Immortal Chess Set

with the latest technology

Unique chess pieces made by Włodzimierz Seweryn will soon gain immortality. The first step towards this goal was done in Tychy, where a company called Oberon 3D scanned the entire set of limestone figures in a process known as reverse engineering. Now, if the original chess pieces are sold, it will be possible to faithfully recreate them from wood and then exhibit the replica at the Ogrodzieniec Castle.

Laser scanning is a technique used primarily in the industry sector to inspect the quality of certain products - to see if they correspond to their digital design and if their dimensions fit within a tolerable margin of error. The technique can also be used to create a virtual model of an object, which can be helpful when reproducing it in any material. "This kind of procedure is used when we want to recreate an object for which there is no longer any technical documentation" - explains Marcin Wielkiewicz, a metrology engineer at Oberon 3D. "Recently we used the laser to scan the body of a damaged oil pump. It was no longer suitable for renovation and we had to recreate it, but there was no documentation for it. Our task was to create a 3D model, so that we could then make a cast of the pipe. We also scanned the clutch housing for a quad competing in the Dakar Rally, so that it could be reconstructed it in such a way that you could quickly access the clutch during the rally without disassembling the entire engine" - says the engineer, pointing out examples for the use of this technology.

The process of scanning each figure took from 10 to 15 minutes. It was a time of a peculiar play of lights, reminiscent of an incredible thunderstorm merging with an Aurora borealis. During the scanning process, a special head mounted on a measuring arm emits laser beams (each of which has its own coordinate assigned), which, reflecting off the surface of the object, are sent back to the camera. The camera then calculates the position of the scanned point in space.

"This creates a dense cloud of points, which we then turn into a digital surface" - explains Marcin Wielkiewicz. Depending on the size of the scanned item and the set resolution, the number of laser points emitted by the head can number from just a few to several million. If it just so happens that some elements of the item „hid" from the laser, then the digital image can always be corrected during computer processing. "We mostly scan items made of plastic or metal, often covered with dirt or oil, so these chess pieces are a nice change. They are also simply delightful. I appreciate the work put into making these figures" - commented Marcin Wielkiewicz on Seweryn's work.