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3DCoolhands 3D printing projects.

CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
edited May 15 in Work in Progress #1
Hey all, long time no post, though I've checked in every so often, I've renamed this thread and as it suggests will use it to update some of my 3d printing projects. Feel free to comment, critique (constructive preferably, outright insults will be deemed merely entertainment) or ask questions about the projects or 3d printing in general, I'm still learning the art of Resin, but tbh, its proven very straightfoward, if a little chemically dangerous(procedures!).



Currently in use with a black budget task force on the late night highways of the US and Mexico; it's existence is denied by the US Government, it's mission, classified beyond top secret. Never normally seen during daylight, the dark hunched form seen speeding around the border areas has become known as "The Devil of the Highway" and is associated with many burned out car wrecks (which appear to have been pummelled by high powered explosive tipped rounds) and mysterious deaths found in areas where the vehicle is sighted.

Based on the XMT-168 advanced APC prototype this vehicle is modified for use at high speed on paved roads: It features 6 wheel drive and 6 wheel steering, powered by twin turbo-shaft engines outputting a combined 2000 shaft horsepower. Aerodynamically arranged armour and double rear wheels help keep it on the road, along with a vacuum system (inspired by outlawed Chaparral race cars) that create low pressure areas under the hull around the front and side skirts allowing manuvering that belies its mass - which is minimal through use of composites and high tech materials. The turret has a faceted lenticular shape - similar to an AWACS radar that allows the turret to rotate and cause minimal wind deflection at high speeds.

To tackle rougher terrain, the vehicle can raise up on its double wishbone suspension and / or detach skirt sections for added clearance, it is also able to fit inside a C-130 transport and compact enough to be practical on a modern road network. The side effect of this is reduced carrying capacity for troops or cargo of its own. Effective Crew is a minimum of 2, typically 3 and provision for carrying a small number of passengers.

The model itself is built to be 3D printable and while it's also a scifi concept model its also an experimental test bed for very real world technologies that allow the printing of working suspension components, or of course any type of working mechanism.

I intend these to be printed as complete mechanisms at as small a scale I can get away with, perhaps even as small as for the 15mm figure scale which I can then order from shapeways. 3d printing is very much the wave of the future for manufacturing and more complex, more interesting miniatures with working parts that require no assembly are one of the (probably less useful;)) things that it will provide.
Post edited by Coolhand on


  • IRMLIRML253 Posts: 1,993Member
    Coolhand wrote: »
    The model itself is built to be 3D printable and while it's also a scifi concept model its also an experimental test bed for very real world technologies that allow the printing of working suspension components, or of course any type of working mechanism.
    is this for real or am I confused?
  • L2KL2K0 Posts: 0Member
    looks great for Zday :D

    too shiny right now. good design, but completely lost if off road.
    any chance of a system to lift up the skirts ? like some armored hydraulic pistons

    you might want revise your title. de laS carreteras (or de la carretera, decide if its plural or not ;) )
  • AlnairAlnair181 Posts: 255Member
    That model looks great! :)
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    IRML, There's a minimum clearance between parts to make them work as a single mechanism, unused material between the parts is flushed away and all the parts are self enclosing so no need to use screws or glue on hundreds of tiny parts... for scale the wheels are just over 1cm in diameter at my first chosen scale and parts like the tiny control rods are less than a millimeter.

    Suspension and steering are self contained modules - so i dont have print an entire vehicle for testing. you can see the suspension is very chunky to meet tolerance requirements. The suspension and steering are also rigged up using inverse kinematics so i can for example drag the central steering bar and that applies constrained force through the link arms to move the wheels and this responds no matter what the suspension deflection is, which is also an inverse kinematic setup - also makes animation very easy to setup and have working suspension in the animation, effects like bump steer are naturally modelled in the system even.

    Having this setup is essential for tweaking the limits of the design for steering lock and suspension limits, so the twisting organic look of the wishbones is a result of making something thick enough to print and also be functional at a given small scale.
    L2K wrote: »
    you might want revise your title. de laS carreteras (or de la carretera, decide if its plural or not ;) )

    Ah, There was bound to be something wrong with the translation. As inept an error that it is, I'm glad thats apparently all it was... I'll amend the thread and further titles. thanks!:)

    as for the shine, its been polished up for the above top secret publicity photos displayed here;)

    Alnair, thanks!
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Black, shiny and almost impractical. Like the Batmobile meets a Knight XV.
  • HundredHundred268 Posts: 1,021Member
    Well crap, this looks good. Great job Coolhand. :thumb:
  • Road WarriorRoad Warrior207 Posts: 815Member
    Hey Steve! Good to see you back modeling for a bit. The vehicle is great as is the backstory!

    3d printing.... so much future potential there - it's unreal. I could go on and on about 3d printing but I shall refrain at this time.:) I will say that I long for this tech to be revolutionized by the application of nanotech. But for the immediate future I would like to see larger machines with bigger bed-area. (So you can print out a 3-foot long Akula model!!!)

    If I read this right, this is a mechinal concept study right? Hell, you got in on the groundfloor of this stuff so to speak so by all means push the bounderies of the possible!! What other features do you intend to add to this model and what features would you like to intergrate into future projects? Idk, posable, articulated landing gears for instance...
  • TALON_UKTALON_UK2 Posts: 0Member
    That's one sexy looking APC, slick work.

    On the subject of 3d printing, a fan of First Strike had one of our more unique takes on an EU Star Wars vehicle 3d printed, it is his hobby to take rare Star Wars vessels and get them processed in this way so he can have a very original Star Wars model collection. The model he chose was my interpretation of the Rebel Armored Freerunner (very much an APC itself actually), he posted a few shots of the progress he was making with the build, the link of which I'll post here if you like. Unfortunately I didn't optimize the mesh beyond making it watertight for the printing process, so all the benefits that being an in game model are lost, such as smoothing, and the result is more angular than intended, and quite low poly looking. If he wanted another model I'd obviously rectify this oversight. Also the grain of the printing process is quite distracting, he's having to do quite a bit of sanding to smooth areas out which must be a pain. I think the place he took it to be 3d printed must be using quite an old machine, as I've seen fantastic examples of the process that include the integration of several different materials (rubber for tyres and plastic for a wheel for example, or even more impressive, a polymer skull within a rubber half of a human head) and a smooth as silk finish. It is really exciting to see what they can do with this technology. Any how, here's the link to this guy's 3d printed First Strike style Freerunner:

    Incidentally, if you go to the images section of that page you can see the progress he has made so far with the painting process on the model.
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    You guys should make sure you check out my shapeways store, i even have a few starwars models on there.

    I have produced 3d printable models for the best part of a decade, mostly for others. in the last year or so i've been producing a lot of original designs for miniatures companies, my own designs like these 6mm figure scale models for microworld Terran+Expeditionary+Force_art_02+copy.jpg

    some of my other vehicle and mech sculpts are shown in my blog... I have tons of other stuff to show in there but haven't updated it properly for a while.

    So most of the models i make are for eventual use in traditional mass production processes, so i have to worry about molds and undercuts, sprues etc.

    For my project here its important to choose the right printer or material, with a rough material there's no chance that working moving parts will be achievable, this will be printed in a much finer quality material, detailing goes down to 1/10th of a millimetre so the quality of the surface is much better. one of the materials this model will be available in are the frosted detail materials from shapeways which should accommodate the smallest scales.

    Travis, as long as you can design it as a functional mechanism, within the tolerance limits, things like working landing gear are certainly possible.

    I mean at some point in the future, this totally possible, that you have a 3d desktop that will make everything from kids toys to a new pair of durable, fashionable and practical shoes or tough spare parts for your car... with the right materials, the right colours etc.

    Anyone will be able to produce designs that can be downloaded and printed at home, no middle men, no transport network, warehouses or all the other overheads associated with traditional mass production. ideally one printer could print another printer for your neighbour. So thats obviously a significant development that would have serious consequences for modern consumerism.

    And thats not even getting into medical advances... But i'm sure i've talked about all this before and there's lots of speculation out there about what will and won't be possible and I could talk about it all day but this post is already way too long.;)

    Thanks for the comments all.:)
  • ElowanElowan0 Posts: 0Member
    Good job, Steve!
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    Thanks Leo.

    In this pic the roof is a separate piece that can be removed to allow access for painting etc. The entire model breaks down into 6 sections (incl the 3 wheel assemblies) which should fit together fairly easily.
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    As always your stuff is stunningly good work.
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    high praise indeed, thanks Pagrin.

    here's a quick vid of the suspension in operation.
  • Road WarriorRoad Warrior207 Posts: 815Member
    That is excellent Steve. How is the streering acheived again? It is electric-based?
  • FreakFreak1088 Posts: 4,361Member
    That is some really impressive work mate!
  • FlankerFlanker0 Posts: 0Member
    Looking quite impressive. It is great to see you are also working on the interior and making it all work :)
  • Capt DaveCapt Dave0 Posts: 0Member
    Coolhand wrote: »
    high praise indeed, thanks Pagrin.

    here's a quick vid of the suspension in operation.
    I got one word for you. Youtube.
  • cavebearcavebear179 Posts: 623Member
    Capt Dave wrote: »
    I got one word for you. Youtube.

    I like the way Coolhand posted it as youtube is blocked where I work :(
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    well just to make everyone happy, here is my first youtube upload, enjoy;)

    Thank you for the comments guys, Travis to answer your q, the steering is entirely conventional but is only modelled as far as the drag bar - so i have single point that i can manipulate to steer both wheels. In a real vehicle that would be acted upon by a rack and pinion or other similar device - a direct mechanical link to the steering wheel. in a radio control car, its the point that you would hook a steering servo up to...

    A full size real world equivalent of that would be an electrical "drive by wire" system - which also allows autopilot and remote control easily.

    So, umm i suppose what i'm saying is it could be electrically moved (not a bad idea) but that's still going to act through a drag bar, through the control linkages to rotate the uprights. so it's not an excuse for skimping out on mechanical detail, i could have wimped out and said it was a motor or something on every kingpin to rotate the upright and just said its scifi (and fair enough) but it's built to work just like most modern vehicles.

    I had some ideas about linking each steering/suspension module up with control arms, so moving one will move the others - with an appropriate angular offset so the forward steering moves to full lock while the rears are rotated somewhat less. I really just want something that people can 'pose' as a miniature on terrain or to illustrate cornering, braking etc... and also as a miniature mechanism to play with and marvel at the technology of 3d printing. From a creating animations POV it I could use some scripting to control it and i will hopefully be making some sequences with it. Good thing I have the youtube account now.;)
  • Road WarriorRoad Warrior207 Posts: 815Member
    Thanks for the info Steve.:)

    Oh, btw, I would love to see you apply this concept to a vehicle more situated for off road. Any thoughts of eventualy testing out mechanics of tracked vehicles? Or is it even possible to create sturdy linkages that small(unless they were metal of course)?
  • Road WarriorRoad Warrior207 Posts: 815Member
    And update your blog!!!
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    Its possible to do any mechanism, i have lots of ideas;)

    you could have the tracks working, suspension/road wheels etc. maybe even print a working torsion bar for suspension.

    As for metal, you have to melt it together so if its possible to do moving parts with it you'd have to allow even more room between parts, so its not good for small scales.

    (no one reads my blog;))
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    well nothing particularly new here, that you can see. but as I was in the file I tweaked up the scene a little more, fiddled with the exposure control and changed the surface material from black to a dark charcoal grey, something like that anyway.
  • Road WarriorRoad Warrior207 Posts: 815Member
    Charcoal grey looks better my friend, actualy it seems more "stealth" than with the black for some reason. How heavy is this thing? The tires look very "light" for something that sized. I assume they are Semi tractor/trailer rated equivalents?
  • Ronson2kRonson2k0 Posts: 0Member
    Very cool design. I was thinking perhaps you could employ an airless tire design. I was thinking of the Lunar Rover tires although on the moon it's 1/6th the gravity of earth and not really built for hauling troops. However in your situation you may want to prepare for passive defensive efforts by those your vehicle would be hunting. Airless tire have been around for a while and can stand up to quite a bit of punishment as well as not being able to suffer deflation by otherwise normal deflation efforts.

    Bridgstone Airless tire design

    Hummer Airless tire design

    Both of these offer a certain sci-fi look to them as well.

    From the apparent weight of the vehicle you may want to not make the tires completely airless but a partial airless design could be quite useful. I know the tread you chose has a it's noise deadening properties needed for such stealth ops but there is perhaps a trade off with that of safety of the crew should something happen. Can't really call the AAA to have them fix a flat on this guy :)

    I love your back story to the vehicle too. Would make an excellent movie/TV series. Similar to the Highwayman/Airwolf or other lone ranger kind of story. There is of course the post apocalyptic movie Damnation Alley which also springs to mind a bit too ;)

    Your work is always top rate. The rapid prototyping stuff (3d Print) is awesome too. I've often thought of unwrapping a model to be made into a card stock model. Somehow having a physical model can help creativity. Don't know if it's because it unties you from your computer to view it or it's presence in physical space but I would think it would be awesome as a model (physical model) perhaps even RC if you're ambitions lead you there?

  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    Thanks for the comments fellas.

    The wheels are about 150% the size of semi-trailer wheel. I could even fit larger wheels/tyres on it but it starts to reduce wheel lock etc, which impacts manoeuvring in tight spaces. You can fit a larger diameter tyre, but slightly thinner, which is the off road wheel.

    Its also a bit smaller than it looks, its 2 meters to the roof when lowered... Which is a lot smaller than a Landmaster, for example.

    I'll probably make some different types of wheels, I think putting more conventional tyres on it gives it a more contemporary look, or if you wanted a more futuristic look, that can be obtained with a different wheel. There are definitely technical issues with producing that fine type of pattern, wall thickness etc, at a small size but it would be interesting to experiment with.

    As for the tyres, Pneumatics have all sorts of issues beyond getting flats, and it would certainly have something to make them more resistant; perhaps they aren't pneumatic, but simply look similar?;) Interesting that Ronson picks up on the "stealth" aspects of a tyre, because that would surely be a factor in such a vehicle. But that presents exactly the same problems that commercial manufacturers face: They also want a quiet tyre, easier on the driver ultimately; less noise, vibration, but also good road holding and so on. So its deliberately very similar to a commercially available design.

    As for printing a larger scale for radio control, it think that's do-able but best to use lots of off the shelf components like nylon gears and bearings; a high speed gear box made of printed materials will probably shred or melt within minutes of use.
  • FreakFreak1088 Posts: 4,361Member
    I like the current colour.
  • MephMeph331 Posts: 0Member
    That's a nice set o' wheels indeed. looks like a handy vehicle to get through traffic in the morning. And I do mean 'through' traffic. :D

    Oh, and 3d printing... that beast would make a wicked, wicked WH40K Rhino alternative... hint, hint.. ;)
  • KadaeuxKadaeux0 Posts: 0Member
    Ah. After my long absence I have returned! It's been some years I think....

    In any case, nice work Coolhand, indeed it was your work on this and the Shapeways thing that has made me rejoin.

    Any tips on working on stuff for that, because i'm trying to design a tabletop sci-fi wargame (Space based for now as I suck at people still) and Shapeways seems to be a little short on information for things like scaling.
  • CoolhandCoolhand289 Mountain LairPosts: 1,298Member
    Pagrin, your post is gone:D no big deal just seemed inappropriate to talk about that in public, you should have a pm from me.

    Kadaeux, not sure what you mean, just make sure all your parts meet the specifications for minimum wall thickness, etc, according to what is listed on their materials page and you should do fine, at least they wont reject the print anyway.

    Meph, well thats a possibility... if you wanted a print in a different scale for modification, when its finished its no problem to scale it up a bit.

    Freak, Thanks for the support.:)
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