Puzzles and puzzle pieces
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Joined Sep 28, '17 

I run a company called The Mystery League. We put on puzzle hunts and the like. Our latest game, Creatures on the Loose, is like an escape room in a briefcase, where all the pieces to the puzzle are locked inside a single briefcase. Many of these parts are made on a Glowforge.

The main component is a Arduino-based computer attached to a 16-button interface. I used a box-making tool to design a hard shell for the computer, then carved the pieces on the Glowforge. I also carved out a small label.

One of the components is a leather strip with a bunch of letters on it. In the off chance that someone reading this might play the game someday, I can’t explain what you do with it. It was tricky to engrave this, because the strip of leather is longer than the bed of the machine. It’s also very stiff, which made it difficult to tape down. It would have been easier to buy a large piece of leather and then engrave and cut, all with the Glowforge, but that didn’t occur to me until I bought several pre-cut strips. In any case, I had to do each strip in two parts, and since the spacing between letters is crucial, I had to come up with some creative ways to do registration.

The most intricate piece is a code wheel. I designed this in Illustrator. The middle axle is made from a stack of two small disc. One is the negative (donut hole) of the smaller wheel, and the other is a duplicate of it. The two disks get glued together and then inserted in a circle of the same size that I burn out of the bottom wheel by engraving on the highest setting. That gives the whole thing more stability and a shorter profile.

Finally, each briefcase (there are 7 of them) has a tag hanging from its handle with a name on it. I designed these using a simple shapes from The Noun Project and a thick font I found on Google Fonts.

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