Super Mario Question Mark Block

1 minute read

When my godchild L was about to do his confirmation (for my Dutch-inclined friends: “zijn vormsel” - I had to look it up also 😇) I had to come up with a way to present the money that I was going to contribute to his upcoming trip to Disneyland. Since he couldn’t know about it, I had to find another theme. Ever since I encountered the Super Mario Question Mark Block by Lego ↗ I’ve been looking for a reason to play with it… #reasonfound

The (as always overly ambitious) Concept 😇

I wanted to make this using coloured plexiglass, to have that soft, shiny look & feel. The block (in Super Mario 3D World ↗) has rounded corners, which - for now - I wouldn’t really know how to accomplish using plexiglass. So I came up with the idea to create a 3D-printed “rounded frame” which could fit the flat side panels.

And then Reality Bites 🙄

Not doing a lot of 3D printing these days, and being on a time budget, basically was a recipe for disaster. Three different designs ended up in a lot of failed prints - and me being so frustrated that I’m considering to buy an upgrade to my beloved 7-year old Zortrax M200 to a more modern printer that doesn’t fail on this occasional user 😉

The small-scale prototype looked promising, but when scaling it up to about 15cm pieces, warping kicked in and it just didn’t work out. With too little time on my hands, I had to ditch the rounded corners and fall back to…

It isn’t fancy, but it does the trick. ↗ is one of those wonderful laser-cutting supporting tools that takes away the pain of drawing a box by hand. And given the simplicity of the box I needed, this was a walk in the park. After about 10 minutes of cutting - versus the +12 hours of 3D printing - the box itself was ready.

I did however spent some additional time to design a high-quality question mark in Fusion 😇

And with some Acrilfix 0192 everything soon was assembled into a worthy Super Mario Question Mark Block. Even though it isn’t rounded, I think it looks great:


It features a hinged lid, so I could hide my contribution inside and top it off with some balloons…