A timeless classic gets a modern twist by One Save Solutions who created a typographical 3D print chess set. A great entry point for anyone into 3D printing, as well as being an ideal art and design project for students.
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Checkmate! 3D Print Chess Set
We decided to highlight a 3D print chess set design that relates to some of Tracy and I’s past back in art school in the 90’s. It is a 3D printed typographical chess set that you can find on Shapeways. Chess is a timeless game; even kids today that are doing Pokemon Go and all the modern stuff are interested in. In fact, my nephew who is 5 years old, Tyler, is a chess prodigy and beating us adults, who we thought that we are not professional chess players but we are pretty good. He beats the pants off all of us.
Chess is still one of those timeless games. I like the idea of making your own chess set, and especially being able to 3D print chess set for yourself. I made a chess set when we were in college. The idea was to take two sculptures. I took them and I did a morphed version of two sculptures together into one. I made them look big. It took lots of time. I had to make a cast because it is plaster, and make an overall form and then cut them. I made it like blocks and cylinders. You got to carve them out and send them down and turn them into these sculptures. In my case, two sculptures together. Every different chess piece was inspired by two different artists per chess piece.
I remember being covered completely in dust for 2 weeks straight. That was what it was in art school. It would have projects that lasted from one week to four weeks. It was the ultimate design making experience. They made us build everything that we designed in art school. You have to physically make it.
3D Printing has now made it so that anybody can do this. That would have been awesome to design it and create the forms and being able to make it as many as you needed. I love the idea of it. I think it is a great starter project. It is useful. You can make it a useful project as well. It is a great starter project for a lot of maker spaces and student projects. You can put constraints on it. That was the constraints that happened with my teacher, they all had to be inspired by sculptures. You can make them inspired by the city in which you live. You could put some restrictions on it and force the design inspiration side of it to have a particular direction.
Sometimes, that is a lot easier for people to grasp than it is to give them open reign and design everything that you want. When you have card blocks, sometimes it is much harder to find people in the process. I work very well with constraints myself.
There is One Save Solutions, the artist in the Shapeways shop where we found the typographical 3D print chess set. What this artist or company has done is to go and make a whole set of chess pieces that loosely do represent the pawns, rookie, knight has the horse head on it. They make the body of these chess pieces be made of the letters and words of the name. Rook is ROOK. The letters are all different shapes and sizes to follow the curve shapes that they want the overall chess piece to have. They are all morphed. It is a shape made out of letters. They have skewed all the letters, scaled, and proportioned. Some of them are fat, skinny, and tiny.
You can buy them in metal. There are five metal finishes and six different plastic materials. They have already dialed this in as to what different materials are available to be made in. They have photographs out there showing it in stainless steel. It is one of the coolest looks that they are presenting in the photos. This continues to inspire me to want to do different types of products. I need more time in my days to do more design work for us because there are so many things I want to do. We need a bigger staff.
I don’t think I would do chess pieces first, but I am dying to do a guitar first off. There are other things. I want to experiment with ceramics. I am inspired. I hope some of you are also inspired too. Even if you just want to make this a project to do your own 3D print chess set if your kid is into chess or Minecraft. Using your FFF 3D printer that would cost you nothing except the time to design these pieces and slice them and then your printer time if you got one. I think making a chess set and coming up with your own design is a great project. I think a chess set can teach students something about strategy and something about 3D printing and about art, design, and engineering.
There are so many great things that you can do with a project like this 3D print chess set. It is a great trial and error because you know if they do not work, you can just redo one. At the end of the day, it is a great gift. It is $700 for stainless steel in Shapeways. Maybe we could buy one but not this material for Tyler, plastic comes in just under $100. We hope that this inspires you as you head into the weekend!
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