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3. Computer Aided design

This week I worked on modeling and animating my final project.

In fact, I cheat a little since I’m using a set of chess pieces that I designed around 3 years ago. But it would be impossible to redo this work in less than a week, I went a little too far with the details. I can’t really say how much time it takes me because the designs changed several times and I did it as a hobby, it was at least spread over a year. Yet, I’m pretty glad to finally make something out of it.

I’m already used to CAD, I began 15 years ago in high school and never stopped. I tried many softwares such as Inventor, Solidworks, Catia and Freecad for technical jobs. I played around with Wings3D (the necklaces), and Blender for artistic projects. And I even tested Openscad.

But nowadays, I’m a certified user of Fusion 360 and do practically all my work with it, everything you’ll see on my website will probably be made with it.


The first thing I did after modeling the board was to try several appearances. My purpose was to find the best combination between the different parts. As you can see below, the board is made of wood, I chose the alliance of mahogany with oak. Of course, these are default appearances in Fusion’s library, I’ll look for a cabinetmaker to ask for advice and it’s possible I’ll change my mind. For the pieces, I chose a metallic aspect to make some contrast. I also want to try cold metal casting. The white side is made with aluminium and black is copper.


Then I animated my model to show its behavior and understand it. I wanted it to be as close as possible to reality, to find probable problems and reflect on improvements. So I didn’t invent the game, but rather copy one of my latest.

As you can see, sometimes it’s pretty difficult to find a way out for the taken piece. And of course, the knight is a real pain. For now I’m still hesitant, but tempted to increase the size of the board. My main concern is I already find it big enough 526x446mm.

3D Models

Below I’m sharing the 3D files of my original pieces, if you want to see every detail or simply want to print them. But the design will probably evolve to be compatible with casting (mostly the staircase in the rook).

How I made it

Last update: March 2, 2021