lasercut hive sets

Lasercut Hive board game set


in 2022, i made some lasercut hive sets. i made six hive sets in total. three of the six were gifted to friends.

hive is a bug-themed abstract strategy game played with hexagonal pieces and no board. i like the official hive sets (the bakelite material is really nice), but i wanted to make something a little different.

inspiration and prior art

materials etc


i got a membership at a not-too-far-away makerspace and got certified on their laser. i did all of the lasercutting in march, in two sessions.

tips and gotchas

some gifs

lasercut hive sets engraving lasercut hive sets cutting

origami boxes

i had been keeping the hive sets in resealable plastic bags and wanted something neater and more attractive.

i imagined the pieces stacking inside a hexagonal box like in the following doodle. each set has 28 pieces, 14 light and 14 dark, 4 groups of 7 pieces, and each group of 7 pieces forms a shape that fits nicely into a hexagon.

lasercut hive sets boxes doodle

i made the modular hexagon boxes [pdf instructions] from origami boxes by tomoko fuse. i used colored paper that i already had at home, which i cut into squares with an x-acto knife and a ruler.

some sizing calculations: the resulting hexagon side length of the base of the box is about 1564 of the length of the diagonal of the constituent paper squares (by inspection of the instruction diagrams), so the ratio of resulting hexagon side length to paper square side length is 15642 (about 1 to 3).

i tried a few different paper sizes and settled on a 7 inch square. the sizes of the boxes shown in the images below are 7.5 inches (pink), 7 inches (orange), and 6.7 inches (blue).

lasercut hive sets boxes closed lasercut hive sets boxes open


i had a lot of fun making these hive sets, and i'm very happy with them! i would encourage anyone who wants to make anything for fun to try doing it. start often, finish rarely, and all that.