Yeah, I'll be messing with Blender on my new machine at some point in the near future.
I will need to know the capabilities of the printing machine, tolerances etc. (like how thin it can print a 'wall'/ surface, minimum detail size in mm, and all that good stuff - a spec sheet would be nice). I'll also need some specs for your plastic - how thin can it be cast, strength and so on (doesn't have to be scientific, merely - does it feel tough enough at a given thickness and hold its shape). In sort: can you cast, and it be strong enough, anything the 3D printed spits out?
For example a 25mm square plastic base is not solid - its walls are only about 1mm thick.
In designing these parts I would want to include some type of click together/ logo like system, so knowing minimum thickness will come in handy, and a design that sprang to mind would use quite thin walls in parts.
Printing at this scale is highly specialised, I know printing machines are coming on in leaps and bounds, and I hope your friend has one of the newer types!
Post by Troll Forged on May 23, 2012 16:15:57 GMT -5
We are using wax now which is waaayyyyy better that's all I know atm.
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I (assume) the wax is going to be better for miniatures, but for the floor tiles/ construction blocks I think you might be onto something. I might try a hard plastic prototype in order to see how all the pieces snap together.
As Ed's plastic it tough, and has some flex to it, (judging by his demo videos) I reckon I could design some 'Lego' like connectors. Or some type of (non-patent infringing connector) that would allow Players to quickly build game maps, and perhaps prepare common sections (like T-junctions, cross-roads, 4 square corridor sections, etc.) from the component parts (and take them apart again if needs be).
It might even be quite fun for young players to simply use them as building blocks!
Once the hard plastic prototypes work - I can send the stl files of to Ed to print up in the finer detail wax - knowing that the final casts will fit together properly.
Later, if it works, the range could be expanded. I quite like the idea of multiple levels - that would require some under tile elevating supports, along with stairs and lifts. Then custom 'diorama' room kits, that could be use for playing games or by modelers.
Hmm, very curious to see what you'll come up with. I guess that then you would also have to start thinking about the design of the hydroponic vertical farming and full recycling facilities.
I wonder what kind of aesthetic you'll be going for here. Would it be your generic scifi look or more 40k gothic style, or something completely different? I know the possibilities are endless, but I guess that this will also function as a means to promote SCIROR, and aesthetic is very important there.
I'm being annoying again!
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Something ribbed and 'heatsink' like. I bit like HR Giger but more mechanical and hard edged instead of his smooth and flowing bio-mechanical forms. Lots of panels and grills of punched out metals, with elongated holes following the flow of the corridor. Quite clean looking, kinda like a modern day data centre, but dark colours, more industrial and 'military' looking.
I want to include the racks, but I also want to include a 'rail tile' for double width corridors - so you can build a rail system (one rail tile and one regular tile side by side. It's tempting to make the rail width OO scale
This is a test piece (not final design, just something I knocked together in Blender). I wanted to get an idea of what the Shapeways ultra fine material can do. Upon closer inspection I noticed that it's not that sharp, and the underside has ripples which suggest I should make the roof of the base a little thicker!
The raw translucent material is a little hard to photograph, to I primed it in enamel paint, and another with a dry brushing of grey to bring out the brick-grid patten (patten taken from radiator grills found in water cooling for PCs - yeah I've been thinking about going down the water cooling route!)
In this shot I angled the light to catch the detail in the translucent material.
This is a scale shot with an old GW Orc from yesteryear.
The base looks a little bigger than the usual 25mm square base, by about a .5 mm or less. The usual 25mm square bases have slopped sides so the top area is smaller. This grid base has squared off sides.
The bottom of the base is hollow. The plan is plug these onto a sub-flooring like a Lego brick. Along with side walls etc. so you can build your own layout.
As I said at the top of this post; this is not a final design, the gaps are a bit large (each hole is about 6cm across the narrow bit in 'reality', assuming 30mm = around 1.8m) though it may not matter if going with 'hero scale'. I may use a modified version of this design for the walls sections...
I have another design, that has quiet a fine grill, but I'm not sure if Shapeways will be able to print it out.
Yes is does! The fly over the ravine, with the sides of the ravine being building, and the tops natural land, is pretty much the look of an Ecorium if an earthquake tore it apart and cracked down the middle.
I imagine those prototype floor plans could be made into something similar. Small scale manufacturing would present a few issues. Perhaps they could be printed directly onto card and laminated, they would look amazing and be quite robust. TFM could offer them as a free download for free, or pre-made and brought from a store.
It would depend on whether Ed's printer can handle thick card (some that can do CD and DVD label printing could probably do it. Though thinking about it, the ink might be too expensive to do it like this, and remain competitive).