Here's a way to make a full set of checker pieces for your own customized checker board. This instructable doesn't explain how to make the board, only pieces. You will need a design program, and a good 3d printer for this project, as well as 2 colors of either pla or abs plastic to print with. I did this at my local TechShop in the Austin/Round Rock area.
Step 1: Design the Body
First start up your design program. I used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2013 to design mine. Simply draw a circle 1 inch in diameter(pic 1), then extrude 1/4 inch upwards(pic 2).
Then make the top of it all fancy with a raised rim design. So start by creating a 2d Sketch on the top of the piece you have just extruded. Make the circle a little bit smaller, as seen in pic 3. Then extrude the middle part down to create a lowered area. You could also extrude the outer area up. Same difference.
Step 2: Add a Custom Name (TechShop)
Here I will add a name on top of the piece. I'd thought about "You Lose", "You Suck", "King Me", but instead went with "TechShop". Because I made it at Techshop in Austin! Go to www.Techshop.ws
This will be easy. Make another 2d Sketch. This time make it within the raised ring of the checker piece. Go into the text editor in Inventor and type out the words TechShop(see pic 4). Adjust as needed to make them fit in a way you like. Then click Finish Sketch.
Now extrude the lettering to the desired height(pic 5). Mine was equal to the raised area of the piece. Save as an stl file and let's go to the next step!
Step 3: 3d Printing Your Checker Piece
Final step...printing it!
Upload your stl file into any GCode program that will work with your printer. I used Makerware, since I'm using a Makerbot Rep2 to print this. BEFORE following the settings I give below, remember I was using PLA for this project. Settings for ABS plastic will differ.
Adjust settings to this:
•230 degrees Celsius for the temp
•travel speed at 120 mm/second
•layer height as high as it will go. Unless you have very fine lettering, then you will lower the height to create greater detail.
•Infill can be pretty low, between 10%-50%. Mine was 50% and it was still a very fast print.
•NO raft or supports. No need for either one, just makes the print take longer.
Print should take between 5-10 minutes with these settings. Now you just need to print out 12 for each side in 2 different colors. You can also print a few extra in case someone gets kinged early in the game. Have fun!