ALEX Duff and Michael O’Donnell are co-founders of 3D Glasgow

What’s the story behind your brand?

We met whilst studying product design engineering at University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art and started our own company after we graduated.

We felt as though Glasgow sometimes takes the back seat on the art and design scene after cities like London, so we launched our own company where we design and make products that celebrate our home city – Glasgow!

The National: Cutting-edge duo make mini pieces of history

What do you make?

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We make Glasgow-themed products, most notably the Clydeside Chess Set inspired by iconic landmarks throughout the city; including Duke of Wellington statue complete with its famous cone hat as the knight and Finnieston Crane as the rook.

We sell a variety of other products such as scaled-up models of these landmarks and gift boxes containing one of each piece from the chess set. We have even been selling Clydeside snow globes

over the festive period, with models from the chess set inside – these have been a big hit. We plan to expand in the future and have some exciting new products in the pipeline.

What techniques do you use?

We use an exciting new 3D printing technology which uses lasers to solidify a liquid, plant-based material layer by layer, building up 3D models which we have designed using 3D computer-aided design software that we learned to use whilst studying to become engineers.

The use of this new, innovative technology allows us to create highly-detailed, pocket-sized models of historical Glasgow landmarks such as the Finnieston Crane – contrasting new technology with old!

Where do you get your inspiration?

We both love design and technology, and love what we do every day. We are both from Glasgow and created the Clydeside Chess Set to celebrate the city of Glasgow, its people, history and culture.

What sets you apart from other makers?

We have a deep personal connection to the product that we make. We both met at University of Glasgow in 2015 and have been inseparable ever since – graduating together in 2020. The University of Glasgow tower is now the king in our chess set. Michael’s grandfather worked on the shipyards in Glasgow, so there is a link there to the Finnieston Crane. Each landmark has been carefully selected for each chess piece and has a personal connection to both of us!

What are your most popular products?

Without a doubt the Clydeside Chess Set is our most popular product, it’s been a huge hit with people in Glasgow and beyond. We also sell individual models from the set, and the Duke of Wellington model is by far people’s favourite! and @clydesideches