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Robot Chicken's PILLAR OF AUTUMN Build - 3D Printed

Discussion in 'Halo 3D Modeling' started by RobotChicken, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. RobotChicken


    Alright, technically this isn't my build - I'm helping my kid build one for a school book report project. The plan is for the report to be on the hull of the ship itself. We're going to attach the paragraphs as removable panels so afterwards he can have the ship hanging in his bedroom. Long story short, this is on a tight schedule - roughly 4 weeks, so not going for complete accuracy here.

    I couldn't find any Pillar Of Autumn files available but CPO mendez was gracious in providing one of his models for the project. Unfortunately this model has a lot of bad polygons in it and is needing a lot of cleanup work. While doing this I am also improving its details here and there when the edits aren't too difficult. The model's scale is huge - nearly 6 feet long! Although very tempting to make it full size, it's just not practical so we're building it at 50% scale, which makes it just over 2 feet long. At first this was going to be a Pepakura project but we just don't have the time to make the model edits, unfold it, clean up the junk Tamasoft exports with DXF files, and do all the folding and gluing - so this has ended up being a 3D printed model. The model file will not be provided for download (at least not just now).

    So like I said, the first step is getting that model cleaned up. I've got the forward section done (minus the lower turret - all the turrets might end up having to be put on later after we get the ship back home from school). To save on filament and overall weight I've hollowed out the model, and in order to print the parts without any steep overhangs needing supports plus keep the parts small so they print quicker I've divided the ship into parts similar to a model kit. Each part is represented by a different color in the image below:


    As you can see, still a long ways to go on converting the model. The first few parts are already printed and here we are with sandpaper getting them prepped:


    I'll get a close-up photo of the printed parts when more of them are ready and before they start getting glued together. Still working at trying to figure out this whole 3D printing stuff. Hoping the build turns out looking good.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    Crimmson likes this.
  2. StayFrosty


    Good luck! I'm glad to see that you decided to go through with building the ship.
  3. RobotChicken


    Yeah, I think we've decided that even if we can't make the report deadline we can at least make the ship and already have a contingency plan for an alternate report style. So even if this doesn't get done within 4 weeks, the project will still get finished. Right now fighting with damned Simplify3D slicing glitches and the damned Dremel printer spontaneously aborting jobs before completing. 3D printing is as equally frustrating as it is enjoyable.
  4. RobotChicken


    After a fully frustrating day of messed up prints and screwed up slices, I finally figured out what the problem was and parts are moving along the pipeline again. I got most of the second section of the ship done and hope to have the rest of it done tomorrow night (the second section, that is):


    Comparing against game images I realize there are a number of things not quite right but just don't have time for any major corrections. We started gluing the first pieces together tonight and I can see already that Bondo will be needed to smooth out printing defects and seams, if we have time for that level of cleanup before painting.


    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  5. RobotChicken


    Getting more parts printed. The "pink" area is Bondo filling a printing defect gap. The recessed triangles on the outer parts are alignment marks for positioning parts that are printing right now.

    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  6. mblackwell1002


    a good part-smoothing material is spot putty. It helps a ton with parts like this when filling build lines.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  7. RobotChicken


    Yep, I've got a tube of glazing putty sitting here for smoothing out the various holes and cracks. This particular gap was significant though so I went with Bondo for filling it in.

    Edit: So....don't you just hate when this happens? We did all the math correctly and came up with 50% scaling but now seeing actual printed parts it's just going to be too small. We're going to bump it up to 70% which should provide better surface area for attaching his paragraphs. Now it's going to be closer to 3' long! Also, again seeing the actual printed parts, paint just isn't going to get into all the little crevices so the bigger parts are going to be printed in silver instead of white. The last couple days of printing weren't a total loss - I learned a lot of what not to do...
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  8. CPO mendez

    CPO mendez

    Man, i had a feeling you were gonna blow my build out of the water! i'm loving this thread so far. also, regarding your material color with painting in mind; i printed my ships in black, because, for the most part, the UNSC ships are MOSTLY black, with silver and other color variations, and even if you miss the cracks and crevices while painting, it's almost impossible to see unless you know its there.
  9. RobotChicken


    Thanks! This wouldn't have been possible without your help. What's been killing me is all the extra and inverted faces in the model, overlapping faces, and non-manifold shapes. It's taking considerable effort cleaning up the model for STL exporting. About the color, to me the ships typically look a dark silvery grey (type "pillar of autumn" into Google Images) so I figured the silver filament (which actually looks metallic dark grey) would be a good match in the dark shadowy crevices. (The unpainted color will appear darker in those areas simply because light can't get in there any easier than paint can.) Two of the new parts are already printed in silver (4 hrs print time jumped to 11 hrs) so if I was going to switch color now would be a good time to do it (before any more parts are printed). The black filament is very glossy and, well.....black, so I'm still leaning towards the "silver" because I already have 2 spools with 3 more on order. The silver also seems to print finer and smoother than the other colors for some reason. In either case, this thing is going to be big.....
  10. RobotChicken


    Got four of the resized parts printed, and in "silver" now (which actually looks more like a metallic dark grey). Here's a size comparison photo to show how much larger the parts are. It looks really rough because that's right off the printer with no sanding yet. We'll start on sanding these up on the weekend.


    (And see, CPO mendez, it does look black in the shadowed areas! :))

    ...and what happened to the MENTION tags? When I try to use them no hyperlink is created for the user, and there's no toolbar icon anymore for the tag.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  11. SavedbyGraceG12

    SavedbyGraceG12 Well-Known Member

    Put this @ right in front of someone's name.
  12. RobotChicken


    Thanks! Been wondering how to do that ever since the site transformed.
  13. SavedbyGraceG12

    SavedbyGraceG12 Well-Known Member

    Not a problem, I felt the same way for a long time also. But, I was feeling like a total noob for even asking the question on how to do it, lol!
  14. RobotChicken


    When the implementation of a feature is changed and you're asking what the new syntax is (assuming the feature isn't deprecated), that's not a noob question. Posting a thread asking if you can use copy paper and tape for building your AirSoft Halo armor, well that's a noob question!! :lol:
  15. RobotChicken


    Okay, for the 3D printing gurus out there, what do you think is causing this?


    Fresh build tape on the table, reloaded filament and it flows from the extruder, leveled the table at least 10 times now, but filament refuses to stick, and extrudes intermittently as shown in the photo above. Filament seems to be collecting up on the nozzle instead of being deposited onto the table. Any ideas? I've lost an hour of potential print time battling this and nothing is printing until I get this figured out. :mad:
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  16. mblackwell1002


    you might want to clean your extruder. there's some esun extruder cleaner that is supposed to work, However, this will not unclog the hotend, so you'll have to research based on your printer. Your problem is most likely due to your filament. If the filament you use causes your printer to do this; clean your extruder, and never use that brand filament again. tell us which brand you used so that we can put it in the blacklist. I hope this helps!
  17. RobotChicken


    Umm, Dremel filament for the Dremel Idea Builder!
  18. mblackwell1002


    Oh...shoot. I had no idea you used the dremel idea builder. well...I don't know what you should do...off-brand filament, maybe? Or try a different color. oftentimes color can make a difference.
  19. RobotChicken


    Just took a print off the machine this morning that printed through the night without issue. I go to load up the next model and suddenly filament isn't sticking and comes out of the nozzle intermittently. I hate this machine.
  20. RobotChicken


    I think I've had it with this machine. It's not even loading filament now. I've been wanting to upgrade it to a dual-extruder larger print area machine anyway, so maybe now's the time. Can I get suggestions? I sort've like this one, with the self-leveling upgrade and possibly also the laser engraving upgrade, but there are so many printers to choose from it's a bit overwhelming. Tevo 3D - Newest Black Widow 3D Printer Kit for sale - Buy online
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  21. mblackwell1002


    yeah. do that! :D Tevo is good!
  22. RobotChicken


  23. RobotChicken


    Max Micron has many bad reviews. Still looking for a printer.
    mblackwell1002 likes this.
  24. kaween


    Blerk. can't sleep. Came back today after minor surgery wednessday. Everything still hurting when I lay down. Hurts even more when I sit. So I'm typing this standing upright.

    About the Dremel : the way it escalates pretty much points to either very bad filament (.... Dremel has known to have their fair batch of shitty filament too, just like nearly all other brands had at some point in time) or th nozzle just got so clogged it didn't want to play along anymore. So it's probably time for this

    ... and a new nozzle. :)

    Tevo's BW doesn't have dual extruder. Of all Tevo's, I think only the Tarantulla has a dual nozzle option. But if there's one Tevo machine I would stay away from, it's the Tarantulla.

    If you're looking for a sturdy design and a dual extruder at prices that won't kill your piggy bank, there's a couple of interesting routes to investigate.

    I'm going to take the price point of your current Dremel Idea builder as reference, which still retails around 1000€ on this side of the ocean.

    For example, there's "Jennyprinter", which is essentially a near-perfect Ultimaker2+ knockoff with enlarged build space (bigger than the Ulti). Can be bought as a kit or ready made. The problem I have with this kit : it replicates the Ultimaker down to the somewhat iffy hotend design which can be a real pain in the ... bottom regions, something I'm currently an expert at. But other than that, it's probably one of the most matured big dual extruder machines you can buy for a price that would not exceed that of the price most people bought their Dremel Idea Builders for. For that money, you get a pretty huge build space, a very stable design and probably one of the best supported machines out there.

    Nieuwste JennyPrinter3 Z360 Dual Extruder Nozzle 3D Printer DIY KIT Voor Ultimaker 2 UM2 Extended Met Top Cover en Deur in Newest Assembled JennyPrinter3 Z360 Dual Extruder Nozzle Extended For Ultimaker 2 UM2 High Precision Auto Leveling 3D Pr van 3d printers op AliExpress.com | Alibaba Groep

    On the lower scale of the market, Zonestar builds a P802QR2, a machine more or less comparable to the Max Micron, but it has been around for longer at a comparable price point. I've actually build that one for a friend once. It's a nifty machine and probably one of the easiest kits I've ever assembled, as large parts of the machine come totally pre-assembled out of the box.

    There's also a series of BFG printers (Doom reference) sporting Dual Extruder+laser Engraver setups for around the 1200€ mark, like the Mutli MT series. These huge machines are essentially gMax1.5 clones, and come nearly fully pre-assembled. I've not found much about them in terms of reviews but if I was in the market for a dual extruder, laser engraver enabled machine and I would like to have as much bang for the buck as possible, I'd give this one a close look too.

    Grote Maat 410*400*400mm multoo Dual Extruder Hoge Precisie FDM 3D PRINTER in de Meest Professionele Merk van Grote Maat 3D Printer Top Adavantages: 1. De echte print maat:410*400*400mm, en kan de van 3d printers op AliExpress.com | Alibaba Groep

    There's also a XY-core like design out there called an XCR335, has a dual extruder option. Info on that one is pretty sketchy though. But in itself, I like the design and idea.

    As for reviews .... well yeah if 100 people say a design stinks, you have reasons to worry. But I see quite a lot of positive feedback on the Max Micron. It all depends on expectations. If you're buying a kit, prepare to spend quite some time into tinkering with it before you get good results. It's part of the package. I wonder how many people start with the idea a kit printer is a fool-proof-it-works-perfectly-once-assembled thingy. It's not.

    On the other hand, I helped a little friendly German Spartan Lady some time ago with a dirt cheap Anet Prusa, she assembled it with no help from me at all in terms of the build of the machine, and the results she got from a 150€-or-so-kit are good enough to fool anybody thinking they come from a 1000€ machine. :D

    I've seen Tom Salanderer totally f___-up a Tevo Black Widow build live on YT, while most people report this machine was very easy to build and produces usable results directly after the build.

    So ..... there's no substitude for own experience, clearly.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  25. RobotChicken


    Ugh, another video where they say "um" or "uh" every 5 seconds. People need to learn how to talk. Anyways, thanks for the links. I think first I'll try cleaning/replacing the nozzle. Will cost less and might get the project moving again sooner.

    Yes, I did just get done viewing a comparison of the Tarantula and the Black Widow and concluded the Tarantula is a no go. Too flimsy, and I'd rather stay away from cheap Chinese poor-quality "me too" clones. The laser engraving is not a deal breaker, but if I was to get a new printer then dual extruder and heated bed are must haves. Automatic leveling would be nice too, as I've got better things to do with my time than sit at a printer tweaking this and tuning that in order to get good prints. I'm the sort who like to switch it on, load up a model, and have it start printing (correctly). If only it were that simple.

    (That video is good up to about 4 minutes in, then it switches to no-sound time-lapse for me. Dang. I'll have to look on YouTube or Google for the rest of the steps.)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017

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