Animated Full-Scale Infection Form (Vacuform and 3D Print)


Redshirt

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S980
For quite a while I've been brooding on making a robotic Infection Form. This is a collaboration project with fellow member, Alpha. Anyone that follows me knows I have a compulsion to build full scale. We've seen plenty of human costumes with lifts and stilts. I decided that the seven-inch tall HEXBUG Spider XL would be the perfect platform. It just needs to end up much taller. The HEXBUG is not particularly strong so my mods can't be very heavy either. My end solution was to build a cosplay costume for the HEXBUG. The legs will be 3D printed with thin walls and very little infill to keep them light. They'll snap on over the existing legs to make it much taller and, hopefully, faster. The body is going to be vacuformed in translucent plastic sheeting. This will keep the weight down and give me a creepy-crawlie with sort of see-through 'skin'. Anyway, here goes!

I started with the only-available Infection Form file from right here on the 405th in The Armory. Thanks Art! Unfortunately, there is a WIDE gap between this Halo CE game model and the Halo CE Anniversary/Halo 3 version I wanted to build.


This was the vision.
Infection_Form.jpg



But this was the starting point: Halo CE game file
Infection Form Game File.jpg


I got busy and started cleaning up this file and modifying it to look accurate and organic. I'm using ViaCAD Pro 10 as my main design software (I'm set up to mill metal rather than print plastic) and used 3D Builder that came with Windows to do some of the smoothing.

This is my first rendition of the cleaned and smoothed body.
Infection Form Mock up.png

It looks better than it actually is. It doesn't fit over the HEXBUG and doesn't look menacing with the bulging 'forehead' and droopy tail. By the time I scaled it up so the base would clear the HEXBUG mechanism, it was grossly over scale. So, I'm back to the drawing board, working to give it a 'skirt' like the vision rendering above. Thanks for looking in.

Redshirt
Guess who's not coming back from the Slayer match--the guy in the Red Shirt
Signature Project: Halo 3 Working Airsoft Spartan Laser in Metal & Fiberglass
 

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Redshirt

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S980
POPCORN!
Looking forward to the build!
It is funny you mention popcorn. I'm planning on vacuforming an extra body to destroy in a video. I plan to fill it with some green chalk powder and shred it with my airsoft Spartan Laser.

I can already imagine a whole swarm of these running around on a con floor XD
I would love to see that! I'd need to find a different robot base. There are only two channels for the HEXBUG. Right now I'm limited to a 'swarm' of two.

Redshirt
Guess who's not coming back from the Slayer match--the guy in the Red Shirt
Signature Project: Halo 3 Working Airsoft Spartan Laser in Metal & Fiberglass
 

Hein B287

Member
Just looked them up. they look like a fun challenge to take apart. i imagine that one could extend the legs. those things then probably walk a bit slower. and the rotating head can be connected in some way to make the "fronds" (tentacles) wiggle around. might have to get one to toy around with now :cool:
 

Redshirt

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S980
Just looked them up. they look like a fun challenge to take apart. i imagine that one could extend the legs. those things then probably walk a bit slower. and the rotating head can be connected in some way to make the "fronds" (tentacles) wiggle around. might have to get one to toy around with now :cool:
They show up on e-Bay pretty regularly. The leg extensions should speed them up a bit by effectively lengthening the stride. I hope. I had the same idea to see if I could work in some cam or other action to 'wiggle' the tentacles.

Not everyone is familiar with the HEXBUG Spider XL. Here is one of mine. If you think it looks small, the laptop its on is a giant 17-inch model. The HEXBUG stands about seven inches tall.
Hexbug Spider XL.jpg



So I did more work on the model and ended up with this:
Infection Form First Try.jpg


This isn't a winner either. By the time I scaled it up to fit over the legs it was stupid huge and looked like a tick ready to pop. The legs looked too small and the result was going to be a meter tall. Back to the drawing board (CAD). I effectively started over on the body and streamlined the upper part of the legs. I think you'll agree that this one checks all the boxes. Accurate, correctly scaled and fits over the robot.
Final Infection Form Mock up.jpg

Final Infection Form Mock up Side.jpg
Final Infection Form Mock up Front.jpg
Final Infection Form Mock up Rear.jpg

With that work done, I'm focusing on slicing it up and getting Alpha to start printing it.

Redshirt
Guess who's not coming back from the Slayer match--the guy in the Red Shirt
Signature Project: Halo 3 Working Airsoft Spartan Laser in Metal & Fiberglass
 

Redshirt

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S980
Well it's been a while since I posted an update, but I've been busy making progress as you'll see. My friends at Alpha to Zeta Industries did a beautiful job printing my parts. The legs are direct parts, meaning that they will end up in the final prop. The body and tentacle parts are intended as vacuform mold parts.

Here's a look at some of the body parts:
136155487_409032147188923_5368727591964535947_n.jpg


137628456_230124212068344_5063055739940976620_n.jpg


138360672_1925489964256299_2828881096767004595_n.jpg


For an overall idea of where this is going, I placed a body half and all the appendages into position. This thing is a monster, about a half-meter in correct dimensions:
20210316_212219_HDR~2.jpg


The other problem I have resolved is that of what I need to make the ends of the tentacles. I searched all the big hobby and craft stores but hit paydirt in PETCO with this aquarium plant. Even in the wrong color this is such an obvious choice for the feathery feelers:
20210113_173205~2.jpg



I've also put together a video for my channel that really brings things together. Enjoy!

I'll be back next with some test vacuforming.

Redshirt
Guess who's not coming back from the Slayer match--the guy in the Red Shirt
Signature Project: Halo 3 Working Airsoft Spartan Laser in Metal & Fiberglass
 

Benton188

RXO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S188
Nice find on the feelers, I would've never thought to look for aquarium bits lol. Does the Hex bug move on it's own or is it remote controlled? I haven't seen one of those things in a long time.
 

Redshirt

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S980
Nice find on the feelers, I would've never thought to look for aquarium bits lol. Does the Hex bug move on it's own or is it remote controlled? I haven't seen one of those things in a long time.
Thank you. The Hexbug Spider XL is remote controlled. They made two sizes. The XLs are fairly rare but do pop up on eBay from time to time. When I'm all done, I'll release the files so anyone that wants a static replica can print the parts. Anyone that wants to follow the same path I did can print their own legs, get their own Spider XL and talk to me about vacuum formed bodies and tentacles. I don't expect that they will be to hard to produce in quantity once my molds are done. I expect to produce extra bodies for myself as airsoft targets :)

Redshirt
 

Redshirt

Well-Known Member
Member DIN
S980
I've got a really cool update this week. I'm fortunate enough (though my wife would not agree!) to have a commercial vacuform machine at the Redshirt workshop. Today we do a test pull of the body molds and some of the tentacles. The result is a really creepy translucent body. I'm really looking forward to seeing the completed body and tentacles get mounted on the robotic leg section.


Enjoy!

Redshirt
Guess who's not coming back from the Slayer match--the guy in the Red Shirt
Signature Project: Halo 3 Working Airsoft Spartan Laser in Metal & Fiberglass
 
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