Props Ships and Halos and 3D Prints, Oh My!

CPO mendez

Member
Hello 405th! It's been a while! I come bearing gifts.

Years ago (hell, you might even be able to find a post or two about it on here if you dig deep enough) i had an idea to make all the crazy awesome majestic forerunner installations we've seen throughout the Halo games. that, and the badass ships on both sides of the war.

Because who wouldn't want a diorama like this hanging above their bed?!?
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Anyway, the idea kinda vanished. riiight up until the announcement of Halo Wars 2, along with the beta, where we found out the Spirit Of Fire ended up at the Lesser Ark from Halo 3. for whatever reason this kinda reignited the idea, and i got to work. now, unlike several years ago, this time around i have this little diddy:
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certainly makes things easier, don't you think?

However, i only have the most basic experience in maya, which covers how to clean up a file and convert it to an STL for the 3D printer. so i couldn't make any of the models from scratch. As it turns out, Sketchup's 3D warehouse is an absolute TREASURE TROVE of low-poly halo models that you can easily download and start using. so that's exactly what i did! i found an awesome Ark model to start with, which was 2D.

Ark Screenshot.png

a quick crash course in more of maya's functions, and i learned how to extrude! Crazy, right?!? who knew!

so i fiddled with the model, made it look pretty, then cut it up for the printer to handle

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And after that was all done, it was off to the races! here's a timelapse of the center section being printed:

And the arm pieces are being printed/filmed as we speak. Now, for the EXTRA fun part.

I got a TON of models that are a frustrating 2-hour wrestling session with maya from being on the printer.
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(these are only the few that i've thrown into the slicer so far. i got a TON more that i can list out if ya'll are interested)

I was thinking that perhaps there'd be a demand for Arks, Halos, and other fun ships, so i'm planning on resin casting them once i get them all cleaned up and looking nice, and then possibly selling. i'll gauge the interest for that in this thread, so feel free to speak up! otherwise, enjoy the build and throw in any requests for what you wanna see. update coming soon!​
 
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CPO mendez

Member
UPDATE TIME!

So the middle section of the ark was printed successfully...
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...after some mixed successes
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Next up was all the arm bits, which juuuust managed to fit onto the build plate (time lapse of that print coming soon)
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And after quite a bit of cleanup
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turns out the little galactic tuning forks on the ends of the arm are REALLY fragile, and were so thin some of them didn't print correctly, so we'll be adding that to the fix list. either way, the arms are all glued together and ready to be fully assembled
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So, as it turns out, the ark is bloody HUUUUGE! it really didn't hit me until i attached the large arms
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and finally, the small arms
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looks beautiful (minus the duct tape holding the drying joints)
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KaulinD

New Member
Looking great! I'm looking into getting a 3d printer myself, any sugestions?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

CPO mendez

Member
Looking great! I'm looking into getting a 3d printer myself, any sugestions?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
Thanks! and as for my recommendation, it's obviously gonna be the Robo3D R1+. They make damn good sub-$1000 printers, and the original reason i bought one was because they had master chief and iron man helmets in their booth at this past MakerFair made by the printers. their customer service is also A++ (i swear this is just a glowing review and not me being a shill!)
 

KaulinD

New Member
I will definitely have to look into robo then because I have been looking at an ultimaker 2 but it's 2000 and I just don't have that kind of money right now. My next suit I plan to print a halo 4/5 chief suit

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

CPO mendez

Member
SHORT UPDATE:

So, as i said before, here's the time lapse of the arms being printed:

Next up, it was time to lay down a snazzy coat of paint on this sumbitch!
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I decided on painting the whole thing silver, then laying down all the "planet" bits (water and landmasses on the surface) as a sticker. problem is, there's no texture for that. the ark was part of a painted skybox in all the cutscenes! so, looks like i'll have to boot up photoshop and start making one from scratch tomorrow...
 
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CPO mendez

Member
UPDATE:

The photoshopping is going slow and steady, i'll post updates later, but in the mean time, something more interesting! next on the list to print are the covenant Cruiser (CSS-Class) and the Covenant Carrier (CAS-Class). i wanted to make these suckers BIG! so that involved cutting them up a bit. the Cruiser was easy, just had to cut it in half and stick both halves on the build plate:
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But the Carrier was bigger, and needed to be cut up into 4 seperate pieces:
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Now, this sucker is BIG! i checked the G-Code, and apparently part 1 will take 36 hours, part 2 will be 41 hours, Part 3 will be 30 hours, and part 4 will be 11 hours. That's 118 hours of JUST printing!
like i said: Big.

First up is the Cruiser, though. The front part just finished printing this morning, however i'm at work at the moment, so expect pictures and the time lapse video tonight sometime. sorry for the tiny update, there'll be plenty more soon!
 

Attachments

CPO mendez

Member
SECOND UPDATE:

So, things didn't REALLY go as planned last night. turns out the gopro filming the time lapse just gave up halfway through the night, so that's it for THAT video. however i do have pictures for ya'll at least. took some glamor shots of the front half of the cruiser, (mostly) cleaned up:
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I'm still having ZERO luck on figuring out how to fix my damn problem with these 3D models being hollow and making the slicer throw a tantrum, so hopefully i can get it figured out and get printing again soon.
 

CPO mendez

Member
MEGA UPDATE:
(looks like it'll have to be a double-post thanks to all the pictures, so if it's still as much of a cardinal sin as it was when i used to be active on here years ago, uhh... sorry.)

Alright, so life, as it is want to do, gave my schedule a swift kick in the teeth, so i've been away for a little while. however, that doesn't mean i stopped printing! well... i DID stop printing, actually, because the extruder experienced some sort of weird clog that, despite every attempt to fix it, didn't help.

RIP in pieces lil bugger, taken from us too soon:
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BUT, a quick call to Robo3D, and a few days of waiting for it to arrive, and i slapped a new extruder in and got printing again! first thing up was the back half of the cruiser, which came out wonderfully
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slap a little glue on it, grab the rubber bands...
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add a little filler to get rid of holes, and we're done with the second build! time for glamor shots
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I even grabbed some fishing line and hung it up! kinda looks like turd on my phone's camera, but hey, i'll probably break out the old DSLR and take some nicer pictures once they're detailed and painted
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CPO mendez

Member
MEGA UPDATE PART 2

Next up on the list is a Covenant attack carrier!
this one was gonna be a BIG sucker! had to cut it up into 4 pieces just to fit it inside my printer's build plate!

things started off a little rocky...
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but i got a large middle section going, which came out to about 40 hours of printing. the LONGEST print i've ever done
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once it was done, i gave the poor printer a break and sanded the piece down nice and smooth for some more glamor shots!
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i decided to go a little easy on the printer and try out a small UNSC frigate, just a few hour build, and it, for some reason, just kinda fell apart when i started removing the support material...
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yeah, still trying to figure out THAT little head scratcher!
also, i've given up on the timelapse videos because these prints are so long! my old desktop wants to kill itself every time i plug in a 34 gig SD card COMPLETELY full of timelapse pictures! maybe later down the road i'll do a little more with it. who knows.
 

CPO mendez

Member
Small, sad update:

So this was a real kick in the nuts to come home to today...

I went super overkill on the support material for Section 1 of the carrier (the section i've been having so many problems with) and it liiked like i was finally gonna get a successful print with that damn hook-nose prow that my 3D printer REFUSED to print properly!
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So i left it to print overnight (thus the very few progress pictures) check on it this morning, see that there's not much filament left, but i guesstimated that there'd be juuuust enough to finish it off...
I came home this afternoon to find this:
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IT RAN OUT AT 90% COMPLETION!

And to add insult to injury, the tip of the hook failed, but only a little bit, so i couldn't see it through all the support material:
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so i'm all frustrated and annoyed now, watching section 3 print while i try to figure out what to do with section 1. the obscene amount of support material only kinda worked, and it was too big of a waste of filament to try again. i still got a few more tricks that might work, so stay tuned.
 

CPO mendez

Member
I'm sorry, but the pictures from your last 2 posts don't work for me. T_T
Yeah, sorry about that. it's fixed now.

Also, UPDATE TIME:

I goofed around with the failed print of section 1 a little bit:

"It took two in the nose then dropped into the atmosphere."
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Anyway, like i said in the last post i got section 3 printing while i figured out what to do with this impossible section 1 print... Section 3 came out great, and i grabbed the epoxy and the rubber bands to slap it onto section 2:
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Unfortunately, like the cruiser, there was a bit of a gap thanks to the skirt that prints underneath the pieces that's impossible to quickly and easily remove. also, one corner had lifted from the build plate slightly, so there was a fairly big gap:
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Of course, this is nothing a little bondo can't fix! i'll be picking up a new can of it on my way home from work today, so stay tuned for a little detail work and, hopefully, a successful print of section 1!
 

kaween

Member
Little tip on the "guestimate filament" thing. Here's what i do and i've never ran out of filament ever doing this :

1) most slicers will tell you exactly how much filament a model needs. You also know how much meters of filament there is on a full spool. So simply label the spool and subtract each job from it.

2) "guestimate". Most spool have about 28 windings of filament for each "layer of filament on the spool". This rougly translates into 10 meters of the stuff for each layer of filament on the spool once you get to 1/3th of it left.

3) most printers allow for a " change filament " function, but sadly a lot of them do a pretty bad job doing that, the result being anything between a clear resume-trace on the surface or even a totally destroyed model as the hotend fails to position correctly.

What i do when reaching the end of a spool ahead of model finishment : i wait till the hotend is busy with infill/non-surface printing. At that moment, i slow down the machines to 10%, and i retract the near-ended filament. The already molten filament in the hotend remains as buffer. Depending on used hotend (Vulcano or not) you have at least 60 seconds now to reload a new spool. After that, switch back to normal speed. I use this procedure to do away with the "10 meters here and 15 there ect ect" leftovers on spools.
 

CPO mendez

Member
Little tip on the "guestimate filament" thing. Here's what i do and i've never ran out of filament ever doing this :

1) most slicers will tell you exactly how much filament a model needs. You also know how much meters of filament there is on a full spool. So simply label the spool and subtract each job from it.

2) "guestimate". Most spool have about 28 windings of filament for each "layer of filament on the spool". This rougly translates into 10 meters of the stuff for each layer of filament on the spool once you get to 1/3th of it left.

3) most printers allow for a " change filament " function, but sadly a lot of them do a pretty bad job doing that, the result being anything between a clear resume-trace on the surface or even a totally destroyed model as the hotend fails to position correctly.

What i do when reaching the end of a spool ahead of model finishment : i wait till the hotend is busy with infill/non-surface printing. At that moment, i slow down the machines to 10%, and i retract the near-ended filament. The already molten filament in the hotend remains as buffer. Depending on used hotend (Vulcano or not) you have at least 60 seconds now to reload a new spool. After that, switch back to normal speed. I use this procedure to do away with the "10 meters here and 15 there ect ect" leftovers on spools.
Thanks for the awesome advice! unfortunately, i'm using Mattercontrol as my slicer (since it works the best with the R1+) and it's not NEARLY intuitive enough to let me fiddle with the print mid-print. Along with that, it needs to be plugged into the printer and have the computer ON for the entire print. not wanting to cook my laptop, i gotta load the gcode files onto the SD card, plug the card into the printer, then start it from my laptop and unplug it from the printer completely. its pretty damn annoying. However i've been looking into accessories and addons, and there's a little LCD-screen readout i can purchase that shows basic information on the print, and i think has a pause or stop button as well, so that'd be one way around it. stuff to think about for future prints i suppose...

UPDATE TIME:
So i snagged a little bondo from the local hardware store and got to work filling the gaps in the seam between section 2 and 3:

Some tape wrapped around the chisel blade exacto knife as a quick n' dirty sculpting tool:
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grabbed an old shoebox lid to keep everything clean:
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First layer slapped on nice and thick:
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after about 20 minutes of drying time I grabbed the mouse sander and started taking off the larger chunks:
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then with some high-detail hand-files i did detailing on anything the sander couldn't grab:
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Things got a little rough around the middle bit (troop teleporter thing?) since it was so detailed and such a weird shape, i had a lot of trouble getting a good angle with the files.
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That was it for sanding, and while all this was going on, i was printing what seemed to finally be a successful print of section 1!
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FINISHED! and it looks gorgeous!
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now to just remove the support material...
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aaand.....
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the nose got messed up overnight and was hidden by all the support material....

I could FEEL this damn print just LAUGHING at me! but i ain't giving up that easy!
 

kaween

Member
Oops, didn't even consider your printer didn't have a LCD control panel.

Most Reprap based machines (I suspect the Robo is Reprap based. The more because if I look at this
, the lcd control screen is exactly the same type and version used on 99% of all Prusa-based Repraps out there. So yeah, do that, you'll never regret it. I wouldn't know how to cope with my 3 machines (all Reprap-based) if they didn't have that display.

By the way, laptops should be more sturdy than that. I use S3D for all my printwork, so the laptops are constantly on. Never had any issues. Only time I ever lost a print (well 3 actually, as the 3 machines were all working at that moment) was when a drunk drive ran his car into the local power distribution cabin, cutting us from all power. :(

As for your stuborn part : odd. I'd try to reallign the part over a different axis.

Also, you probably have seen this a long time ago, but maybe not so :
 
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CPO mendez

Member
UPDATE PART 2: MENDEZ'S REVENGE

Alright, so we've now reached the 8th or 9th failed print of section 1, and i was done wasting filament! it was time to break out the big guns...

Now, my home workshop, as you can probably tell, is pretty "on the cheap". plastic tables (most of which are covered in paint) hand-me-down tools, and lots of improvising with what i have (the printer is the most expensive tool i own by a factor of 5) HOWEVER! I go to an art college, and am currently working as a TA for some summer camps in the sculpture department. That means i have access to the wood shop, which is a costumer's DREAM! every tool imaginable, in unlimited quantities! everything from table saws to teeny tiny vice grips. I decided i wasn't going to try to keep printing section 1 in hopes of a successful print, instead i was going to take the half-finished prints that i HAD, and join them in an unholy "Frankenstein's monster" style experiment.

First issue: the nose section of a covenant assault carrier may be the most difficult thing to secure to a jig so i can get a straight cut. there isn't a SINGLE flat space on the damn thing! this means that i'll have to create a custom jig. so, i broke out the meiter gauge (i think that's what it's called) and got the shape of the nose where i wanted to cut it (just above the plasma laser thing):
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The meiter gauge is basically a bunch of tiny pins all lined up in a row, with a handle around the middle (pictured in the top right corner in the above picture) its used to get the shape of weirdly shaped objects by pushing the pins down over the object. the pins get pushed up by the object as you push it down, and it gives you a perfect silhouette of the shape, which you can then trace onto wood to create a jig, which is a cradle that your object sits in that keeps it nice and flat while you push it through whatever type of saw or sander you're using (in this case it'll be a band saw). I need to meiter gauge the section that i'm cutting, and then a section 2 or 3 inches back to create a stable jig that will keep the pieces level while i cut them:
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after tracing both sections, i cut the shapes:
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Then it was time to do a little testing to see how well they fit:
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once that was done, the rear piece had to be sanded down, since it was lower than the front piece, then the two had to be stapled to a bottom piece so they didn't slip or move while cutting:
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And with that, the Jig is done! now, time to give this sucker a nose job!
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I'm cutting the white piece at the same spot to get rid of the rough, messed up print, so that the seam is as flat as possible:
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(since it was PLA filament, the cutting smelled DELICIOUS!)
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The cut was a bit rough, but its nothing that a little bondo job can't fix
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Back in my workshop, it was time to epoxy the new nose:
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And now to just let it dry overnight! expect some bondo work on the nose, gluing section one onto section 2, and the printing of section 4 to complete this monster of a ship!
 

CPO mendez

Member
Oops, didn't even consider your printer didn't have a LCD control panel.

Most Reprap based machines (I suspect the Robo is Reprap based. The more because if I look at this
, the lcd control screen is exactly the same type and version used on 99% of all Prusa-based Repraps out there. So yeah, do that, you'll never regret it. I wouldn't know how to cope with my 3 machines (all Reprap-based) if they didn't have that display.

By the way, laptops should be more sturdy than that. I use S3D for all my printwork, so the laptops are constantly on. Never had any issues. Only time I ever lost a print (well 3 actually, as the 3 machines were all working at that moment) was when a drunk drive ran his car into the local power distribution cabin, cutting us from all power. :(

As for your stuborn part : odd. I'd try to reallign the part over a different axis.
Check the update i just posted, i went on a bit of a crazed revenge spree to finish section 1. as for the LCD screen, i'll definitely check it out after that glowing recommendation. i'm currently sweating bullets hoping that an 80 hour print (fallout prop for a friend) that i started 2 days ago has enough filament to finish. it looks like it should be enough. but we know what happened the last time i said that. maybe i'll be quick enough to pull an Indiana Jones and switch the filament while its still printing.
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