Nov 12, 2015 | By Kira

In a truly impressive, months-long display of skill, dedication, and Star Wars fandom, Washington-based web developer and maker Ian Martin has created a full-size, functional Dejarik ‘holochess’ table, based on a game featured in Star Wars: Episoze IV - The New Hope. The holochess set includes a 3D printed table with working electronics (54 buttons, 26 lights and 10 knobs), eight handcrafted monsters, and even an illustrated Rule Book and Table Manual, which will soon be available to download online. A true labor of love, the holochess set took Martin over nine months to create, including 3D printing dozens of prototypes, and he is now working on developing an actual augmented reality app that will allow the monsters to move and fight just like in the movie.

The actual movie clip that inspired all of this is less than a minute long. In 1997’s Star Wars: Episode IV, Chewbacca and R2-D2 are shown playing a board game (formally known as Dejarik) in which their holographic alien monsters duke it out, body-slamming each other to the ground. Though the movie reveals nothing else about Dejarik, various fans posted ideas for rules online, which Martin, with the help of his wife and brother, took as inspiration to develop into a full-blown, playable game.

Original clip from Star Wars: Episode IV showing the Dejarik game

He began by hand-sculpting, casting and painting 1:1 scale replicas of the eight original holochess monsters, including Kintan Strider, Grimtaash, M’onnok and Ghhhk. Each set of eight monsters includes 42 molds, which produce 75 separate pieces.

Motivated by the results, he then set about creating a working table to play them on. The holochess board is comprised of eight separate 3D prints (plus various knobs and keys), each taking about 10-16 hours to print on his Rostock Max Desktop 3D Printer. The working electronics include knobs, buttons that emit either lights or sound effects, and two LCD display screens. During gameplay, the buttons reveal each monster’s attack and defense stats. The board can also detect when only two monsters are left, automatically sending it into “sudden death mode.”

Everything is put together in Martin’s ‘dream maker garage’, which is outfitted with a 3D printing station, soldering station, rotocaster, and soon even a laser cutter.  Still, the 28 year old describes himself as “just a dude in my garage.” “I have a few volunteers (two that I met here on this page),” he wrote on Dejarik Creations’ Facebook page, the company’s stand-in until their official website is launched. “In our spare time we are working with technology that is available for free to try and make something really cool for fans. The current plan is to release printable rules and game pieces, and a companion Augmented Reality app that our fellow fans can download and use for free.”

Already, his brother Scott has written and illustrated a Dejarik Rule Book and Table Manual, and they are working on a custom set of 3D printed dice that can be used to play the game if the actual table is not available. Making sure that absolutely no detail was overlooked, Scott also created a custom font that matched the keys as shown in the movie. 

Martin has also created small electronic chips that can be used for gameplay on the board if the monsters are too cumbersome. Most excitingly, Martin is working with AR developer Adrien Trouillaud and artist Paolo Eraña to create an augmented reality version of the game, which will allow the chips to display animated ‘holograms’ of the monsters through smartphones, tablets or AR glasses. So far, two of the monsters have been 3D scanned and transformed into 3D computer-generated images.

Martin was able to show off his creation and get feedback from fans at the Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire in Wasthington State earlier this month. Though he is not currently able to sell any Star Wars related products without a license, Martin and his team are avidly working on extending the Holochess board so that more and more people can learn the rules and enjoy the game. “I currently have no investors, no Kickstarter. I am not a business, and I am currently unable to offer Star Wars related products for sale without a license to do so. That being said, I am open to any ideas and suggestions as to how our small group can make these cool things available to everyone.”

The playable Holochess Dejarik board is certainly one of the most creative and well-executed 3D printed Star Wars props we’ve ever seen, and we’re sure Martin and his team will continue to get a lot of well-deserved attention for their work, especially in the lead up to the much-anticipated theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in less than one month. You can also check out our roundup of 3D printable Star Wars props for some other great ideas.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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DDÜ wrote at 2/15/2017 12:21:54 AM:

Wow! Rück mal ein Stück, das ist ja großartig!

AKW Ted Beauvarlet wrote at 1/30/2017 6:22:24 PM:

Wow ! This is F A N T A S T I C ! ! ! Really nice Job ! :) Sharing on SW - FB Groups ;)

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