Introduction: 3D Printed Chess Pawn

This Pawn is a perfect present for someone who likes chess, it is also very personal, as we are going to make it by ourselves. It is not very easy to make this figure, probably 4/5, but I think that the efforts are worth it. Also, this project may make you more familiar with Sketchup and 3D printing, so let's go ahead and start making it!

Step 1: Make Sure to Have All the Necessary Programs and Machines

1. First of all, you should have SketchUp, because that is where you are going to design the figure. It can be downloaded from this website.

2. Then, the most important thing: 3D printer, which is a pretty expensive and a big machine to have.

3. Makerbot, you may download it from here. This program is for converting your printing to a proper file for 3D printer.

4. And finally an SD card, to transform your model from the computer to the printer.

Step 2: Steps With SketchUp

1. Run the SkepchUp on your computer.

2. Chose the Square tool from the top bar and draw a square on the green surface.

3. Chose the Push-Pull tool from the top menu, press on the upper surface of the square you made and make it the height you want your pawn's base to be.

4. Draw 4 lines, one on each edge of the square (not directly on the edge), using the Pencil tool. They don't have to be perfect but make sure that all the lines have the same size. You may even copy and past one line multiple times.

5. Turn the camera to face the square from up using the Orbit tool. Then, draw an imaginary small square in the middle of your big square and move your lines in a way that all four endpoints of the lines make the four edges of the square. For this, you may use the Move tool, then grab the endpoint of the line and take it wherever you want (This is probably the hardest part).

6. Using the Pencil tool connect the endpoints of the lines, so you make two squares.

7. Leave this Figure aside and make a circle, by clicking on the arrow next to the square tool and choosing circle instead.

8. Using the Orbit tool, turn your view, so you see the circle almost as the plain surface. Then take the circle tool again and put it at the centre of the circle (Sketchup will show you where the centre is) and then, draw the circle till it reaches the endpoints. You'll have two circles on top of each other as the second time your view was from a different angle.

9. Draw the line on one of the points where two circles meet (SketchUp will automatically draw on the other one too).

10. Delete the lower part of the vertical circle with the Eraser tool and draw a line from the center of the circle to the midpoint of the half circle. Afterwards, delete on half of your half circle, so you are left with a 1/4 circle.

11. Now, we are going to use a Follow me Tool, which you might not have in your toolbar. That's why you should go to Tools --- Follow me. Then fix the angle of the view so the 1/4 circle is almost directly in front of you and click on one of the two sides of the circle with Follow me tool. Then, drag it all the way to the Endpoint (It is also where you started).

12. If you really want to make the head of your pawn thicker than this, than you should download the plugin for SketchUp, called "Joint Push/Pull", which lets you push and pull curved surfaces. For this, first of all, download the "Extensions" for Sketchup. Then, after downloading and setting extensions up, you have to download "LibFredo 6" from this link. If you have any problems with downloading, this page may help you. Finally, after having these, you are ready to install "Joint Push/Pull" (Make sure to launch it).

13. After, select the surface of the half circle just go to Tools --- JointPushPull --- Joint Push Pull, then make the figure thicker, and press enter after you have the size you wanted.

14. Then, make sure to select the whole half-circle using the "Select" tool and simply copy and paste it next to the original one.

15. Afterwards, chose one of the halves, and flip it 180 degrees, by going to Right click --- Flip along --- Blue direction.

16. Then, by using the "Move" tool, select one-half and put it on top/below of the other one, so you get a circle, which is going to serve as the head of the pawn. Now, we yet don't have a circle, these are just two ovals on top of each other... In order to really "glue" them, select both with the "Select" tool, go to Edit --- Make a Component, and that is it.

17. And for the Sketchup work, it's just left to put the circle on the other parts of the pawn using the "Move" tool. Later, if you want to make the body of the pawn shorter or longer, you should just choose and construct it using the "Scale" tool.

18. Don't forget to make sure that the pawn has the size you want it to be when printed. For this, use "Tape measure" tool and check the length in the box below. When you are sure that the figure looks perfect, go Files --- Export STL --- Export, and you may move on to the next step!

Step 3: Moving to the Makerbot

1. After everything is done with Sketchup, let's open "Makerbot", where we ar going to suit the figure with the printer.

2. First of all, you are supposed to know the type of your printer (you can probably search it online), and then, go to Devices --- Select type of device --- Your printer.

3. Then, you may simply drag your STL file (from the last step) into the program from wherever it is saved, or go to File --- Add and chose your file.

4. Afterwards, go to Settings and mak sure that everything is as you want it to be, you should also suit it with your printer and the material you are using. 3D printer usually makes you figure on a "carpet", so it has a base, and also, so it is easier to later tear it off from the printer's plate. So the "Layer height" is referring to this "carpet". And as for the material, just chose whatever you inserted into the 3D printer to work with.

5. Finally, go to File --- Export, and make sure that your pawn is being exported as an x3g file.

Step 4: Printing!

1. Insert your SD card into the computer and put the x3g pawn into it.

2. Then, put the SD card into the printer and chose "Build from SD", find whatever you named your pawn and click OK. Now, you have nothing else to do, but to sit and follow the printer working...

If there is an issue than press "Cancel the print", and try to find where was the mistake... Maybe you did something wrong in Sketchup, maybe the printer is out of plastic, or there may be many other reasons...

So, this is it! I really hope you successfully made the pawn and liked this instructable :)