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Terraforming Mars - Player Mat Overlay

by aimfeld Jul 4, 2018
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Hi @aimfeld
This design is great and prints wonderfully on my CR-10S PRO. Any chance of getting the CAD files? I've designed larger stackable player mats to also hold player tokens and 1/4 of the monies cubes and wanting the whole lot to just interference press fit together so wanting to remove the external chamfer and confirm dimensions.

Full credit to you, these things look and fit wonderfully.

Hello, very nice work but my cubes à bigger than your and does not fit in the grids :(
see here : https://www.thingiverse.com/make:653984

Terraforming Mars - Player Mat Overlay

I had the same problem and tried changing the grid size and reprinting, but when I went to replace the one that didn't fit, I realized that if I flipped the grid over, the cubes fit perfectly. Maybe try that and see if it fixes it for you?

Ahh, it even says it in the description:

(Note: The grids have a chamfer. Make sure the chamfer is oriented downwards)

Hi, I'm sorry to hear that. My cubes have side length of around 8.33mm (+/- some tolerance). I added a picture to the thing and added a note in the description to measure the cube or try the fit in a grid before proceeding.

Can you post the side length of your cube?

My cube have the same size as yours 8,33, when I look at you STL I see the grid is 8,4.
The problem is I guess the tolerance depends on the printer, it could be a good idea to add some more margin.
8,5 for the grid is certainly better.

Hi! I really want to print this, however the model is like 2mm too wide for my print bed. Is there any way you can share the source model file, so I can trim down the outside edges a bit? I tried importing and editing the STL into FreeCAD, but it really doesn't like it for some reason.

Please post a remix if you cut them in half. I have the same problem


Sure... no problem.

I started out modelling in Onshape (nowadays I would probably use Fusion 360).

The document is public. You can find it here: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/28617fb5c5d480d5905f6025/w/3b08db3a720fd25232f02bbd/e/c014b46538a660f84e25bd56

Feel free to use it and modify to your liking (you have to create an Onshape account though).

Any tips on how to fix small grids in place? They can be removed then pulling cubes out or when putting the board upside down (can happen during transport). I'm using correct chamfer orientation i think. Smaller edge is pointing down.

Hi Airis,

The grids are designed to be press-fitted into the body. Depending on your printer's tolerance, your mileage may vary. If you're using the uniform grid, you can use the customizer to adjust the allowance. It's possible to have negative allowance in the customizer. Such a negative allowance enlarges the grid for a tighter fit.

You use the correct chamfer orientation.


What customizer you have in mind? Paper prints can easily be "customized" by using simple scissors :) The 3D prints is a bit different story. I use Prusa MK3S and in the Slic3r there is under Print Settings -> Advanced some option called "XY Size compensation". Is it the one I need to play with? Currently grids are just a little bit smaller to hold them in place.

I have the customizer built into thingiverse in mind :-)

See attached screenshot.

For people struggling to print small grids - reduce print speed or/and increase head bed temperature a little. This will ensure that grid sticks to print bed as well as reduce risk for failed builds.


Great players mats, best ones so far (and print quite quickly). Thanks a lot.
I've decided to make a color themed version of the 2D score sheets. With red / blue / yellow / black / green player colored numbers. I've enclosed the files (PDF and layered/grouped Sketch source file). Feel free to use it or alter them.

The only thing that i have to fix is the photo corner stickers. The one i bought aren't strong enough. I'll try the Herma ones :-)


Great! Love your sheets!


This is the best overlay out there for TM. I've held off for a long time for one that allows to use the original mat that looks as good as this. P.S. Make sure you print your PDF at actual size and not "Fit" as it won't size right.

Everything looks awesome. However, when I printed the paper insert, it’s not wide enough. What did I do wrong?

Make sure there is no scaling going on. Check your print options for "scaling" / "fit to paper" or similar. I printed on A4.

That was the problem. Printer went to 92. Turned off scaling and it’s perfect!

glad to hear :-)

I made simple slider to separate Energy and Heat boxes for "no wall" variant.
You can easily transfer tokens from Energy to Heat just with slide.
But I can't upload it from unknown reason. If you are interested in this, I can send it to you by e-mail.

Cool! I suggest you post the file as a remix.

awesome work - can't wait to print!

the only thing I can see now that might be a little confusing is how the numbers are ordered. I might have done it left to right, top to bottom, with the 10/20/30 next to each other at the end in the same row, instead of in the far right column.

so for example, instead of:

I think I would prefer:

Please note: I just added a variation of the grids with uniform spacing and a new production inset with the numbers arranged according to your proposal. Feel free to design an inset to your liking (I added a picture showing the dimensions of the new uniform grid). The font is called Prototype. You can find it e.g. here: https://www.dafont.com/prototype.font

Thank you!! great work - this is the best terraforming player mat I've seen and I'm going to print some as presents for my friends.

Great! Thanks!

I see your point. When I designed the grids I wanted the 0 (starting position) to always be on the far left. To separate the 10/20/30 I decided to add a slightly thicker wall in the grid and invert the number on the printout (i.e. white on black). However, the layout is slightly confusing as you're pointing out.
I'm considering to design a neutral grid (i.e. one with uniform wall thickness) and add a printout according to your proposal. For the big grid this would move the 0 to the upper right corner though:


tried to print this, but my bed leveling is so poor now so it doesnt' work

sorry to hear that... what printer and material are you using?

PLA , tevo tornado
so after a few successfull other prints, i tried it again, and it gives the same problem.
as it started it doesn't go in straight line,

Not sure what seems to be the issue here. Would love to hear from others though, whether they are struggling as well or whether they are successful.

I'm having trouble getting the grids into the spaces, they're just a tiny bit too big. If I shrink them to 99% they still don't really fit, but also no longer fit the cubes... maybe slightly larger insert spaces would be good. I'm using a CR-10S and Simplify3D to slice and it's been a nightmare weekend trying to find anything that works for TM.

Sorry to hear that! Which version of the grids did you use?
I guess you noticed the chamfer on the grid and tried to insert with the chamfered side in front. The chamfered side is designed with an allowance of 0.2 mm. However, depending on your printer tolerance this may be insufficient.
You could try to customize the grids (or the body) and increase the allowance a bit using 3D modeling software.

I used the uniform ones with the 10/20/30 at the end instead of the double wall. It seems like a .2 or .25mm wider depression in the body would make them fit.

I was unclear about the chamfer but it didn't fit in any direction, and measuring the longest side of the grid it was about 0.15mm wider than the depression.

Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea how to use modelling software.

Ok... what about the shorter side of the grid? Same situation there?

The shorter side could also benefit from an additional 0.1mm or so.

I really don’t wanna add another body variation. The body is meant to be stable while grids may vary or can be exchanged (it’s also a lot less to print). If I find the time I may look into adding a customizable variant of the grid where allowances can be configured. Need to investigate whether and how this is possible though.

I understand. I'll ask a friend who's a modeller to have a look. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

...I wonder if it would be possible to print a grid without a solid border.

I added customizer support to fine-tune the grid's allowance and chamfer. You can try to add some allowance in x and y directions to make the grid fit. In your case you should try with 0.2 mm x allowance and 0.1 mm y allowance.

That's awesome, thank you. I'll try it as soon as I can and let you know!

I have to correct the numbers I mentioned. If you want to reduce the overall width of the grid by 0.2 mm you have to customize with an allowance x of 0.1 mm since the allowance is applied on both sides (left and right in this case) of the grid.

Additionally, the paper barely fit in, so I suspect it really is the body.

i managed to get that working.
a question, since you need 5 small grids why not make a print model printing all those 5 together?
the bed is big enough no?

Glad to hear... I recommend you increase the number of copies for the small grid in your slicer of choice and arrange it to your liking. I added a picture of how I arrange the parts in Slic3r.

love your design!!!
i would remove the thin wall between the power and heat.
a question:
i understand it's not connected to the player board, just floating over it , correct?


I was considering to remove the wall but decided to keep it so energy will not "accidentally" be transformed to heat (e.g. by pushing the player mat). However, I uploaded a variation of the body w/o this wall.

Regarding your question: I sticked photo corners to the edges on the backside of the overlay (see 3rd photo). This way I can easily slide the player mat into those photo corners and it will stay in place.