Monday, June 29, 2015


I'm really starting to like Fusion360. At least, for parametric models. I have no idea what it looks like in mesh and whether the output would be useable in the Poserverse. One big one; unlike my usual mesh modeler (Carrara), booleans work great in Fusion. In fact, booleans are emphasized by the software.

So I'm making pretty good progress figuring out all the internal bits and pieces that hold the raygun together and put the electronic parts where they need to be:

As a little recap; this is a commission prop, with a firm due-date (now less than seven weeks away). The spec was a retro-looking raygun; "Jetsons, but as if it were real." Thus metal-body construction and exposed hardware.

After several weeks of sketches we hit on the right look:

The first thing I made was a paper mock-up, extrapolating from various gun-like objects I had around the house to scale the grip and body. That mock-up showed the dimensions needed a little more tweaking:

Next, to help visualize the thing, I made a second scale drawing, cut that drawing out of foam-core, and when the dimensions seemed decent, padded up the foam-core with expanded polystyrene:

Sanded down, smoothed out, painted silver, it gave me a good sanity check on the shape and I could let the client hold it and see how it looked on her. I made a few notations at this point for adjustment to some of the dimensions:

After that the project moved into CAD. More problems had to be solved within CAD, and I made several changes -- some of them accidental, such as the new direction of the grip texture. More emails back and forth. I also went to Urban Ore to look at old drills and similar tools to brush up on appropriate assembly details. But at last, the outer shape was set. This is a quick render from inside Fusion360:

And now the internals are getting finished up in the CAD -- this week I'll finally be able to start cutting metal:

And since the mock-up had been useful getting to this point, I spent a little time modifying it to reflect the new shape:

Don't mourn -- it will get all smoothed out again. (And next time I do something like this, it will be done with MDF and Bondo so it can take details properly and hold up to the rigors of casting or forming). The mock-up is better already; it is pink now:

Oh, yes. And I shipped the latest grenade order, bringing the total number of Aliens M40's I've made and sold to....44. Which would look something like this, if I still had any of them here:

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