Get Inspired! Chess Board

Thinking in Three Dimensions

When working with laserable engravable sheet materials, we tend to think in two dimensions. After all, that’s been its primary use for years. It’s ideal for signage, awards, identification, industrial tags…you name it, if it’s in two dimensions, you could make it out of engraving stock.

However, with a little creativity you can take that two dimensional piece of material and turn it in to a three dimensional work of art that will get your customers talking.

Johnson Plastics Plus Get Inspired Custom Chess 3

Chess board made with a laser and Rowmark wood sheet materials

From Flat to Fabulous

First, you’ll have to decide on what you want to create. An easy place to start is with a project like the one we’re highlighting in this blog: a chess and checkers board and game pieces. This is a great project to start with, particularly if it’s your first attempt at a 3D design. You can make the actual chess pieces as simplistic or ornate as you want. Since the pieces for each side have to be contrasting colors, you might be able to use scrap material you already have on hand.

The board itself can also be made from any material that produces a contrasting image when engraved. You can use a traditional engraving sheet, a cast acrylic sheet that becomes frosted when lasered, or an engravable wood sheet like we’ve used in this sample. If you want to “take it up a notch”, you can map out a board that requires inlayed contrasting squares.

Doing a simple Google search for a chess board will give you plenty of design inspiration for making your personalized chess and checkers board.

Johnson Plastics Plus Get Inspired Custom Checkers 2

Game board with laser engraved checkers pieces

How It Was Made

For the example we have pictured above, we used materials from Rowmark’s ColorShop Woods and Rowmark's Hardwood Collection. The wooden board and pieces gave the project a rustic look that contrasted nicely with the simplified silhouettes of the pieces.

Here is the list of materials used for this project:


There are fabrication files available on the internet that can help you create even more 3D objects with flat materials like animals and cars. Adding personalization, such as initials or a company logo on the board can also make it stand out. Regardless of what you do, making a piece such as this and setting out on the counter of your business is sure to get customers talking, and that might lead to other ideas or additional sales.

Click below to get a FREE copy of the fabrication files for this project:

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