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Part 2 – Moving onto the computer for some 3D work

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The Second Stage – 3D
Moving to computer is a very simply task now but in order to ensure detailed, accurate models you really should use professional software like Solidworks 3D. This professional software is not for the faint-hearted and needs a large wallet for the license and training. Thankfully, Roger Tanner, our incumbent 3D CAD specialist is well trained in this great tool for creating the CAD models and he was able to translate our original DAZ3D model we’d purchased into an advanced model, ready for the 3D printing.

CAD ModelFirst, Roger spent about 10 days applying his considerably experience into putting the first CAD model together. This involved applying scale and detail to the model plans, as well as layout out the design so that wall thicknesses and parts could be assembled by the modeller.

We spent several weeks further refining the CAD model. The level of complexity around ensuring that the model kit allowed for us to insert the wiring looms and LEDs for the lighting was especially challenging and Roger had a few problems with defining how the lighting worked. However, he and Bernie communicated regularly and was able to ensure that the precise dimensions needed for some of the parts was constantly checked and iterated upon.

All the 3D PartsRoger shared his CAD models at all stages, and everyone involved was able to review and feedback their comments. The main issue was how the figure would fit inside the Stasis Cylinder itself, and we had many conversations on how this would work – as we had to fit an LED into the base too – Roger ended up making extensive modifications to the model in order to ensure that the Captain figure would be visible through the door glass, while standing on the pad inside, and allowing for the lighting LED to be added for the light bar at the base of the outside of the kit.

With such a small scale too at 1:24 scale, we had concerns about the level of detail added to the model that the 3D printing process would not be able to reproduce. It was decided that we’d add some detail onto the printed parts afterwards, but before moulding and casting. As it was, we were surprised at the high level of accurate detail the 3D printing process was able to produce so in hindsight, we could of added more detail to the CAD model if we had wanted to.

The final process was to prepare the CAD files into the appropriate file format for the 3D Printers for the next stage of the model kit design.

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