Some time ago, in a sudden fit of creativity, I decided I needed a flying saucer. A little one. A big one would be nice but I don’t have anywhere to park it. This sudden desire to design and build a little flying saucer was probably a result of too much time 3D printing various sci-fi themed projects together with having run a bunch of stop motion animation workshops as part of my contract developing STEMM programs for the local libraries.
About the Flying Saucer.
It is a two seater with, admittedly, limited cargo capacity but featuring the latest in styling! Just look at the fancy wrap around control panel with a fully digital system management display inset into an exactingly curved dash that contrasts stunningly with the blocky structure used elsewhere.
Getting down to the good stuff, the perimeter is punctuated by five sensor ports fitted with the latest sensors for detecting things. The tail end is also fitted with two large and excitingly retro styled thrusters for boosting the vehicle along at a worryingly reckless speed. In order for any flying saucer to levitate and make spacial jumps, it needs a Spatchcock Flange. This little vessel features a fully external Spatchcock Flange allowing the gravitational distortion to achieve a very uniform enclosure of the ship.
But Seriously Though
The models here are designed to print without support. The biggest challenge is finding a dome for the canopy. What I suggest is that you find a suitable dome and then scale the model to suit. The one pictured here was vacuum formed over a polystyrene ball – in hindsight the polystyrene ball wasn't the best choice because it gives a slightly cellular surface and the heat also disrupts the surface of the ball. This means it is a one shot attempt. If you have a plastic ball handy which is about 115-120mm diameter, give that a go. My website describes what I did to make this piece. Here is the link: - http://www.techmonkeybusiness.com/vacuum-formed-thin-plastic-domes.html. The ports in the side of the model are also designed to be held in place by blue tack or other removable sticky material. This is so the model can be mounted on dowels or similar for support during “flying” sequences in your stop motion animation or go-motion special effects shoot.
The inspiration for the design was primarily the outrageously messy Petey and Jaydee animated shorts. Other than that it just looks like a real one.
Nothing special with regard to printing. The parts are all designed to print without support.
Extra things you will need are a plastic dome, a small stub of metal for the canopy hinge, and a bolt to be the axle for the spinning bit at the bottom.
The main body is the part that takes the most time. On the printer i use it was about 4 hours at 0.2mm resolution and 15% fill.
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