Monday, September 27, 2021

In The Grim Darkness Of The Future, There Is... Green Energy?

I've been doing some miniature preparation and painting in the last bit, but I got distracted by terrain making. After seeing a number of hex style solar panels online, I decided to make some myself via 3D printing. A terrain piece like a solar array can be an interesting addition to games like Stargrave.

Since I'm most familiar with the 3D program Sketchup, I did most of my work for the panels there.

It was fairly quick to make, since most of the shapes are quite regular, and I made a tri panel and a quad panel. Each of the hex faces has a set of smaller hex panel lines inside.

Using my FDM printer, both of these printed out fairly well, although I had some adhesion issues causing some of the corners to curl up slightly. I might have to use a bigger brim to prevent that.

Close up, the surface is a bit rough, since I don't think I made the tops thick enough. However, with a coat of paint, I don't think this matters.

These are only the solar panels themselves, and I still need a base to hold them up. For all that I like Sketchup, it's a bit of a toy in terms of functionality, so I finally transitioned to using Blender for the base. This is a much more powerful tool, but it has quite a steep learning curve. I'm just starting to get the hang of it.

I'm currently just trying to make a fairly standard base with four feet, maybe eventually with some detail bits like control panels. This part of the model is still a work in progress, and I will update as I finish it.

What I have so far, the hex panels, are up on Thingiverse. Anyone is welcome to download and print them for use from the link here:

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