In this article we will learn how to make a Xiangqi(Chinese chess) by laser cutting.
We have always wanted to make some Chinese traditional items through digital manufacturing tool. Through this kind of making we can pay tribute to the spirit of the old time craftsmen.
Xiangqi (象棋; pinyin: xiàngqí), also called Chinese chess, is a strategy board game for two players. It is one of the most popular board games in China. Most Chinese people learn Xiangqi in elementary school, it’s easy to learn but hard to play well. In china’s park and street, sometimes you can find dozens of people gathering around two players, watch them playing this board game.
Although this laser cut Xiangqi is relatively small, it is still fun to play. All of our makings can be used as a real product.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
design software(like CorelDRAW)
Laser cutter and material( 3MM board, or Melamine board)
Xiangqi source code (can be downloaded)
Step 2: Design
In this design, our checkerboard can transform to chess box while not playing.
Diameter of each chess is 2 mm, we use two kinds of laser sculpt mode to sculpt 32 chesses. Since the plate is not thick enough, we cut 64 round wood pieces, for each chess, we will stick two wood pieces to increase chess’s thickness, this will make the chess easy to handle in hand.
We should add some hot-melt adhesive when assemble checkerboard, make it more durable.
The chess box, also the checkerboard, the box mode looks like a book.
The key component is this flexible part on checkerboard, also called the river, river provides a visual division between the two sides. Picture below shows the river and its corresponding part in laser cut diagram. We use a series of laser cut lines to make wood plate bendable in this area. This part is relatively delicate so we must be careful not to brake this area.
Step 3: Assemble
Is almost finished, last step is stick two layer of round wood pieces to each chess.
Now we got the final product, while not playing we can put all 32 chesses in the box. And we should use little magnets or rubber band to clamp the box-mode chess box, prevent it from opening.