I’ve spoken a bit in the past about how the original Legend of the Five Rings was the game that got me into gaming. It still surprises me that there were some bits of board game bling that weren’t further explored. In that game, one company sold acrylic engraved strongholds that were incredibly satisfying to play with. I wanted to replicate that feeling, with some double-sided, engraved, wooden identity cards for Marvel Champions.
Preparing Your Images
This project is 90% preparation, so to start off, you need high-quality scans of the card you want to create. I used a basic desktop scanner, bringing the images in with at least 300 DPI. My Scanner’s not the best, so afterward I needed to bring them into Photoshop and do some touch-ups. Namely, I had to rotate the images slightly to straighten them out.
I was happy with my scans, but you can also apply any of Photoshop’s image adjustments to play with balance, saturation, etc. My understanding is that the Glowforge will take care of some of this magic on its own.
Setting Up the Print File
After you’ve got your image(s), it’s time to set up our final file. I did this piece in Inkscape since I want an SVG output. Importantly, if you’re doing a two-sided card, like the identity cards for Marvel Champions, both sides need to be the same size. I went with 62 mm by 88mm, roughly the size of my raw scans. Import each file, and set the image sizes.
Once you have the images, align them horizontally and vertically. On another layer, add a rectangle of the same size and round the corners so our wooden identity cards come out like the real thing.
Wooden Identity Cards
With our files in hand, all we have to do is send the job to Glowforge. For this project, I used basswood plywood which has proof-grade settings baked into the platform. So, this part was mostly set and forget.
Engrave the first image, then do the perimeter cut. Then, without moving your waste piece, flip your wooden identity card and engrave the other side. Presto, a beautiful wooden card to make your flips more satisfying.
The text box is a bit harder to read than a typical card, but honestly, after a game or two, I’m rarely reading the card itself anyway. I am looking into some sleeving options, so I’ll update you with more information once I have it.
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