Tinkercad chess design contest

Still a few days left to enter your design

Tinkercad chess design contest

Tinkercad and MakerBot have a two-week chess design contest going on right now. The idea is to redesign the six standard chess pieces (king, queen, bishop, knight, rook, pawn) into brand new forms. The new designs must conform to a size restriction, print well on a hobbyist device, and have a bit of “wow!” factor.

The contest is nearly over (it ends on April 1st at midnight), so I figured I’d take a look at what’s been uploaded to Thingiverse under the chess and Tinkercad tags so far.

These are my three favourite designs based on printability, legibility, and novelty:

Thai – Ouk Chatrang #Chess by Mark Durbin

Cambodian and Thai chess

These are chess-compatible pieces from related Thai and Cambodian games (makruk and ouk chatrang) that are descendents of chaturanga. The piece movement differences are really interesting, and can be read about here and on Wikipedia.

Evolution of Chess by dutchmogul

Evolution of chess

There are a lot of unique character designs in the contest. This one I like because it is whimsical, but also legible: the rank of each piece is very clear at a glance. If you’re going to convince your chess-playing friends to use your custom set, it has to be practical. :)

Action #Chess by Joseph Larson

Who among us has not wished to combine their chess pieces to form Chess Voltron? Out of all the entries, I expect that this is the set that I will print! It even looks nice as regular chess pieces. (Larson also designed an awesome 3D printable recorder.)

As I mentioned, there’s still a bit of time left in the contest, so check out the full contest details and get making!

And remember: if you do design something with Tinkercad, it can be exported directly to your Personal Factory for 3D printing.


Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.

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2 Responses to “Tinkercad chess design contest”

  1. Shino Says:

    Thanks for the post, Ponoko! The competition is fierce and there are some really amazing designs!

  2. Tim Says:

    Check out the honeycomb themed set – that might be my favorite. The designer did a really great job of carrying his theme through the pieces – both in appearance and role. (The pawn as a larva? That’s just brilliant.)

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19860