Ravitz Chess

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Notes | Stacking Chess Pieces

Weighted | Large | Small | Storage Tube


This page is for distribution of my chess pieces via 3D print file (STL). The files are free for printing for personal use.

contact - caryravitz_at_gmail.com (replace _at_ with @)

Last modified 6:33 PM, 14 Jul 2023 - File size 12K - Count 3240


Stacking / Nesting Chess Pieces

These chess pieces were designed by Cary Ravitz, 2021, 2022. The pieces stack in any order. Stacking on top of the king or queen takes extra space.

I am currently publishing only STL 3D print files (generated by OpenSCAD from a SCAD file). These are designed for resin printers (LCD, SLA). No supports are needed - horizontal overhangs max .5mm, angled overhangs minimum of 45 degrees, no bridges. You can download pieces with or without rafts. I suggest the using my rafts.

The files will print on FDM printers (thermoplastic filament printers), but my experience is that the poor precision of these printers defeats the stacking, although some carving may make it possible.

Since I took these photos, I have revised the pieces a bit. The generated images (from Cura) are current.

stacking chess pieces stacking chess pieces stacking chess pieces


Weighted Pieces (3.75 inch king)

stacking chess pieces

weighted, with raft, zip file
weighted, zip file

weighted, with raft, cap
weighted, with raft, pawn
weighted, with raft, knight
weighted, with raft, bishop
weighted, with raft, rook
weighted, with raft, queen
weighted, with raft, king
weighted, with raft, king's cross

weighted, cap
weighted, pawn
weighted, knight
weighted, bishop
weighted, rook
weighted, queen
weighted, king
weighted, king's cross

The Pieces

These new pieces are taller, 3+3/4 inch king, weighted with .5 to .75 ounce weights, and have slightly revised styling.

The king's cross is a separate piece that screws in. This takes about 15% off the height which is a significant amount of printing time. The model has six crosses, each with a different screw angle (5 degree steps). Choose the one that gives the best alignment.

You need to print a cap for each piece. This screws into the base to contain the weights. It can be hard to unscrew once it is tightened, so don't tighten it until the weights are in place.

The model is oversize by .9% to account for cure shrinkage.

The four point star cutouts and holes at the bottom of the weight cavities are there to drain uncured resin and allow alchohol to flow through the interior.

I use Uniformation plant based white and black, and Siraya Tenacious clear. White pieces - 75% white, 5% black, 20% clear. Black pieces - 5% white, 75% black, 20% clear. I think that the resulting light gray and dark gray shows the pieces better than black and white.

The Weights

You have to print a cap for each piece, fill the cavities, and screw on the cap.

The weights are implemented with weight cavities in a band around the base. You will have to fill the cavities. They take 30 steel dowel pins 3mm x 12mm (look for M3 dowel pin on ebay), which is .7 ounce per piece. You need 960 to completely fill a 32 piece set. Compare prices carefully on the dowel pins. I have found them as low as $50 for 1000 on ebay.

Or they can take #6 spherical shot. Ballistic Products has SpheroTungsten Original-15, .73 ounce per piece, $85 for 2 pounds. And SpheroTungsten Super Max-18, .87 ounce, $107 for 2 pounds.

I have used Lawrence #6 copper plated lead shot, .55 ounce per piece, $60 for 10 pounds on Amazon. I won't use unplated lead because I don't want to handle it.

You could also cut your own 3mm x 12mm rods of brass or steel. BUT that's 960 pieces. Even 10 at a time in a chop saw would be 96 cuts. And you need burr free pieces, which I could not get from brass (I haven't tried steel).

The Rafts

My rafts were developed to be easy to remove by hand (with glove). This reduces the uncured resin that gets into the wash.

I use a flex plate. The rafts come off easily by hand when the plate is flexed. I remove the rafts, use a prewash bucket of alcohol, and wipe the excess resin by hand. Then on to the automatic alcohol wash.

For the cross, leave the raft on until curing so that it doesn't fall through the washing basket.

full size full size


Large Pieces (3.5 or 3.75 inch king)

full size

The new style large pieces have a 3.75 inch king and match the weighted pieces except for the base. The king's cross is printed separately as six crosses - choose the one that aligns best.

large, with raft, zip file
large, zip file

new style, large, with raft, zip file
new style, large, zip file

full size full size


Small Pieces (2.5 inch king)

stacking chess pieces

small, with raft, zip file
small, zip file

small, new style, with raft, zip file
small, new style, zip file


Storage Tube


small, endcap
small, center

small, with raft/supports, endcap
small, with raft, center

large, endcap
large, center

large, with raft/supports, endcap
large, with raft, center

weighted, endcap
weighted, center

weighted, with raft/supports, endcap
weighted, with raft, center

The large and weighted tube holders described here hold a 16 piece set of pieces. They have flats so that they won't roll of a table and flats on the end caps so that it can stand upright (but it is easily knocked over).

The small tube holder holds two 16 piece sets.

The caps need supports to print properly.

To make a tube holder -

For the small pieces, get a PVC tube (or polycarbonate), 25mm outer diameter, 23mm inner diameter, 1.3ft long. Search Amazon for "23mm 25mm 1.3ft PVC tube".

For the original large pieces, get a polycarbonate (or PVC) tube, 32mm outer diameter, 30mm inner diameter, 305mm (12 inch) long. Search Amazon or Ebay for "30mm 32mm 305mm polycarbonate tube".

For the weighted pieces or the new style large pieces, get a polycarbonate (or PVC) tube, 1.75 inch outer diameter, 1.5 inch inner diameter, 14 inches long (you will probably have to cut this from a longer piece). (13 inches is long enough if you are careful to stack king-bishop-pawn, which minimizes the height.

Print two caps and two center pieces.
Put the center pieces on the tube to make sure that they fit, then remove them.
For both ends, spread a small amount of silicone glue around the end of the tube, put a center piece on.
Lay it on a table and rotate the center pieces so that the flats align.
Make sure that the pieces are fully seated on the tube.
Wipe any excess glue.
Let it dry and make sure that the center pieces are well attached to the tube.

For polycarbonate tube, superglue will also work, but silicone glue helps center the pieces when they are slightly oversize.

When storing the chess pieces, stack them with a bishop on top of the king and a pawn on top of that bishop - this minimizes the total stack height.