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This chess set is inspired by the famous 1950 Dubrovnik set, but has been optimized and improved so you can 3D print it yourself.
This chess set is inspired by the famous 1950 Dubrovnik set, but has been optimized and improved so you can 3D print it yourself.
74 backers pledged AU$ 1,222 to help bring this project to life.


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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

The Dubrovnik chess set

In 1950 the 9th Chess Olympiad was held in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia and a modern, original chess set was designed for the tournament. Only 50 sets were made and they are now so rare that it is impossible to buy an original one. Read more about the history of the Dubrovnik set here.

Redesigned for 3D Printing

This new set is inspired by the original Dubrovnik design, but updated and improved for 3D printing. Overhangs on the collars have been replaced with elegant curves that allow the pieces to be printed without supports. Only the knight requires some small supports under the mouth. The bases are hollow to decrease print-time and also to allow weights to be added. 

Tournament size

When printed at 100% your pieces are ideal for tournament size chess boards with squares of 5cm or larger but the set can easily be re-scaled to fit any chess board. 

A distinctive feature of the Dubrovnik design is the opposite colored finials on the bishops. In an attempt to modernize the appearance of the chess pieces, religious symbols were removed - the king has a sphere on his crown instead of a cross, and the bishops do not have the traditional split mitre hats. The colored finials make the bishops easier to distinguish. The bishops in this set are provided in two versions - one complete bishop allowing you to paint or stain the color by hand, and a version where the finials can be printed separately in a different material and glued in place.

Test it on your printer now!

Backers will also receive a detailed printing and assembly guide PDF with tips on print settings, optimizing supports for the knight, post-printing treatment such as staining woodfil pieces and weighting and felting the bases. The first few pages of the assembly guide containing the print settings are available here for free so you can try printing the king and pawn right away. Download the king and pawn STL files here.

Custom Rooks

Want a personalized set but don't know any CAD software? Purchase the custom rooks tier and you can request any character from a true-type font embossed in your rooks. You can even select characters from the Symbol or Wingdings fonts (shown below is the Leo astrological sign from Wingdings). A customized chess set makes a great gift.

No printer?

Backers receive DRM-free STL files that will work on any 3D printer. You can send the files to a friend with a 3D printer to make them for you, or upload them to any online 3D-printing service and have them printed in the material of your choice.

First stretch goal - $500

For those of you who like the classic bishop design with the split mitre hat, I've added a stretch goat with this piece. All backers will receive the new bishop model if this goal is reached.

Second stretch goal - $700

Stretch goal 2 features more design variations requested by members of the forums.

Dubrovnik I style bishop. The original bishop design in included in this set is similar to the 1970 Dubrovnik II bishop with the flatter top to the hat. This stretch goal redesign is based on the 1950 Dubrovnik I bishop with the elliptical hat. The model is provided in one piece for painting the opposite colored finial, or in two pieces for printing in two materials.

The Zagreb set is a newer design with many similarities to the Dubrovnik set, but it features opposite colored finials on the queen and king as well as the bishop. The king also has a more traditional cross-shaped finial. The king's cross is designed to be printed lying flat and then glued into place in a slot in the head.


Risks and challenges

You can download the pawn and king (see the link above) and try them out on your printer before backing. This way there is no risk - you can be sure the set will print nicely on your 3D printer before paying. And you can have more than half of your first set printed (all 16 pawns and 2 kings) before the campaign ends!

Kickstarter gives backers the option of buying the standard set, or upgrading to the customized version. Backers will receive a download link as soon as the campaign ends, and customized versions will be delivered a few days after that.

All the files have been thoroughly tested, I've printed 2 complete sets and many test pieces with no errors or failed prints in both woodfil and standard PLA and the printing and assembly guide PDF contains detailed instructions on how to maximize the quality of your printed pieces.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 15 or more About $11

    STL files and instructions

    STL files for the entire chess set, ready to 3D print.

    Full color 15-page PDF printing and assembly guide.

    Estimated delivery
    61 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About $18

    Customized rook

    In addition to the standard reward of the STL files and printing and assembly guide PDF, this tier includes the option to customize your rook with an initial or symbol. You can choose any letter or character from a true-type font and it will be embossed into the top of the rook allowing you to print a personalized chess set. (The non-embossed rook is also included in this reward)

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 12 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)