Introduction: Laser Cut Plinko Game

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My partner and I built this Plinko game for a charity golf tournament. Players in the tournament had a chance to play for an advantage, like a free mulligan or moving their ball closer to the hole. Beyond the golf course, our son really enjoys watching the puck plink down the board, and we have plans to turn it into a great drinking game for our next party.

If you have access to a laser cutter this is a fun and simple project to put together.

Step 1: Materials and Design

For this project you'll need:

  • 4 sheets of ¼" plywood, cut to 20" x 30"
  • Acrylic sheet, 20" x 30"
  • ⅜" diameter wood dowel

  • Wood glue and clamps

  • Saw for cutting dowels

  • Sandpaper

  • Access to a laser cutter

  • Design files (board + stand)

The Plinko board and stand were designed in CorelDRAW. The laser cutter at our local makerspace has a 20" by 32" bed, so the pieces were all designed to fit within those dimensions.

Step 2: Laser Cutting

We used the Epilog laser cutter at YuKonstruct to cut out all the flat pieces for this project.

Lasers are awesome.

Step 3: Making the Puck

We went with a hollow puck since it makes a better sound plinking down the board.

The circles and rings are cut out of the birch plywood and then glued together. Once the glue is dry, sand all the edges smooth.

Step 4: Adding the Dowels

Cut the dowel into 1½" lengths and sand the edges.

Put the backboard with the holes over a solid piece of plywood the same size and glue them together. Use clamps to keep everything in place.

Add a dab of glue and then insert a dowel into each hole. A rubber mallet is helpful for getting the dowels in place.

Put the edge piece on top and secure the dowels with more glue.

The four dowels that hold up the acrylic cover are slightly longer than the rest. The length you cut them should be determined by the thickness of your acrylic sheet. If the acrylic is ¼" thick, make those dowel sections at least ¼" longer than the rest.

The acrylic sheet sits on the front to keep the puck from bouncing out but is not glued in place so it is easy to remove in the unlikely event that the puck gets stuck.

Step 5: Assembling the Stand

The stand pieces slot together to make it easy to assemble and take part.

When not in use, the pieces can be packed flat so they don't take up much space.

Step 6: Add Prize Labels

Since we were planning on reusing the Plinko board at future non-golf-related events, we added temporary prize labels made on a label maker.

You could etch numbers or prize categories on the board when laser cutting it, if you would like a more permanent option.

You can also paint or otherwise decorate your board however you like.

Makerspace Contest

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest