Today I’m going to be teaching you how to create a pawn chess piece keychain. We are going to build it through a website called Tinkercad and then get it ready for it to be 3D printed.
If you’re like me, you think the pawn is the most underappreciated part of a chess set! I mean, if you give it the opportunity, it can become a QUEEN. Also, I decided to make this piece because I just finished reading Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield and the first quote of the book is, “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” Super relatable! And perfectly representable by the humble pawn (who can easily be useless or a game changer).
Anyways, let’s get started!
NOTE: First off, here are some tips that will help you create your piece (or any piece in a 3D program):
When working in a three-dimensional setting, it is easy to get objects lost or misplaced in your workspace. Use the cube in the upper left corner to see different angles of your objects to make sure they are all connected and in the correct spot.
When resizing objects, hold the shift key so the shape’s parameters stay equal. So, for example, if you are making a cube bigger or smaller, hold the shift key while sizing so it stays a cube and does not turn into a rectangular object.
Step 1: Getting Started
First open up your internet browser and go to tinkercad.com. You are going to have to make an account, but it’s free, don’t worry. Then, you are going to click “Create New Design”. Get a bit familiar with your plane, just so know all the possibilities. You’ve got your shapes to the right, work-plane options and rule options just above that, and the import/export/share buttons above that (which we will get to later). You can also explore the button just above the “Basic shapes” button (it’s almost on top of it, really) that says “Tinkercad”. There you can find text, numbers, and a bunch of other things that I haven’t even explored yet. For this project though, we are going to mainly live in the “Basic Shapes” section.
Step 2: Base
Under “Basic Shapes,” click on the cylinder shape and drag it over to the middle of your work space. Make sure it is a solid shape. You can check this in the box that appears in the upper right corner of the work space area. Your cylinder should be a color instead of gray. Once you have all of that solidified (lol), make sure the cylinder is highlighted so you can see the little while boxes and black arrows around it. You can move the white boxes to adjust the cylinder’s width, height, and length, and you can use the black arrows to move the object up, down, and around on the work-plane. You can move the cube in the upper left corner to look at your object from different angles.
For the pawn, you are first going to create the base with your cylinder. You can make it as big or small as you want. I made my base about the size of a quarter.
Then you want to drag another cylinder right on top of your first one and make it the same width and height. But, you want to make the diameter of this cylinder slightly smaller so that it looks like one step of stairs on all sides of the object. Make sure the two cylinders are touching. This completes your pawns base.
Step 3: Body
Now we want to add the body of the pawn. Go over to your “Basic Shapes” and scroll down until you find the paraboloid. Drag it into your workspace and on top of your base. You are going to want to position it in the middle of the small cylinder. The amount of length between diameters of the two base cylinders is the same amount of length you should leave between the small cylinder and the paraboloid, as seen in the picture. This leaves the objects consistently and evenly getting smaller towards the middle of the entire piece.
Step 4: Head
Now it is time to work on the head. First we have to put, what I like to call the pawn’s necklace, onto the body. Go over to our trusty set of shapes and scroll down until you find the diamond shape. Drag it to the top of your paraboloid and place it there. Leave a little bit of the paraboloid showing so you can easily determine that the body is in the middle of your diamond. You are also going to want this little bit sticking out when we get to the head of the pawn. Make sure your diamond’s diameter is slightly smaller than your smaller cylinder base. Like you did with the cylinders and the paraboloid, the diameter should have the same amount of length between the edge of the diamond and the smallest cylinder. Basically, it should be the same size as the bottom of the paraboloid.
After the necklace is placed to your liking, go over to your “Basic Shapes” and find the sphere. It should be one of the first shapes on the list. Drag it over to the top of your object and place it directly on top of the diamond shape (sphere must be centered on the diamond). Make sure it stays a perfect sphere by pressing the shift button while resizing it. Make its diameter the same diameter as the diamond. Also, make sure it is touching the top of the diamond so none of the paraboloid is showing between the diamond and the sphere.
You have successfully created your pawn chess piece model! If you want, you can stop here and just have a cute little pawn. If this is the case, skip the next paragraph.
Here I’ll tell you how to make the pawn into a keychain! Go over to the “Basic Shapes” and find the “Torus” shape. You want to make sure this shape is not solid, but “Hole”, meaning when it goes through other objects, it will create a hole there. Drag it to the head of your pawn and rotate it so it stands vertically. Put a third of the torus into the top-middle of the head. This way you will be able put a keychain loop through the head of the pawn.
Step 5: Finishing Up
You have completely finished your pawn keychain model! Now go to the top right-hand corner of your Tinkercad page and click “Export”. It doesn’t matter if you download it as an obj. file or a stl. file, although I have heard 3D printers like stl. files better. Once you download it you can either hook it up to your own 3D printer or send it into a 3D printing lab. Made sure your object shapes are all connected and grouped or the file will either not download completely or print incorrectly. You can also send your model directly to social media or other websites by clicking the “Share” button, located directly beside the “Export” button.
Thanks for tuning in guys. Good luck!