Lecturer creates 3D Anzac chess set
Whitireia design lecturer Alice Moore is hoping to finally complete the chess set carved by her great-grandfather during World War I by using 3D printing technology to recreate the piece he lost after he was wounded in battle.
Anzac soldier Harry Bourke carved the set while in the trenches of Passchendaele in 1917.
The German attacks came mostly during the night, so the soldiers often faced long days looking for something to keep them occupied.
‘‘It turned out that we could all play chess,’’ Bourke wrote later. ‘‘There was no hope of getting a chess set, so I had a go at carving one, with the help of a sharp pocket knife, and some willow wood growing nearby.
‘‘We made a board out of a square of oil sheet and a bottle of ink, and we used to play in our spare time.’’
Bourke and the chess set were separated when he was seriously wounded. However, they were reunited long after the war was over.
His kit-bag was full of shrapnel holes and soaked in his own blood, but the chess set he kept inside the bag was intact, with the exception of one missing pawn.
The set has been handed down through Bourke’s family, and now belongs to Moore’s generation.
‘As children, we played with a fill-in piece from another set,’ Moore said. ‘‘Recently I looked at the set and realised I could use my creative skills to make it whole once more.’’
In 2012, she used 3D modelling programmes Maya and ZBrush to digitally recreate the basic shape and texture of the chess piece, before using a 3D printer at Victoria University to print it off.
Last year, she returned to the piece with a desire to create a more accurate model, and recreated it using 3D scanners and a full colour 3D printer.
Moore said the results had not been 100 per cent accurate and that she was working on refining the piece before presenting the project at next year’s The Myriad Faces of War: 1917 and its legacy symposium in Wellington.
A chess piece is digitally scanned at Whitireia Polytech.