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Author Topic: [BFG] - Designing new ship types - 3d printing madness  (Read 45301 times)

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Offline Malika

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[BFG] - Designing new ship types - 3d printing madness
« on: August 03, 2013, 07:27:21 PM »
For years I've been wanting to create my own ships. I started scratchbuilding some Ork ships (see some of those results here), but after that I stopped building ships for a long time.

Now with the wonderful opportunities of 3d printing and CNCing, I decided to give it another shot.

I've always been in love with the Homeworld ships, so I started designing something inspired by it.

At the moment the designs are done in Sketchup, but the plan is to convert to a format that can be printed.





« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:59:10 PM by Malika »
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Offline Malika

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 11:24:28 AM »
Here is the latest update on the ship by the way:


Also, I spoke to my friend with the CNC, he isn't sure if the machine will be able to cut the model since it's going to be very small. Which leaves me to ponder a bit. What can I do? I know there are 3d printing services out there, but most of the 3d printed stuff I've seen seems to lack in detail (even stuff that is meant to be detailed). Furthermore, it's going to be rather expensive to print without hollowing out the model (and even then it will most likely be expensive). Also, hollowing the model out might not be such a great idea for a prototype if I would want to cast it later on (pressure can break the model).

I remember in the past GW used to have these '3 times as bigger' versions of their models, I vaguely remember reading about it in a WD once that it was part of the production process. Anybody got more info or experiences regarding that?
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Offline timdp

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 08:43:05 PM »
Three ups are used in conjunction with a pantograph machine tool that cuts the one third sized cavity in the steel plates (molds) made for injection molding plastic. Does not sound very useful for your application.

T

Offline unseelied

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 09:07:03 PM »
I don't have much experience with the 3d modeling process but I do run a CNC machine and do molds. Your guy is right that even with tiny micro cutting bits you are not going to get a lot of detail.  You could get some more detail if you cut the ship up into flat parts so it can be more easily machined but once again you are limited by the size of the tools.   

If you have the thing built using shapeways or something similar you can sand, finish and do secondary operations it before it goes into molds.   This also means you can fill it back up with clay if you'd like, for the molding process if you wanted something solid.  What I'd most likely do is design pins in the interior and just keep it hollow.  The pins will make assembly easy and as long as it has at least a .06-.08 inch wall it should cast just fine as long as you are pressure casting it.  If you are not pressure casting it I'd do it solid and probabally add some material to the flat side where the bubbles can end up and then that whole area can be ground off.

Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 05:53:46 AM »
I have an idea for a turret that could fill your hole, it will be able to shoot not just whats around it in a plain but whats above it also. I'll draw a pic of it so you can get an idea of what i'm trying to explain.

Offline Malika

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 08:25:32 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I've been thinking about the details, and well... I'm making the ship rather detailed, in some cases the final version will even have 0.001mm parts. Which is all very cool of course, but you wouldn't even be able to see it.

So I was thinking. I'll keep making this model super detailed, and once it's done just make a copy of the model (which will be the one that will be made BFG scale), and start removing too small parts.

How detailed should I go though? I was thinking of at most going at 0.1mm, or very maybe at 0.125mm.
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Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 10:19:00 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I've been thinking about the details, and well... I'm making the ship rather detailed, in some cases the final version will even have 0.001mm parts. Which is all very cool of course, but you wouldn't even be able to see it.

So I was thinking. I'll keep making this model super detailed, and once it's done just make a copy of the model (which will be the one that will be made BFG scale), and start removing too small parts.

How detailed should I go though? I was thinking of at most going at 0.1mm, or very maybe at 0.125mm.

For BFG scale how big would this item be?. length width depth, in mm please.

Offline Malika

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 10:44:23 AM »
I was thinking of 3cm wide, 1.5cm tall and around 10cm long. I was pondering of smaller even (2cm x 1cm x 6.6cm), but that might be pushing it on what is visually possible with the design I've made.

Here a little update by the way:





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Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 11:21:38 AM »
Okay I have a couple things for you to think about with this. One, here is a link that has helped me with measuring for scratch building a bunch. The link should start on the battlefleet gothic section, if it does not just scroll down to it. If you'll notice a cruiser for an imperial fleet is 95MM in length. I'm not sure what type of ship this one your making is, I'm assuming a cruiser or a battleship, lets say cruiser. So you'll want to be around the 90mm mark.

http://www.star-ranger.com/Scale.htm#BFG

For the second part i measured your previous pictures of this ship on my computer screen to get a general idea of how big you want it. This is what i came up with, 18cm long, 4.9cm wide, 2.1cm thick. Now assuming this is a cruiser size ship i would just cut the first number in half making it 9cm( or 90mm) in length. That in turn gives me my workable number to divide the other numbers by. I got, 90mm long, 24.5mm wide, 10.5mm thick, If we just used your numbers of 3cm wide 1.5cm tall and 10cm long, the ship would be bloated and out of proportion of what you where shooting for.

I do believe in the program you have you can shrink one side down to the length you want while in turn shrinking the rest of the ship to the same proportions.

Anyway just some food for thought in here, the added details you have done look fantastic, keep it up. This is scratch buildable at this detail if you want to try a hand at it.

Blind-

Offline Malika

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2013, 11:28:53 AM »
Hmm the size you suggested would indeed be more fitting. But would the 10cm version then be bloated compared to cruisers (if it's designated as a cruiser)? Or would it be bloated because of the lack of detail?

I'm not 100% concerned if it's a cruiser or battleship in the conventional BFG classifications. However, I do want it to look as if it would fit the scale of that game. :)

As for scratchbuilding it. I have considered it, but I'm not that good at it (yet), also...I'm not sure if I'll be able to scratch built at 0.1mm level or even 0.01mm level, would you even be able to see stuff that small?
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Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2013, 11:53:18 AM »
Okay, so first thing first decide if you want it to be a battleship or cruiser, then using BFG as the scale we can find out how long you'd want it to be.

As for the bloating thing, you want to ensure that all sides stay relative to eachother or you'll get stretching.

Having something printed at 0.01mm is a little out of hand in my opinion. And why i mean that is you don't really need it. The smallest detail lines i'm using are 0.06mm x 0.03mm and it adds the desired effect. When thinking about printing at 0.01mm if your eye has trouble seeing, then it's not gonna look like much when painted.

Offline Malika

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2013, 11:59:34 AM »
Regarding size, I noticed the Grand Cruisers should fit the bill for a ship in a size between a usual cruiser and battleship, am I correct?

As for resizing, no problem to keep all sides relative to one another, Sketchup can do that easily! :)

As for smallest details, I was thinking of keeping the smallest details at around 0.1mm to 0.05mm. It's like you said: anything the eye has trouble seeing will not look that great.

Regarding printing or cutting, what I just hope is that the edges will stay sharp as they are, I've seen with a lot of 3d printed stuff that the models end up kinda looking as if somebody held them under a hot lamp for just a tiny bit too long...
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Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 12:13:11 PM »
Regarding size, I noticed the Grand Cruisers should fit the bill for a ship in a size between a usual cruiser and battleship, am I correct?

As for resizing, no problem to keep all sides relative to one another, Sketchup can do that easily! :)

As for smallest details, I was thinking of keeping the smallest details at around 0.1mm to 0.05mm. It's like you said: anything the eye has trouble seeing will not look that great.

Regarding printing or cutting, what I just hope is that the edges will stay sharp as they are, I've seen with a lot of 3d printed stuff that the models end up kinda looking as if somebody held them under a hot lamp for just a tiny bit too long...

You are correct on the grand cruiser being inbetween the cruiser and battleship.

length, 113.4mm, width 30.8mm, depth 13.2mm. and thats the sizing you want to be a grand cruiser scale in bfg.

I know exactly what you mean, I have had some stuff printed with shape ways frosted ultra detail recently. I had hired a 3d artist to draw some images i had commissioned for printing. Lets just say the image looked nice, but it lacked proper depth when printing. Evil and Chaos said something to me when i was working on this project about exaggerating your depths when working in smaller scales or it won't print right, he said double them. I've seen and held some of his work so i trust he knows what he's talking about on this matter.

Offline Malika

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 12:21:42 PM »
I tried doubling them in the drawing, but then it will look quite bad. However, I do trust E&C's opinion on the matter. It's just such a shame that I lack my own printer, so I could at least experiment a bit without having to risk a ton of money...
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Offline Blindhorizon

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Re: [BFG] - Designing new ship types (Homeworld inspired)
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 12:32:38 PM »
I tried doubling them in the drawing, but then it will look quite bad. However, I do trust E&C's opinion on the matter. It's just such a shame that I lack my own printer, so I could at least experiment a bit without having to risk a ton of money...

I'm not exactly sure how doubling them works, it might have been mostly the recesses with armor plates on tanks and such. But i don't know how to use those programs so I couldn't give you anymore insight into it.