Step #1: PrevNext
Printout of your character
4 sheets of cardboard (about 8.5 inches x 11 inches)
Thin sheet metal (about 8.5 inches x 11 inches)
2 feet of insulated copper wire
Heat shrink tubing
2 AAA battery holders
2 AAA batteries
3V buzzer (Radio Shack Part # 273-053)
Double sided tape
13 small objects to serve as ailment tokens
1/16 inch thick sheet of plastic
Soldering iron and solder
Tin snips (optional)
Fine tipped marker/Sharpie
Dremel rotary tool with cutting and grinding attachments
Drill and bit set
Needle or push pin
- Source Tips:
The cardboard is easy to cut out of a large shipping box. For the sheet metal, I used a baking sheet that I found at dollar tree for $1. This yields about 13" x 9" of metal. The sheet of plastic can be salvaged from the housing of an old electronic device.
Step #2: Select a CharacterPrevNext
- Every game of Operation needs a patient. You can choose an existing character or invent a brand new one. Cartoon characters are convenient to use because it is usually easy to find good reference pictures. I chose the cartoon robot from last year's Maker Faire because it has a really simple design.
- Then you need to print out a picture of your chosen character. If you can, scale it to fit a full 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. You may wish to use a photo editing program to remove the background details. If you don't have a photo editing program, you can get the same results by cutting the character out with a pair of scissors and pasting it on top of a blank sheet of paper.
Step #3: Make or Find Ailment TokensPrevNext
- In the original game, the patient had ailments such as "Butterflies in the Stomach", "Spare Ribs", and a "Wish Bone." However, each special edition used ailments that were specific to the featured character. For instance, Iron Man had a "Fried Power Core" and Buzz Lightyear had a "Cracked Communicator. So you need to think up some specific ailments for your character.
- Ailment tokens are typically stamped or molded plastic. You can cut the basic shapes out of thin plastic with scissors or a knife. The exact shape isn't critical. Just try to make to resemble something related to the ailment.
- Alternatively, you can simply find small objects to use as ailment tokens. Since my character is a robot, I found it convenient to just use the actually electrical components as game pieces. This saved some construction time, but made the game play more difficult since parts of the tokens were conductive.
Step #4: Mark the Locations on the Character Where the Ailments will be LocatedPrevNext
- Next, decide where each ailment will be located. If an ailment has a logical place where it should be located, then place it there. For instance "Water on the Knee" should be located near the knee of the character. If an ailment doesn't have an implied location, just try to keep them spaced out. They shouldn't be too close together.
- Make a stack of three sheets of cardboard and the character printout. Center all the layers and hold them together by clipping a large binder clamp on each corner. Place the tokens on top of the character printout and outline each of them with a pencil. The outline should be about 1/4 inch past the edge of token on all sides.
Step #6: Cut Slots in the Sheet MetalPrevNext
- Take the character printout and place it face down centered on your piece of sheet metal. Then hold them together by clipping a binder clamp on each corner. Then using a sharpie, trace the outlines onto the plate.
- Next, you need to cut out these outlines. To do this you can use a Dremel rotary tool with cutting wheel attachment. You could also use a fine toothed saw such as a coping saw or jeweleNext, you need to cut out these outlines. To do this you can use a Dremel rotary tool with cutting wheel attachment. You could also use a fine toothed saw such as a coping saw or jeweler's saw. After cutting out each slot you may wish smooth the edges with a grinding wheel attachment or a file.r's saw. After cutting out each slot you may wish smooth the edges with a grinding wheel attachment or a file.
- Whatever method you use, try to stay inside the traced outline. This will ensure that the metal sticks out a little bit past the cardboarWhatever method you use, try to stay inside the traced outline. This will ensure that the metal sticks out a little bit past the cardboard and the character printout. d and the character printout.
Step #11: Drill Holes in the Plate to Attach the WiresPrevNext
Lay the assembly face down. Place the battery pack and the buzzer in the cutout section of the cardboard. Using a sharpie, mark one location near the negative lead of the battery pack and a second location near the negative lead of the buzzer. Then remove the buzzer and the battery from the plate and drill a 1/16 inch hole at both of the marked locations