3D modeling and 3D printing have led to the creation of all sorts of unique movie props, scaled down movie replicas and various cosplay designs over the past couple of years. We’ve seen costumes created that may actually be more detailed than the costumes depicted in the real movies, and we’ve even seen 3D printed prosthetic hands modeled after various superheroes. However, where the true beauty lies for 3D printing is in its ability for designers and artists to create virtually whatever they like, whenever they want to.
One mechanical designer of industrial machinery, named Aaron Harman, had been searching high and low, near and far, and just about everywhere he could fathom for a model of a Class II Power Loader from the ’80s movie ‘Aliens‘.
“This basically started in ’86 or so when I saw the movie Aliens, it’s still my favorite movie of all time,” Hartman tells 3DPrint.com. “I have been looking for a model of the Power Loader since then but never found one. So, I set about making my own. With lots of rewinding a DVD and taking measurements from the screen, I got the basic geometry and look wanted.”
Then, using his experience, along with Autodesk Inventor, he set out to cut his model into many parts, before adding in pivot pins and more. Being that he has been a mechanical designer for 10 years, and has a lot of experience designing and drawing industrial machinery, as well as being a mentor for two competitive robotics teams in McMurray, Pennsylvania, you could say that Hartman was quite qualified for this project.
“The model is made of 59 individual files,” Hartman tells us. “Some are printed multiple times so the actual part count is 124 printed parts. I had to split it into two Pinshape designs as they only allow 50 files per design. The model took about 22 hours to print. I set the infill pretty heavy (80%) to make a robust, sturdy print.”
Once done printing, Hartman then spent an additional 4 hours or so assembling all 124 printed pieces using a superglue. Only a few parts were actually not 3D printed, and these included the clevis pins for the hydraulic cylinders. The pins are made of paperclips, while the hydraulic lines are made out of Flex EcoPLA filament, cut to length. The final model is fully articulated, with every joint including the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists, all able to move, along with the sliding fingers and the cage, which pivots up in the same fashion as the actual 1986 movie prop.
Hartman, who is in the process of starting up a 3D printer retail store and a print/design service, called Steel City 3D Printing, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has made the designs files available to purchase and download for $23.40 on Pinshape
What do you think? Does this bring back memories of the epic ‘Aliens’ movie of 1986? Discuss in the 3D Printed Class II Power Loader forum thread on 3DPB.com.