One of my most favorite board games is Connect 4. Ironically, I don't have a connect Board in my house, so I thought it will be a great idea to create my own connect 4 board. I also wanted to use the laser cutter because it's one the coolest machines in the world. (I created this with laser cutter machine; Without it, it will be difficult, so Laser cutter recommended. Also, the programs Auto-cad and Inventor are recommend and requires some knowledge for the program.)
About 3 board of 12 x 24 x .125 Balsa Wood
2 different color Spray Paint or any kind of paint for chips
Balsa Wood glue
Highly Recommend Programs: Inventor and AutoCAD
High Recommend: Access to laser cutter or owning Laser cutter
Step 1: Designing Board and Pieces on Inventor
I started creating the board on Inventor. The constraints I had was the board had to be less that 12'' by 24'' because that was the how big the wooden board being laser cut was. After many attempts of trial and error with the spaces of the board. I finally chose a board that is 13.2'' by 10.7''. The connect 4 board was 6 by 7 or the typical connect 4 board. The spacings of the circles vertically is .25'' and horizontally .14''. The edges have different spacings; the bottom edge to the bottom circle, left and right edges to left and right circle have spacing of .14''; the top edge to the top circle have a spacing of .30''. The chips have to be bigger than the circle on the board because it has to space w/o the spacing and cover the space on the board at the same time, so the chips have diameter of 1.765''. Then save this file as a CAD-file because that the file the laser cutter needs.
Step 2: Designing the Stand and Groves of the Board on Inventor
I made the side pieces 10.7 by 5.3. This piece keep the very left and very right pieces to stay in place and not fall out. I made the groves 10.7 by .20. These pieces are the pieces that go in the spaces between the circle vertically, so the chips stay in place. It has to .2 because the chip need space for sliding room. The chip is .125 inches thick. I made my base 1in by 14in, but I realize this didn't work well as a base for it stand up, so I recommend 14.5 by 6-8 inches. Save this as a CAD file.
Step 3: Editing Files for Laser Cutter
I had to edit the file for laser cutter to program. I had to open up my drawings and change the line color to bright red and light weight to .05mm. I also had to duplicate some of my pieces. For example, 2 boards, 42 chips, 2 side pieces, 6 groves. Then edit how intense should the laser be to cut through the wood. We edit these setting to high intensity and material thickness .13. Then starts the laser cutting.
Step 4: Enjoy Watching the Laser Cutter Machine
Sit back and relax and watch the laser strike through the wood.
Step 5: Putting Together Pieces and Finalizing Project
I start by centering the groves on the board and gluing them down with balsa wood glue. Then gluing the 2nd board, then side pieces, then base. I spray-painted the connect 4 blue and pieces silver and gold to finalizing my connect 4 board.