Introduction: BDW Settlers of Catan

For my Monitor in Training project for the Brown Design Workshop, I decided to make a BDW themed version of the popular game, Settlers of Catan.

Step 1: Lasercut the Board

I began by designing my board in Adobe Illustrator. I found dimensions for the original game online and worked from there, engraving squares in the center of each hexagon in which to put a sample of the material represented. I replaced the boats and docks from the original game with racecars, as the Brown Formula Racing team has a room in the BDW

Step 2: 3D Print the Pieces

For the Settlers of Catan game, you will need to print 1 Robber (I just used one on Thingiverse), and at least 4 sets of player pieces. Each set of player pieces includes 4 Toolboxes (to replace Cities), 5 Pencil Cases (to replace Settlements), and 15 Rulers (to replace Roads). Make sure to print them in colors that you can easily tell apart. I printed 6 sets to give myself more flexibility in terms of number of players and what colors they liked. In this game, I am going to refer to the Robber as the ENGN 30 Student, as when ENGN 30 has a project in a particular area, they tend to monopolize the space.

Step 3: Lasercut the Building Costs, Longest Road, and Largest Army Cards

I used Adobe Illustrator to design black and white versions of the Catan cards, then replaced the images and some of the text with BDW themed equivalents. For the Building Costs card, I just replaced the pictures of the resources. "Longest Road" became "Ruler Hog" since the roads in this game were replaced by rulers, and "Largest Army" became "Largest Workshop" since the BDW is frequently overwhelmed with students attempting to get certified, especially on the laser cutter.

Step 4: Tile Middles

I added center pieces to my resource tiles which were made out of the materials that the tiles represented. Squares of sheet metal, wood, 3D printed PLA, laser-cut acrylic, and circuit board were cut and glued into the engraved squares on the plywood tiles.

Step 5: Number Tiles

Originally, I had intended to make the number pieces distributed across the board out of sheet metal, but since sheet metal does not really lend itself to being cut into a perfect circle, I experimented with making octagons, hexagons, and squares. However, with the tools available it was difficult them even and not sharp, so I decided to laser-cut the number pieces out of acrylic matching the Building Costs, Largest Workshop, and Ruler Hog cards.

Step 6: Resource and Development Cards

For each of the five resources, I designed a new card themed around the BDW resource I had chosen, in the style of the original cards. For the backs of the cards, I used the BDW logo to create a pattern and covered the back with it. I printed these on a regular color double sided printer, and they turned out very nicely. For the development cards, I just ordered a set online, but in the future I might redesign them to be BDW themed.

Step 7: Build the Box

To hold all the pieces, I built a wooden box out of 1"x6" pine. It's important to make sure that your pieces will all fit, so plan out beforehand how everything will fit together. The edge pieces of the board are the biggest problem, so make sure the inside of your box is at least 10.5" long (assuming you made everything the same scale as the original game like I did). I cut the pieces to length on a band-saw, then used a miter saw to cut the 45 degree angles for the corners. I attached the pieces first with wood glue and then added nails using a nail gun to hold everything in place.

Step 8: Lasercut the Top

Originally, I wanted to make a wooden lid for my box, but after laser-cutting the cards, I decided it would look nice and polished to laser-cut the top of the box too. I used matching acrylic to the other laser-cut pieces and engraved the lid with the BDW logo. Then I assembled the box and the lid and I was finished!

Step 9: Play!

Now that you've finished making your custom Settlers of Catan game, you can enjoy it with friends!