Our pirate theme was inspired by a desire to make chess more appealing to children. The pieces are more recognizable to those are not familiar with the classic pieces (bishop, rook, etc.). Each pieces represents an object on a pirate ship, with the treasure chest (i.e. the king) representing the objective.
All of the pieces were designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, and printed using Malyan. One of the primary challenges we ran into was choosing how to print the pieces. Some of the pieces were printed in separate components which were later glued together, but others would have benefitted from such a treatment but were instead printed whole, resulting in some flaws.
We are glad that we managed to accomplish a high level of design complexity in a short amount of time. Our team was relatively inexperienced with 3D design but we were still able to learn a great deal very quickly.