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The pieces were simplified using Meshlab and the "Quadric Edge Collapse Decimation" Filter. The King and Pawn were scaled to fit the other pieces. Netfabb fixed some manifold-errors I was getting.
MeshLab (FOSS on Sourceforge) can be very useful for the simplification of complex geometries without losing the details.
Filters > Remeshing, Simplification and Reconstruction > Quadric Edge Collapse Decimation
These Files were simplified to 10% (0.1 Percentage reduction) of the original Vertex count. File size for the Knight went from 165 MB to 3.2 MB.
Errors in the geometry were then fixed in Netfabb Studio Basic.
4d-Staunton Full Size Chess Set - simplified by julienM is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
So what's this mean?
We're sure julienM would love to see what you've printed - take a photo and share it on Thingiverse as a Make.
To post a Make simply visit this Thing again and click I Made One to start uploading your photo. You can also download the Thingiverse Mobile app (available via Google Play and Apple App Store) to take a photo and upload your Make right from the app!