With every new project, I attempt to push my knowledge of how to accomplish the desired result using the software tools at my disposal.
So this, one of my latest designs, was no exception.
The ‘Lucky AT-AT Foot’ is a play on the idea that someone might carry a lucky rabbits foot (actually nobody does this IRL) transposed to the not-really-rabbit-like-more-a-giant-killing-machine-on-legs vehicle from Star Wars.
The execution of this model looked deceptively easy, and to challenge myself that bit more I picked Blender as the tool to carry out the design.
If you haven’t tried Blender, well, let’s just say it has a fairly steep learning curve. It is also one of the most complete 3D rendering and animation tools available for free, with incredibly deep and complex processes for creating 3D scenes and movies.
But enough of that; I’m using Blender for the creation of something that will be 3D printed, and because of that, I can play a bit fast and loose with what makes a ‘good’ Blender model.
So the overall shape of the AT-AT foot is relatively simple. The details – simple shapes combined to form a whole – were straight forward.
The hardest part – for me at least – was getting the plate detail around the foot to follow the cone profile the foot consists of. I found a great tutorial on YouTube demonstrating the technique and eventually adopted this with a few modifications.
With a few tweaks to fix thickness issues for my target material of 3D printed steel, the model was ready to be uploaded to my preferred 3D print bureau, Shapeways. Of course other 3D print services are available depending on your requirements.
The Shapeways servers then perform some automated integrity checks on the model based on the chosen material.
With the model green lit for printing, I can have the model printed and shipped in a couple of weeks.
If I’m happy with the result, I’m able to offer it for sale to others through my Shapeways shop.
By Steven Gray.