Noted: Scott Kildall & Bryan Cera’s Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set

Over the last few months I’ve become more than a little bit interested in “Maker Culture”. As an artist it’s painfully obvious that at heart I am a maker, but in this case I’m referring to the subculture that is interested in DIY home technologies. In a sense, the interest where computers meet the home workshop.

One of my issues (and it is MY issue) with “Maker Culture” is the overwhelming interest in replication of movie props, science fiction and small production product building. Don’t get me wrong I like movies and science fiction, I just keep looking for people to push this idea more towards art than replication or commercialization. As I said, this is more my issue than anything else.

I’ve learned quite a bit that has opened my world up by watching videos and seeing images of things being built. One of my favorite things is the amazing amount of sharing that has come from the Maker community. The community is big into sharing tips and tricks without the feeling that you are stealing an idea. I believe that technique is nothing – but how you use the technique is what matters and I’m thrilled to see this attitude shared in the Maker community.

With that brief introduction I’m happy to introduce you to Scott Kildall & Bryan Cera’s Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set.

Kidall and Cera have recreated (one of) Marcel Duchamp’s hand carved chess sets as a model for 3D printing

They call this process a Readymake — a play on Duchamp’s Readymade — one that recreates objects that exist only in documentation and transforms them into 3D-printable forms that anyone with access to a 3D printer can print. I just thing the whole idea is interesting and frankly kinda cool.

There is a second side to this as well. Since 3D printing is still a young technology – the idea that these are perfect copies – perfect copy after perfect copy, is just not the way that 3D printing currently works. The pieces will all have small imperfections and oddities that the 3D printer will give them. This will make your set unique – but not uniquely so. I love this idea.

A Few Reference Links
Scott Kildall’s webpage for Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set
Thingverse webpage for Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set (for downloading the files)
Bryan Cera’s webpage use the “selected projects tab” for Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set (with great images of sets others have made)

Bonus Play
If you could make your own – Here’s what my workflow would be.

  1. Find (or go to a service center like MakerBot at 298 Mulberry Street NYC) and have a 3d printer to print out the pieces of the set (follow this link for the files) you only need to print out one of each file (six pieces in total)
  2. Take your new pieces home and cast them in resin with a silicon dump mold
  3. Decorate as you wish