same orientation, don't have to think about it.


It’s really not that difficult or meticulous. Make one tile right, and then just see if the other tiles fit correctly. I did a Catan set, around 500 magnets and no mistakes. No worries about tolerances and if the ball can spin freely, or if it might fall out (depending on the design).


This is the way. A couple of years ago I remixed a few different Catan sets to make my own full “best of” set, some of which used the ball method. Too many stories of stuck balls or balls falling out, etc. I used something like axial magnetized 2x2mm cylinders press fit into a 2x2mm cube void in a base/frame tile. It wasn’t any more difficult than popping in the balls and checking polarization was as easy as popping it into a couple of other tiles. Did something like 500 magnets and didn’t get a single one wrong. The ball method is cool if you need the orientation to change, but in reality, it doesn’t.


Kind of. Freely rotating ball magnets solve two issues: sides with and odd number of magnets, and remembering the polarity between prints. If they're freely rotating, all you need is to match the spacing and not bother with the rest. On the other hand, diametrically magnetized cylindrical magnets could still rotate freely, and possibly be slightly stronger.


Or 4 magnets + 4 pieces of metal, which both reduces the cost and eliminates the need for checking polarity for all magnets. The ball magnets has the advantage of allowing tile staggering, and would probably make it easier to combine different sizes of tiles


Yes, like magna tiles.


Embedded magnets are almost always a good idea. Unless the item is intended to be functional in a very close envelope proximity to a pacemaker or something. I also agree that leaving enough clearance for them to roll and reorient is very clever.


Anyone have a link to buy magnetic balls like that? Or recommend what to search...mostly expensive magnetic toys come up when I search. Thanks in advance


Dunno where you’re located, but I use McMaster-Carr. Still fairly expensive, but here is the neodymium “ball” section (there are tons more magnets and every fastener you could imagine on this site too. If you do CAD, you can also download the 3D files for pretty much any given part from them too, so you 100% know that it will fit your design and can be added to a bill of materials! I always have an ongoing cart.. https://www.mcmaster.com/magnets/shape~ball/


Would the regular "buckyballs" work for this? I'm not sure how strong they are, but they'd be a cheaper option. [https://www.buckyballsstore.com/](https://www.buckyballsstore.com/)


my friend uses buckyballs (I'm pretty sure) and they work great. He tends to be fairly frugal so I'm sure he didn't get the expensive little magnets but they work really well. I'll see if I can get a link from him. edit: he got 5mm buckyballs from new egg.


Probably! They are pretty strong.


TIL Buckyballs are back. I had a pending order when they went out of business.


Weren't those banned because some dumb parents left their kids unattended near them? The kids swallowed them, and the parents decided to sue the company instead of admitting they were being careless.


At the time the dangers of small magnets (and coin cells) weren't nearly nearly so well known. Yes the parents should've been more careful. But it wasn't as idiotic then as it would be now. People still do it.


I don't remember if they ended up fully banned, but yes I do remember hearing that. They are really hard to remove if a kid swallows them at different times since they can actually get stuck internally and pinch intestines and stuff. It looks like I could buy some from the link posted above, so I guess they are available again.


That's what I used when I made these. Got 2 sets off Amazon for pretty cheap. It was about 3 years ago though, so your mileage may vary.


I would guess that these would work just fine! The 5mm size buckyballs are a bit bigger than ones I had seen before too so that’s a plus


website is broken. I'm having trouble finding them anywhere else. maybe because all of the kids swallowing them? This is the only reasonably priced off-brand I could find https://www.newegg.com/magnetic-ball-brain-games/p/026-09CM-00009


Weird, the site is working for me.




Oh man, Buckyballs were a blast!


McMaster-Carr will always get you quality products with US shipping, but you pay a *significant* premium for it. $2.18 per magnet is a lot, the disk magnets [I'm using right now](https://www.amazon.com/DIYMAG-Refrigerator-Magnets-Premium-Brushed/dp/B07B3SDRCP/) were $11.69 for 100 from amazon. The K&J magnetics [link](https://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=12&gclid=Cj0KCQiA8vSOBhCkARIsAGdp6RRQdxjGRxivhy4HobQCwodQpNxibss0nrbioF8Aeh87zVf8dHv9lUwaAuzoEALw%5C_wcB) that other people have provided has it for $0.79 each. [buyneomagnets.com](https://www.buyneomagnets.com/p/6mm-dia-n35-neodymium-sphere-magnets/) has them $3.89 for 20 if you're willing to wait for shipping from china. I can't vouch for them, I just found it on google - although for $3 I'd probably take the risk.


Very good info. I go to McMaster for most things, and have probably overpaid a few times for the convenience and CAD benefits during prototyping. The only magnets I’ve bought there were small cylindrical ones in a pack of 100 I think, which were much more reasonably priced than the spherical ones.


Mcmaster is almost always going to be the more expensive option.


K & J Magnetics have everything you can possibly imagine: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=12&gclid=Cj0KCQiA8vSOBhCkARIsAGdp6RRQdxjGRxivhy4HobQCwodQpNxibss0nrbioF8Aeh87zVf8dHv9lUwaAuzoEALw\_wcB


I second K&J. I always get my magnets from them.


You can find them on aliexpress. I bought 512 of them for $24 with shipping recently. Takes a long time because it comes on a slow boat from china.


I usually use [https://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=12](https://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=12)


Cheapest place to get them is AliExpress, that's where I buy mine in bulk. Shippig will take several weeks though.




One thing I used when printing magnet toys for the kids was simply placing a magnet on the outside of the print to hold the one, inside the print, in place. [Like this](https://imgur.com/a/WCh8wij) . Also, it prevented the magnets from jumping to one another in the cavities. Crazy how strong some little magnets can be.




Thanks. As soon as one jumped to another slot, I knew that doing this would lock it in place for printing. Made everything so much smoother. I also had to print a PLA fan shroud for this printer, because the original was iron based


Not a lot of magnetic material in a hotend, brass nozzle and aluminium block form most of it generally. Just need to worry about the clamp screws holding the heater and thermistor in place.


I had the problem of the magnets "jumping" out of a print I did with embedded magnets. So, I hot-glued them in place in the cavities. That held well enough to prevent any issues while the rest of the print proceeded.




Ya, in my case I wasn't using ball magnets.


I made some of these about 3 years ago and just glued the floor tile on top to hold them in. Pretty quick and didn't have to babysit the printer.




With 2 you can offset some tiles for interesting combinations. Plus it makes the connection stronger. As a bonus, because there are 8 in a single tile, they stick really well to my refrigerator.


I would just print in two parts and glue together. Probably add some shape to align the parts


You could model in a spot for a square of paper ( or something ) at the top of the magnet cavity. Cylindrical cavity, square ( or circle ) on top just larger than the cavity ( for one layer ), pause after the paperhole is printed, add magnets then put tabs on top, resume print.


You could print the cavity slightly undersized (or past halfway, in the case of a ball magnet) so that the magnet is press-fit into the cavity and won't risk coming out.


Could someone with a Zoomer dictionary look up the definition of "wyd?"


"What [are] you doing?" If you want to dissect the frog a bit further: The joke is that she's tired of all the men she dates cheating on her, but can't seem to find a guy who doesn't do that. The punchline being that the nerdy "good guys" who don't cheat are hard to find cause they are too busy 3D printing magnetic dungeons and other shit rather than dating. I've seen it a few times and I give the joke a "sensible chuckle" out of 10 myself


Upvote for a succinct and non-condescending explanation of a joke!


Man’s gotta have a hobby.




Maybe I'm old, but I'm not convinced half the words on there are even real. [They have a lot of vandalism too.](https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=i%20can%27t%20believe%20you%20searched%20this%21%20don%27t%20you%20have%20anything%20better%20to%20do%3F%3F%20anyway%2C%20this%20is%20something%20people%20type%20when%20they%20are%20super%20bored%20%28and%2For%20super%20dumb%29%20and%20want%20to%20see%20what%20happens%20when%20they%20type%20exactly%20what%20is%20already%20in%20the%20search%20bar.)




wtfw it's like smho tbfh, imdb. https://xkcd.com/1460/


They may have some vandalism but it's still a very decent resource for slang terms. Doesn't hurt to use it and then corroborate with a couple extra searches if you're still not sure.


My generation is considered zoomers but i still don't understand hf of this shit .


what you do?




3mm is quite small, about 1/8th of an inch. If your application could use that size then sure, otherwise I’d imagine you’d need something a decent bit larger.


5mm is what you want. Basically it's just "Bucky Balls" but they go under different names. I made some of these about 3 years ago and got some cheap ones from Amazon.




I had never heard that name before so I just think about magnet balls. It's all about what we've heard and when. People in KY like to play a game called corn hole but to me that means something completely different.


They come in different strengths. I get N52's (max I've found) to make sure I get plenty of holding power.


I saw the original on TikTok and I think he said that he used 5mm


Is that an affiliate link?


my buddy has been printing these things non stop for the past month or so on two ender 3s. The little ball magents work great.


I made a bunch a year or two ago. They're awesome!!


We playin' d&d I guess


If you use OpenLock tiles, I created magnetic clips that are polarity independent. There are clips for barrel magnets and for ball magnets. The strongest one is the dual-ball magnet clip. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3612827


Hey man, these are awesome, but is there a way you can make them for 5 mm ball magnets and the 3mmx4mm cylinders so that people only need to buy either 5mm ball (openforge) or cylinder (openlock/printablescenery?). Maybe I'm missing something but I think the official openlock magnetic bases are 5mm ball


Thanks LostFerret. The OpenLock clips are about 3.8 mm tall and (from memory) the slot they fit into is about 4mm. Unfortunately, 5mm magnets wouldn't quite fit. The way the clips are designed does allow for the magnets to poke out enough to directly contact each other, which gives them a fair bit of strength for the magnet size. The Dual-ball magnet clips are the main ones I'm using now. That said, I do agree it would be nice if they were more universal and worked with whatever magnets you had laying around.


Yea, just seems silly for me to buy 5mm ball, 3mm ball, 3x3 rod, and 3x4 rod to use a system that prides itself on universality. I'll prob be sticking to the openforge 5mm base since I'm just starting and like the versatility of offsetting. Do you know if the printable scenery comes in a single square or if it is sliced into base and top like the openforge tiles?


I'm not sure I'm quite following your first sentence. If you stick with one dungeon tile type, then you only need one magnet type. The multiple clips options in my link are just to accommodate different magnets, but you only need to use one type. You wouldn't need multiple magnet sizes. I guess It would be possible to use the open forge tiles with 5mm magnets embedded and then additionally use magnetic OpenLock clips with 3mm magnets. I don't know if that would be all that useful though. This video does a good job explaining all of the different tile types, if it's helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTW422CspTk The printable scenery tiles are a single piece: https://www.printablescenery.com/product/rampage-base-pack/


/r/openforge over here; been doin' it for years :) Magnets for room-to-room connections, clips for inter-room connections. Oh, you guys open that door? Bam! new room.


TikTok is fucking cancer.


I've found some really great content on TikTok, actually. But like anything else you have to curate your experience.


Yeah it is


Yup, can also be accomplished with rod/cylinder magnets that are diametrically magnetized. Rather than a North and South pole at each end, the poles are split and run down the entire length of the cylinder, one on each half of the curved half circle side. The benefit is that you get a much slimmer profile and stronger magnetic attachment with two cylinders in close proximity lengthwise than with two spheres - due to geometric orientation/overall contact area. Just like spheres, as long as you give them just enough room to spin in your print, they'll spin/align to the required poles when attaching magnetically. Again, the real benefit is the smaller diameter/slimmer profile and better magnetic contact area. I used them to [build a Catan board](https://i.imgur.com/oSURZby.jpg) with my 3D printer where the tiles link up magnetically regardless of orientation in a similar fashion.


That's freaking awesome!!!!


Haha, I was literally taking a break from printing a set of these when I came across this post.


Tik Tok or not I find this video funny as a whole


Wtf is that cheating thing? Can't ignore


Don't make the same mistake I did by gluing the magnets in place :(


Pro tip for women, date a nerd. He's not going to cheat.


Nerds can be shitty partners too.


Yep, I just found that out.


I'm sorry that happened. I hope you have people in your life you can rely on.


Oh, it didn't happen to me. Some other nerd posted about how he doesn't have enough time for his girlfriend with all of his hobbies going on. Thank you though.


I know right. My wife always gets jealous and suss on what I do in my free time. I try to tell her. You're lucky I have e ough time to hang out with you let alone a second women. I have way too many other things to do. Video games, board games, 3d modelling, printing, making music... It just goes in and on. A second women would take too much time away from other things I enjoy


The first part was good too, haha




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I will always promote this, when ever I do tiles I use this style, I print about 9 6x6 pieces and just use walls to outline my maps, I also designed a wood and grass style to work with them, alternatively the grass can also be painted to look like snow or sand.


wdy? You can ask your man to print a human-sized man, plz in a mean manner\~(nails, nails, nails)




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That’s really dope


This is amazing on so many levels


How do you get the magnets to not jump out of the print and attach to the nozzle after you put them in the cavities?


A bit of super glue maybe?


I've only done this once and they were bigger magnets so it wasn't an issue, but recently bought some small ones and just held them near the nozzle and they popped onto it straight away. But yeah, that sounds like a good (and obvious) idea.


These are two separate models, you use super glue to attach them together.


leaving a comment for myself because I have a project I want to do in the future using this but I dont have the friends to play the game nor a working 3d printer, this is just so when I do I can look back at my post history and find this as reference :D


Could you half the amount of needed magnets if you replaced on of them on each side with a ball bearing?


You don't know how to cut a video, do you?


that's awsome


So guys why you no cheat?


Holy shit, I love TrueTiles but hated how poorly the open locks worked, either too tight or not going in all the way. I gotta do this




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This is fucking NEAT


Is this guy a millionaire yet? Like seriously. Kickstart or whatever the hell out of this. Now.




As this old bloke tinkering with clocks in his shed once said “if he’s not got a hobby he’s cheating, and if he has got a hobby he’s too broke and busy to cheat”


This is not new in any way shape or form. I've been printing my dungeon tiles like this for like 4 years now.


cool story, bro


Why would you ignore the first part, that is epic levels of trolling right there... Implication... Mother Fucker is Cheating putting magnets in the tiles.


The tiles are amazing the only issue I would usually have with these is transportation of them Edit: no I am being serious, I’d rather not just stick them in like a ziplock bag altogether and have the paint chip, or have the plastic break because of something else in my bag. My issue wasn’t “oh I don’t have room for them since they aren’t that big


Just toss them on the roof of your car and drive to wherever you're playing.


Ideally the magnets should be able to stick out of the walls a tiny bit. magnets have to touch for maximum attraction force. That's why the ends of horseshoe magnets aren't painted. Looks like I've just made some work for myself...


The first part of the video applies lol