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  1. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Apr 19, 2017, 3:15 AM - Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #1

    I'm considering making a cosplay based on the Kryptonite exoskeleton suit that Alex Danvers uses in some episodes in Supergirl. There's a couple of OK reference photos on Chyler Leigh's Instagram and obviously the TV show episodes are available. Probably enough to do an OK job, but but nothing of high really resolution so far.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BK_yx1kh6VJ/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BFO47U8LZuB/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BEWqR01LZiv/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/supergirlTV...u5&sh=05d3cdcf

    This logo could potentially be incorporated into the suit as a detail (no idea if it appears on the actual costume):

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BA-S3hnrZmI/

    It seems like a suitable project for 3D printing (possibly a hybrid foam/3D print, but potentially mostly 3D printed). Less than printing a full suit, but still a fairly large project. I could probably use my Black Widow jumpsuit as the undersuit (the SHIELD emblems are removable).

    Is anyone else working on this? Have you found good photo references for the suit?
  2. Member Since
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    Apr 20, 2017, 1:50 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #2

    I can't believe no ones done the kryptonite suit yet. That's so cool!!!!!!!
  3. deathstroke132's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2017, 2:21 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #3

    looking forward to this! good to see someone's doing it!
  4. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Apr 23, 2017, 9:40 AM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #4

    I have a feeling I will go ahead with this project.

    I studied the photos I have and noticed that she's just wearing her normal DEO clothes under the exoskeleton, so it's just regular clothes basically. There's a huge amount of small detail in the costume. Makes me wonder if it was built from found parts or modeled & crafted (or 3D-printed). It will be challenging to make the parts connect solidly and of course arm and leg joints may turn out to be tricky.

    I installed Make Human and will start out by creating placeholder parts (just boxes) around the resulting mesh in Fusion 360.

    I also found and bought a wig for this. Freetress Mercury in color OM23033 (Ombre 2/30/33) is a good and inexpensive match. The part is on the wrong side, but that just means it will look right in the a mirror.
  5. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Apr 29, 2017, 10:35 AM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #5

    I bought and received these cargo pants:

    http://www.emp.fi/art_335094/

    They are probably OK, maybe a bit looser than the real thing. Really comfortable and should be cool to wear. The label on the left leg is attached with velcro, so it comes off easily (nice!).

    I ordered an Under Armour top and then found on TheTake.com that the top used is actually an Icrebreaker Everyday (half zip, long sleeve). I ended up ordering the real one too (useful items, I suppose). The real thing is merino wool whereas the Under Armour is synthetic. One might be cooler to wear than the other, but the Icebreaker one has the advantage that there are no visible logos on it.

    http://www.wiggle.com/icebreaker-wom...lf-zipper-top/
    https://www.underarmour.com/en-fi/wo...pid1263101-001


    Here are the shoes I ordered (I haven't received them yet):

    https://www.shucentre.co.uk/grafters...hoes-1612.html

    Here's a screenshot of what the MakeHuman mesh looks like in Fusion 360 with a canvas overlay. The photo has slight perspective distortion, but the pose was surprisingly close to the default pose from MakeHuman, so the overlay will be useful for a rough sketch for scaling and placing the various parts of the suit.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I experimented a bit by drawing and printing M5 size bolts. The printed bolts and nuts work perfectly and look good, so I'll probably use them instead of metal parts (at least to start with). The bolts on the suit are probably larger than M5 (I haven't tried to measure them yet).

    I plan to use an Adafruit Pro Trinket (3.3V), 3.6V lithium ion battery and NeoPixel strips for the lights. This will make it possible to add all kinds of glowing effects and even change the color, if desired. I have RJ11 connectors (male/female) and the tools to make the cables, so I'm considering using those between the main body, arms and legs. Each part will have its own control pin on the trinket, so I don't have to loop back the signal out from each limb to the next one. I have all the necessary parts already.
  6. Member Since
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    May 2, 2017, 11:29 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #6

    Are you going to be doing the sword as well?
  7. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 3, 2017, 8:08 AM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #7

    The blade and sheath should be part of the costume. I'm getting pretty good strength from PETG prints, so I will try to use clear PETG for the glowing part and black PETG otherwise. I designed and printed two small parts just to see what it looks like - I used clear PETG for both parts so I didn't have to change filaments. There's a channel between the two parts for a neopixel strip. There's also a round cavity, for adding a rod for strength. I'm not entirely sure what the final design is going to be like - this was just a first concept test print. Glowing part of the blade will be a single outline vase mode print. I will probably iterate a bit on the outline to some sort of light diffuser structure inside.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There's a rail between the two parts. I experimented a bit last in Fusion360, learning how to loft a blade from the sketch profiles. This is still very much work in progress:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It might need a bit of curve, but a straight blade might be OK too. I'm hoping the sword will disassemble into two parts to make it easier to pack for air travel.

    I kind of changed my mind on the power source for the armor itself and bought some cheap USB power banks (5€ each). They were nice and small, but had a fatal flaw: they shut down automatically if the current draw on the output is too low. The Pro Trinket alone doesn't draw enough power, so the whole thing would have shut down if the lights were off. I'll try some other brand power bank next. Going with USB power allows me to get more brightness from the LEDs and use the 5V Pro Trinket. I also have a 5V wireless remote circuit with a 4-button key fob remote that might be good for this project.

    I received the Under Armour shirt in the mail today - it's quite good for this except for the small shiny logos. I have a parcel at the post office that I will pick up in an hour or so - I think those are the shoes.

    I'm still studying the reference photos for the exoskeleton and the underlying straps/harness to figure out how to design it.
  8. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 3, 2017, 4:35 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #8

    I changed the curve of the blade, so that it widens a bit near the tip. I printed a 10cm tip segment just to test the fit and put some blue LEDs in. When I use NeoPixels (WS2812B), it will both be brighter (these are 9V rated LEDs driven at 5V) and the right color and the last LED will go closer to the tip of the blade. But here's what it looks like now:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The LED density on the strip is only 60/meter. I think I might go with the 144/meter density for more even lighting.
  9. sdasi1's Avatar
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    May 4, 2017, 12:35 AM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #9

    lookin forward to this build, Alex's kryptonite power suit is pretty awesome
  10. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 8, 2017, 12:29 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #10

    First, some more information about the sports top...probably not of any interest ot makers, but it's part of the costume:

    The Icebreaker top arrived and turned out to be quite disappointing - it seems TheTake.com didn't have the correct information at all. The collar is a bit "floppy" and quite short, the seams are completely different and the material is very thin (potentially se-through thin with flash photos). It's comfortable and fits well, but not a good match for the top worn on the show.

    The Under Armour top I got earlier is much closer, which lead me to look at Under Armour items again. I found something in their catalog that is even closer than the one I got and the Under Armour logo would go under the collar instead of being visible on the chest. Their current version has a weird seam on the back. The item is: "Under Armour Ladies ColdGear Cozy Half Zip Top". I found some sites that show what may be an older version:

    https://www.golfonline.co.uk/armour-...-cozy-half-zip

    The sleeves are slightly different, but the seams are almost exactly right & the material texture in the photos looks like a very close match too. I'm pretty sure now that the top in the show was from Under Armour - it might just be an even earlier version or from a similar line of items that has been discontinued. Or the sleeves could have been customized - should be very easy to do (fold the ends under and stitch).


    Build progress news:

    It looks like the Kryptonite suit in the TV show uses some straps with velcro and some straps with buckles. I think it would be nice to use some sort of quick release buckles of my own design. Maybe velcro for size adjustment and buckles for putting the suit on and and taking it off quickly. I made a test piece using one possible buckle design idea last night, but I'm not sure if it's ideal for this purpose.

    I spent some time thinking about the internal electronics and the 3D structure of the hilt of the sword. I ordered some components and checked the power budget... A 144 Neopixel strip actually draws over 40W of power at 5V and full brightness. The blade is going to be shorter than that, but for now I think it's best to plan the blade as a 3.7V LiIon system. I bought some protected Panasonic 18650 cells (3400mAh). At 3.7V and about 65cm blade length (I'll have to check photo refs at some point, but 65cm is fairly typical for katana), maximum power draw with all colors lit would be about 20W. With mostly just green LEDs on (and probably at less than full power), the current draw should be reasonable. A 3.3V basic Adafruit Trinket should be sufficient to animate the LEDs and a bit more. The blade is going to be silent (no sound hardware). I want the animation to be very subtle...like very slowly burning embers (but green instead of red).

    So far I have printed the blade with clear PETG, but a translucent green would work better in daylight. I have a translucent green filament on the way from Hobbyking, but it's a flexible filament (semiflex really), so it might be too flexible. Flexible filaments have really good layer bonding though and the ones I have from Hobbyking (clear & black) have nice clarity & shine. A green Taulman T-Glase might also work or I could just dye the clear PETG that I have.

    I'm going to model the hilt as two main components: an the electronics frame and a sculpted shell that twists and locks on top of the frame. I modeled a small twist lock design in Fusion360 just to get the hang of it and got a really good functional part on the very first print.

    NOTE: I edited out one of the online seller links as the seller appears to be a Chinese scam site that either doesn't deliver or sends you a fake item.
    Last edited by tiga; May 11, 2017 at 6:14 AM. Reason: Removed link to an untrustworthy vendor.
  11. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 13, 2017, 1:24 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #11

    The blade model is pretty much ready. I printed a few test segments with a translucent green flexible filament and liked the look (rather intense shiny neon green), but if printed with that material, the blade rigidity would be almost entirely on the spine. I'm going to try a translucent green PETG next - I should have some filament for that next week. If that looks good, I may start printing parts. The render below shows some of the holes for the grub screws that will hold the blade parts together. The full sword is almost a full meter long, so I want to make it possible to disassemble it for easier packing.

    I'm currently working on the hilt/grip and will soon start modeling the internal framework for the battery and electronics.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did a first clothes/hair/makeup test and the results were pretty good for a first effort.
  12. Member Since
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    May 17, 2017, 8:24 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #12

    this is awesome!!!!!! Keep up the good work.
  13. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 22, 2017, 3:37 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #13

    Long Sleeve Shirt:

    The Under Armour Coldgear Cozy (or Coldgear Evo Cozy) is an exact match of the one in the show. I found one at a good discount at a UK online store, so I bought one and it arrived today. Every detail matches perfectly.

    http://www.mandmdirect.com/01/detail...-Zip-Top-Black

    It's not as comfortable to wear as the UA Tech 1/4 Zip that I mentioned early on in this thread, but that one has slightly different seams (both placement and texture), different fabric (the UA Tech is a deeper black) and the logos on the UA tech are visible. If you want accurate, the ColdGear Evo Cozy is 100% on that scale.

    There's a bit more to this story... I may have another shirt on the way here tomorrow, but it might also be a Chinese fake or something completely different sold as the real thing. I'll know more later this week when the package arrives (it's already in town, so I will probably have it tomorrow or Wednesday). Even if it's a match, it was a tiny bit more expensive than the above store (more expensive shipping) and the shopping experience was quite a nightmare, so I'm expecting nothing good from the package (probably just a waste of money). I had a link to that store in an earlier post, but edited it out as soon as I found that it's a Chinese site pretending to be a UK vendor.

    Sword progress:

    I was away for the weekend, but had really good design flow going late last week. The connecting structures (including wire routes) between the blade, guard and hilt are fully modeled and I made test prints segments to test the fit and print quality. It's starting to look like all the parts of the sword will the PETG, but I still have to try painting some of the test prints to determine if there's a problem with that (I have never painted PETG). The bayonet mechanism on the hilt is completely designed and I have a good working test print (the first print worked perfectly well, but I have improved it slightly).

    The battery compartment is about halfway designed and partly tested. The Adafruit Trinket mounting section is fully designed and tested. I still need to draw the battery terminals and some relatively simple

    I made a breadboard version of the electronic circuit and verified that the original Trinket (3.3V) has enough I/O pints to do the job (just barely - it wasn't entirely easy to figure out which pins would do what and all the I/O pins will be used). The software doesn't do much yet, but it will light up the Neopixels. I made a really stupid mistake while porting the code to an Arduino Uno and wasted quite a bit of time on that, but it's working there now as well, so I'll have an easier time debugging the code on the Uno than on the Trinket (the Trinket is probably about as bad as it gets for debugging, especially if you don't have any spare I/O pins for debugging LEDs).

    I want to start printing the sword before the end of the month, but we'll see. It shouldn't take all that long to get the parts printed (fingers crossed - with 3D printers, something might fail suddenly and then you can't get anything printed for days while you fix it). Right now the printer is in great shape...

    I received some grub screws I bought from eBay today. The vendor lied about the product location though...instead of Leeds UK, the screws went from Shanghai (China) to Vienna (Austria) and to Finland. It took a few days more than they promised and it definitely felt dishonest to me. I'm not sure how nasty I want to be in the feedback (and they offered to refund part of the shipping when I complained). Oddly, the package is marked as if it was shipped from Vienna (with an Austrian return address), but the tracking code told a different story.

    Exo Suit:

    I'm still just working on this in my mind - nothing on screen beyond the Make Human model with the photo overlay. It's definitely taking shape. I have a cool idea for the joints, but we'll see if I can make it work. The suit will be mostly large printed parts, but relatively simple ones really. I'm more worried about making well-fitting harness for the parts than actually modeling & printing the visible parts.

    Hair & Makeup:

    I had a chance to try the hair & makeup this weekend. Progress on both fronts. My features are closer to Lana Parrilla than Chyler Leigh, but I think I'll be OK as Alex Danvers.

    All in all, I'm having a good time doing this. I don't mind the minor setbacks (Chinese vendors & Arduino Uno blunder). I initially thought the exo suit might be at least partly done by the end of May, but I have put a lot more effort into the sword than I thought, so it's OK. It would be nice to visit MCM Comic Con in London some day, but it's not going to be this year (the con is next weekend). The next potentially occasions to use the costume are well over a month away (and the primary target is to get everything ready for Dragon Con in Atlanta).
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    May 24, 2017, 11:21 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #14

    Looking forward to seeing how this build goes. I do hope you get it finished by the time Dragon Con rolls around.
  15. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 27, 2017, 9:28 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #15

    This is just a teaser - I'll post more details on the build tomorrow. The parts assembled beautifully and the electronics worked the first time I plugged them in and haven't glitched. It's not powered up in the photo, because the NeoPixels aren't inside the blade yet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    May 28, 2017, 3:31 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #16

    I had a four day weekend this weekend, so this gave me a good opportunity to get more work done on this costume. I finished the Fusion360 design of the sword on Thursday and started printing parts on Friday. By Saturday evening, all the parts were printed and I had even done some quick painting. No sandpaper was harmed in the making of this production (well, almost none). The hilt print isn't perfect and the paint and masking were done hastily. It still looks great unless you go in and look closely (or have a good eye for fine detail). The nice thing is that it's a completely separate part, so if I'm not happy with it, I can print & paint as many more as I like.

    I went to see Get Out while one of the blade parts was printing and one coat of paint was drying. It's probably the best way for me prevent myself from ruining a perfectly good piece by painting it too quickly. I don't have a good space for painting & sanding, so I have to go outside or in the common basement. Definitely a weak point for me.

    The hilt has one coat of silver paint, which was then partly masked over and two coats of black paint with the mask in place and one very light coat of matte black with the masking tape removed. I used a silver gel pen to fix some of the masking issues (worked surprisingly well).

    I started working on the wiring after I had walked my dog, so it was probably 10PM. I figured it wouldn't take too long to do. (Famous last words.) I had a good flow state going, so I decided to keep on working until the electronics inside the hilt were completely built. This would allow me to verify that the build was working as designed, but the connections to the NeoPixels in the blade could wait until the next day.

    The space inside the hilt is really tight and the wiring goes through some really narrow passages. I think that's why it took so long. Once all the wiring was in place, the 3.3V trinket soldered in to the wiring and mounted on top of the wiring space in no time at all. All along, I knew there was a chance the whole thing would just go up in smoke if I plugged in the 3400mAh 18650 Lithium Ion battery. I measured the resistance across the +/- contacts for the battery and it seemed quite reasonable (about 10kΩ), so I plugged in the battery and found to my amazement that every single component worked flawlessly. (There was smoke the next day, but it was from dropping a kitchen towel on a hot halogen lamp.)

    The teaser photo from last night is of the sword with all the electronics except the blade neopixels.

    On Sunday, I woke up earlier than intended when a *** flew in through an open window and needed help to find his way out. The NeoPixel installation went better than expected and I was actually able to make a connector (using some headers etc) between the blade neopixel strip and the guard/hilt. I can just pull out the NeoPixel strip and roll it up, if I need to.

    Here are some photos I took tonight. For these photos, the blade pixels were set to brightness 32/255 with only the green LEDs. The hefty battery can handle ~100 NeoPixels at full 255/255/255 RGB, but there's a little bit of a voltage dip. You can pretty much light up a room with the sword when it's at full power. At 32, my camera still had difficulties with the dynamic range, so the deep green light is overexposed and looks a lot whiter than in real life. Look at the reflecitons on the table and you get an idea of what the color is really like.
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    OK, I definitely didn't go with a minimum viable product with this build. As you can see from the photo above, the hilt actually has its own NeoPixels (6 of them, 3 on each side) as indicator lights for the UI. Oh wait, it needs a UI because the knob with the House of El symbol (not accurate to the TV show sword, but it looks lovely and it's easily replaced) is actually a rotary encoder controller - the same type many 3D printers use. You can twist it or press the button. The software currently doesn't do much with it beyond just testing that it works and allowing me to change the color of the hilt pixels. The hilt pixels are set to 8/255 brightness in these photos, so they can be a bit mroe more subtle, but can also light up the back of the hilt really brightly through the layers of paint. I used translucent PETG on the hilt cover so that the LEDs would shine through as much as possible - mission accomplished.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The battery is easy to access. The hilt cover unlocks with a small twist counter-clockwise and then pulls out easily to reveal the batter. Only two pixels are lit on this side and it's because the current software version is set to display the battery voltage using the six NeoPixels on the hilt. That battery is still almost fully charged up (5/6 pixels lit). The Trinket has 5 I/O pins, one of which was needed for the NeoPixels, three were used for the rotary encoder & button, leaving just one pin for two more things... And since I could use the pin as an analog input, I made it measure the Lithium Ion charge level by using a 50%/50% voltage divider (two 47kΩ resistors). I think being able to read the battery level of the sword is going to be super helpful. Also, with a bit of software, the sword can be used as a battery conditioner to discharge LiIon batteries to ~60% charge for long term storage.

    The other function on that pin is hidden inside the spine of the sword just past the guard. There's a reed switch hidden in there, which will trigger when it is close to a magnet. The sheath will have a magnet in that spot, allowing the sword to detect when it is sheathed. I could have added another resistor, but decided it wasn't important to know the battery level when the reed switch was closed, so currently the reed switch just drops the measured battery voltage to 0V.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pulling the hilt shell all the way out reveals the indicator NeoPixels, the 3.3V Trinket and a bit of ugly hot glue. There' s a lot of wires and connections just under the Trinket. I kept the wire lengths a bit long just in case I had to go and debug the hardware, but it turns out that wasn't really necessary. As it is, the two empty spaces I created for wiring are pretty much filled with a bird's nest of interconnected wires (and 3 resistors).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Twisting the knob slightly changes the NeoPixels to other colors. Technically the hilt isn't 100% accurate, but I wanted to build a cool toy more than I wanted an accurate prop. How did I do?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next up for this build is the software. The sword sheath should be pretty easy to do and I have a plan, but it needs a few detail changes based on some small print experiments I made today: Turns out a 3D printed sword unsheathing from a 3D printed sheath can be quite loud. I don't mind the sound, but I'm worried about the paint on the sword spine (just a bit of silver & black paint on top of the bare shiny black PETG). In parallel with those, depending on what I feel like working, I will have to get going on the exoskeleton. Whereas the sword was nearly 100% PETG, I think the suit will be largely PLA with some PETG and possibly ABS used for parts that need a bit of flexibility & strength.

    Thanks for reading. Apparently I was in a writing moood tonight - I hope this wasn't too long. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
  17. RPF Premium Member 13doctorwho's Avatar
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    May 28, 2017, 4:48 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #17

    The sword is awesome! Very cool electronics. Nice to see people working on Supergirl stuff... I love that show.
  18. Angelus Lupus's Avatar
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    May 28, 2017, 6:21 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #18

    Wow! All you really needed was a glowing green sword and you created this amazing piece of tech which is so much better than just 'a cool toy'.
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    May 28, 2017, 11:03 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #19

    The sword looks absolutely amazing. I love the little things you added that make it your own like the House of El crest on the hilt. I can't wait to see what you do next.
  20. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Jun 4, 2017, 4:26 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #20

    OK, here's my weekly report.

    I had a full 5 day working week, so I had a bit less time and energy on the build, I still made good progress on the sword & sheath. I spent most of Tuesday evening on writing and debugging code for the rotary encoder knob. I had a really silly mistake in my code, which lead me on all kinds of adventures, including replacing some wires on the electronics and replacing the rotary knob even though the original was fine. In the end though, I ended up having evaluated a couple of open source bits of code and written my own that I think performs really nicely. There's also a nice brightness control variable

    For the rest of the week, I moved on to writing the graphics code for the sword. I got everything I wanted working, including a color system that should will me to do some neat things with multiple colors on the blade later on. On Friday, I wrote some particle-based animation code for the blade. That went really smoothly and I'm really pleased with it. I can probably tune the parameters for that code a bit later on for further refinement. The animation looks a bit like burning embers or aurora borealis, depending a bit on the color I use.

    I also started working on the sheath. It has a 3D-printed rectangular frame inside and a fabric shell on top of that. I used black spacer mesh as the fabric, because I had plenty left over from my Black Widow suit and it looks really nice & techy. The 3D printed frame can be split in the middle for packing into a suitcase and the fabric cover can just be peeled off the frame.

    The magnets & reed switch work beautifully. The blade fades & lights up gradually giving it a proper magic feel. I should probably make a video of it to show what it looks like and how it works. If I leave the sword slightly of the sheath, the blade animation is visible through the fabric. When it's fully seated in, it fades to black in a second or two.

    I left the sword powered and running the particle animation at 1/16th full brightness (which is plenty bright for indoors) all night long and the battery still had 3.6V in the morning, so about 40% charge (although I think the LEDs will cut off way before 0% charge). I suspect battery life at full brightness will be less than an hour, but the blade is bright enough to light up a whole room when it's on full power.

    Today (Sunday), I started printing parts that go on top of the fabric, so I can attach a bandolier, or later on attach the sheath onto the armor itself. I got a couple of those done in a flexible filament and then had a really odd print failure. It turns out the hot end on the printer had worked itself loose. I had suspected it was doing that, because I had been getting blobs of cooked filament on my prints every 30-60 minutes for quite a while now. Until today, I had assumed it was just PETG whisker build-up hot end, but it was a leak after all. At this point, the whole hot end was downright wobbly...

    So instead of finishing printing the parts for the sheath and writing code for the menus/UI on the sword, I did a couple of hours fo 3D printer maintenance. While I was at it, I replaced the hot end thermistor (the old one had seen better days and was probably reading a bit higher than true). I got the printer running again about half an hour ago (just before midnight), so after a quick test print, I started a longer print to try a quick release buckle design I did earlier today. I really want to use my own custom buckle design on the armor...

    So far the printer is working great, so hopefully I'll be able to finish the parts for the sheath & make a bandolier tomorrow and then move on to the software again. The Trinket has about 5kB of free program storage and I have a bit over 1kB left. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to fit a simple menu system into that, but I may not be able to fit in all the stuff I was hoping for originally.

    I have 4 weeks of summer vacation before Dragon Con (hooray for Finnish summer vacations - we get 5 years of paid vacation each year and I take another extra two of unpaid time). I'm taking two weeks off in two weeks time. If the weather is nice, I'll be outdoors, but I should still be able to get some serious progress on the armor during those weeks in any case.

    No photos or video this time, mostly because of the trouble with the 3D printer.
  21. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Jun 9, 2017, 1:35 AM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #21

    I finished the back scabbard earlier this week. I might add a bit of silver paint to one of the parts, but it's good to go as is. It carries the sword very nicely on my back and I can pull out & sheathe quite easily with the right technique.

    I worked on the blade software most evenings this week, sometimes rather late into the night. At one point, when I had the settings menu system done, the program space on the Trinket was 94% full, so I optimized the code for size and got it down to 78%. This gave me enough space to add all the display modes the settings supported, including some pretty advanced stuff. As of this morning, I have a good "1.0" version that takes 95% of the free program memory on the Trinket. The remaining 250 bytes or so should be enough to add one more display mode - the groundwork for a scrolling color animation on the blade is already there.

    The last bit I did this morning was to make the settings save automatically to EEPROM on the chip, so that if I change the battery, operation is resumed with exactly the same settings as before power was lost. There's a way to reset the EEPROM to defaults, but that currently requires a USB connection to a computer.

    The settings allow brightness and color selection (primary & secondary colors), single, dual and "peaking" color modes. Particle animation can be turned on and off. For dual color mode, the position of the color change is adjustable. A second menu has settings for the hilt & sheathed mode, allowing to choose between blade off, dimmed or fully on when the sword is sheathed. You also get to choose what the hilt display shows when sheathed and not sheathed. Hilt modes are: all dark, color matching the primary blade color or showing the current battery level.

    I feel like I managed to cram quite a lot of functionality into less than 5kB of program memory. Good fun, bringing back memories of the 1980s... The exo suit is going to have a Pro Trinket, so memory shouldn't be as much of an issue.

    I'll try to take some photos this weekend, but it's time to start working on the suit now.
  22. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2015
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    119
    Jun 9, 2017, 9:40 AM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #22

    I made a really short video clip of the blade sheathed in a mode where the animation just dims a bit when the blade is sheathed. The options are to go black, dim like this or keep full brightness. The scabbard was intentionally made from translucent & see-through materials, so that any light from inside leaks out.

    http://tiga.poista.net/video/BladeSheathedDimmed.mov
  23. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Jun 12, 2017, 3:32 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #23

    I have started 3D-modeling the armor itself. After making a few placeholder bits with simplified geometry, I knew I wanted some more reference photos/frame captures. Fortunately the suit is also used in broad daylight in the Metallo episode (2x02). Here's a 720p version on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrcggUCp_eA

    The structure of the spine on the back is really clearly visible and will be invaluable when modeling that part. There are also excellent frames of the chest plate and arms.
  24. RPF Premium Member tiga's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Jun 15, 2017, 3:28 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #24

    Here's a Fusion 360 render of 3D modeling progress on the armor this week. The chest is entirely done with parametric modeling, so that was well within my comfort zone. The shoulder isn't complete yet, but I watched some videos on sculpting in Fusion360 and this is how far I got in about two hours tonight. The shape isn't entirely accurate yet, so I might work on that a bit more, but I think with the bolt holes etc added, what already I have now would be OK as it looks about the right size and has a good flowing shape as far as I can tell.

    The spine will be a lot of fun to work on, so I'm looking forward to that. The sculpting experience on the shoulders tells me that the leg braces may turn out to be easier to model that I feared. I'll be on summer vacation soon, so I should be able to make significant progress on the model soon.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  25. Member Since
    Sep 2014
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    Maine
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    Jun 17, 2017, 11:27 PM - Re: Alex Danvers (Supergirl TV) #25

    squeeee this is awesome. I can't wait to see the finished product. What program are you using to design your pieces?

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