Board Gamer’s Dilemma: Laser Cut Box Insert (The Resistance)

It has been a little while, like a few years, but I am back with whats new in my world.

The phone cradle didn’t end up working out. In the end, I just couldn’t fab something springy and small enough at the time to hold the contact on both sides. But I have a new phone with Qi charging and all is well in phones (future project to inlay a charger into a desk, more in another post). Keep your SD card slots and 3.5 jacks despite what the comms overlords would press on you. But, on to today’s conundrum.


The Resistance with the original vanilla packaging. The cards don’t fit now that they have been sleeved.

Board games tend to come in one of two forms 1) in little plastic baggies with little to no thought for how things get stored later and 2) in a plastic insert to hold everything in place under the cardboard sheets of tokens, if you are reading this, I assume that you too have already come to the conclusion that both of just don’t cut it in the long run. Good board games have a habit of generating expansions, of which ownership in essential, quickly over reaching the original packaging if the packaging was any good to begin with. Once you expand past the original packaging, you are left in the same place as if there weren’t any to begin with. With no packaging, all the bits tend to get jumbled every time you close the lid of the box, making starting the game a pain.


After a few expansions, the game becomes more than a little bit unruly. Starting a new round becomes more like playing 52 pick up.

I figured someone must have fixed this already. And indeed someone had! Actually a fair number of people have already gone about fixing this. Most people  have used foam core to make inserts. The Esoteric Order of Gamers has made several damn good tutorials and patterns that are being made available to the public. The down side being these are spread all over the internet and there is a wide range of production quality, most of the internet shares pictures, but no plans and drawings, just the final product. There are other places out there where inserts can be bought, mainly as laser cut wood (Broken Token and Go 7 Gaming being some of the bigger games) but some people are moving up the production scale into vacuum-formed plastic (Game Trayz in particular). The down sides are a little different, there is still a limited number of games that this is available for, and still mostly all you see is pictures of the final product, but they can be bought for the exchange of goods and services for moneys.

As a Scott, I am loathe to part with money for something that I could make just as well myself. Unfortunately I have a running membership with the Tech Shop in Allen Park and I have a lot of tools available to be. So without further ado…


Initial dimensions for The Resistance box insert

This turned into a laser cut box which can be found here as a pdf or in the original Corel file for The Resistance. Originally I just cut out the walls out of birch ply and slotted them together, but then when I cut it again to play around with hardboard or HDF, I added designs to get rastered in (mostly just because I could). These files are designed to use 6mm (~0.25 in) board in a 24 X 18 inch bed laser cutter. The top edge is left open to make extra space for all of the tokens. This should fit all of the material from the Hostile Intent and Hidden Agendas expansions. I have yet to pick up The Plot Thickens to try and pack that in as well.


Original plain birch ply insert and hardboard insert with rastered designs.



Everything fitting into The Resistance box insert with the old discarded insert.

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