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3D printed wooden chess set

  • #1

    These chess pieces are 3D printed with Bamboo 'woodfil' filament. It's PLA plastic filament infused with bamboo sawdust which gives a very smooth, matte finish. The dark pieces are stained with rosewood stain and then sealed with gloss varnish.  The set is inspired by the famous 1950 Dubrovnik design, but improved and optimized for 3D printing.


    I'm selling the files on Kickstarter right now so if you have a 3D printer (or know someone else who has one!) you can print your own set very cheaply.






    The pieces have hollow bases for weights.


    And they look great with the bases filled and felt added.


    And you don't need wood filament to print them. They look nice in regular PLA plastic.


    If any of you have questions about 3D printing or how these pieces were designed and printed feel free to ask! Here's a video showing how they're made:




  • #2
    I love the project! I only wish I had a 3D printer or knew someone that does.
  • #3

    I love the project. Few questions have you tested other Filaments like Birch and Ebony? And the hardness of wood 3d print is less than the other types any idea how the hardness relates to wood?

  • #4

    So far I've printed it with bamboo woodfil and regular PLA. The strength is lower than natural wood - you could snap the bishop in half with your hands because it's quite thin in the middle. The rook however is too tough to snap (I just tried grin.png). I've printed mine at 15% infill (so they're 85% hollow inside) to make them print faster and to use less filament. If you printed at 100% infill they'd probably be stronger than wood.

    The surface hardness is very durable - you can run your finger nail roughly along the surface and it will leave no mark at all.

  • #5

    Did you scan original pieces?

  • #6

    To me, this is a kind of magic.

  • #7

    cgrau - I looked at many different photographs of the 1950 Dubrovnik and 1970 Dubrovnik II designs and made my own interpretation. One of the main changes I've made is to curve the underside of the collars. This allows the pieces to be printed more easily. 3D printers cannot print overhangs without adding support-material, which can decrease the quality of the print. They work best when overhangs are under 45 degrees.


    But I think the curved design actually looks very nice, and it feels great to pick up the pieces. My knight is a simplified interpretation of the 1950 Dubrovnik knight, again optimized for printing, by reducing overhangs and removing smaller details that wouldn't be clear in a 3D printed model.


    Pulpofeira - I totally agree! 3D printing is like the replicators on Star Trek. Technology makes magic real!

  • #8
    Nice project good luck.
  • #9

    This is really cool. One question though: How would the first layer of the hanging chin get printed in, say, a FlashForge Creator Pro, which prints by building up each layer of molten filament on top of the previous layer?

  • #10

    Schachmonkey - thanks! We've nearly hit the funding goal.

    majahitterking - The knight does require support under its chin. I provide a print-guide document that shows how to design this support so that it has minimal impact on the print quality. On the left are 2 knights straight from the printer with the supports in place, and on the right is the knight with the support removed.


  • #11

    The campaign has reached the funding goal, so I've added a stretch goal - an alternate bishop model:


  • #12
    Any chance you would be able to add a further stretch goal of the option to have different color finials for the queen and king like you do with the bishop? (Yes everyone I do know the original Dubrovnik set did not have that option)
  • #13
    Or even a western style cross finial for the king
  • #14

    I'm not too keen on the tapering below the collars of queen bishop and king and the rooks and knights look slightly off. however the fact that this is possible is incredible. I like the pawns best in this set.

  • #15

    Color me very impressed!


  • #16

    Exceptional !! You have the knights spot on. I think the bishops look a little more like the later Dubrovnik 2 set as the 1950 Dubrovnik had the widest part in the center of the "head" of the piece. Not tapered to be larger near the top. GREAT WORK happy.png !!! null

  • #17

    A lot of us are impressed. Personally, I prefer the Dubie2 Bs, with the tapered big hats. I am impressed with the Ns. Not perfect, but close enough. Especially as they don't have the unicorn quiffs we find in other reproductions.

    I have mixed feelings about the rounded collars. the pawns look great, and the Bs are pretty good too, but I'm not so comfortable with the K and Q. It's something I could get used to though. Also, your R is certainly more slender than the original. Designed to save material?


  • #18

    Very nice. Would you consider selling some finished sets (painted and weighted) on ebay?

  • #19

    I just found out my local library has a 3D printer that is free to use so I'm hoping to test the Pawn and King tomorrow. I'll report back here with the results.

  • #20

    I just found out my local library has a 3D printer that is free to use so I'm hoping to test the Pawn and King tomorrow. I'll report back here with the results.

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