Project Halcyon: Making functional Halo props with lights, wires, and a bit of spit-shine [HELP WANTED]

CPO mendez

Member
Hey 405th, wanna see an AR Explode?
Splode3.png


Now that i have you're attention, allow me to introduce my new project. way back in 2016, I accidentally became the guy who is
now responsible for ~99% of the 3D printed halo props in the world. That was absolutely not planned, by the way. i was just trying to teach myself 3D modeling with some game ripped files and you lot REALLY loved it! i'm also known for other hits, such as this failed, abandoned project trying to CNC entire props to mold and cast. and how could anyone forget one of my best talents: completely vanishing off the site and coming back over a year later to a completely new layout that i need to stumble through and relearn like an out of touch 23 year old grandpa.

I'm bringing all this up because this new project is a fusion of these past projects, and is ultimately what i wanted to do with these prop files, but have been waiting for my skills to catch up with the big ideas i had brewing.


THE IDEA:

It's pretty straightforward. I want to take these weapon 3D models, blow them apart into pieces just like the picture above, turn the whole thing into a hollow shell, and fill it up with latches, buttons, lights, and screens to make it the ultimate halo prop weapon. Then i want to take that shell, print it out (i've now moved to the other end of the country from that massive CNC machine), make a mold out of it, and start pumping out copies for you guys to buy. Then i want to do that to as many halo props from as many games as i can, much like how i did the original 3D printable halo props. As for selling them, obviously all my old 3D printable prop models won't be going anywhere. you're all still able to download and print them for free to make your own props. But, if you want some of that real sky-high quality, sci-fi boomstick action with all the bells and whistles, i am more than happy to provide that. It'll work just like any prop kit you've seen before. at the cheapest, just all the parts, straight out of the mold, chucked into a box and thrown at your door for you to assemble and paint. for a little more money, you get it assembled. next highest, i'll slap some paint on it. and for the full price, you get the full english: lights, screens, assembly, paint, hell i'll give it a kiss goodnight and read it a bedtime story before taping the box up and shipping it out.

THE PROBLEM:

Remember how i said i've had this idea for ages and have just been waiting for my skills to catch up? well, they haven't caught up 100%. i'm MILES ahead of where i was when i first made the 3D printable halo props, and as you've already seen i've blown apart the Halo 5 Assault rifle into all its little bits and pieces, but that took me ages with my self taught, intermediate 3D modeling skills. But that's not gonna stop me, especially not when i have such a massive knowledge pool like the 405th sitting around! so, instead of taking forever to go and properly learn these harder 3D modeling skills, i want to turn this project into a collaboration! which leads to...

HELP WANTED [Possibly with pay]

Unfortunately it seems most of the old guard here on the 405th forums have moved on, so the people i usually would go to to ask for help with something like this aren't around anymore. But i'm always up for making new friends! Do you think you have the skills i'm looking for when it comes to 3D modeling? do you ALSO have the skills to possibly answer random questions about Rhino 5 and maybe even teach my dumb ass how to 3D model better while you're doing it? well boy do i have the opportunity for you! To give a more clear picture of what's needed, here's my to-do list so far, for the AR pictured above:

* hollow out the large sections of the model into shells, probably with about a quarter inch wall thickness
* model in screw posts for assembly, and have them line up with the screws and dials already on the model (jesus there are just... so many screws on the AR)
* model in room for wiring, LED lights, and the screen/arduino for the ammo counter
* model in latches, fire switches, dials, etc to give the weapon as much function (besides actually firing bullets, obviously) that it has in the game
* engineering/modeling some kind of charging handle mechanism so the thing can have that nice "KERCHUNK" reload sound (again, without actually racking a cartridge. We're not making actual weapons here, mister ATF agent who might be reading this)
* modeling a battery pack into the existing model's geometry to power all them guts
* loads of other ideas that i'll probably come up with as the project progresses. these are just the main points i can think of off the top of my head.

So if you're a mechanical engineer by trade, stuck inside and bored to tears thanks to this COVID lockdown, and have nothing to do with all your amazing expert 3D modeling skills, then you're basically my dream come true! But, if you're just kinda banging rocks together like me, but know how to bang them together in a way that i don't, then don't hesitate to drop some advice in this thread, or hit me up in DMs.

And like the big bold words say, there could be some fair compensation involved. i know i'm asking for a LOT of time for this project, and i know that, even in lockdown, someone highly skilled can only donate so much of their time. So if you want to go all in on the project with me and tear through everything on that bullet point list, then i'm willing to pay you for your time. You'll also get credit for everything you do when i post on here or elsewhere.


The Project:


Obviously i'm not going to just sit on my ass after making this post and wait for the 3D modelers to come to me and fix all my problems. So regardless of if i get help or not, i'll be posting here regularly with progress updates as i slowly pick apart as many models as i can, and maybe even try to figure out some of the more complex modeling problems myself. I'm sure i'll get plenty of help from you guys along the way as well, so here's to a long and successful project i guess.
 

tahu505

Member
Hey, so I'm a mechanical engineering student with not much going on and have been wanting to practice my 3D modeling skills. I haven't used Rhino yet but I'm very experienced with Solidworks and have recently started messing around with Meshmixer.
 

Knight Knight

New Member
I am fairly new to all of this, but I know you can hollow out models using Meshmixer fairly easily, its what I was planning on for my resin prints.

I will take some time tomorrow to look at the model and see what I can start working out, I actually was going to try for something like this with the Magnum so I feel like I can apply the same gameplan to this.
 

CPO mendez

Member
I am fairly new to all of this, but I know you can hollow out models using Meshmixer fairly easily, its what I was planning on for my resin prints.

I will take some time tomorrow to look at the model and see what I can start working out, I actually was going to try for something like this with the Magnum so I feel like I can apply the same gameplan to this.

Man... Meshmixer and i have a bit of a complicated history. not a fan of my 3D modeling programs randomly mangling my models during import. But i'll see what kind of hollowing functions it has to offer. Also good to hear you're on a similar wavelength with the magnum. i've got the whole Halo 5 arsenal planned if the Assault Rifle does well, so i'm stoked to see how yours comes out
 

tahu505

Member
Man... Meshmixer and i have a bit of a complicated history. not a fan of my 3D modeling programs randomly mangling my models during import. But i'll see what kind of hollowing functions it has to offer. Also good to hear you're on a similar wavelength with the magnum. i've got the whole Halo 5 arsenal planned if the Assault Rifle does well, so i'm stoked to see how yours comes out
When it comes to Meshmixer mangling models I've noticed that it's just a visual when in Meshmixer but does not actually distort the model. In my most recent armor update, all of my models were run through Meshmixer to fix any manifold issues I missed and when they were exported, they came out perfectly fine, just like how they were in Solidworks.

armor update here: Grenadier Spartan III
 

ZiggyGrimm

Member
I’m not great at 3D modeling, but I have some Arduino/ electrical design skills (I made my own power glove type controller for the Kinect).

But if you want a real master the guy who built the SPLaser is on here still, he has moved on to the Needler. So those two should be fairly easy converts.

I’ll also be doing my own version of the SPLaser after I finish my suit with electronics and moving parts. Feel free to steal my electrical design/ components list when it is done.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
CPO mendez if you ever need help from a hobbyist CADmonkey just give a shout. I primarily work in Fusion but designing high-detail Halo props is kind of just my idea of a fun weekend. Source: current sanding and cleanup situation on my workbench of stuff I've modeled in Fusion, not pictured is the rest of the Shelf of Shame.
1590594063279.png
 

CPO mendez

Member
Alright, update time! and that means a couple more exploded weapons!
Magnum splode.png

smg SPLODE.png


Now, onto the project itself. The 405th really came through for me and almost immediately after starting this thread i had a few people replying or messaging me directly offering me help. I teamed up with tahu505, put together a discord server, and two steps off the starting line the project just Faceplanted. Hard.

For almost all of yesterday, and some of today, Tahu and i have been tearing our hair out just trying to transfer parts of the Assault rifle from my work environment in Rhino, to his environment in Solidworks so he could shell the model and start working on a few small things here and there.

Turns out, Solidworks reeeeally doesn't like anything that comes from Rhino!

Since i'm working with game-ripped files, everything has been meshes, not solids or surfaces. and we think that's what's causing all these issues. Rhino has a function to turn meshes into solids, called MeshtoNURB, but even when doing that, culling degenerate mesh faces, and fixing up the model as much as we possibly could, Solidworks absolutely refused to open it. The best we got was Meshmixer opening up an STL of the model (but not the EXACT SAME MODEL as an OBJ, as you'll see below) but since STL is a mesh, Solidworks wasn't having it.

I exported it as just about every file type under the sun, and the BEST we got out of Solidworks was this:
fuckup3.png


Tahu tried throwing a part of the model into meshmixer, and we got this:
fuckup1.png


So then we tried running Meshmixer's inspector on the model, which flags any errors it finds with ONE (1) small pink ball on the are of the model that is causing the error...
fuckup2.png

So needless to say, we're running into some issues....

If you have the 3D modeling experience required to rescue us from this error-riddled hell, PLEASE DM ME! i will add you to the discord and if/when you fix these weird issues and get Project Halcyon back on track, i will be singing your praises from the goddamn rooftops!


In the mean time though, i'm still working on what i know and doing the same "pick apart and make solid" routine on the most popular, "main" weapons from Halo 5. So in terms of the weapon selection for phase one of Project Halcyon, this is it:

folders.png


But like i said, this is just phase one. we'll be working our way backwards from here, and might even open it up to voting if this picks up enough traction.

HELP ME 405TH, YOU'RE MY ONLY HOPE!
 

ZiggyGrimm

Member
Piece of advice, maybe simplify your approach. Do you need to blow up these weapons to do this? Will a standard 3D print work?

An alternative method that might be easier/ less time consuming/ less costly.
3D print the guns, use a Dremel to break the 3D model apart, and hollow it out. Once you have the hollowed out 3d prints you will see how much room you have for the components, can design which parts move, etc. For example, you can turn the trigger into a pressure switch that activates a motor and tiggers a sound card/ effects card. Once you have the electronics and moving parts mapped on your 3D model for each gun you can design mounts for the electronics via 3D printing or build them into the mold. Then cast the fully designed highly detailed 3D models. This method lets you skip the pesky remodelling process.

Then you are essentially doing what Redshirt is doing for his Needler here (minus the Airsoft components), or what he did for his SPLaser but for other guns. Just a thought... it might save you some sleepless nights.

It is also important to keep the different con-regulations in mind when designing these. For example, it is common that cons require orange tips. But some also limit realistic gun sounds and actions (no cocking mechanisms, no fire sounds, no smoke). Many will also not allow airsoft weapons (even decommissioned).

My only thought for the 3D modelling process would be to try another program as an intermediary. Maybe Audodesk Maya or Inventor, then re-export the file as an STL or OBJ.
 

tahu505

Member
My only thought for the 3D modelling process would be to try another program as an intermediary. Maybe Audodesk Maya or Inventor, then re-export the file as an STL or OBJ.

The issues we were having I believe were not native to Solidworks, I think it was the original models themselves not fully being finished. I was able to get other STL and OBJ files to load into Solidworks to be worked on. My computer still wasn't able to do much with the files due to processing but either way, I was at least able to get them to open up. Also the other mechanical based cad softwares, such as Fusion360, are also not mesh based and are built similarly to Solidworks. I could be wrong, but this is what I've determined through hours of thoroughly trying every method of importing models.
 

ReClaimer8015

Active Member
Haven`t seen you in a while CPO mendez !
I believe the issues stem from rhino being a programm primarily working with nurbs than mesh or polygons.
I had these types of issues before in rhino....the repair functions are limited and often make things worse.
Or on polys the triangle-counts are way too high for the programm. I got around by simplyfiying the mesh (ReduceMesh-Command) and going from there. There always was some handwork left to be done...

- If your faces are non-uniform you can align them via the auto tool
- Check your tolerance settings also when ex- or importing
- I had these problems often when i divided on the same line as some faces were! So i adjusted my cuts a little

I feel you, i really do.:cry:
I have no expierience with solidworks though...
Anyways, good luck you guys and i`ll be watching how this unfolds.

Edit: I thought the problem something like converting a triangulated mesh to a quad mesh in solidworks?
But Obj should be able to save those (one of the few programms i am aware of)
 
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Coreforge

Member
Sorry, didn't fully read the first post again. Since solidworks was complaining about normals, it could be that the normals of one or more faces are facing the wrong direction. If you wan't to bring in another piece of software, you could open the stl in blender, go into edit mode, select the entire mesh and recalculate normals. If it doesn't work after that, you could manually check if the normals are facing the right way and correct them if necessary.
 
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