Introduction: 3D Printed Chess Piece Models

Picture of 3D Printed Chess Piece Models

One of the perks of working for Autodesk is occasionally getting to try out fancy-shmancy new software before the public. I recently got the opportunity to play with such a piece of design software, and used it to make this chess set.

Why 3D print a chess set? Can't you just buy a chess set?

Well, this solved a few problems for me. For starters, I have been running an event every week called 3D Printing Thursdays and wanted to print out something that demonstrated some of the basic capabilities of the 3D printers we use. I also wanted to print out something that gave the people at the workshop something to do while they waited an hour or two for a print to complete. And, of course, demonstrating the design capabilities of Autodesk software is always encouraged of me.

This project took about a day to get from design to physical object. With the attached files, you should be able to get to physical object in or around the same time-frame; assuming you have an ABS extruder at your disposal.

These pieces were printed on an Objet Connex 500 model, which allowed me to print each set in a different material. I printed one in gray plastic, another in black rubber, and the third set with a frosted clear resin.

Once I had the pieces, I needed a chess board. I considered 3D printing a chess board, but that seemed slightly excessive. Instead I decided to etch the chess board with a laser cutter (which somehow seemed less excessive). I basically etched the protective coating off of a clear piece of acrylic, painted the etched part black, and then peeled the remainder of the coating.


marla latinakova (author)2015-02-04

"Why 3D print a chess set?"

So you can make this:

just4fun60 (author)2014-12-09

Nice Chest Set I Enjoy Chest It Is The Thinking Mans Game To Solutions of life !!!

delokaver (author)2013-07-24

nice and clean surface ... how you do that ?

Farrit (author)2013-05-25

I am working on an etched acrylic piece of my own. What kind of paint did you use on it?

randofo (author)Farrit2013-05-26

acrylic paint

rahulkar (author)2012-12-03

almost 2 months over and I still didn't receive my 3D prints :(

4lifenerdfighter (author)2012-09-17

How do you make the king's + hang down on the sides? What supports them during printing?

randofo (author)4lifenerdfighter2012-09-17

The Objet printers I am using add a support layer. It is kind of this gummy material it uses to build up to the actual object. I then have to power wash it off.

Dvorkam (author)randofo2012-10-30

Just out of curiosity, you have a professional 3D printer or one of those DIY 3D printers (RepRap).
By any chance you know what material it is?

randofo (author)Dvorkam2012-10-30

It's an Objet printer. Very pro. It's a UV curing resin.

Encik_Google (author)2012-09-26

nice chess set!!!.loooks great

Lornesd (author)2012-09-16

Nice Chess Set.

FYI, in the last picture, your chess board is setup backwards. The white square should be on the bottom right when setting up the board.

(White on Right) :)


roccopeterbilt (author)2012-09-11

If you had to estimate, what would the cost of consumables alone be to make one of these sets? I really like the frosted clear and the black rubber, so go with those.

randofo (author)roccopeterbilt2012-09-11

It would be pretty pricey. If you post a bunch of Instructables, you could probably swing it. I'd imagine you could maybe get a few pieces for each one:

rahulkar (author)2012-08-24

Got an email from instructables for my free gift . I have sent you 3 emails containing the required files for printing,but the first 2 files were duplicate and sent by mistake. So I have sent you a final confirmatory mail. Please check and revert if the files are okay for printing and meet your requirement criteria.

emilyvanleemput (author)2012-08-18


Printy (author)2012-08-17

Wow! That's awesome!! I would love to get into 3D printing like that. Super cool!

randofo (author)Printy2012-08-17

Haus Page (author)2012-08-17

Nice, what are the shipping charges on that? I'm curious about seeing other 3D model printers.

randofo (author)Haus Page2012-08-17

Shipping charges?

Haus Page (author)randofo2012-08-17

I mean how do we collect printed object?

randofo (author)Haus Page2012-08-17

randofo (author)2012-08-16
caitlinsdad (author)2012-08-15

Surprised you didn't make it an ibles themed chess set. Robot files are there for your pawns. Kiteman could have been a bishop, if only he believed. I'm sure the others have their heads scanned in 123D.

Kiteman (author)caitlinsdad2012-08-15

caitlinsdad (author)Kiteman2012-08-16

You really want that commemorative ibles chess set, don't you. Maybe offer a proper English tea serving set in trade...

Kiteman (author)caitlinsdad2012-08-16

Yells across office - Hey, Raaaaandy!

randofo (author)Kiteman2012-08-16

Yeah. You want to learn to use the printers, right? ;-)

Kiteman (author)randofo2012-08-16

Indeed I do!

Jayefuu (author)caitlinsdad2012-08-16

c'dad's right, Those cupboard door knobs could be adjusted to sit on pedestalls :D

randofo (author)2012-08-16

Yeah. Within a 3" x 3" x 3" bounding box.

rimar2000 (author)2012-08-16

Nice design!

atlantica (author)2012-08-16

can I get a fabulous deal on such a printer through you?

randofo (author)atlantica2012-08-16

Post an Instructable and get a free print.

person% (author)2012-08-16

looks cool!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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