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3D Pontoon Bridge and Kickstarters

Finally, I have a moment to blog about my latest project, a 3D printed pontoon bridge suitable for Flames of War or any 20th Century-era battle in 15mm.

The idea started as a from a Facebook post on the FoWSA discussion group. Someone was looking for specific terrain for a Team Yankee scenario. Said scenario involved some combat engineers hastily constructing a bridge or some type of river crossing. There didn't seem to be any easily found bridges available for purchase. I took it as a challenge to 3D print it.

I searched briefly on Thingiverse to find a suitable bridge. There were a few very detailed bridge models there. Most of them looked very spindly and breakable. But, I found a cool design for a pontoon bridge. For those not familiar, a pontoon bridge is a series of simple boats tied together across a river or water feature. Some type of roadway, wood or metal, is fastened to the top of the boats thus providing a functioning bridge across the water. The concept has been used since antiquity but is still widely in use today.

Printed with neon green
size comparison with Sherman
The model I found was well crafted and it printed up easily. However, the designer intending it for use with 15mm medium-sized tanks such as the Sherman. A modern 70 ton M-1 Abrams in the same scale is just too wide for the roadway. But that's not a problem for the 3D printer. I adjusted the scale of the bridge by 15% and printed it out. Now the M-1 can drive on the roadway safely and the Shermans can still fit on it. And like a real pontoon bridge, if you need a longer bridge, you simply build more boats. Perfect for a 3D printer project!
Completed bridge after priming and paint

 There is a 'wrecked' version of the pontoon model but it did not print as well on my printer.  I'll have to make some adjustment to the get it right.

Now that I've dipped my toe in the 3D printing pool, I've started backing 3D printer-related projects on Kickstarter. I've purchased the Rampage Castle from Printable Scenery (Fantasy castles and dungeons) and the Future Worlds Terrain (Sci-Fi corridors and walls). Also, I backed a non-3D printed project called Hex Terrain Toolkit, which is a convenient tool for creating hex shaped contoured terrain.  Looking forward to working with all of it!

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