Customs: Custom fitted 3d printed part

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Snaku, May 10, 2017.

  1. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    I've been experimenting with designing parts for 3d printing and the results have been encouraging. Now I have a problem though. It's easy enough to design a part with a ball that goes into an existing socket or a mushroom peg that goes into an existing port: you just get the measurements and make a ball or disc the right size. But what if I want a part that follows a more complex contour of an existing part? How can I get that three dimensional contour into my 3d design program so I can design a part that follows it and fits nicely with the existing piece?

    If it helps, I'm specifically thinking of the irregular shaped hole in the back of Wei Jiang Arcee's thighs and the collar piece. I can probably get the collar close enough by just importing a decent photo and taking measurements but I doubt I'd be able to get a good fit using that technique on the thighs.
     
  2. HeroJr

    HeroJr Maximal

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    I've just been getting into 3D modelling myself and have thought about this issue a few times... One thing I would suggest is:

    1) Take a picture of the part or shape you are trying to replicate. If you can use a tripod to make the camera be perpendicular to the area you are trying to take a picture of, all the better.

    2) Import the picture into Illustrator or another vector program (Inkscape is free). Make an exact vector outline of the shape you are trying to capture. Make multiples at slightly different sizes, label them, and print them out. Take those printed pieces and see which one seems to best fit the given shape by holding it up carefully or even cutting the paper pieces out and taping them on.

    3) Having picked the best vector outline, import that into your 3D program and extrude the curve (the vector).

    I have yet to begin printing my first few models, but I do have years of experience as a graphic designer, so that's what I am basing my suggestion on.
     
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  3. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Not sure why printing it in paper didn't occur to me. I ended up doing the leg fillers by hand but I'm doing the neck in 3d so I think I'll use that technique. Thank you!
     
  4. HeroJr

    HeroJr Maximal

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    No prob! I hope it goes well. Do you have a thread for your custom over on the Radicons board?
     
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  5. HeroJr

    HeroJr Maximal

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    I reread your original request and thought of something - are you trying to just fill a hole flush, or are you wanting to attach something using the hole as a kind of plug? If you are just trying to cover a whole in the Arcee mold, I might suggest just getting some Aves Apoxie Sculpt and filling it in and then sanding it down to the contour you want.

    Some things I would think about:

    If I am remembering correctly, the Wei Jiang legs are diecast. You could probably attach a 3D printed part to that with epoxy, but I'd want to rough up the metal surface somehow before I did that. Since metal is largely non-porous, I'd be a little worried about adhesion. I pretty much treat my Transformers like sculpture pieces that I occasionally transform, so maybe it's not a big deal, but it's something I'd think about.

    Aves Apoxie Sculpt begins as a very pliable and semi-sticky material. With that, I would be more confident about mushing the material down into the irregular shape and potentially getting lots and lots of surface adhesion. Also, it would be easier to get the exterior contour to match the back of the Arcee mold's thigh.
     
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  6. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. It's a little more complicated than that. The part needs to be removable for transformation. If you're interested, the project thread is here: Heavy/Scratch: - WIP: OS KO Arcee to Masterpiece Arcee

    The problem isn't filling holes: it's filling holes with pieces that can be moved during transformation. In this case, it will be partsforming: I made the leg panels with apoxie sculpt over styrene. The new neck collar will be 3d printed, though. Raw measurements will take care of most of it but the contour of the lower curved part is a little more difficult to replicate. It's mostly finished bring designed. I'll take a photo, adjust for lens distortion and perspective, print it, cut it out, and see if it fits without gaps (since the only difficult part is a curve in a single direction, this should work nicely). Then I'll import that image into blender and contour the bottom of my part to match it. Thanks for all the advice!
     
  7. HeroJr

    HeroJr Maximal

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    Ah! Okay! I've actually seen that thread and just didn't remember your username in conjunction with that project. What you say makes sense! I've been checking in on the Arcee thread some and am excited to see your progress!
     

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