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Sylean Academy of Art and Design Computer graphics, physical models, and other artistic projects

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  #21  
Old September 29th, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Well, been working on doing ships in 3dsmax, which that software supports. I guess I might have to look into that.
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  #22  
Old September 30th, 2010, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
...The problem with having a company make a resin cast model is the cost. And then of course the price. It won't be cheap, not less than $100 per model I'd guess. More if you want details or a large scale. Last I looked into it anyway, which was a couple years or more so maybe prices have come down.

I even looked into a prototype 3D printer kit, as it looked to be a bit cheaper for large volumes of smallish parts.

There's ways and means, if you have money and energy to get set up, work out the legals, run herd the artists, and loose your shirt at the end of the day All for the glory and fame of producing Traveller minis/models. Not to discourage anyone, but it's a long shot that you'll break even, never mind get rich.

Not looking to get that ambitious, at least not yet. Would there be much of a demand for such a product, assuming of course you could make it affordable to produce and the end user to buy? Anybody got opinions on such an idea?

Format - Resin, foam board, cardstock, paper?
Type - Full model, deckplans with walls, something else?
Price ranges you'd be willing to pay?
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  #23  
Old September 30th, 2010, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinward Scout View Post
I've thought about this, and with all of the CGI work people have done, you could take a .dxf wireframe of a Scout/Courier to a plastic machining and fabrication company. I don't know the cost involved, tho.
3D printing services can take certain dxf files and turn them into one-off printings. Certain ones even let you sell others printouts of your files.

Shapeways.com prices at $1.50 per cc of material used for WS&F plastic and $10.00/cc for stainless. Minimum resolution varies by material. Steel, for example, would need to be 3mm thick in the sizes being considered, and the ship would need to be done in parts if more than 10cm in any dimension...

But, in any case, it's doable, but frightfully expensive. For reference, just the hull alone in 1/72 would be almost 1000cc in steel. WS&F cold be about 1/3 that.
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  #24  
Old September 30th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Anyone consider vacuum formed plastic sheeting for the compound curves, wooden sheets for the straight, and then fiberglassing the end result?

I built some R/C sailboat hulls that way and then sold the final molds to a local club. Fiberglass is relatively cheap, easy to work with, and light. The vacc-forming I do with my shop vac and a vacc-box. A vacuum table is larger, but still easy to make: http://www.tk560.com/vactable4.html

You could even use foam board (it comes in different grades so you can get some that is better for shaping curves with a surfom. I use one for shaping foam for boat hulls and small RTV resin castings for my own plastic models.

I also use balsa sheeting and cores to make hulls and then fiberglass the exterior of the hull for strength and easy water-proofing. Again, it's quick, light, and cheap. And can be then painted anything I want.

For example, this one is made from balsa sheets cut to forms traced on paper, small blocks at the bow to shape the angles, then the whole thing covered with thin balsa glued to the ribs and blocks. Then I fiberglassed the outside, sanded and filled low spots, and then painted it. Took two weekends.

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  #25  
Old September 30th, 2010, 04:35 PM
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Wow...I figured going that route would be expensive, but didn't think it was quite that steep. Yikes. I think for that kind of money, I'll learn how to cast and mold the parts by hand...I've got more time than money at this point. Hmmm. Well, guess once I get some time I'll just have to jump in and try a few different methods and see what works.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 05:10 PM
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Cost-wise, I go back to laser-cut cardstock or similar materials, depending on the weight of such or if it's composed of laminated layers, items produced would have a reasonable 'shelf-life' for playability.

Another advantage to a paper-cardstock item would be the ease of 'redressing' such for different needs in a game. Any refits or renovations would only be restricted by whatever illustration software was available or the quality of color laser printer accessible.

I'm seeing a 'generic' kit for a ship come as a set of blank wall-floor pieces, that allowing for customizing the interiors and exteriors as one wishes. Perhaps a CD might be included with a selection of graphics for detailing said vessel as well as patterns for a few 'cut and fold' items such as basic furniture, ship's systems (drives, powerplants, etc) and stand-up printed figures for crew-passengers.


That sort of kit to cover the basics, a person could add as much or as little detailing as their campaign or players require.
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  #27  
Old October 1st, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabredog View Post
Anyone consider vacuum formed plastic sheeting for the compound curves, wooden sheets for the straight, and then fiberglassing the end result?

<snip>

Took two weekends.

I think this approach would probably work the best, the only real problem being I've no experience with vacc forming or fiberglass. But what I've researched so far says it's doable. Just a couple of questions for you, sabredog, if you don't mind.

1. What kind of plastic sheets do you use? There seems to be quite a variety out there, and some appear to be kind of a pain to work with.

2. How much does a typical sheet of plastic cost?

3. How expensive is fiberglass and resin?

4. Do you think it would work to vacc form the hull in two pieces (top and bottom, depending on the hull shape, of course), and then use a combination of vacc formed and balsa pieces to do the interior details? Admittedly, this is probably more for my own amusement, but it would be cool to have ships with fairly detailed exterior hulls that you could open up.

Any tips would be welcome.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Patron Zero View Post
Cost-wise, I go back to laser-cut cardstock or similar materials, depending on the weight of such or if it's composed of laminated layers, items produced would have a reasonable 'shelf-life' for playability.

<snip>

That sort of kit to cover the basics, a person could add as much or as little detailing as their campaign or players require.
Hmmm...it seems to me that Campaign Cartographer had an addon for doing that kind of thing. I don't know how well it would work for this, but I like the idea.
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  #28  
Old October 1st, 2010, 05:22 PM
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Plastic sheets: The sizes I use are approx 8"10" and .01" thick. But larger styrene sheets shouldn't cost more than 8 or 9 dollars. It's pretty cheap. You just warm it with a hair dryer and then the shop vac pulls it down over the mold - usually that mold master is made from wood.

Fiberglass: you can get enough to do an entire surfboard for around 25.00 or less depending on the weight of the materials you use. A pint of resin is about 10.00 and fiberglass is around 2.00/ yard. Again, you just shop around. The lighter the fiberglass cloth the cheaper it is. The resin goes a long way, and the fiberglass does too. One layer is sufficient since the thing isn't going to be used as a car fender.

As for vac-forming the hull in two pieces: yup, you could do it, but depending on the size it would be better to use fiberglass for a rigid, strong hull otherwise it might wobble unless you use a heavier ABS type plastic. And that would require at least having the hull made by a professional manufacturer off a form you provide. And that might be expensive. If you are going to go to the trouble of building the form anyway, why not just 'glass it and use it for yourself.

You could still make it out of 'glass and in two halves...or make the roof removable so you could build a complete interior.
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  #29  
Old October 1st, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Cool, that's kind of what I was hoping to hear...that's a little more in my price range. I guess at this point the only way to go is do some more research and then just jump in and swim. Thanks for the tips, SD. I was just thinking about how best to procede, and maybe starting with some small craft would be the way to go - launch, pinnace, cutter, or something along those lines. Small, fairly easy to form, easy to toss when I screw them up.
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  #30  
Old October 2nd, 2010, 02:27 AM
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I haven't done modelling of this type, so I'm just guessing here, but perhaps you could use one of the halogen heaters that have hit the market over the last couple of years as an alternative to a hairdryer, and maybe you could stop your thin vacform from wobbling by adding a layer or two of glass fibre (or plaster, or...) on the inside - it would also produce a more realistic smooth interior surface for the ship.
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