For those engaged in CDOs monthly basing moots and nonsensical ramblings on the Discord. Do not fret. Making your own bases, trays, and general wargaming implements is relatively straightforward. Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists that use their designs for personal use and not for monetary gain. Navigate to this site and proceed with acknowledgement of a FREE personal use license.
“Don’t pay for garbage files that are more difficult to customize, when you can create garbage of your own.” - Reaver, circa every dam day, seriously SFTU with your nuln oil pricing rants.
I’ve heard tale that some newly oldfangled game system aiming to release and sell Tomb Kings to my grandkids might require some basing gymnastics for the grognards among us. So if you’re not a stalwart Brian of living systems like me maybe this will be useful… wait… why am I making this tutorial again?
There are plenty of available online resources for instructional workflows. You can do a whole lot by just learning to sketch and extrude. Many things can be brute forced without knowledge of the program’s intermediate - advanced functions.
This will mostly be directed at FDM printing since it is a cost effective way to get custom trays to meet your needs. Even if you have some expired blue resin you don’t plan to drink, resin printing is a more expensive route and excessive print quality for this use-case.
Booting up Fusion 360 into a new project will look something like this. The default is the design toolbox and solid modeling (these are what you want). The first step is to start a sketch using the circled icon.
Using a mouse with scroll wheel is highly recommended. Scroll wheel is zoom. Pressing and holding the scroll wheel allows for rotation, ctrl and hold scroll wheel is for panning. If you get lost you can always press “look at” in the sketch palette.
Click on a plane, sensibly I like to choose the bottom and model from a top down view.
Create > Rectangle > 2-Point (or press the handy shortcut “R”)
Click on two points on the grid to make a rectangle. Then it’s time to start adding some dimensions. These can be edited later as needed. The joy of parametric CAD. For now I’m going to work on a 10 x 2 movement tray for 20mm bases spaced by 25mm for whatever the fracking asinine reason some money grubbing rules writer conjured in their shed shatting body pillow hugging dreams.
Click on a line, and then again slightly away from the line to drop a dimension, then type the appropriate measurement.
I also recommend centering the rectangle on the origin, makes life easier later. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this.
Create > Point
Then click on a horizontal line to place the point. Then click on the triangle in constraints. This is the midpoint constraint, once that is highlighted click the point and then the line, which will snap the point to the midpoint of the line.
Then select constraints > horiz/vert
Then click your point and then the origin
Repeat 6 & 7 for the other line then press FINISH SKETCH in the “sketch palette”
Now for the THREE DEE. Select Extrude and then type in a value for thiccness. Since you only have one sketch it should assume what you’re trying to do, if not, click in the middle of your rectangular sketch. (If you are designing a big hat, make sure to add lots of zeros for extra height)
Oooh shiny rectangle
Now… how to insert bases… Click on the top surface of your rectanglebox and press sketch again.
Draw yourself another rectangle, dimension it using the same method as above. Alternatively, you can use the equal constraint (then click two sides of your square) and only need to dimension one side of a square. It may be helpful to dimension it to the line midpoints. Lots of ways to flay a tray here. When you like what you see press finish sketch.
Press extrude again, click on your new rectangle. In this case I want the operation set to “cut” so it removes material. If your extrude is going the wrong way, try changing the value to a negative number to swap its direction. Often the program will detect a cut operation automatically. If you tend to have scenery overhanging your bases, be cautious with this depth value.
- Lets say you screwed up a dimension. One way to check is to use the inspect tool. Play around with this and click on lines, points or faces to fetch distances in your model. Click in the blank space or press ESC if you don’t like what’s selected. ESC key works like this in most instances.
If a dimension isn’t correct you can right click > edit different aspects of the model in the chronological timeline at the bottom left of the interface.
In that same timeline, click your extrude then select the rectangular pattern button.
Select “Axes” then click on the two directions you want to propagate your base cavity.
This is probably the more finicky part. Set the distribution to spacing for easier maths. Set the quantity and distance in each of your directions. The preview should help you if you are getting the look you want. Again negative numbers here can be useful if things are going the wrong direction.
Press okay and now you have A THING. Crude for now, but if there is interest I could continue with more details, provisions for magnets, whatevah. Also some things are potentially best learnt in a live video format on the discord. Sometimes I do knock out bases and trays in hobby hangouts. Feel free to ask questions here or there.
THING can be exported as STL for easy import to any slicer program for print preparation. Printers will all have slightly different tolerances / accuracies they can achieve so test prints are advised to make sure you have clearance for your bases, magnets, etc. before you go pissing out a pile of these suckers for your TOW game in Fall 2068.
Also… don’t forget to save. The Fusion free license allows you to have 10 working files at once. But you can set files on and off read only mode in an instant, so it’s barely a hindrance.
One of the benefits here is that you could copy the file, edit the overall dimension, edit the pattern quantities, and then export a new tray for a different unit size.