What you see here are three chess games that I designed: The pieces of each team are put together in such a way that they form a solid block. These two blocks then fit exactly into a box into which you can fold the chess board.
The most recent design, the one of the left two games, uses a combination of hinges and magnets, keeping everything stable and in place so that you can take the game around as an average sized travel chess (the folded box is 7x7x13cm), however with the pieces and board being much larger than the average (the board is 24x24cm, the pieces range between 2.5cm and 6cm in height).
Here some close-ups of the pieces and the fold-up process: (photo credit goes to Felix Sewing)
This is still work in progress and an improved version (without hinges and less gluing of magnets) is on its way. I am planning on making the 3D-files available for free once I have a final version and to also team up with a wood workshop to produce and sell a really nice wooden version. If you’re interested in getting either one of them, just drop me a message! Of course, if you have other suggestions or comments on the design, I’d be glad to hear about them as well!
In fact, the leftmost chess game is already a wooden version (which I built before the 3D-version), although that’s really just a prototype…still, looking good I think:
Actually, there is a third game, the first of the three, that I built back when I lived in Turkey: Towards the end of my year in Turkey, I wanted to make use of the wood workshop of the foundation that I lived in and so came up with the idea of building a foldable chess game. I was mainly driven by the idea that, by designing the pieces in such a way that they would exactly fit into another and form a solid block. The challenge was then to design the board and pieces in such a way that the resulting shapes could still be recognised as the corresponding pieces. The result of this effort was this little chess game here.
Even though it’s a cute little thing (built from a Euro-plaquette!), I was never quite happy with it because it didn’t fulfil the challenge I had set myself: Neither did the pieces actually form a solid block, also the pieces themselves had to be put together from smaller bits. Moreover, the folded box didn’t actually keep the pieces from falling out on the side…this bugged me, hence I recently (on some very hungover weekend) decided (apart from never drinking alcohol again) to put some more effort into this problem, leading to the current design.