The more geeky work is being hard right now. Writing, sure. Electronics, programming, and 3d modeling, not so much. But managed to tweak a third-party model (purchased at TurboSquid) for 3d printing:
This is the FMX XR311, otherwise known as the "G.I. Hotrod." Although never manufactured in other than prototype quantities in the real world, it has made its way into the Morrow Project as a lightly-armed (and very much not NBC sealed) vehicle for general use.
The model omits wheels (at client's request) and because of printability requirements the protective shapes over the headlights are also removed. This is a fairly low-detail mesh anyhow.
Oh, yeah. And the current process? Well, it turns out not only does Carrara export a non-standard Collada file, it also exports a Wavefront OBJ in a way that makes Blender choke. So to get this model in Shapeways, I;
1) Exported from Carrara in OBJ format
2) Imported into Poser 9.0, exported again as a fresh OBJ (but now other applications won't bork)
3) Imported the new OBJ into MeshLab, and exported an STL.
4) Imported the STL into NetFabb, set the scaling and orientation, and exported.
5) Uploaded the STL at Shapeways.
And NOW I'm frustrated. Shapeways is automatically flagging the mesh as bad, and sending me nag notices to fix it, but the check software is stalled. Seems to be a page problem; I uploaded the original test mesh -- the one that passed -- and Shapeways is doing exactly the same thing.
Oh, and on the electronics? I'm committed to throwing together a v. 0.4 version of the Duck Light; ATtiny85 with ICSP programming header, XBee socket, and three (or maybe four mosfets for PWM'ing a 3W LED. No power management, constant-current drivers, level shifting, anything; just naked batteries and a few 1 watt resistors as ballast. On the up side; it should be cheap.
I can learn PCB on this board, maybe even through in some SMD to practice with, and then I'll at least have something for the next time a lantern or magic wand comes along.