15 October

Arwen Buckle Update #2

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Had to finagle the design some – my ‘leaves’ were too thin to properly 3D print, so I selected out the leaves and thickened them. I added more posts, and made them all the same height to help with printing.  I pulled out the back of the design a bit too, since the buckle frame was curved inside itself a little, cupping inward from the back. I brought it out to strengthen the frame.

We’ll see if it works this time.

 

belt buckle2

25 August

Midna Pendant done!

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And 3D print ready.

Midna_pendant_2Sized to about 3 inches long by 2 wide. The bottom crossover looks weird, but that’s the way it is on the game model, it doesn’t twist together until the last vine bit. I left out the center red gem because it’ll look better if you insert your own clear gem rather than painting it as part of the thing. The very middle bar should be cut off before mounting.  I’m going to ask my friend to do a test print and see how big the holes at the top actually are, and if the weird beak tips come out okay.

Saved as an STL file, should be no problems with it.

24 August

New 3D print object

Midna_PendantFinally started True Form Midna’s forehead pendant thing. I think I’m going to chop off the head of the bird/snake thing and start over- it’s lumpy and I don’t like it.  Once I fix or re-do the head, I’ll mirror it and adjust the crossings. The final product should be around 3 inches long at most.  It’s kinda big but not super big.

A friend of mine who I hope will be a co-worker soon just got a Maker Bot 3D printer.  Ours isn’t up and running yet, and she’s offered to test print some things for me, possibly helping me sell some items too.  Hers can only handle stuff up to around 4 inches by 4 inches, but that’s enough for some of the cosplay pieces I need, and some I can sell.

25 May

Throwback Sunday

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Lottobillboard

This was a really cool and fun project that has since been retired, as we no longer use VizRt.  A little while after North Carolina got the lottery, someone thought it would be helpful to have a template with changeable numbers in an interesting format.

I built the billboard in Lightwave, in layers. One of the fun things about VizRt is that when you are importing 3D objects, they have to be divided up into multiple objects if you want to use more than one image for any given part of it.  Viz will not accept more than one surface image on any one object.  The other fun thing is that it does not import objects to scale.  If you import a space shuttle and then import the shuttle bay doors and drop them in the same project, they’re both going to be the same length and one has to manually re-size the doors down to match the shuttle again, which may or may not lead to being able to line them up correctly.  I had to import my football in 5 sections, one for each quarter and one for the laces.  When I last used Viz, it did not do a good job of bending images, so ball objects required quite a bit of arranging to get images to line up right.

I imported the board, walkway, number border box and pole separately so I could modify their colors. The dollar sign is a permanent symbol, and the the others were rectangular planes that you could choose which number to display.  Or you could type it in, I forget which.  I had some help with the VB script.  The background displays a moving video loop of traffic on I-40, and the rotating ’14’s.  The billboard image was originally a .jpg saved out of photoshop.

 

 

15 May

3D Printing an R2

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R2-projector

It probably would have been easier to just remake this damn thing. And I still might end up doing that.

I downloaded a free 3D print R2  and imported it into Lightwave. It was pretty good to begin with, but it was not 3D printer ready. I cut off one of the projector knob things and it had some free edges inside of it, which would not have printed.  And I’m not talking about the part I cut off either.  I filled into some spots, then realized the entire (now) pink area of polys were also free floating with no thickness, so I had to use the Thicken tool on it. Except it didn’t quite work because of all the funky triangles. It also had a free floating cylinder inside that didn’t intersect with anything for no apparent reason.

A couple of months ago, my husband got the bug to build his own R2 unit, specifically, Whistler, who is Corran Horn’s droid in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Whistler is green and grey but otherwise is built the same as Artoo, Luke’s famous companion with a bright shiny silver dome and catapults and whatnot.  The biggest difficulty so far has been obtaining a proper dome – as an R2 dome isn’t quite a half sphere, but is slightly extended, almost egg-shaped.  My hubby has managed to collect motors, wheels and has even programmed the R2 brain in a Raspberry pi.  Whistler has a projector, sheets of styrene set aside for body and feel paneling and even piles of MDF that will be CNC cut out for the legs. The dome has been nearly impossible to find or have made – it is 300 mm high and 465 mm across, but 45 cm is acceptable, as are true half-spheres for the purpose of the approval of the many droid building communities – many of which share around free information and are happy to discuss building methods, parts and their own solutions to the myriad problems of  re-inventing the sci-fi astromech that is so universally well loved.

Since we’re going to the trouble to build and modify 3D printable parts ourselves, I’m making it to those oblong proportions. The free model that I found has a true half-sphere dome and I can’t quite use it.  So the plan is that I’m going to cut off or duplicate all the pieces on the dome, then stretch the dome, cut out the new panels and doors, then cut the dome up into printable pieces. That’s going to be a lot of chopping.

The 3D printer we’ll be using can only handle a 9 inch wide by 13 inch tall area, so the dome must be broken up into at least 8 pieces.

My biggest gripe with the free model (besides sizing) is that it isn’t smooth. If someone printed it as is, it would require a lot of smoothing, which would remove some of the outer shape, which might make pieces too small.  But they couldn’t print it, because it has random floating cylinders in it.  Gr.

3D printing requires some smoothing process as it is, so that’s not a huge issue. but the dome is very complicated, and having to remove too much could have serious consequences for the fitting back together stages.

 

 

 

 

13 May

What will it beeeeeeee?

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r2Panel

 

3D printer is being built. This past weekend, I mostly morally assisted my husband while he worked on fitting the 3D printer parts.  Most of the hardware parts are together, and the computer parts remain to be finished.

Can’t test print my item, YET, but hopefully very soon. In the mean time, I’m working on something that he requested for his project.

 

 

 

8 May

Arwen belt buckle update 2

 

Here goes nothing…arwenprint

 

Tweak mesh: check

Reize mesh to 4 inches/101 mm: check

Added posts to help keep stable while printing: check

Subdivide for density: check

Make all triangles: check

Rotate so it builds flat: check

Exported in a printable format: check

 

7 May

Arwen Belt update 1

beltupdate

I’ve updated the object so none of the leaves are overlapping. Everything is now on one single layer, but I may have to break it up again for 3D printing, I don’t know yet, but I hope I only have to add some posts to the back that can be broken or cut off to support the leaves and arches while printing. The leaves and vines are now partially attached to each other in back, also for printing support and for physical support, since there are so many free floating tendrils.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to do a test print, but hopefully soon!

I’m also going to have to make the mesh denser, it’s currently in ‘smooth’ mode with fewer polys than it looks.

In other news, Tandy leather no longer carries any grey suede, except for the super expensive lambskin hides, so I’m either going to have to go internet hunting and hope I can find enough of the same color and quality to make the chase dress, or I’ll have to just suck it up and go with a thick micro or ultra suede. I’d prefer to have my own real leather outfit, but reasonable pricing tends to win over perfect material. Or it does when I’d have to get $500 worth or lambskin.

 

6 May

“Make sure the polys are correctly facing…”

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One of the costumes I have on my “to-do” list is the “Chase” dress worn by Arwen in the Lord of the Rings movies. A very helpful person has already gone through and done every bit of necessary research I could ever think of.

The belt buckle on the costume is huge and delicate, and I cannot currently cast metal objects.  It seems like a good candidate for a 3D printer item. I used a sketch someone else had made as a basis for modeling the belt buckle in Lightwave.

Starting with this:

ChaseBuckle_Niki

 

After about four hours, I’m here:

ArwenWIPThe bottom-most leaves are slightly asymmetrical, and I’m going to modify the top set of leaf/wings to also be a little asymmetrical as well. I want to capture the feel of something hand made once it’s printed, and not completely perfect. The only thing I want to look exactly symmetrical are the long upper and lower half-loops. The belt buckle will tie on the sides with ribbon.

At the moment, some of the leaves are overlapping on each other, and I’ll have to fix that before exporting as a printable object. I’m also going to tighten the raised ridges on the half loops to make them more distinct. I’m going to have to experiment with the leaf thickness to see if it’ll be strong enough once printed. I may also glue a wire to the back loops to reinforce them if they seem wobbly.

 

4 May

Throw back … uh Sunday?

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So, sometime in the past, News 14 asked for a Gas Station sort of virtual set. The reporter that requested it wanted to be able to render out a short animation that showed the entire gas station from a distance and then zoomed into the pump.  My boss okayed the project, and then never told me to stop working on it after I finished what the reporter asked for.  For a few extra weeks between other projects, I added a bunch of extra props to flesh out the scene.  I added dumpsters modeled after the ones in our parking lot, a phone booth and air/vacuum pump, some basic shelves inside the store, wooden pallets, the ice machine, and a few other bits.  They finally got around to telling me to stop working on it, or I would have flattened the curb in front of the store to make a wheelchair access, and improved the lighting rigs. I made or modified all the textures in Photoshop, and took some of the texture photos myself from a local gas station.

Close up of the pumps:

Gas_Station_Pumps

 

further back, older file but shows more.

Gas_Station

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