CheckMAKE: 3D Printed Chess Set

Contributed by
Frankie Flood

Duration: 3 weeks
Software: Rhino

Your assignment is to research, design, model, refine, and create a chess set utilizing 3D printing.

Chess Set Presentation for Inspiration

    Step One: Chess Set Research In step one of this exercise you will research the history of chess and the forms that chess pieces have taken since the advent of the board game. Each student will generate ten photographic images of chess pieces that are interesting in the form or materials of the pieces. In addition your research will include information on the reason certain materials or forms were used. Try to find interesting historical facts. You will present these in class.

    Step Two: Chess Set Drawings In step two of this exercise you will draw ideas for the chess set on paper and attempt to formalize your forms. The forms should be cohesive as a series. Keep in mind the limitations of the printers when it comes to super fine detail or thin pieces. Each student will generate ten different drawings of complete chess sets. These drawings should be high quality three-dimensional drawings. You will present these drawings in class.

    Step Three: Chess Set Models and Rhino Drawings In step three of this exercise after showing your drawings to me and discussing and developing your drawings further, you and I will choose one of the sets to develop models from. These models will be made in plasticene clay (oil based clay) and will serve as models to develop your Rhino drawings. From these models you will create Rhino orthographic drawings to help in the creation of accurate forms you will model these in Rhino. Not only will you model these for fabrication purposes, but also for completing full color renderings complete with materials and lighting. At the end of this stage each student will create a final printed computer rendering “scene” that depicts his or her final chess set.

    Step Four: Chess Set 3D Printing In step four of this exercise you will select your filament colors for your set and you will begin slicing and digital fabrication of the series via our 3D printers Each student will create a final 3D printed chess set that is refined and “finished”. Post processing of the prints should occur in some fashion that addresses print quality and craftsmanship.

    Step Five: Chess Set Box In step five of this exercise you will design and create a box that contains your chess set. All aspects of the box should be considered in terms of design, surface treatment, interior and exterior. Each student will create a final chess set box that contains his or her pieces in an organized and methodical fashion.

    Step Six: Chess Set Share In step six of this exercise you will document the process of making this chess set and you will upload and share your design to YouMagine. You will upload this to the DCRL (Digital Craft Research Lab) YouMagine site and you are encouraged to join YouMagine and publish your work personally as well. Each student will create a final write-up that introduces their chess set, documents their work, discusses print settings, and shares their design with the world.

    Hurst William Chess set Rendered
    Hurst William Chess set rendered
    William Hurst's chess set rendered

    Kaems Fred Chess render 4
    Kaems Fred chess set rendered
    Fred Kaems's chess set rendered

    Kohler Lucas kohler-chess-rendered (1)
    Kohler Lucas render-2
    Lucas Kohler's chess set rendered


    Behn John chess Rendered
    John Behn's chess set rendered

    Silva Victoria Rendering 1
    Victoria Silva's chess set rendered