Monday, February 9, 2015

The Factory States

So what is my robot printing?

Well, a guy over on the SJ Games forums had an idea about printing out the 3d Ogre standup sheets, created as part of the Ogre Kickstarter campaign, on clear plastic, producing clear Ogres where you only see the design, not the material it's printed on. I thought that was rather clever, and then realized that if I could extract the shapes from the graphics in the PDF, I could print out the shapes and assemble my own plastic Ogres. I got to the point of having .stl files ready to print:


 And then I thought, "Hang on. I'm dealing with a 3d printer. Why am I messing around with 2d objects?" The goal became designing and printing a full 3d Ogre.

Design was largely an exercise in figuring out how to use Sketchup and what plugins I wanted to add in. Starting with some of the pieces in the "2.5d" design, there was a lot of use of the extrusion and scaling tools, and it all became much easier when I found a plugin that made geometric solids.

So far, so good. But printing was a problem. When I converted the design to gcode, Slic3r dropped significant parts. The conning tower, for example, simply vanished:

Why was it doing this? I had no idea. But on a hunch, I switched to different software for slicing and printing. Cura seemed to treat the design more as it was intended:

 That looked more promising, so I sent it to the printer. And this is what I got:

This Mk. IV is about three inches long. I note that features smaller than about a half-millimeter may as well not be there. I may play with this a bit and add a few more surface features like some tread texture. I also want the conning tower to be a bit different in various ways, and the front part should have steeper angles. And at some point, I should build a Mk. V.

1 comment:

  1. I would say to print the OGRE in separate parts to increase detail. I would print the conning tower, ball turret, missile modules and secondary guns separately. You could make neodymium magnet "hard-points" on a bare chassis so you could place or remove components as they are destroyed. Maybe even create little magnets so you could place multiples of anti-personnel batteries of three or four in a row. If you designed it right, you could create any number of OGRE designs without having to buy or create new OGRE chassis. Imagine, having to only own three OGRE designs ... light OGRE chassis, medium OGRE chassis and heavy OGRE chassis. The Mark 5 would be a heavy chassis and the OGRE Ninja (or Dark Horse) would be represented by a medium OGRE chassis. What do you think?