Black-and-White Chess Queen


I finally broke down and got myself a 3d printer, and immediately my internet feeds are full of crap that people have done. Funny how that happens! I keep seeing this multi-threaded screw, in the form of a cone, where the centre piece moves freely up and down. I had to have a go!

The outer shape can be any vaguely cylindrical shape, so I went with the Chess Queen, which also fits nicely with the two-colour scheme.

Here is my grasshopper definition, with the curve for the chess piece internalized. (23.7 KB)

For extrusion 3d printing, there is a limit to the extent of overhangs, so the curve used for the outer profile has to keep this in mind.

The core is just a seven-fold star, then extruded and twisted through 360 degrees. The main problem I had was getting the core offset, to serve as the part to be subtracted from the outer shell, leaving a little slop for ease of turning. Mesh Offset failed miserably, leaving a non-watertight set of faces, but the new ShrinkWrap component includes an Offset option, which worked nicely. The gods smiled on my final Mesh Intersection/Difference booleans, which usually fail for me, although they take 40 seconds on my Mac.




Nice job!

I’ve seen this kind of thing popping up online the past couple weeks, a chess piece is a nice idea for a base shape. I’ve wanted to give it a go, so thank you for sharing your file!

I tried your definition, compute time on my pc was 1min 43sec.

Using a different workflow I got it down to 4.5sec.

  • Filleting the seven-fold star shape instead of rebuilding kept the curve simpler
  • Orienting the seven-fold star on to perp frames with a little rotation applied to each can then be used in a loft. This results in a simpler shape to work with than the twist component makes
  • Offsetting the seven-fold star curve by 0.3mm will create the gap between the parts, the offset shape can be oriented on each perp frame and lofted also
  • I booleaned using the breps instead of meshes. It was the mesh booleans which really slowed things down for me.

I have found revolved surfaces can sometimes behave better when they can be capped. In this case I removed the bottom line on the chess piece curve and capped it after. Booleans fail if this is not done.

Mike (18.2 KB)

Vastly superior! Thanks for playing with this and for all the improvements. I stopped when it was “good enough” for my purposes, and this is clearly better. I’m still learning this stuff.

For the actual printing, I used standard settings for PLA, except that I went for three layers of plastic for the outer surfaces, and a slightly denser infill (20%), to add a little strength, which is especially needed by the outer shell part, which extends unsupported to the crown. I also used a closer layer spacing for the top of the crown, where the surface is curved, but close to horizontal, in order to minimize the ‘steps’ effect. Once I got the outer profile right, minimizing overhangs, the prints came out nicely, and the fit is good. The core falls out under its own weight.

Printing three outer shells at once takes me about seven hours, and three cores is five hours.

I like it so much I also tried printing a couple. I used matte pla, .3mm layers and 3 perimeters for the first try. 1 piece took 4.5 hrs and I printed them together as seen in the photo. I think a full set would be fun to do!

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That was brave, printing them both together at the same time! I hope that they came apart correctly.