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Laser Etching Acrylic for 3D Chess - Can I borrow some time on the machine?

Hey Squid Labs, I have a question/favor to ask. I'm looking to make a Raumschach board. It is a 3D chess variant with 5 decks using 5X5 boards. Well actually, I'm not sure which chess variant I'm going to go with just yet (its down to either Raumschach or Millennium chess). In any case, I bought the necessary raw materials today - threaded rods, cup washers, nuts, end nuts, threaded rod and acrylic. All from my favorite surplus store, Skycraft. I was wondering if I could possibly send you the raw material and CAD files and have the chess board etched. I would, of course, pay for return shipping. If not, that's fine - I'll probably just use tape and sand paper. But if I can have it done from a CAD file, I can make it a little more custom (I could even include instructables or squid labs logo if you want :P). Thanks ~Paul PS: For anyone wondering why I am not considering Tri-Dimensional Chess (as seen on Star Trek).... Technically, there's no official rules or setup of the game as created by the television show. Not to mention, moving attack boards and getting pieces into the "Neutral Zone" takes a long time (according to semi official rules on chessvariants.com)

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ewilhelm10 years ago
I want to help, but honestly, what you've described is a lot work, beyond just sitting on fussing to make sure the laser works ok. There are commercial places that do this, like pololu.com, but I bet you can find someone local. Alternatively, hop on a plane, and I'll sit you in front of the laser cutter...
trebuchet03 (author)  ewilhelm10 years ago
I wish I had the money to :P And driving takes a week one way :P I figured that might be a problem - especially for a one off part. No worries, I shall figure something out :) Waterjet!!! Sounds like you guys are a full blown fablab now :P
Maybe you knew this already, but most of Squid Labs came out of the MIT media lab and we were all instigators of fablab concept.
trebuchet03 (author)  ewilhelm10 years ago
Yeah, I saw the lab's education background... and I read an article about the professor that runs the "How to make just about anything" class :P
ewilhelm ewilhelm10 years ago
Also, we just got a waterjet.
carbon10 years ago
How does 3-d chess work, anyhow? I always just kind of assumed that you could move the pieces normally on your x-y plane, and that you could just move them up a plane(board) on your z, while not changing the actual x-y coordinates. Wow, this is incredibly hard to describe.
trebuchet03 (author)  carbon10 years ago
Think of a 2x1 knight -- move in a direction 2 spaces and then perpendicular one space. Easy enough to think of in 2D.

For 3D - think of one plane at a time. The knight can move up (or down in the zx/zy plane) two spaces and then perpendicular 1 space (in the xy).

A rook can do the same.. Move in only Z or in only X or in only Y - just as long as it is one dimension at a time. This is just the general rules of motion -- there are many 3D chess variants that use their own sets of rules. Raumschach (German for space apparently) is attractive for its old game appeal while Millennium chess is attractive for its ease of play in 3D.


Raumschach uses a 5X5 board (with 5 decks). Initial setup is different than regular chess AND there is an additional piece called the Unicorn. The Unicorn can move like a Bishop but only in between decks including diagonal z which means it is moving in three dimensions at the same time (whereas the Bishop can only move in two dimensions at the same time).


Millennium chess is a little easier to wrap one's head around and play. It is a regular chess board -- with three decks and normal pieces setup in the classic fashion. The three decks allows the knight to move to the top (or bottom) in one move while still allowing it to move to the middle deck in one move.
Ohhhh...that's actually kind of cool. Probably a bit beyond me, though. I have trouble enough playing regular ol' chess.
trebuchet03 (author)  carbon10 years ago
No worries, I'm not a great chess strategist either :P But maybe on 3D board the playing field will be leveled (wait, was that a pun?) :P
carbon carbon10 years ago
(and playing would be an extra challenge because you would have to reassemble the boards into one in your mind.)