From Quarantine to The Queen’s Gambit: It’s Game on for 3D Designers Channeling Chess

Are you tired of
staring at the same old lineup of rooks, knights, and bishops? As Beth Harmon (the
pivotal character in The Queen’s Gambit) has sparked off a massive run
on retailers for chess sets, 3D designers are showing some sophisticated new
moves—and ideas—of their own. After all, supply and demand obstacles at the
mall or online stores are of little concern when trending aspirations can be translated
directly into 3D print.

The recent
limited-episode series by Netflix has rendered millions glued to the tube,
armed with the remote controls, bowls of kettle corn, and visions of chess
trophies dancing in their heads. Ironically though (and wonderfully so), as TV
viewers begin to perceive chess in a romantic light, they are emerging from
behind their phones, computers, and plethora of screens to enjoy a real-life,
interactive activity—demonstrating a positive draw for friends and families in
the middle of a global pandemic.

“It’s your game—take it.”

Vasily Borgov, The Queen’s Gambit, Limited Series: End Game

Jason Martineau, a Shapeways customer, reflects both his love of the game and a passion for geometry in the 3D designs he has created for chess players.  

“Inspired by my long-time interest in chess, geometry, and a background in 3D modeling, I wanted to remove the personifications typically found in chess sets (King, Queen, etc.) and reimagine the pieces as purely geometric forms, which align with the movements they can make in the game.” explained Martineau.  “While chess is certainly a game of strategy, underneath it is clearly also a game of geometry.”

The ability to
customize now means much more than just producing parts in a favorite color or
size. Like the remarkable Elizabeth Harmon, 3D designers can motivate others
too as they see the chessboard in a whole new light. Creative efforts can be
combined with a love of the game to design innovative new pieces for players of
all ages and levels, drawing on a variety of 3D printing solutions centered
around a multitude of materials, versatile technology, and choices in finishing.
With the ability to manipulate 3D modeling software and rework shapes, a
designer can take on a game as old as chess—and emerge as the winner with
complex and artful personalization.

Explore the world of 3D printing services offered at Shapeways for manufacturing your own chess pieces, enjoying a range of options regarding shape, weight, flexibility, transparency, and nearly any feature desired. Without having to invest in 3D printing software or hardware, designers of today benefit from the years of expertise offered by Shapeways, combined with strategic investment in proprietary and advanced technology.

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