Wobbly Chess Set

by MikeyB, published

Wobbly Chess Set by MikeyB Feb 24, 2013
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This is a chess set that I designed to learn some new skills with sketchup. The rounded bases of the pieces are weighted and sit on concave squares. It makes for an interesting twist to the standard chess board. Special thanks to PerryT for the idea for the board base. This is a marathon of a print, roughly 60 hours went into this project and I can tell you it was no easy task. Make no mistake though, if you want to take your 3D printing to the next level or you are an avid chess fan this project is for you. Finnish this print and you will be among the masters of the printing world, you exploits and heroism will be spoken of far and wide by hobbyists and professionals alike. Good luck and God speed!


Update 3/18/13: I have added a single Pawn .stl along with .stls for a full set of Rooks, Knights, Bishops, King and queen. One includes the Knight that needs support and the other set is for the two piece Knight that needs to be glues together.


All the pieces of the board can be printed without support and at 10% infill. Anything above 10% will add considerably to the print time but will result in a stronger and heavier build overall.

1.) Print 8 Pawns in white and 8 pawns in black.

2.) Print 2 Rooks, 2 Knights, 2 Bishops, 1 Queen and 1 King in both black and white.

3.) Print 32 Base pieces in grey or in the color opposite of the piece.

4.) Print 32 Board Squares in black and 32 in white.

5.) Print the Board Base in grey or back. Print 4 corners, 8 edge pieces and 4 center pieces.

6.) The Base pieces are designed to be weighted with pennies or lead shot. Add 5 pennies to each base and super-glue in place.

7.) The base pieces and chess pieces should be sanded lightly to create a good fit and glued together.

8.) The Board pieces should be sanded lightly to ensure a snug fit on the base. The base and the squares should be glued into place after being test fit to make sure that all the corners fit well.

9.) Have fun!

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This will be my first big print (beside the printer parts I done right now). Think I'll do white/black and black/white figures, on a white bordered board. Think that will look great, thanks for the design!

Did anyone here think of a modulared design for the board, to be able to transport it in quartered Parts?

Would your design benefit from say having 2x3mm neo button magnets in the board pieces and on the round part of the piece, this way they will wobble but also stand up straight when put on the board?

Any chance you could post the knight as one piece?

I saw this board in the brainy toy store! I was thinking this would be a neat print and you beat me to it! Nice work!

I printed the King last night, but I couldn't get him to stay upright. Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

I had the same issue with the King and the Queen. Make sure you put some weight in the base and then give the bottom a quick sanding. I just went over it with Fine then Extra Fine sandpaper and the stand perfectly now.

Hi, would it be possible for you to upload the file for a single pawn. its just at the moment in their formation they are to long for my build area.

Hey sorry for the delay, I've uploaded the single pawn .stl. Can't wait to see your print!

Thanks. Yeah I didn't want to post anything until I had everything together and made sure it all fit right. Good luck with the print, stick with it. Please post some pics when you're done, I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Quick question however. The knight - with or without support?

I split the knight into two pieces to make it easier, just glue together.

Mike - can I ask what print settings you used other than 10% infil. I am having some issues with the transition from base to upper being ... I guess spotty is the word. Small gaps in the print. I have tried 3 different slicers.

What do you mean by the transitions between 'base to upper being? I am using RepG to do the slicing. 220 on the extruder, 110 on the platform and 80/80 for the print and travel speeds. .10 layer height and 10% infill.

Mike - last question. Did you sand the board at all - I like the matte gray look you got there

Yeah I lightly sanded the squares just to knock down the he lines a bit. Also the squares need a little sanding on the edges to make a perfect fit. For me, with ABS the white shrinks a fair bit more than black so sanding is required to make the corners fit perfectly. How is your print coming? Were you able to find good settings? I was thinking about it and having thinner layer thickness shouldnt make a difference but who knows. Let me know

I managed to get my printer dialed in a 200 microns. Turns out the issue was with KISSlicer. Too much overlap on the infil was forcing apart the layers. I am now printing out the board . Had no idea it was such a monster size wise :). I might have scaled 75% if I had known but I have every expectation the final product will look amazing. I am even tossing up the idea of printing the frames within the board with layoo wood filament.

It is a monster. Standard size chess board. I think you will be happy you printed it out full size. What is wood filament?

I haven't had a standard size board for years - I am happy just thinking about it. Wood filament is just as it sounds - PLA filament with wood fiber in it. It prints items that look for all intents and purposes like a wood carving. Nice example of it here


By varying the temp you can get some really nice coloring.

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Wow! No kidding, that would look great. You just need some stone or metal filament to complete the look :)

Ahh ok - I am using 200 microns. Might have to lower my res.

Awesome I see that now. White bishops coming off the bed in 5 mins

Sweet I was waiting for you to finish the board before printing this. Printer AHOY!