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How It's Made: 3D Printed Sarah Jenners


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#1 Valcrow

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:19 AM

Hey Guys,

Sorry for starting a new topic and cloggin up the boards, I initially tried to splice it into my existing sarah's jenner thread, but it was just way too unweildy. There's just too many pictures.

The good news is. there's too many pictures!

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How the Sarah's Jenner is made!

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(left Printed Jenner, Right virtual Jenner)

This is printed on an ultimaker 1, a consumer level home FDM 3D printer. I'm going to fast forward all the boring 3D design here, although that's a large portion of the work required to get a model from virtual to physical, it's just overly technical for the purposes of this article.

So Off we go! Jenner Construction 101.
This is a 3D design example of a multi-part balljoint for the Jenner pelvis. Long story short, I cleaned the Jenner model, modeled in all the details, broke it up into printable chunks and integrated all the joints. Then I broke them apart even more so that they print in different orientations to make the surfaces nice and clean. Here's an example of the 3D results.
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The progression from game asset to printable piece (right to left) Red represents cuts in the geometry. Once all the 3D is complete, it's off to the printer! Piece by piece.

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It's always exciting to test out the first parts that come out of the printer to see how they fit. This is one of the first. Even the little radar dish at the top fit perfectly. This was the prototype one, I had since modeled in extra details into the head, creases and squares seen on the textures and normal maps. Overall I was quite happy with the print quality.

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Gotta keep those guys organized. with 40+ parts. you don't want to mix, loose, or otherwise confuse parts.
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What two mechs look like partially assembled. You don't want to spray prime 40 pieces each, it'll mess up pin tolerances and be a headache to put together and organize, so I pre-assmbled as much as would make sense to prepare for paint priming. I even partially put the pins in to hold them in place to make spraying easier. At this point I filed, filled and sanded what I needed to, to make sure the pins fit, the surfaces cleaned, and no print holes existed.

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Need proper ventilation while spraying toxic chemicals that stick onto plastic, do it outside. In my case on a pie plate suspended over a tomato cage. Surprisingly effective.

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Left, naked. right, sprayed with ultra-fine light grey paint primer. Primed parts are so clean and matte looking, kinda looks like a 3D rendering.

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And we're back inside. Nicely primed parts posing with finished prototype in my mech-lab. During the 20+ hour prints for each Jenner, I had enough time to construct and paint the prototype, test out all the techniques and figure out all the parts where I can fail.

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After basically an invisible coat of light grey paint which was almost the same shade as the primer, I applied base colours to the biggest areas first. For the more complex patterns, I drew the patterns out in pencil first and then filled it with paint. (Rings on arms and SRM)

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Starting to block in the detailed base coat bits. Checkered pattern on the pelvis, stars on legs. etc. I had my trusty playbook as my colour reference guide to the left. I rendered a rotation of the game model with the textures applied so I wouldn't have to go back to my computer to reference anything. Important to stay on focus!

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After colour blocking the main structures of the mech, I had to edge everything with black or dark grey. So all the raised corners and edges are kissed with black to resemble wear. (it's just how PGI designed it). This took... a long time. EVERY SINGLE EDGE and GROOVE.

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Then off to paint tiny details with tiny brushes. I tried to keep switching colors to a minimum so I painted all red hearts all at once etc. It was hard to keep track of what pieces needed which colour. I had piles of both mechs on my desk and they all look the same in white.

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All colour basecoat done! It kinda looks bland and kind of daunting because all that work only gets you a basic looking thing. Good thing I made a prototype to remind me what it will look like after keeping on the path of proper process.

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Needed to re-jig my workstation at this point. Thanks to film gear, nice even lighting and even a screen holder.

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Now the painstaking art of outlining things with tiny brushes. Basically drawing the detail on. Very delicate time consuming work that messes with your eyeballs.

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before and after outlines for unicorns.

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Before and After teddy bears.

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(for scale, the shark drawing is 0.5cm tall)
Looks a bit sloppy, but with every pass it gets more refined looking. Even the stars and stripes gets their outline.
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Outlined everything with dark grey! only 2 more major steps left... (pencil for scale)
A this point, shading begins. Washing the parts in really watered down blacks to simulate the dirt and grime that accumulates in grooves and highlighting parts that are corners. A welcome change after the detail work of outlining things. You get a big fat brush (relatively speaking) And just slather on the paint and it goes into the grooves automatically. Quite therapeutic actually.

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You can see it start to bring out the definition of the shapes. Sometimes the paint pools in areas you don't want and you have to paint that whole panel in water to ensure that the paint pigments don't 'pool' around edges that you don't want. I just kind of go over parts that I feel like needs it until I get the desired shading effect. Doesn't take too long (comparatively... it still needs to be done over the whole model, and multiple times...)

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You can really see how the wash is working well on the underside of the pelvis. Looks properly weathered to me!
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Finished dark washing in the grooves. This feels quite akin to rendering an ambient occlusion pass in 3D. At least that's how I determine where to make it darker. I use to do 3d texture painting so I guess that helps in the real painting.
Finally, last painting step! highlights!. This part is also quite enjoyable. Adding silver to the edges and corners selectively to make it look like the black paint has worn off to expose the raw metal. This makes the black parts all awesome looking. Lots of dry-brushing here.
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Here I have all the highlights painted on and silver touches on the edges. I also washed certain parts with a rusty brown watered down so that it sticks into the grooves making it feel like parts of it is whethered. For a touch of realism and to break up some of the really symmetrical parts. Cockpit glass also painted MW:O orange. A lot of people like blue glass on their models, but I wanted to stay as true as possible to the game.
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Jenner overwatching it's buddies being built.
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Last last step. I painted some gloss varnish over the laser lenses to give it a bit more shine. Also on the cockpit window. It gives it a nice finish feeling where it catches light a little differently from the rest.
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Last last last step. Coating in a seal so the paintjob is a bit more durable. Acrylic paints aren't the most durable things in the world. So I use a latex clear coat that doesn't seem to affect paint quality.
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Assembly time! Literally slot, and push the pins in. (actually at this point I realized I made a horrible mistake in assembly. HUGE props if you can figure out what...)
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Ta-Da! All that's left to do is to get some wires for the antana and we're done!
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Photoshoot time! They will only be together for a few days before...

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They go off to their new homes... *sniff*

And that's how Sarah's Jenners are made. or at least assembled and painted. I'm only a moderately experienced painter, so this was more or less of a learning exercise for me, I initially intended to get someone to paint them. But I'm kinda glad I did even though it probably took a lot longer than expected. Would love to hear your questions/comments!


Related Links:
Main Gallery
http://www.redicubri.../sarahs-jenner/
This article
http://www.redicubri...-the-making-of/

MWO links:
Sarah's Jenner
http://mwomercs.com/...-sarahs-jenner/
Atlas
http://mwomercs.com/...cture-overload/

#2 Bishop Steiner

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

beautiful project man. glad all the minds that got it rolling did it.

#3 PoLaR

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:30 AM

Wow these are incredible! You are so very talented. I am jealous of your epic skill :]

Thanks for sharing!

#4 Valcrow

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:32 AM

View PostBishop Steiner, on 08 October 2013 - 11:28 AM, said:

beautiful project man. glad all the minds that got it rolling did it.


Maybe Kiriage will know what he's getting into now... :D I'll expect pics from the King Crab when its done! :D

#5 HugoStiglitz

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:40 AM

Very nice. Btw is that Catapult in the background of some of the images posable as well?

#6 Valcrow

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:43 PM

View PostHugoStiglitz, on 08 October 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

Very nice. Btw is that Catapult in the background of some of the images posable as well?


Yes, not as much or nearly as refined as the Jenner or atlas, but yes.
http://mwomercs.com/...inted-catapult/

#7 Bishop Steiner

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:38 PM

View PostValcrow, on 08 October 2013 - 11:32 AM, said:


Maybe Kiriage will know what he's getting into now... :D I'll expect pics from the King Crab when its done! :D

Who knows, Maybe I can "gift" you one for an Atlas gift......... :D

View PostValcrow, on 08 October 2013 - 12:43 PM, said:


Yes, not as much or nearly as refined as the Jenner or atlas, but yes.
http://mwomercs.com/...inted-catapult/

did you ever revisit and change to the slim cockpit in game model for the Cat?

#8 HugoStiglitz

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:46 PM

View PostValcrow, on 08 October 2013 - 12:43 PM, said:


Yes, not as much or nearly as refined as the Jenner or atlas, but yes.
http://mwomercs.com/...inted-catapult/

Still though, amazing work there I would pay if I had the money I would pay for one of those, but since I'm the stereotypical broke college student, especially after the Phoenix Package, I can not.

#9 kiriage

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:54 PM

Your effort in posting this information here is really appreciated Valcrow. I'm learning a bit more about what I'm in for with the print I'm working on everyday, but with what you've posted here it gives me a great base to reference, and reassures me that building it in bits is the way to go. Its certainly got me using some parts of my programme that I haven't really had to touch before which is always a good thing. I think your commitment to the projects you've undertaken is remarkable, and reflects in the fine finish you've achieved and your willingness to share your work and it's process with the community as a whole speaks volumes as to your character.

#10 Shazarad

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:49 PM

This is freakin amazing. 3D Printing makes me all warm and fuzzy when I think about what kind of mechs and what scale we can make them at.

#11 Valcrow

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

View PostBishop Steiner, on 08 October 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

Who knows, Maybe I can "gift" you one for an Atlas gift......... :)
did you ever revisit and change to the slim cockpit in game model for the Cat?


That might be a possibility. :) I didn't change the Cat to the new cockpit yet. Maybe I'll get back to it since the Jenner is finished and bring it up to snuff with the Jenner and atlas, or start something else.. not sure yet.

View Postkiriage, on 08 October 2013 - 02:54 PM, said:

Your effort in posting this information here is really appreciated Valcrow. I'm learning a bit more about what I'm in for with the print I'm working on everyday, but with what you've posted here it gives me a great base to reference, and reassures me that building it in bits is the way to go. Its certainly got me using some parts of my programme that I haven't really had to touch before which is always a good thing. I think your commitment to the projects you've undertaken is remarkable, and reflects in the fine finish you've achieved and your willingness to share your work and it's process with the community as a whole speaks volumes as to your character.


If you're printing on shapeways, I'm not sure if you need to design it in parts. One of the primary reasons why I have so many parts is because I need to print them in different orientations so that the surfaces are clean on the sides where they matter, and to avoid overhangs. There are no such problems on shapeway printers as they defy physics. B) So you can literally design yours as one big piece and print it off just like that and it'll be exactly as you designed. The only reason to break yours apart would be to do moving joints, so save yourself some assembly & tolerance headaches!

#12 Bishop Steiner

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:10 AM

View PostValcrow, on 09 October 2013 - 09:01 AM, said:


That might be a possibility. :) I didn't change the Cat to the new cockpit yet. Maybe I'll get back to it since the Jenner is finished and bring it up to snuff with the Jenner and atlas, or start something else.. not sure yet.



If you're printing on shapeways, I'm not sure if you need to design it in parts. One of the primary reasons why I have so many parts is because I need to print them in different orientations so that the surfaces are clean on the sides where they matter, and to avoid overhangs. There are no such problems on shapeway printers as they defy physics. :) So you can literally design yours as one big piece and print it off just like that and it'll be exactly as you designed. The only reason to break yours apart would be to do moving joints, so save yourself some assembly & tolerance headaches!

we are being a little demented, actual.

We are looking at posable (and Kiriage is going NUTS on the degree of articulation he wants to add. Might need a straight jacket.) and also to make a lot of it modular.

#13 Tannhauser Gate

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:28 AM

Just want to say, these mechs are beautiful tributes to Sarah. Yes it took skill and dedication to create these amazing pieces, but I'm more impressed by your generosity with your time and effort to make something great for NGNG, for PGI, and for Sarah’s family. Well done, Valcrow. I had a real tear in my eye reading this thread.

All the haters can suck it.

#14 PEEFsmash

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

Today I was able to confirm that the Jenner's oversized and poorly-hitbox'd CT does in fact take up 75% of the mech's total volume.

Edited by PEEFsmash, 09 October 2013 - 10:49 AM.


#15 Chou Senwan

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:54 PM

Beautiful work. And of course now I want a 3D printer. :)

View PostValcrow, on 08 October 2013 - 11:19 AM, said:

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Assembly time! Literally slot, and push the pins in. (actually at this point I realized I made a horrible mistake in assembly. HUGE props if you can figure out what...)


What are the knobby pin things sticking out of the sides of the upper legs? Pins to hold the two parts of the leg together? How does the knee connect to them? Why did one set of legs not have them in some of the earlier images?

Just curious: the missile tubes have the same dome at the end like the lasers, as opposed to being recessed like an actual tube. Intentional?

Does it come with an antenna?

Most important question: can you make one big enough so that the cockpit opens up and you can fit a G.I. Joe figure inside?

Edited by Chou Senwan, 09 October 2013 - 01:11 PM.


#16 G_zero

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:56 PM

wow very nice! keep up the good work

#17 Valcrow

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:16 PM

Thanks all!

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Beautiful work. And of course now I want a 3D printer. :)
And you should get one! They are affordable(ish) now.

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What are the knobby pin things sticking out of the sides of the upper legs? Pins to hold the two parts of the leg together? How does the knee connect to them? Why did one set of legs not have them in some of the earlier images?


The knobby pins are the Leg pivots, you slot the knee part in (which has a corresponding hole) and push the pin in and the knees can pivot on it. Pins tend to roll around so I usually just keep it partially in place so I don't loose it. Here's a pic of it fully inserted from the side.

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Just curious: the missile tubes have the same dome at the end like the lasers, as opposed to being recessed like an actual tube. Intentional?


The SRM tubes are intentionally different. They aren't dome like lenses like the lasers, it's kind of a flat cyliner type thing more of a 'cap' for the missile inside. It's based on various pictures and normal maps as close to the original as possible. For those minute details I had to model them all out because they were all done through normal maps and textures which don't translate into print geometry. good of you to notice though! :)


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Does it come with an antenna?


Yes, if you see the finished gallery, 2 of the 3 have antenna's which are the finished ones. Made of wire I found lying around and straightened and painted black. The prototype has no antenna, so I make sure I send the right ones. B)

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Most important question: can you make one big enough so that the cockpit opens up and you can fit a G.I. Joe figure inside?


Theoretically yes, but I would have to break up the CT into more pieces and model the insides and it would take exponentially longer. but yes.. It's possible given enough time and resources... At that scale you can put in actual laser modules and batteries. I Don't think I'll be doing that anytime soon though...

#18 kiriage

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:35 PM

View PostValcrow, on 09 October 2013 - 09:01 AM, said:



If you're printing on shapeways, I'm not sure if you need to design it in parts. One of the primary reasons why I have so many parts is because I need to print them in different orientations so that the surfaces are clean on the sides where they matter, and to avoid overhangs. There are no such problems on shapeway printers as they defy physics. :) So you can literally design yours as one big piece and print it off just like that and it'll be exactly as you designed. The only reason to break yours apart would be to do moving joints, so save yourself some assembly & tolerance headaches!



Yeah as Bishop said, I am endeavouring to make it poseable, and trying to achieve various levels of functionality in different parts (maybe a little ambitious , we'll see) and that its modular so that the possibility of being able to swap load outs exits at some point in time. Also since it is going through shapeways and I dont own a printer and some of the parts are complex to say the least, Im kind of thinking I need the luxury of only having to reprint some parts if they go wrong instead of the whole thing..this is probably the part Im most nervous about as once the printing starts there is a real financial aspect to it. Additionally..if...it goes ok there are other designs of Bishops I would like to take through the same process..concept render, scene art and 3d model and it would be neat, and time saving if some components were universal/interchangeable across these models..but thats down the track aways. Im also allowing Bishop a bit of flexibility that once he sees the model in real world he can adjust some proportions on components if he wants to and the reprint would be not so much. So parts it is..and all the work that goes along with it :) When I built the model I wasnt really thinking about 3d printing it , just static image renders really, and the way I constructed it reflects that, so now I'm paying the price a little for some lazy, early modelling..with no one to blame but myself, forewarned is forearmed for next time though. Im thinking about slotting the pivot in the center hip for the torso along the z axis and doing some covers so that the cog can be adjusted if required. Getting close to having a lot of it done now, will have to order a part soon to see if its going to work I guess.

Edited by kiriage, 09 October 2013 - 02:37 PM.


#19 Liev Andropov

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:27 AM

(actually at this point I realized I made a horrible mistake in assembly. HUGE props if you can figure out what...)

In the third picture of the post, it appears as if there hip ball has to spread the hip socket open a little bit to fit in there. But it appears as if the socket may not be able to open enough to let the ball snap in with the cylindrical cover already in place, which it appears to be in your near-final assembly shot. Could you get the two connected?

#20 Valcrow

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

View PostLiev Andropov, on 11 October 2013 - 06:27 AM, said:

(actually at this point I realized I made a horrible mistake in assembly. HUGE props if you can figure out what...)

In the third picture of the post, it appears as if there hip ball has to spread the hip socket open a little bit to fit in there. But it appears as if the socket may not be able to open enough to let the ball snap in with the cylindrical cover already in place, which it appears to be in your near-final assembly shot. Could you get the two connected?


Props to you! you did spot it! The cylinder piece doesn't allow the socket to spread AT ALL, it's actually there to put additional pressure on the ball since otherwise it'll just flop around. So it was impossible to get the hip ball in without either messing up the socket or something else.

I actually had to disassemble the entire pelvis assembly at this point, print another socket piece (because I ruined it) and put it together properly. -Ball in socket before Cylinder ring. Good thing they are separate pieces or I would have had to re-paint pieces.

@kiriage

Well as long as your pieces are within the minimum detail size, it should print ok on shapeways no matter how complex the object. Not so for FDM printers. Also a good thing about making joints... if it doesn't work, you can always just glue it in the pose you like anyways. B) How big is this puppy gonna be?





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