Thursday, January 15, 2015

Destiny: Hawkmoon

Here's the 3D Model. (3DS Max and Zbrush):

All the parts as designed to be properly 3D printed:

Ok, now let's go back to the beginning to see how we got to there.
Here are the reference images I used:

Starting work on the high-poly 3D model in 3DS Max and Zbrush.

Starting in 3DS Max "tracing" the side-view reference image.


The red objects are "cutter objects." In Zbrush I will use them to subtract from the actual parts.

The grips had to be cut out to be able to fit a trigger, hammer, and a battery for lights.

Here are the grips in Zbrush after the cutter objects did their thing:
You can also see the peg for the hammer to pivot on.

Here are some other parts that have been fused or cut in Zbrush:

This the feather pattern (alpha) that I drew in Photoshop which I would use as a brush in Zbrush to cut out the feather engraving:

Here you can see the pegs for the hammer and the pegs that go into holes cut in the opposite side to help align the two halves.

I needed to be able to separate the two halves after the hand cannon was finished in order to service the trigger/hammer assembly and also to get at the battery. The reason I cut the top of one grip half off was so that I didn't have to have an obvious seam running around the entire grip on the finished gun.  The cut I chose was to try to make the most discrete and minimal seam.

At this point, around 04/2015, I needed to have the parts 3D Printed. I didn't have a printer at the time, so I decided to start researching....

...and Bam!

It's also a really nice looking printer to boot!

After days of calibration and learning the ins and outs, I started printing Hawkmoon parts. 

You know? When you usually look at someone's project blog like this, it's easy to assume that I went from the picture above to the picture below in like, a weekend or a few days. NOT TRUE. This was weeks of work! Not just printing, and re-printing parts, but also going back to the 3d model and changing and adjusting things. Then re-printing the part again. Also, since my printer was new and I was not yet entirely confident in it, I did not start a print and leave the house, so I never printed anything during the week. This was many, many weekends.

And here it is. Hawkmoon, 3D printed.

Now to start making these 3D printed parts smoov!

Lots and lots of spot putty and filler primer:

We'll get to the trigger/hammer action soon. There's a reason for those shapes!

Ok, let's make some molds.

Here are all the first casts of the Hawkmoon parts. Now to put it all together...

Now for assembly:
 The few Hawkmoons I've made so far have varied in how I ended up assembling them. In the end, it boils down to adding metal pegs/rods and/or screws with the appropriate holes for the them. I've also made adjustments to the way I assemble the swing-arm/cylinder assembly so that the gun can be "reloaded" like in game.

I'm not sure how "helpful" the following pictures will be, but they still remain documentation of my process.

Here you can see some of the extra holes I've drilled and some of the metal rods.

One day... One day I will get a new phone that doesn't have a blurry lens. -I've compared my phone camera to others. -There is something wrong with mine. Sorry for the BLUR.

Eyasluna anyone?

As always, my #1 go-to for small connecting rods, metal coat hangars! -You can see here that I've cut some very short sections of a coat hangar for pegs to attach these laser-sight doohickeys.

A little info on painting and manufacturing:


About a year ago, a co-worker of mine lent me his very nice (expensive) Iwata airbrush setup. I immediately fell in love with using an airbrush instead of those damn rattle-can spray paints.

After he asked for it back (jerk), I picked up a much cheaper knock-off:
Amazon Airbrush Master airbrush

I could immediately tell the difference in quality from the Iwata. Between this and all the 3D printing I've been doing in the last year, I've really gained an appreciation and understanding of manufacturing processes.

I've often cursed 3d printed parts that don't go together perfectly after I've molded them. Not understanding how that could be since on screen, in 3DS max, everything was perfect! It's iteration my friends. The higher-quality things we buy out there are a result of further tweaking and iteration on parts before being sent off to be mass-produced.

I've long wondered why certain products cost so much more than others when they're mechanically identical. It's those tenths and hundredths of millimeters, and time spent tweaking prototypes.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you will really appreciate the process more when you go through it yourself.

Nowadays, I take more time in the 3d modeling phase to make sure that tolerances are better before spending countless hours printing parts. Even then, you may only be able to recognize areas for improvement after the print is done. This drives me nuts as I'm quite impatient and get excited when parts are ready to go.

...Back to airbrushing:
While the Master Airbrush brand setup I have is no where near as nice as the Iwata setup, it's totally acceptable for my purposes. Keep in mind, I'm not trying to paint a mural on the tailgate of a pickup truck. I'm just spraying areas with single colors. In that regard, the cheap-o airbrush works great and I highly recommend it!

-The most intricate I've ever gotten with the airbrush so far is the dark burnt effect on the end of the barrel (seen below)

Light it up!