I’m very proud of the base system I have settled on for my DreadBall minis. I call what I use now my Mark V base system (as it’s the 5th version I’ve made). You can read about the evolution of the design in my first article on bases: Base Design
Most people that see my bases like them and I’d like to share the 3d (STL) files here for anyone that wants to use them.
The bases are designed to be used with magnets. Specifically Neodymium magnets. The main, central magnet is a 10mm x 1mm disc magnet. The magnets for attaching the ball are 2mm x 1mm disc magnets (the ball will also require a matching magnet).
Neodymium magnets come in different strengths from N35 (weak) up to N52 (strong). I prefer the stronger magnets and try to use N50 or N52 for my bases.
You can find the magnets on eBay and Amazon with a bit of searching. Here are a few links to get you started.
So now everyone has the files and have printed the bases. Everyone has acquired magnets and are ready to put the bases together. How do we ensure that my bases are compatible with all of your bases?
As you are probably aware, magnets have a North and a South pole. This is the polarity of the magnet.
It is unlikely that your magnets with be marked to indicate which end is North and which South so we’ll need to determine the polarity ourselves. Thankfully once you have done this once you can simple use any previously assembled bases as a guide for the future.
The easiest way to determine the polarity of your magnets is either with a bowl of water and some foam/styrofoam or with a string.
- tie a string around a stack of a few of your disc magnets
- allow the magnets to rotate freely
- when they stop spinning, the end that is pointing North is the North pole of the magnet
- fill a bowl with enough water to float a small piece of foam or styrofoam in
- take a stack of a few of your disc magnets and lay them on the foam in the water
- the magnets will rotate around when they stop spinning, the end that is pointing North is the North pole of the magnet
Once you know the polarity mark it on the magnets with a sharpie (or similar) so you don’t lose track.
Now that you know the polarity of your magnets use the following diagram to glue in your magnets.
- Red = North Polarity
- Blue = South Polarity
If you follow these instructions then all of our bases and balls will be fully compatible when we meet up to play. We will be able to share bases and balls as needed.
If you have any questions please comment on the article or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org