Category Archives: Box Design

Laser-Cut: The Hive Box

Worker Bee Kit

Introducing a new storage solution for your Hive game. This box holds all current standard sized tiles for Hive (Hive tiles not included). This is available as a self assembly kit that would require some basic assembly, glue, and finishing if you really want to get a beautiful look from it. A felt interior can be added (included) so your game pieces slide in smooth and quiet. The angled tile guide walls assure the tiles seat upright when placed in each row. The Hive logo consists of 10 hand painted sections of black and a golden-yellow color matched to the official Hive logo. This is one of my favorite designs I’ve done so far and I think any Hive enthusiast will enjoy the look and feel of this in their game collection.

Continue reading Laser-Cut: The Hive Box

Advertisements

Laser-Cut: Elder Sign Insert

The Great Old Ones Demand Everything Fit in One Box!

Elder Sign Laser Cut Insert

I really enjoy Elder Sign. I’ve played it many times and with different people. Those people also liked the game. It seems that enough people have enjoyed that game that Fantasy Flight thought it would be wise to release not one but two expansions to the base game. The core game fit in the box well enough, but like most games with plentiful game pieces, removing tokens from bags and then putting them away at the end of the game got old fast. At the time, a simple fix for this issue was a custom foam core insert, which was modeled in an evening and held together with hot clue (which still is used as a prototyping method today).

Elder Sign Foam Core Insert
Elder Sign Foam Core Insert

When the second expansion Unseen Forces came out I had some insert overflow issues. Things didn’t quite fit as neatly as before, but still sufficed for the time. Then the 3rd expansion Gates of Arkham came out and I realized I was in trouble. Would I really be forced to have this tiny little expansion box filling up my ever dwindling shelf space? I felt like a Shambling One torn through the dimensions. No! So, I put on my imaginary detectives hat and started at it, measuring and arranging, making models and configuring, and at last I had my great wonder of organization complete. It was no easy task. The new expansion adds a surprising quantity of components and with the awkward shapes of the new portal tokens I was confronted with yet another horror to overcome. Continue reading Laser-Cut: Elder Sign Insert

Laser-Cut: Suburbia Insert

I Have An Organization Monkey On My Back. He Is Not To Be Ignored

I’ve recently come across a board game called Suburbia. I must own it! So now I do and there goes my board game budget for the month. I always loved the Sim City games while I was growing up, physically not mentally, that’s still an ongoing thing. I purchased Machi Koro a short while ago. It’s a great game, simple to teach, great art work and a generally bright and cheerful game. Unless you bought the Harbor Expansion and you’re not the one who owns two Tuna Boat cards. Then you hate the game, that horrible evil game in a cute little bow. If you like Machi Koro but want something a bit more advanced in a similar theme them Suburbia is the way to go. I compare it to being Pandemic compared to forbidden Island.
Continue reading Laser-Cut: Suburbia Insert

Laser-Cut: MTG Mana Station Box

My Lands Need A Home

After ditching the standard cardboard card holders and upgrading to a wood box from Hobby Lobby for my EDH Magic the Gathering cards I realized I was using a lot of box real estate on my basic mana cards.

Laser cut Magic The Gathering label dividers for art supply box
Laser cut Magic The Gathering label dividers for art supply box

I had just purchased some Danish Oil and I wanted to see what a more natural raw looked like since up to this point I had just been staining or spray painting all the wood projects like my Cards Against Humanity box.

Watco Danish Oil with Varathane Polyurethane
Watco Danish Oil with Varathane Polyurethane

 

I dimensioned the box to hold cards in sleeves and I figured about 150 of each mana type plus about 150 non basic lands should be the length I need. I got a design I liked and let the laser cutter do its work. To prep the box for assembly I pre-sanded the surfaces with a 220 grit paper being sure to sand with the grain. I wanted keep the laser cut burnt ends look so I didn’t sand the edges but instead just wiped them down with a damp rag to get the soot off to assure the glue would make a solid bond. Continue reading Laser-Cut: MTG Mana Station Box

Laser-Cut: DiceMasters Dice & Card Storage Box

Avenger Dice Assemble!

I thought I’d give my endless Magic the Gathering habit a break and see what Dice Masters had to offer. I like the simple nature of it. Not having 1,000+ cards released each year can really make deck building a quick and enjoyable process. The biggest problem I ran into quickly is storage. I tried using little plastic storage bins bit those were a real pain to try to pick my dice out of. I wanted something that would fit on my game shelf in a clean manner that would hold a multiple sets in one container. My cousin got the official dice masters Avengers Vs. X-men storage box which looks great but that means I need one for each set which means I need to have 2,3,4+ boxes spread over my tables as I go through them trying to build my deck of epic-ness. “Well that solution to game organization are we going to try tonight Brain?” “The same game organization solution I try every time, TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!, wait, no… a box, I’m going to make a box”. This would be no simple box. It needs trays to hold dice which need to hold dice in a manner I can easily remove and organize. The box needs to be small enough to fit on my game shelf. I typically use one of my larger game boxes that fit cleanly on my game shelf as a upper size limit, Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game. It will also need to fit enough cards to hold 4 full sets of cards, a dice mat, instructions, handmade dice bag , and a doughnut. I say that because I could really go for a doughnut right now. Continue reading Laser-Cut: DiceMasters Dice & Card Storage Box

Laser-Cut: Star Wars Imperial Assault Insert

Making Everything Fit

Star Wars imperial Assault AssemblyDesigning an insert requires 3 design challenges to be overcome; fit, form, and functionality.

Fit

Ideally the game should fit within the box after an insert has been made for it as Zip-Lock bags duct taped to the sides of the box lid may not have best appeal to it.  When starting my design process I layout all the components in stacks next to my trusty ruler and calipers and start measuring everything. Typically I start to sketch out some concept layouts just to get an idea of the possible ways I can orient components, do I want playing cards to lay on their side to save height or set them vertically? Next its time to move to doing some rough sketches in my modeling program so I can see what interferences may pop up and to better account for all the different dimensions of game components as well as the space that is used by the inserts themselves. Here’s an Isometric view of a basic test layout I’ll run through to see how the different component boxes will layout and to see where I can steal a few millimeters here and there to make better fits elsewhere. StarWars IA WireFrame This process can be a lengthy and frustrating one if you have lofty goals. I had those. My main goal for this insert was to fit the core game of Star Wars Imperial Assault and all the currently released and announced miniature and base game expansions for 2015. As of May 13t, 2015 there was a possible 55 small miniatures (miniatures with bases with a 1 inch Continue reading Laser-Cut: Star Wars Imperial Assault Insert

Laser-cut: Cards Against Humanity Box

So it begins

One of the first boxes I thought I’d try was to make a Cards Against Humanity box that would fit all the cards of the core game and all the current and a few future expansions. I recently got access to a laser-cutter and combines with SolidWorks I started to experiment with a design that would meet my requirements of storage needs and have dimensions that wouldmesh well with existing board games so I could reduce clutter while still fitting in cleanly with my current collection.

Laser Cutting: The Learning Curve

Laser cutting can be tricky at first. You really need to play with the machine for a while trying to future out what small variations in settings can do. A bit too slow and you’ll end up making edges that are closer to a charcoal pencil then a clean Continue reading Laser-cut: Cards Against Humanity Box