Specialist Games General Discussion > Modeling & painting

[BFG] - Designing new ship types - 3d printing madness

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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.

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?

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.


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.

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.


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