3D Printing: Armadillo Postmortem

Original design:

armadillo2

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Once I realized that my Armadillo print would not be back from LaGuardia in time to bring to our last class, I tried demonstrating how the body and shell would work by using my old shell pieces with a deflated rubber football as the mock-body.  I cut a hole in the top of the football and shoved the wire-threaded pieces into the football.

 

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So what’d I prove?  Well, unfortunately, I didn’t prove what I was hoping to prove, but rather the opposite.  As Xuedi hypothesized, the wire floating in the middle of the body would not allow the body to stay rolled up as desired..

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Here’s the thing:  When I first went to LaGuardia, they warned me that unless I hollowed out the body, the Tango material would be too dense to bend at all (they showed me another solid Tango-printed model that more than proved the point).  So I went to work hollowing out the body so that the material would flex enough to roll up.  As with the football, I suspect I will be able to manually fold the Armadillo body in half in its newly hollowed-out form.  However, the wire inside will not have any anchors to the body to allow it to keep the body rolled up without keeping it manually bent.

If I had added loops going from the belly area up around the wire, this possibly might have made it work, and if I have the chance to try this again I might try something like that.

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Another option might be to add some kind of extra loop piece under the chin to allow the tail to tuck into it and hold it in place.

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The success of both the above solutions depend on how flexible the material actually is, which is impossible to really determine until I get my hands on the finished print, as the density causes the flexibility to vary so greatly.

As is, I will still end up with a cool and worthwhile project.  It will be a large multi-material, multi-color Armadillo figure with a hard shell and soft body.  I will likely paint in some details to make it match the in-game texture more closely, and I will proudly display it on my shelf.  So while it won’t function as I hoped it would, I’ll still get a cool model out of it.

Categories: 3DPrinting, Uncategorized

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