Metals II, Spring 2016, Instructor: Dean Robinson

Minimal Chess Set Design (2016)

A chess set designed to highlight the prominent features of each individual piece.


Timeline: 4 Weeks

Design and manufacture an object or series of objects primarily utilizing the metal lathe and/or Bridgeport.


As an avid chess player, I decided to design and create pieces for a chess set. I wanted my designs to be minimal, yet still evoke classic features of typical chess sets. I chose to use cold-rolled steel due to the durability and heftiness of the material.

I first created CAD models in SolidWorks, and used the orthographics to fabricate my pieces. I decided that my king, queen, and pawn designs would follow a similar design language. The bishop, knight, and rook designs each have a single characteristic feature that distinguishes them from the other pieces and renders the piece recognizable. The majority of fabrication was done on a metal lathe. All edges were cleaned with a file.