In the old days a two line cribbage board was all you needed to keep track of your score. When the three handed version came along they just had to add a third track and were good to go. Modern board games are more complex. Today a game might have eight players, all with different scores. Some games even give players several markers, each of which can be at a different point of game play. Whew, it gets hard to keep track of all this.
The game Quarriors provides a printed mat board piece with little squares printed on it. Each player puts their marker on the counting board to indicate their current level. As you can imagine, the slippery printed game card allows the markers to move all over the place. We needed a solution. Again, brother Bob to the rescue.
One long weekend at TechShop
Menlo Park we took over a laser cutter and made our move. Using CorelDraw for the layout we first designed the top layer with the cut out windows. Each line was a "hairline" thickness so that the Epilog Helix would cut through. We then copied this layout and pasted it to the right. We changed these lines to all be 1-point so that they would raster rather than cut. Then inside each "window" we put the level numbers. Since we copy / pasted the second layout we knew it would fit perfectly when assembled.
We cut the project out of one 18 x 24 sheet of one eighth inch cabinet grade plywood. This plywood costs a bit more, but comes with a nice surface and no voids. On the 45W Epilog we raster etched three times, using speed 60 / power 60 on each pass. You could do one pass on higher power setting, but that gives a blurrier final image. I think it is better to take your time and do several raster etch passes. For the vector cutting we used speed 10, power 70, frequency 400. Your laser cutter might be different, so use these settings as a guide and always do a test cut on a piece of scrap.
Bob was inspired and added the little men you see on the top layer that indicate where the game stops for the different number of players.
Now when we have a party the Quarriors player's marker cubes sit in these windows, protected from sliding around. Not only does it improve the game, but it looks cool!