This is all kinds of awesome.
This is all kinds of awesome.
I saw a news report about a mass-market 3D printer a few days ago.
The guy who designed it was interviewed by a reporter on CNBC or msnbc.
Anyhow, the printer is still priced well above what most people will pay. $1225. Still, it beats the alternatives had before!
One main limitation I saw was that the size of plastic materials was limited by the size of the housing (transparent plastic? glass?). I think the size limit was maybe 5"-7" high by 10" wide? Not practical for modeling unless you're making small or are patient and can afford to break models into smaller segments.
No mention was made of the plastic used in the printer...
Obviously, atemy has a more sophisticated set-up but thought I'd pop and mention the costs of the 'mass-market' 3D printer....
The processes that you have just shown are amazing. Where do you put all these models?
I for one have bookmarked this thread, and look forward to watching the progress.
Incredible work... I envy your skills and resources.
wow.. it'll take some time to digest all the info on the build. thanks
The low end printers have a long way to go, before they would be considered useful for the general public. People wouldn't be interested in the machine unless it made items that looked perfect. Those days are coming, but when is anybodies guess.
Here is some more...
I thought you guys would like to see more process. The long two piece part is the accelerator, the one in Al's documents was way off. That's understandable it's not that simple a part. I was really racking my brains as to how to create it.
Here is the original part, sadly it was modified from it's original state. Why is anybodies guess, most likely to make the SSM follow a set of fan made plans(that's what some of us think). This is the part I wanted to recreate.
I knew I was going to make the rail down the middle in styrene. So I sized it accordingly, to fit in a center channel. But I still had the problem of the rest of it.
That's where this tool comes in...
This a 3D scanner, now before people start screaming digital recasting. It's not that easy(I only wish it was). It scans to a maximum resolution of .004", an object is placed on a turntable, and the object is traced by a laser. But since it uses a laser there is problems in the laser scattering(the laser sees best with a matte light gray surface, but it still isn't perfect, I didn't paint this part). And that effects the scan, which means a lot work on the other end.
Here is what the raw scan looks like...
This was scanned from a part I know is accurate, the reason there is blank spots is the laser couldn't scan those sections. Because of the part's orientation in the scanner. I took this file and opened it in Rino...
Above is a rendering of the part in Rino.
Here is the scan data next to profiles that were taken off of the accelerator. In this pic the contours look good, but they are not, and they have to be redrawn, which means things are going to change. Plus this part scan is useless to me, it would not sit on the saucer I machined(not without a lot of modification). Besides I only cared about the part profiles.
My goal was not making an exact reproduction of this part, but to make a new part to match my model. Since the profiles were incomplete I filled in the missing sections.
Here is the completed part in rendered in Rino...
See how it doesn't look quite right, that's a remnant of tracing the contours. Really I could care less, because I'm going to fix that in the printed part. All I needed was something to work from. If you look at the printed part it does look a little wonky. It's nothing that a bit of sanding couldn't correct. Another thing I did was rescale the part for the model, the part I scanned was about half the size of what I needed. The printed part was split so it would fit in my printer.
Like I said I was only after the part's contours, I hope I have shown that it isn't an exact copy of the part. I do not condone recasting, the idea that you can use my scanner to make an exact copy of a part is nearly impossible. I couldn't get that good a scan off of a part. No matter what I do I still have to recreate what I'm scanning. Which means it's going to change. I have directly printed parts from my scanner, normally it has very poor results.
To answer the question of where I put these parts. The printed parts are in my modeling room, the routed parts are in my garage(they stand easily on one end). Right now I'm rearranging my garage for this project. Lucky for me my router works on it's own, so I'm free to get other stuff done.
One other thing, Bondo is really nasty stuff, a router can be a better dust producer than sanding. My machine is contained and I have a exhaust system. Anybody using my techniques use with caution. I can't take any responsibility for what someone else does.
Wow, don't know how this slipped under my radar. What a fantastic build. Not only are you turning it into a tutorial on 3D printing and CNC milling, you are building an 11 foot 'fracking' Enterprise and making it look like a walk in the park! Much respect Sir!
This is the sort of thing that make projects like this very satisfying.
The parts are taped together to check fit. I set the bussard mount in front to also check fit.
The bench I have it on is a little bowed. I assure you They match.
Why am I showing these now, because I couldn't stack the parts in this manor before.
Note the stacked pieces of particle board and MDF. One of the tricks I use is to add an extra board under the part. It gives me some breathing room when creating the part. As well as some additional clearance, the reason it's there is allow a tool I have to cut undercuts around each of the parts.
That gives me an edge to match the parts, But I have to mill off the additional wood below the part line. Sorry I don't have any pics of this process. I'm sure you guys will get the idea.
These are the molds/jigs for the pylons. Note the rectangles at each end. Those are there to place the 1"x3" aluminum tube, it gives me a length, and sets the parts in position. The pylons themselves will be made out of fiberglass, since the weight of the nacelle will be carried by the aluminum tube. One other trick I did with these is to mill in the profile that matches the hull and nacelle. Which is the channel between the rectangle and the pylon. When these parts are finished the pylons will bolt into the armature.
I'll show that when I have the armature done.
This is one of the bussard collectors. It is the pilot version, since it has a flat spot to accommodate the spike. It still has to be finished, I haven't made up my mind whether to make this one out of fiberglass, or blow mold it, or vacuum form it(I'm leaning toward blow molding). I did drill in an 1/8" hole in the center since I took the pic. I'm sure you guys will see these molds again.
Now while the router is running, I'm not sitting idle.
I was working on this, the pic looks great. But you can't see all the pin holes I have to fill. But I did eliminate the tooling marks(groves left by the milling process). It still has a way to go before molding and I still have to add the sensor bands.
That's all for today.
Remember if you guys have any questions ask away.
I can clean up your scan data if you want. I have this software and have been using it for 6 years. PolyWorks: 3d scanner software - 3d scanning software - 3d digitizers
send me a PM if interested.
Here is another update.
All of the big parts for the E have been machined.
Now for the fun of fitting and finishing the parts.
My router plays a role in this.
The parts are a profile and a cradle for the secondary hull.
I did the same thing for the engine.
here is one half of the hull in the cradle. This makes things easier to handle, and helps to protect the parts. Each of the parts that cradle the hull are a 1/8" larger than the parts they hold. This allows some room for padding after the hull has been finished.
The cradle that's more impressive is the nacelle cradle.
It plays a very important roll, since the nacelle is in 4 parts. The parts have to be aligned for mating. Note the steel plate the cradle is sitting on. It's 3" thick 2' wide and 3' long(it's about 600 pounds). It was from a machine I designed that didn't work, but some of it's components come in very handy. This plate is precision ground, that means the surface is really flat. Not perfect mind you, but more than enough for model work. The slots in the plate are called T-slots so I can bolt things to the plate. The plate and the cradle work together to help make things straight.
I don't care that the cradle is hanging off each side(besides I couldn't help it). As far as alignment goes it's fine. Note the line of MDF between the nacelle half's. That is what I use to match and eventually mate the parts.
This is what it looks like.
It has a series of holes for pins, each piece of the nacelle has these holes. I use them to align parts in the router, as well as for this purpose. It saves a lot of time, and headaches especially when things go wrong.
The 2 slots in the middle of the template are there so I can route(using a hand router) channels for steel bar to mate the halves(I haven't done that yet).
Here is a close up. The parts are just set in the cradle, the alignment is very good.
Here is one part of the trick to getting a good alignment.
There are tabs at each end of the cradle. These allow me to place the parts right where I want them, then the template will do the rest.
I did start working on mating the neck to the second hull.
I figured you guys wold like this view. It's hard to use a camera with one hand, and try to get a good shot.
That's it for this update, I would have had more done if things were not so cold. Phoenix has been down in the 40's which makes my garage feel like a meat-locker. For Phoenix that's really cold, but then to my thin blood anything below 70 degrees is cold. Before I hear people say that's not cold, keep in mind our summers can get above 120 degrees. It's all relative.
This is awesome!!! Really looking forward to following your progress and I appreciate your detailed updates.
Last edited by feek61; Feb 4, 2011 at 12:18 PM.
Set for stunned.
Amazing, informative, talent.
Do you plan an interior support structure for the eventual (I assume) epoxy glass model?
I question if it's necessary for my smaller 66 inch version if I build the secondary hull and pylons from thick layup Matt and a light layup for the saucer and nacelles with glass cloth.
I suppose in terms of engineering and structural strength size does matter. Meaning a small 1/350 model needs no such support but as the size increases and the mass - weight it does.
Certainly at the original 11.5 foot it will?
Last edited by SteveNeill; Feb 8, 2011 at 11:17 AM.
I very much like the idea of the cradle you have for the secondary hull.
You should give serious consideration to making it the stand for whatever kit you come up with as a result of your efforts. perhaps made out of clear lucite or other such material, but I think it would be much more preferable to the "ship on a stick" pole type stand
As a friend pointed out, I plan everything. Something which this hobby isn't known for. I consider this a design project which means I have completed the design before I get to the machining stage. The armature to me is the most important part of the design. You can do almost anything with cosmetics, but a bad structure makes the whole thing a failure. If the model starts to sag in a few years, then it's a waste of time.
The structural problems with the TOS E design are complex but not that complex. There are two critical areas on the model.
The white arrows on each end of the model signify gravity. See how far they are from the secondary hull. These cause stress on all of the points I have circled. The primary hull isn't that hard because it has a lot of room for structure. But the engines pose bigger issues.
The spindly pylons(I think they are a joke) are a problem because they would twist about their base. If you used a weak material without any additional support. Or put to much weight into the nacelles. You'll eventually have a really warped ship.
You'll have to do it Steve, or you could do what the other guy did that made a 66" E, hang it from the ceiling on strings. He's not going to be very happy with his ships down the road(if he isn't already).
My pylons are going to be a fiberglass shell, with a 1"x3" aluminum tube for support. Those are going to bolt into the 1/4" aluminum armature in the secondary hull. This is where things get interesting.
This shows what I'm doing in section. The pylon support slides into slots milled into aluminum plate. If you'll notice the rectangular slot in the secondary hull plate. It(there are 4) will slide into corresponding slots in the armature of the 2nd hull. That's so I don't have to weld anything, they will just set in place with gravity's help.
All this why there is box shapes on each side of my pylon patterns.
So the parts will be the correct length, and correctly positioned within the pylons. This structure prohibits a shuttle bay in the model. Since I don't know how far back it goes into the hull, I'll bet it would interfere with the model's structure. As well being able to break down the model should it need to be moved.
I would follow similar rules even with the 350 version of the ship. But that doesn't mean using metals, but since metals are relatively cheap for such a small model it would be a lot easier to epoxy into place.
A cradle is not practical for display purposes and it would pose additional problems(the cradles I made are for matching and finishing purposes), plus it wouldn't change anything in the structure of the model. And it would have to still have to be anchored to the model. The shell of the model will be supporting very little. It would really detract from the look of the model, as well as having a very awkward base. I have that designed as well, it will be a piece of furniture(on casters). So I can display more things below the model. And keep the model high enough to be able to walk under the primary hull.
Here is a rough sketch of the armature in the 2nd hull.
This is very rough, I'm still working on the details. There are a lot of them. Such as the 1" slot in the bottom, that will be a tube for the model to set on(with set screws), the wiring will run out of the tube into the hull. It would be impractical to have a connection like the MR E. Since this isn't a model you can fly around the room.
It does show what I'm thinking, and there is another point of trouble. That is the connection to the primary hull. Other models(the MR E & jk 66") you cannot remove the primary hull from the second(not without a lot of work). On this model if I couldn't remove the the primary hull, it would be very impracticable to move(or ship for that matter). I have the solution but that will have be to another post.
Fascinating stuff, ATM. Thanks again for sharing in the process! This labor of love will be worth a lot when she's finished. I don't know how you could ever put a price tag on your sweat and toil but I'm curious: are you planning on coveting her or after recording her attributes for posterity--and smashing the proverbial champagne bottle across her bow--will you put it up to market to the highest bidder?
Thanks you so much! I found that extremely helpful and eye opening. Working with Aluminum is nice. Easy to cut and light weight. Bolts together without cracking. I like it.
Same here. I'm making one for me because it's something I've always wanted since I was in High School. The second one I'll sell. I may offer some hull kits and the builder supply everything else(lights, internal structure, etc). Even at my smaller scale these models aren't cheap to make. The silicone epoxy molds alone will cost a 1500.00 or more and that doesn't include the labor.
Thanks again for the help and lecture.
Awesome work, and mini-tutorial. I agree w/Steve, very cool!
Back in the stone age, I had such issues with my AMT Enterprise. My 10 year old self decided to take a lesson from braces on teeth- Glue the pylons & tape them solidly into the correct position, and... leave it for a few days before removing the tape. Jeeze, I used a whole roll on each one I did, but it worked!
We learn by doing, I guess.
I was thinking of the secondary hull as a solid shape, not a fiberglass shell over an armature. Your method of weight displacement is much more elegant.
which got me thinking. what would happen do you suppose if after you completed your secondary hull (lighting wiring and such) you filled the whole shape with epoxy. You'd be sealing the LEDs in place permanently (along with everything else) but think of the stability youd be gaining
I wouldn't want to seal anything permanently. You never know...
Last edited by Proper; Feb 9, 2011 at 8:58 PM.
What got me thinkig about filling the hull is looking back on the Original 11 footer and how much of her is solid and I can't help thinking that has a lot to do with how little droop she is showing even after 40 years.
Solid body + solid pylons + mostly hollow nacelles = more stability in maintaining the shape