The goal of this project was to design a complete chess set in metal and manufacture the pieces using primarily a CNC Lathe. The design was completed but manufacturing was unfortunately cut short by the pandemic, with plans to finish building once facilities reopen.
The aesthetics of the set were inspired by contemporary industrial design, following principles of functional minimalism to convey the identity of the pieces with as few features as possible. With design and manufacturing processes simplified, more emphasis could be placed on stability and ergonomics.
Traditional wooden chess pieces have wide bases to provide stability, especially as the game is being played. The higher density of metal provided room to experiment with different base designs to create a slimmer playing piece without forgoing function.
The curvature of the pieces was guided by human factors and created using mathematical conic operations. The pieces were prototyped through 3D printing to ensure comfort and ease of use.
The pieces would be made of aluminum with a brass base. The sides would be differentiated by color, which would be accomplished by anodizing the aluminum pieces.The design of the board followed suit with minimalism. The base is concrete with tiles made of marble. The grayscale color scheme suits the brass inserts well, adding a contrasting color to the overall design.