Action #Chess

by cymon, published

Action #Chess by cymon Mar 22, 2012

Featured Thing!


**Update** I am now building these and selling the latest version on my Etsy! So if you don't have a printer yet, I will be happy to print you one! Check it out at etsy.com/listing/109657227/

Now you can battle your chess two ways. Traditionally on a chess board or combine your powers to form the ultimate chess fighting robot.

Had this idea a while ago and this contest gave me the perfect opportunity to make it happen. Having to use Tinkercad to make it happen was wonderfully educational too. It's a limited tool in many way and the limitations were in their own way liberating.

TinkerCad Files:
Scaled: tinkercad.com/things/dm5lLLYUl1q
Original Size: tinkercad.com/things/beTFmjGvzMu

EDIT: Updated STLs with new versions to fix printing problems in original versions. Now on v1.2. Old plate renamed "V1" for historical purposes.

EDIT2: Discovered that some of my pieces, most notably the knight, exceeded the dimensions stipulated in the contest rules. Added a scaled down plate that fits the contest requrements. Called it "1.2 small". Individual pieces are still the larger size.

EDIT3: 1.3 small added that thickens the connections to the pawns and removes the tabs connecting them. 1.2 (big) not tested yet, I have no reason to believe it won't work as is so I'm leaving it.

EDIT4: Taking this off WIP status becauase any future work will be in version 2.X. (See deritives)

Recent Comments

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Dude. Get this up for sale! Awsome!
Even with a cheaper deisgn, I'm still not taking much of your money. It's mostly shapeways that you're paying. Now that I've won a makerbot I'm opening up an etsy store and planning to sell these designs that I've printed. I'm not sure etsy is right for this, but I don't know what would be better so etsy it is for now.


Give me a couple of months to get my makerbot and to get something up there for sale.
Awesome! Just d/l'd and started printing.

Someone needs to come up with some rules for a game involving the robot. That would be uber cool.

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I tried to design it to print supportless, but there are a few places I might have missed.

1. Print a plate for each side or print the individual pieces the number of times specified.
2. Play chess or...
3. Slide the tab from the queen into the notch on the king and slide downards to lock the body together.
4. Take the 2 type A pawns and slide into the shoulder slots.
5. Take 4 type B pawns and lock their feet together to form 2 legs.
6. Flip the knights over for feet and snap the legs into them.
7. Snap the legs into the body.
8. Take the remaing 2 type B pawns and lock their feet into the feet of the rooks to form two upper arms.
9. Snap the shoulders pawns into the upper arms.
10. Snap the upper arm pawns into the bishops to form the hands.
Dude. Get this up for sale! Awsome!
Awesome! Just d/l'd and started printing.

Someone needs to come up with some rules for a game involving the robot. That would be uber cool.
This is an awesome design. I want a fully produced retail version made so I can buy it. For myself and as gifts.

Get together with a game company. Write up some rules for using the combined form in play.

This WILL SELL! I want to throw money at the screen right now!
Consider selling the design on Shapeways, for those of us who don't have Access to a Makerbot.
cymon - in reply to Guest
Shapeways is expensive. For one side the scaled down version (80% of the original size) is $40. $50 is you want to do it in colors. So $90-$100 for a set. Is this cool enough to you to warrent that price? If so I'll put it up.
Shut up and take our money? lol
Hollowing out your pieces and adding an exit hole for support material will reduce the cost somewhat.
Even with a cheaper deisgn, I'm still not taking much of your money. It's mostly shapeways that you're paying. Now that I've won a makerbot I'm opening up an etsy store and planning to sell these designs that I've printed. I'm not sure etsy is right for this, but I don't know what would be better so etsy it is for now.


Give me a couple of months to get my makerbot and to get something up there for sale.
Oh, Wow: blog.makezine.com/2012/04/02/chess-a-la-voltron/

Seriously, I'm freaking out every time this gets coverage somewhere else.
cymon - in reply to cymon
By the way, I'm working on version 2.0, redesigned grme the ground up basedon what worked so far: thingiverse.com/thing:20467
cymon - in reply to cymon
Hey there, your Thing got featured at Makerbot:


I have been so excited by the attention that has recieved that I hardly know what to do. I don't know how to react when peopleactually like something I've done. I'm afraid to say anything for fear of jinxing it.
I finished an opponent set.what program do you use to pose/set your things in a background?
ARTCAD - in reply to bull
coooool.. want tocit printed
Did my posing and rendering in blender. I tried to do the same for you but your back legs don't touch the ground, so I had to pose your model too, then my board's textures broke and my computer started choking and fixing it was just more than i was willing to do for a little render. Sorry. But I'm guessing you're printing your so you should be able to have a real picture soon.
bull - in reply to cymon
Thanks much for the effort, but no I don't have a printer. I've only been doing this for a little over a month with free software and spare time. To be honest I have little idea what I'm doing most of the time.
cymon - in reply to bull
My mistake. Got you confused with ARTCAD there for a second.
Inspired by Action #CHESS..
What is this? It looks like the rook can slot into the base of the bishop there. Cool.
most of figures are meant to be interchangeable.. still have to work on king and queen..
coming soon
your chess bot might be able to beat up my chess bot but wait till you see my opponent set. lol
I printed about half of the 1.2 small plate. The pawns are fragile at this size, their heads break off. The King
amp; Queen mate, but don't won't slide. I also think there is a piece of plastic at the bottom of the king that will prevent the pieces from sliding flush together. The alterations to the knight are worth it, it prints well. I'm not sure the tiny tabs you've added on the pawns are productive - they don't print distinctly, and make it more difficult to press the pieces together. I'd drop the nose off the face entirely, or make it thicker, it's just too fine to print well at this size. Looking forward to 1.3!
lots of hopes are ruined.. Waiting for 1.3
I think the tolerances are harder in the small scaled plate - if you can find a way to adjust your pieces without scaling them down I think you'll be better off.
"adjust the pieces without scaling" means doing it basically from scratch, which I was trying to avoid. But, ah well, time to just roll up the ole sleves and do it.
How did you get the chess board to appear like a mirror finish? I'm assuming you didn't use tinkercad to create the board?
Blender. But I did just pose the pieces in tinkercad too: tinkercad.com/things/ld1xzyv1kvC
looking forward to see 1.2 printed.
PrettySmallThings, BrianEnigma, I am unbelieveably thrilled by your success. A bit disapointed I didn't get it 100% on the first go, but that's me....)

New version 1.2 uploaded that should fix ALL these issues plus added channels for putting pawns in and out and notches for holding pawns and knights together base-to-base. (Fingers crossed).
cymon - in reply to cymon
I keep doing these little updates, cleaning up geometry and the like, by deleting the old files and uploading a new one. But a consequence of this is I keep wiping out the download count. Ah well, my fault I guess.

I think I'm totally done tinkering for now and I'm gonna leave this 1.2 as the 1.2. The next update will be 1.3 and will happen after I get more feedback when people print it.

Anyone want to print it now?
Well, there's no need to delete the prior files - just keep uploading the new versions. Also, I'd suggest zipping all the new STL files so that people can download all of them at once.
First: totally amazing design! I am in absolute awe!

Second: I had a few print issues that I'm sure are entirely my fault -- likely due to print-head-to-table calibration. I went for the full print plate and had several of the pieces break free of the platform during print and that affected their neighbors. This was mainly with ones having two "fe
et" (a pawn and the two rooks), where one of the feet didn't completely adhere to the build platform for some thermal reason. If I were to do this again, I might bust out Blender and break the full set into rows of four to minimize collateral damage if this were to happen again. Or I'd just do one
piece at a time. (In fact, I reprinted a small plate of just the pieces that messed up on my first print and one of the rooks toppled close to the end).

Third: a bit of mechanical critique. I have to agree with a lot of what PrettySmallThings said, but have a few things to add...

The king and q
ueen don't mate. (Pun intended.) I think I have identified three things wrong with the tab structure. The tab itself is too "wide" (as in robot chest to robot back) to fit in the slot. The tab is also too "tall" (as in stomach to head) that it can't interlock when the wideness is sorted out. Fi
nally, the "bottom" of the tab (closest to the robot's stomach, where it diagonals inward) needs an indentation between the tab and body similar to the indent running along the left and right sides of the tab. Without this, you can insert the tab in the slot and it goes in almost all of the way, bu
t runs into the horizontal bar at the bottom of the king, stopping about 4mm short of mating all the way. Even then, I think there still might be something else off, as I've gotten the bottom to line up, but the head pieces are still pretty visibly off. (You can see this in my build picture.)

tunately, I was able to solve much of this by the generous application of a rotary tool with carbon fiber disc, followed by a light sandpaper touch-up.

I have to agree that the pawn-to-shoulder connection is too loose. You can wedge a little scrap of paper to tighten it for now. And come to think
of it, I'm not sure how critical the looseness is. I'd rather have that too loose than too tight. The weight of the arms keeps the shoulder pawns in their place.

[...continued, as there's a character limit to the comment system]

As far as the knights, I had about 3 layers of droopiness on there. A hobby knife and light sanding cleaned that up a bit, but left some holes through which you can see the internal honeycomb of the part. That part of the knight might benefit from being more of a gradual diagonal rather than a 9
0 degree overhang. I think the problem with fitting the pawn into the knight is that the other pawn sockets have relatively thin "walls" on the sockets. The knight's is more thick and therefore more solid and less willing to give without breaking. I didn't have mine break, but felt like it might
be ready to. (Replicator, default Print-O-Matic settings except I have the number of shells boosted up to 3, so that maybe gave it more strength.)

I couldn't get any of the pawns to interlock with each others' bases or with the rook bases. Even after a rotary tool attack, I ended up with non-fitt
ing pawns. I feel like the interlock mechanism might benefit from being a little more exaggerated/pronounced.

There is a tiny bit of overhang drool on the rook's and bishop's pawn-socket walls. It is easily corrected with a hobby knife or diagonal clippers, but I feel that maybe those walls shoul
d just continue all the way down to touch the base.

But critique aside, I have to reiterate: FANTASTIC WORK!
Dang this has got to be the coolest chess set around. Great work!

Looking forward to seeing the kinks worked out. But even just the concept is amazing.
A couple of major things, a couple minor things. The bad news first - check out the king
amp; queen slide, you've miscalculated, there's not enough room to drop them together before sliding them to fit. The knight prints pretty messy, including a fully dropped loop in my print. The tabs on the knight break off when the pawn is inserted on this piece, but they fit beautifully everywhere else. I have two theories: 1) the print hasn't recovered from the overhang, so the adhesion is bad or 2) the thinner tabs on your other pieces flex slightly when the pawn is inserted, but the tabs on the knights are too thick, so they break off instead. Higher fill density might also fix this. I printed some pieces at 0% fill, some with 10%, with 2 shells.

Less Crucial: Pawn A's base fits really loosely into the arm slot. The tabs on the bishop
amp; rook droop slightly at the base - if you dropped the tabs slightly, this wouldn't be an issue. The nose
amp; mouth on the king would benefit from an angled bottom, they come out sloppy.

Great news: The pawns fit (generally.) On my print, they are pretty tight, but my bot isn't calibrated perfectly either. The arms and legs are nicely posable, with a non-broken knight foot, he could stand up!

Awesome design! Love it!
I'm just wondering how amazing the thing to top this would have to be... and i humbly bow to your superior digi-work. B.T.W. Hasbro might be hiring.
yes! great idea, i love it! :)
Very nice Job, Can't wait to try printing these. Thanks for sharing. 8-)
Everything looks printable except the knight! We shall see...
Even the knight is pretty printable because it's flipped on it's head. I could fix that outside tinkercad pretty quickly actually. In fact there are other things that I want to do with the meshes outside of tinkercad like ading latches and reducing things ever so slightly so that they snap together better. I may have to make a derivative.
I see that it's on its head, but there's still big overhangs where the round neck transitions to the square base, and the angle there is really really sharp. It might work better split in two; that's how I'm trying to print it at least.
(This is only germane for people with RepRap-style printers; this is sure to print great from Shapeways)
Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! 8-)

I would like to suggest a new set of rules (let's call it "Transformer Chess" - or "Cymon Chess"?) - every time you take a piece, you click it onto the piece which captured it, and you then have the combined moves of the capturing piece and the captured piece. (E.g. if a Rook takes a Pawn, the res
ulting Rook-Pawn can capture along the rank, along the file, and can also take a piece one square away on the diagonal.)
I had this exact idea last night. Only for me it featured creating a new set in a couple of days.
cymon - in reply to cymon
And finished. Check out stackable chess: thingiverse.com/thing:19825
I suspect that I've lost the contest.
You actually did it already! That's brilliant
amp; hilarious, well done Joe! :-D
Well, I'm the sort of person, once I figure out how to do something I can't sleep until I do it.

Plus the contest said to do something my kids would like and they're in love with this already. I really hope I win so that I can make it for them.
Even if you don't win for some reason they ought to make you a free set.

Really cool!
[stands and applauds]

You sir are my hero.
With this, I cannot compete. Well played sir.