My crazy Settlers of Catan board


Sooooo, hey. I’ve been waiting until I had a good amount of material to post, and since I had my first assembly of all components just now, I figured it’s time.

This is my Settlers board! It’s one of the things I always knew I would do once I got the Glowforge, and I finally thought I had enough experience with Inkscape and the machine to pull it off.

This is unpainted, and there are lots of areas where the masking is still on, as I plan on spraying most of it and then unmasking those areas so they show the finished maple plywood material. (Luckily I have an urban muralist buddy with a ton of paints, so I won’t spend a billion bucks trying to get about 20 colors of paint for a tiny spray of each)

Also, there’s a handful of elements that aren’t present, because they will be applied AFTER it’s painted. Examples being little white sheep in the fields, and also I want to laser etch cracks in the desert, but not until it’s painted.

This is the full 5-6 player expanded layout. The frame works for a normal 2-4 player layout too naturally.

I’ll post lots of progress pics below.


Etching Tile

i love all the extra layers of dimensions you added to it! One of these days I need to get the base game and see what its about, besides cool game boards!



To go through some of the progress shots I have along the way…

First, I started by doing a lot of planning work in 3D in Modo (I’m a game developer/artist by trade, so, this is my jam)…

Early planning, when I though I’d recess the roads, later changed my mind on that.

Early version of the mountains… STILL on the fence about which I like better, but went for the non-directional approach in the end.

Stuff coming along.

For the roads I opted for little jagged walls. Yeeeeah, they’re not really roads, but I tested some winding little things trying to make them look “roady” and had no luck, the jagged castle wall motiff looked WAY better, and played to the strengths of being laser cut.

Plus… the more “Game of Thronesy” the better.

The roads ended up being twice this thick, cut from 1/4" material, and I abandoned the recessed road bits because it was just too fiddly to play with.



Amazing! So nice! Kudos!



This is definitely epic. Love the depth of the board.



The town and city markers were super fun to design, a little less fun to assemble en masse, lol.

Since the 1/8" material wasn’t thick enough to fill out the footprint of the pieces, I decided to use a stack of 3 of them… and if stacking them, might as well change up each layer. So, this is what I came up with.

Houses were similar process…

(I started running low on plywood, so did these in draftboard… which… makes me nervous for longevity. But, down the road I can redo them if they wear a lot. More ply on order now!)



This is stupid cool. Grr, this is the sort of post that makes me jealous of how awesome it is. :slight_smile:



Paranoid about durability and people flinging dice on the table and breaking sh…tuff… I decided to go into over-engineering mode as usual and give most elements a mortise and tenon structure. So, every tree is actually recessed through the base.

It would be REALLY uncomfortable to step on one of these :smiley:

Same for MOST of the mountains, with a focus on the taller ones that would shield the alternating small ones from impact. This was also crazy helpful for aligning the pieces during assembly.

Similarly, the docks have a little rectangular block on the back that recess into the board to keep them from sliding around in a game.



The Sheep tiles and the Wheat tiles use a thick cardstock material for the thin details.

(Again, this pic is lacking the little sheep in the field… although you can see them in the background and my earlier test sheep on the back draftboard tile.)

I was less concerned about the durability of thick card after testing these, since they are firmly adhered to the backing plywood, so it’s not like they will get bent or manhandled. I tried to remove one and it was insanely firm to the surface, which made me feel better. (The docks I did with 1/16" acrylic, since they’re both thin/flimsy AND not mounted to a firm surface)

Etching the lines into the wheat field was a gamble, but they turned out really well IMO. I watched closely for fire, and tested many settings to make sure it wasn’t creating flames on the cardstock.

For actually placing the wheat areas on the tiles precisely after cut, I made a little jig to help.



Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

I’m firmly into overengineering. I’m an even bigger fan now.



I really like that! (I guarantee I’d trip and land on the darned thing though, impaling myself in the process…I’m just a klutz.) :smile:



(Yeah, the LAST thing I wanted to do was have to repair this beast every time I got it out to play it… little trees and bricks all over the place… bleh)

The ocean border frame thing was a bit of a puzzle, for sure… but I worked it out to be MOSTLY the same for the large and normal layouts.

They definitely ate up material though, most of two full maple ply proofgrade sheets. It’s an art trying to unpack them in, and yet not cutting them up so much that they’re a pain in the butt to assemble on the table.

I was able to cut the little circle number discs onto the leftover spaces though, so, not super wasteful anyway.

WHEW! OK! That’s what I have. Will post more when I have painted versions :slight_smile: Weeeee!!!

I plan on making a box for this that will hold all the components in a neat sleeve-type fashion, so hopefully things won’t be knocking around and getting beat up.

Thanks very much for all the comments so far. I really appreciate them!



That is just stunning! Having just finished my board using the pre-done Glowforge file, I can totally appreciate how much more effort, time, sweat and patience went into creating this beautiful piece!



WOW!!! I want to learn Settlers just so I can come play at your house!!!



Wow - amazing design and work !! Now I want to see what all the fuss is about (never played the game)… Too bad you can no longer buy Settlers of Catan anymore - the latest revision is now called just “Catan” (they removed the “Settlers of” from the title…



This is TOTALLY sweet! My eldest son keeps telling me I need to make a Catan board with my GF and I keep thinking, why, I have the game. But this illustrates why! SOOO cool!

Once I finish my other 54 current projects, I’ll focus on this. :smiley:



This is epic brilliance! What marvelous work.



Holy moly that’s totally GoT! Amazing work!loving the little cities



Thanks, all! Dan approved even, I’m honored! :slight_smile:

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Very well done! I think it shows that “this is your jam”.