Introduction: Laser Cut Two-Sided Checkers

About: Community Manager for Instructables and Tinkercad.

When I was brainstorming with amandaghassaei on things that could be laser cut or 3D printed, I thought it would be fun to do checkers.  I mean, they are just circles, so how hard can it be?  Then I remembered checkers are double sided.  I thought I would have to give up on this idea until I found out how accurate the laser cutters are.  And so my adventures with checkers began :)

After making these I realized I didn't have a checker board!  So I made on.  Check it out here!

I made this at Techshop in SF!

Step 1: Design and Prepare for Cutting

It is time to design your checkers.  
  • Decide on your size (I found most checkers are 1 1/4 inch in diameter so that is what I went with)
  • Decide on two designs (front and back) that can be alternated (one will be mostly bold engraving while the other will be just engraved lines to differentiate).
  • If you want all the checkers the same make sure you have different stains for each team.
  • Once you have your design, make one document with all of the regular side of the checkers.  Line them up as shown in Photo 2.
  • Make a new document and line up your kings as shown in Photo 3.
  • Now you are ready to laser cut your checkers!

Step 2: Cutting

Here are some tips on cutting your checkers.
  • You need a board that will fit no matter what way you put it in the laser cutter (like a square).
  • Cover both sides of your board with tape.  Since you are etching on both sides, you want both sides to be protected from burn marks
  • If one of your sides designs (regular or king) doesn't reach the edge, do that one first and do not cut them out yet.
  • Flip your board so the top edge is now along the left side and vice versa.
  • Now etch the design that does reach the edge.
  • Now cut them out.  Cut them out last no matter what or you will obviously not be able to flip the board easily to etch the other side.

Step 3: Stain

Now you need to make sure you pull all of your tape.  Don't forget to remove any and all before doing any staining.  I actually forgot to remove three little pieces and now I have to fix that one .

Use your stain or your Polycrylic and protect all your checker pieces from all the action they will be getting in the future.

I put the Polycrylic on both flat sides and all around the checkers, but I only put one coat on each surface.

Step 4: Play

Have fun playing checkers!

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