Modeling and 3D Printing a Chess Pawn in Fusion 360

We are going to model the chess pawn shown below.

This image will be inserted into Fusion 360 via an attached canvas. Then we create a half-profile of the pawn using Fusion’s SKETCH drawing tools (Line, 3-Point Arc) with the image as a guide. The half-profile was revolved around a center line to create a 3D pawn. To begin a 2-D image of a pawn is needed. You can get one by doing a screen capture on the image above or downloading one from the web.

Setting-Up the Attached Canvas

In Fusion 360’s icon bar, click on INSERT and select Attached Canvas. Select a vertical face (shown in blue). In the ATTACHED CANVAS dialog below, click on the Select Image icon and choose your image of a pawn. Set the Canvas opacity to 60 so that you can see through it. You can use the arrow images shown below to position the pawn where you want it. Press OK.

Calibrate the Image Size

We want to set the height of the pawn to 30 mm. In the BROWSER, right click on pawn and Choose Calibrate.

Click on the top center of the pawn and then the bottom center. As shown below, set the height value to 30 and press return.

Sketching One-Half of the Pawn’s Outline

In the Icon Bar, click the Create Sketch icon to begin a sketch. Select the pawn (not one of the planes). We draw a vertical line down the center of the pawn. Press the L key to start the Line command. Draw the center vertical line as shown below.

Use the 3-Point Arc and Line tools to do a one-half outline of the pawn. These tools are found by clicking on the SKETCH dropdown in the icon bar. You can put these tools in the icon bar by clicking on the small icon on the right after selecting a tool. The completed outline is shown below. Your outline can be different from the one shown.

Click the Stop Sketch icon in the icon bar to end your 2-D drawing.

Revolve the One-Half Outline of the Pawn

From the CREATE dropdown, choose Revolve. As shown below, select the Profile, Axis, and set the Angle to 360 degrees. Press OK.

The Attached Canvas can be toggled on/off by clicking on the light bulb to the left of the Canvases object in the BROWSER.


Sharp edges on the 3-D pawn can be made smooth with the Fillet tool. Press the F key to start using it.

You can select various edges with different radii to get the appearance you like. Here is what my final design looks like.

Creating an .stl File for 3D Printing

In the BROWSER, right-click on Body1 and select Save as STL.

The following dialog appears.

Select the pawn and click OK. A dialog appears to save your stl file.


I thank Autodesk for providing Fusion 360 free to hobbyists.

TinyML, AI, Edge Impulse, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Pickleball