National Chess Day 2018


National Chess Day was declared by President Ford on October 9th, 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration. Chess is a strategic game between two competitors played on a checkered board containing 64 squares. Each player makes moves with 16 pieces each. The objected of the game is to capture the opponent’s king through a series of strategic moves. When a king is captured, the game ends with checkmate. It's one of the oldest games, traceable back to at least 6 AD. It is the most widespread game – making it the largest community in the world.

3D Printing Chess Pieces

Designers have taken the endless potential of a 3D printer and ran with it to come up with a slew of fun versions of this classic game. We have characters and shapes for pieces, and a few fun board designs, as well. Thanks to 3D printing, all of the generic chess sets and types that you once recognized with chess you can now have them in different 3D printing filaments such as wood, acrylic and even metal chess pieces. You can even mix and match to create your perfect 3D printed chess set.


The classic Orthodox chess set for starters is the most familiar when it comes to chess and you can 3D print them thanks to Tim Edwards and get the files off Thingiverse here . This set is a tried and true design you can find on just about an classic boards. But for those that want a nice little twist of the classic Orthodox set you can always check out BigBadBison's link on Thingiverse and download the viral Spiral Chess Set that came out a few years back here.


Modeled after the the famous 1950 Dubrovnik design, these chess pieces are 3D printed with Bamboo 'woodfill filament. Which is infused with bamboo sawdust which gives it a very smooth, matte finish. The dark pieces were then stained with rosewood stain and then sealed with gloss varnish. Though the rosewood stain is not necessarily for everyone, any kind of stain you found in your local hardware store would work great for this project and who knows it might even work better if you were to try it out on other 3D printed chess piece sets as well.


With a ton of 3D printed materials to choose from the Ruiz Brothers used ColorFabb PLA-metal filaments to create their viral chess piece set with the help of Adafruit and create the a “Circuit Playground” theme set. Part of this process involves using a jewelry tumbling post-processing technique to smooth out the playing pieces after printing. This gives them that extra high-quality finish required for an item as ornate as a chess board.

With this Adafruit theme, you might noticed a few things if you keep up with Adafruit from time to time. Like Ladyada becomes the queen, Mosfet the cat is the king, Adabot is the knights, and the show’s LED characters become pawns. If you like what the Ruiz Brother and Adafruit did you can check out the full process step by step and see exactly how they 3D printed the metal chess pieces here on their Adafruit site and/or watch the video down below.

Wizard Chess

One of the most significant chess board variations out there today is the one from Harry Potter’s Wizard’s Chess. For those that haven't watched Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, Wizard’s Chess is the enchanted variant of the classic board game in which the pieces move of their own accord when commanded by the player. When a piece is taken, it is removed by the attacking piece, often in a barbaric manner where the losing piece is smashed violently by the winning piece.


Fortunately you can't have the wizard's chess set that enchanted and moves from the Harry Potter movies you can however have the 3D printed version of the set from the movies. Thanks to NINJABOB3211 for creating this chess set, though they aren't pristine replicas of the wizard chess set they still are a nice version to have for those that love 3D printing and chess. If you want to have this non-enchanted version of the Harry Potter wizard chess set you can always check out his Thingiverse page here and download the set for yourself and imagine what it's like playing with the enchanted version of the game for National Chess Day.