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

CPO mendez

Member
Man these ships are incredible! Your picture with the hangar puts into perspective just how freaking big the infinity is! As usual, great work.
Thanks! it was pretty crazy to realize that THOSE little slots were the massive hangars that you see in Spartan Ops

Oh, man your stuff is amazing!

really great work! Can't wait to see the whole result. this is a real masterpiece!

what's next on the 'ships that I'm going to make' list?
I have one more ship sliced up and ready to print, which really is the "big kahuna". by FAR the biggest ship (in every direction) that i've built so far.

The Spirit of Fire
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I started, as usual, by slicing it up, which kinda determines how big its gonna be when its finished. (bigger chunks means smaller ship)
so needless to say i made it huge:
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It came out to 22 parts total, each one at an average of 16 hours of print time. so, time to get printing!

Most of the ship's parts were juuust small enough to be able to fit both halves in one print, barring the back half where its widest, of course. So, it was just print, clean up, arrange, repeat!
Part 1:
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Part 2:
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Put together:
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Part 3 and so on:
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Around part 3 or 4, i realized that the "base" ships attached to the underside of the wings were getting printed all gnarly because they were too small to register for support material in my slicer:
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So i snipped em off and pulled em off of the 3D model to print seperately:
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Back to the ship!
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There's her badge, looking snazzy~
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And finally, a progress measurement! i wasn't able to get a proper measurement (because importing the entire ship into my slicer would crash it) but rough estimates put it at roughly 3 feet long and close to a foot wide (at its widest)
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That's the image limit, part 2: more printing.
 

CPO mendez

Member
Alright, part 2! more printing of the Spirit of Fire!

we left off at part 5 of the print, but first, some glamor shots!
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A close up of the detail at the front:
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Now, back to the ship progress! unfortunately, this is where i finished off the last reel of filament, which made it all the way through part 7:
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I have 3 more 2kg reels arriving tomorrow, which is more than enough to get through the rest of the ship, so stay tuned for that.

Next up, more mold making and some actual casting!
 

CPO mendez

Member
Alright! back to the mold making! we left off with the covenant carrier mold finished, next up is some ACTUAL CASTING!!!

I bought some resin from the same place i get the Smooth-on, and really didn't know much about it. i had the mix ratio, though, so i thought it'd be a good start to learn with, and MAYBE pour a successful cast or two!
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First up: the cruiser (since its the easiest mold):
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After giving it a night to dry, i pulled it apart and found a VERY bubbly cast
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And also a leak that fused the wood mother mold to my workbench:
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So, turns out that this NuClear resin needs a vacuum chamber after mixing (which was 1: not on the label and 2: something i do not have) either way, i tried my best with what i had, and poured the casts for the Pillar of Autumn (this time waiting for several minutes after mixing before pouring to see if i can get the bubbles out naturally)
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They came out pretty good, but still with VERY large bubbles. either way, i put it together:
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As you can see, the thinner parts didn't make it at all:
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I've got another material in mind, but its gonna be a few weeks before i have the money for a gallon jug. so stay tuned for that! next up should be the infinity mold, and more progress on the spirit of fire!
 

Attachments

mblackwell1002

Well-Known Member
Oh, NOooo....

(sniff, sniff...) that made me cry...:cry:

aww...I hope that can get fixed......Err...re-casted. maybe.

best of luck.
 

CPO mendez

Member
Oh, NOooo....

(sniff, sniff...) that made me cry...:cry:

aww...I hope that can get fixed......Err...re-casted. maybe.

best of luck.
It ain't that much of a tragedy, i knew that this first batch was gonna be mostly messing up and learning. i could sell the bubbly casts for half price if someone wants them, they could probably look half decent with some bondo, primer, and TLC. And SPEAKING of prices, now that i actually have volume measurements, i can post prices for some of the models! they came out to be a good deal cheaper than i expected! this is what i got so far:

Covenant Cruiser: $30 + Shipping
Halcyon-class (Pillar of Autumn): $120 + shipping

The Supercarrier and Frigate are next, followed by the Infinity and Spirit of fire if things go to plan (knock on wood), so my earlier guess of the infinity being somewhere under $200 looks to be pretty spot on! once i have a good stock i'll make an official post in the classifieds section with a paypal and email and all the gubbins.
 

StayFrosty

Jr Member
I'm sure most people here would have no issues fixing up a bubbly cast! Great work so far, I might consider buying one of these if I have some cash to spare:D
 

CPO mendez

Member
UPDATE TIME!

Alright! it's been a few months! the beginning of the new college semester and the move to a new dorm kinda put a halt to things temporarily. i've been working on this project, though, and got a few big snazzy updates!

So, first off, the two main things i've had on my mind with this project:

1: how the hell am i gonna make my 3D printer quiet enough to run while ~3 feet away from my bed in this new dorm...

2: i need a better way to cast these larger ships, because solid resin is difficult to do properly, and weighs a TON! which is gonna make cost-effective shipping impossible.

I'll address both of those later. first, i need to catch up with the work already done! like i said in the previous post, next up was the Infinity mold, and a redo of the frigate mold, since i wasn't able to salvage the old, half-failed one.

SO, INFINITY first! same thing as usual, a few passes of bondo on the gaps and seams, and then a two-part mold. Unfortunately, this was the last of my leftover smooth-on, so i didn't quite finish the first half, and had to let it dry and wait until i got a new batch:
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The new frigate mold was also ready for pouring, but since the smooth-on had run out, it had to wait as well:
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Just a little mini-update on the state of the mold-making, the next update will go into the fun adventures of noise cancelling a 3D printer in a dorm! stay tuned
 

CPO mendez

Member
Alright! i cut the last one a bit short to make room for this. so, right after running out of mold-making materials, the new semester started up and i was moving into a new dorm at my college! I'm local enough to commute home for the weekends (mostly for the access to my garage workbench). however, i was running my printer pretty much 24/7, so checking in on it every weekend was gonna kill the productivity with this ship building project. so, i decided to pack it up with the rest of my stuff and bring it to the dorm!

As you can see, i don't exactly have the most space. and you never really appreciate just HOW LOUD a printer is until you have to sleep right next to it.. SO! i got to work.

A trip down to Tap Plastics, and i had a few custom-cut sheets of 1/4" acrylic (which blew the rest of my leftover christmas money), and some acrylic glue:
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Building time!
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There was a bit of a lip over the folding table since i had to account for the full extension of the build plate, so a section of EVA foam closed it up nicely:
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And viola! a nice box to keep all the noise and heat in!
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DISCLAIMER: I did tons and tons of research, and even called Robo3D tech support to make sure there was no risk of overheating, or any sort of fire hazard. if you do this, DO YOUR RESEARCH! custom-made printers can be very dangerous if they overheat!

Anyway, back to the build! the acrylic on its own wasn't quite enough, so i ordered a bunch of sheets of noise-cancelling foam off of amazon to glue around the inside:
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Next, i cut up one of the sheets to make a lip around the bottom:
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And finally, a few bigger ones for the top and back!
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Things are nice and quiet at night now, and the added benefit of having a warmer environment means that my prints are sticking to the build plate better, and are coming out much nicer!

Next up, continuing the spirit of fire build!
 
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CPO mendez

Member
So, with that out of the way, it was time to continue work on the Spirit of Fire! i learned my lesson from past ship builds and decided to not glue anything until the entire ship was printed. the last update on the SOF, we were at around part 7, which left part 8 through 12 to be printed:
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A few WIP glamor shots, of course:
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24 inch ruler for scale:
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Unfortunately there were some issues with infill, which caused quite a few holes in the print, something i'll need to fix later:
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And that's the image limit for this post! next up (hopefully tomorow) will be finishing the Spirit of fire printing! after that, its time to sand, detail, fix, and assemble the MASSIVE ship!
 

CPO mendez

Member
MORE UPDATES!

So, as promised, i'm back again with more work on the Spirit of Fire! we last left off with 1/2 of the big fat butt done, with some issues with infill causing lots of holes. these were both close to 30 hour prints each, so instead of scrapping them and starting over (with even MORE infill, which means more time and filament) i thought it was worth it to just fix them with bondo.

SO! let's finish this beast!
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Unfortunately i couldn't stack the whole thing in one piece because the engine cowlings were SUPER fragile, and it also leaned forward too much to balance properly.
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Now, with the printing done, it was time to sand, detail, fix, and assemble! first, all the flat surfaces that were getting glued together needed to be COMPLETELY flat! after that, gluing the halved sections together! (since the surface was perpendicular to the build plate, there was zero warping, which meant they only needed a little sanding to get rid of any bogeys before they could go together)
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The handy dandy mouse sander, which has proven to be the PERFECT tool for this ship building project!
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A little before and after to show what's going on
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And we'll just gloss over the other boring stuff and get to the gluing!
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That's the image limit for this post! part 2 will be a little more gluing, then the start of the detailing and bondo work!
 

CPO mendez

Member
UPDATE PART 2!

Alright, with the sections all glued together, it was time to move onto detailing! however, there were a couple sections that lined up perfectly, with no holes or seam splits, so those got glued together first:
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And a quick glamor shot of everything all stacked up (sans the engine section for the same reason as detailed above)
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NOW! for the annoying and most difficult part: detailing and bondo work. as you can tell from the pic above, there was QUITE a bit of lifting, which means big fat ugly seams. to make matters worse, the "wings" at the front (where most of the gaps are), end in small hangars and other little details that make it a million times more difficult to bondo while also preserving every little nook and cranny.

I took a different approach this time around though, like i said, instead of gluing the pieces together and trying to fill and sand the seams surrounded by delicate little details, i was gonna leave everything separate and slap bondo onto the flat surface, sand it down with MUCH more ease, and try to get a flat surface to then glue together:
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An example of some of the more obvious damage:
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Everything bondo'd up
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And each piece sanded:
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As you can see, there's still a bit of a gap
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Next up, the holes in the engine section, along with more sanding:
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And finally, time to glue things on! first up, small detail pieces that were printed seperately:
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And finally, the big middle section, with a second pass of bondo and sanding:
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And that's it for part 2, part 3 will be mostly gluing! we're sooo close to having this thing in one piece!
 

CPO mendez

Member
UPDATE PART 3! unfortunately the last one for today.

GLUE TIME! not pictured was another two or three passes with bondo. even with this new method, there was still a lot left to do after gluing and assembly:
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Sanding and other little tidbits were also happening, and i had a bit of an oopsie with arguably the most important part of the ship...
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LAST TIME I CHECKED IT AIN'T THE SPIRIT OF FIR!
Anyway, i already had a way to fix it (that didn't involve meticulously sculpting a new E out of bondo) so, back to gluing!
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Another issue was the start of the back section. it got printed in a way that ruined a lot of details, and i only discovered it after both (very large, very time consuming) prints were done! so, i decided to leave it and very delicately smooth things with the dremel:
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And with that, it was... (almost) COMPLETE! i got a little excited and rubber-banded the engine section on so i could pose it and take tons of awesome glamor shots!
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this thing is BIG!!! That's it for this update though. tomorrow, we'll finish up detailing the back section, finish assembly, and maybe throw a bit of paint on this sucker! stay tuned.
 

RobotChicken

Well-Known Member
You still working on this? The ships were looking great and I've been waiting on your next update to see how they're coming along. The paint job on that Covenant ship turned out awesome.
 
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