Nota Bene: The game of Settlers of Catan was created by Klaus Teuber. Both me and my parents already own game sets, and we recommend everyone to buy the actual game.
In order to make the multi-coloured set — where the tiles are all actually transparent, even if they look kinda opaque against the homogenous background in the pictures — I had to modify the original tile-set a little bit. My modifications — mainly meant to pull different tile types apart — can be found on Thingiverse.
Step 1: Etch and Cut Acrylic
With both the original template (for monochromatic sheets of acrylic) and my own template (for different colours), the templates are best handled in two steps:
First, etch the raster layer with raster settings only. You can do this in CorelDraw X5 by making sure only that layer is printable. If you worry about alignment, especially for the polychromatic version, you should do a very low power run first. I ran one on 75 dpi, 100% speed, 20% power that just barely grazed the paper surface.
After this, cut the acrylic by running a vector job with your favourite standard settings for cutting acrylic. I used 20% speed and 90% power.
Step 2: Paint on High-contrast Paint
I did try some experiments with my colourful tileset that worked less than perfectly. White paint on off-white transparent tiles for the sheep was nice, but best on a dark table. Black paint on dark gray tiles for the ore tiles was not convincing. Much better would be to invert the artwork before etching, and then paint with white on the highlights of the picture instead of black in the shadows.
Step 3: Remove Protective Paper
Step 4: Play a Game of Catan
Remember: buy the game to get hold of
2. actual game pieces
3. reward the developers of an awesome board game. They deserve the revenue.