3D Printed Chess Pieces and Acrylic Chess Board

After learning CAD skills in Mrs. Berbawy’s Intro to Engineering Design class, I wanted a project to practice those skills. This chess set features 3D printed chess pieces made with PLA filament, and a chess board laser cut from acrylic. This project is perfect for makers of all skill level, and a great gift idea for all ages! The chess set features a chess board that is 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches and a set of 3D printed chess pieces. The chess board is laser cut and rastered on TAP Plastics 1/8'' acrylic in violet, and the pieces are printed in PLA filament in white and black. To avoid sliding, the bottom of the board has small rubber bushings that anchor the board. My favorite moment while making the project was when I thought of an idea to stop the chess board from sliding around the table. Instead of buying rubber or wooden feet for the board, I reused rubber bushings from old picture frame hanging kits and glued them to the bottom of the board. My biggest stress in this project was when I had just started. It took me a long time to figure out how to create the pawn without any overhangs. After several prototypes of the pawn, I finally printed all of the pawns for both colors! Since it had taken me so long to create the pawn, I was nervous that the other pieces would be as difficult.

Step 1:

Instructions: ( All units are in inches, and all circles have a center point at the origin)

Part 1 : The Base - Common for all pieces
Run Autodesk Inventor on your desktop. Create a new project called “Chess”. Open a new part file under the project Chess and label it base. Start a 2d sketch in the xy plane. Draw a circle with a diameter of 1.00. Extrude the circle by 0.20. Make sure the center of the circle is the origin. On the circle face, draw a new circle with a diameter of 0.71. Center the circle and extrude the circle by 0.07. Fillet the edge of the first circle by 0.35. Draw a third circle on the the face of the second circle with a diameter of 0.60. Center the circle and extrude this circle by 0.15. Fillet the top edge of the second circle by 0.10. Fillet the top edge of the third circle by 0.10.

The complete base:

Step 2:

Part 2 : Pawn

Make a copy of the created base part file and label it pawn. Create an offset work plane, offset by 0.36 from the top of the top of the third circle on the base. On this work plane, start a new 2d sketch of a circle with a diameter of 0.32. Loft between the top face of the base and the new circle. Create a new offset work plane, offset by 0.4, from the first circle. On this work plane draw another circle with a diameter of 0.34. Loft between the two circles. Fillet the seam between the two lofts by 0.3. Create a new work plane on top of the last loft and draw a circle with a diameter of 0.7. Extrude the circle by 0.6. Fillet the top edge and bottom edge of the cylinder by 0.35 to create a spherical shape.

Step 3:

Part 3: Rook

Make a copy of the created base part file and label it “Rook” Create an offset work plane, offset by 0.7, from the top of the third circle. On the new work plane, start a new 2d sketch and draw a circle with a diameter of 0.25. Loft between the top circle of the base and the new circle on the work plane. From the top of this new loft, create a new offset workplane, offset by 0.6. On this new workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.4. Loft between the middle circle and the new circle. Fillet the seam between the two lofts by 0.25. On top of the second loft, create a new workplane. On this workplane, draw a new circle with a diameter of 0.5. Extrude this circle by 0.05. On top of this extrusion start a new sketch and draw a circle with a diameter of 0.4. Extrude this circle by 0.05. On top of this extrusion, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.256. Connect the edge of the extrusion to the circle with two lines. The lines should have a 30 degree angle between them. Extrude the curved trapezoid shape by 0.08. Using the circular pattern tool, repeat the extrusion 6 times, using the center of the circle as the axis. The complete rook:

Step 4:

Part 4: Bishop

Make a copy of the created base part file and label it “Bishop”. Create a workplane offset by 0.4. On this workplane draw a circle with a diameter of 0.2. Loft between the top circle of the base and the circle on the new workplane. Create another workplane, offset by 0.3. Then draw a circle on this workplane with a diameter of 0.35. Loft between the middle circle and the new circle. Fillet the seam between the two lofts by 0.625. On top of the second loft, create another workplane. Draw a circle with a diameter of 0.5. Extrude the circle by 0.05. Fillet the bottom edge of the extrusion by 0.2. Fillet the top edge of the extrusion by 0.02. Draw another circle with a diameter of 0.4. Extrude by 0.05. Fillet the top edge of the extrusion by 0.025. Draw another circle on top of the extrusion that has a diameter of 0.264. Extrude by 0.1. Fillet the seam between this extrusion and the previous one by 0.02. Create a new workplane on top of the previous extrusion. Draw a new circle with a diameter of 0.375. Extrude the circle by 0.03. Fillet the bottom edge of the extrusion by 0.02. Fillet the top edge of the extrusion by 0.02. Create an offset workplane, offset by 0.2. On this workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.516. Loft between the top of the previous extrusion and this new circle. Now create a new workplane offset by 0.3. On the new workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.15. Loft between the top of the previous loft and the new circle. Fillet the seam between the two lofts by 0.125. On the last workplane, draw two congruent arcs with a distance of 0.046 between them. Extrude the space between the arcs down by 0.35. On the same workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.18. Then extrude the circle by 0.08. Fillet the top and bottom of the extrusion by 0.045. The complete bishop:

Step 5:

Part 5: Knight

Make a copy of the created base part file and label it “Knight” Create a sketch on the top face of the base. Draw a rectangle with the dimensions 0.382 x 0.12. Make sure the rectangle is centered on the circle face of the base. Extrude the rectangle by 1.2. Fillet the two edges of 1 short side of the extruded rectangle by 0.05. At the top of the extruded rectangle, create a work plane. Create a new 2d sketch. Draw a rectangle with dimensions of 0.382 x 0.12. Create an offset workplane, offset by 0.25. On this work plane draw a new rectangle with dimensions of 0.50 x 0.18. Make sure the long edges of the new rectangle are equal distances away from the rectangle on the previous workplane (0.03). The short edge of the rectangle on the same side as the filleted edge of the first rectangle should be 0.017 away from the rectangle on the previous workplane. Use the loft tool to loft from the rectangle on the first workplane to the rectangle on the second workplane. Then create an arc drawing on top of the lofted shape. Orient the arc as seen in the image. Draw a line connecting the ends of the arc to create a full semi circle shape. Extrude the shape by 0.05.

Step 6:

Part 6: Queen

Copy the completed base part file. Make a offset workplane, offset by 1.00. On this workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.4. Use the loft tool to loft between the top circle of the base to the circle you just drew. Then, create a new offset workplane, offset by 1.00. On the new workplane, draw a circle, with a diameter of 0.32. Use the loft tool to tloft between the previous circle and the new circle. Then use the fillet tool to fillet the seam between the two lofts by 2.00. On top of the second loft, create a new workplane. On this workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.65. Extrude the circle by 0.05. Fillet the top edge of the extrusion by 0.025. On top of this extrusion, draw a new circle with a diameter of 0.45. Extrude the circle by 0.04. Fillet the top edge of the circle by 0.04. Fillet the edge between the first collar and the body of the chess piece by 0.4. Create an offset workplane, offset by 0.4 off the second collar. On this workplane, draw a circle with a diameter of 0.5. Then, use the loft feature to loft between the top of the second collar and the new circle. Draw a new circle with a diameter of 0.37. On this new circle, draw two parallel vertical lines connecting the circles. These lines should be 0.205 apart. The lines should be 0.074 long. Draw line connecting the bottom edge of the lines. This line should be 0.205. Extrude the shape by 0.15. Fillet the left and right top corners of the shape by 0.1. Use the circular pattern tool to rotate the shape around the top five times. Select the rotation axis as the origin. Finally, draw a circle at the center of the crown with a diameter of 0.112. Extrude the circle by 0.15. Fillet the top edge of the cylinder by 0.055. Turn the visibility off for all workplanes.

Step 7:

Part 7: King

Make a copy of the queen part file and label it “King” Delete the fillet on the queen’s crown. Make the extrusion of the individual crown petals 0.1 instead of 0.15. Then fillet the three top edges of each crown petal by 0.01. Delete the rounded extrusion in the center of the crown. Draw a rectangle a the center of the crown with dimensions of 0.076 and 0.082. Make an offset workplane, offset by 0.11. On this workplane, draw a rectangle with dimensions of 0.039 and 0.043. Loft between the two rectangles. Fillet the four vertical sides of the loft by 0.01. Then fillet the four top dges of the lofted shape by 0.01.

Step 8:

Part 8: Chessboard

Find a chessboard pattern on the internet. Open the image in Adobe Illustrator. Raster the image and remove all white squares. Use the rounded rectangle tool to draw an edge for the board. The dimensions for this square is approximately 8.6. Set cut lines: stroke weight to .01 inches red color to RGB 255,0,0 Set raster lines: stroke weight to .01″ blue color to RGB 0,0,255 Laser cut the chessboard. After cutting, use a paper towel to wipe off any dust. Peel and stick the rubber bushings to the bottom of the board. Stick one in every corner, one on the middle of each edge, and he rest in the center.

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