Thursday, March 1, 2018

A New Project....From Dead Light Bulb To Fusion Drive Spaceship

About a week ago or so I was helping a friend of mine work on his enclosure design for his 3D printer.  He had brought me something out of the ordinary. What he had brought along to my house was a dead light bulb.  But not just any ordinary bulb.  

This was  a large 400 watt industrial bulb that had burned out at his place of work.  I have never seen anything as large as this bulb and he thought I might like it to use in one of my projects. I really liked the shape so I thought it might have possibilities. On the base of the bulb was a rather old looking porcelain socket which I was able to remove and retrieve the inner metal socket that was still in good shape. As you can see from the photo above the glass is still nice and clear with no cracks but the element on the inside is dark from having been burned out.  It measures 11.5 inches long. 

(Click on the images for a larger view) 

After some thought about this beautiful bulb I struck on the idea of making a spaceship model from it.  The photo above is the first version that I had come up with using Fusion 360 CAD software. I liked the overall shape of the new spaceship but at this point it was just a rough idea.  In the photos above the project at this point could be either a spaceship or a submarine.  Also the idea of the clear canopy would be possible but I was not sure if I could make it without some help. 

The next version of the project was looking like a proper spaceship at this point. I blacked out the clear canopy which would be an easy fix to making it as it could simply be painted on to the capsule to complete the look.  With the addition of the rocket engines, fuel tanks, fins, landing gear and a tail thruster the project was looking more promising. 

Then I did one more redesign to change the look completely of the capsule and the scale of the spaceship. I discarded the large canopy and changed it to be a single wrap around  windshield and three port hole windows on each side of the front section of  the spaceship.  This changed the scale of the ship so that it appeared to be much larger than the first spaceship with one large canopy. 

Pictured above are a good collection of all the different views of the spaceship.  I will have to work out the details for the assembly of this rather large model that I will be able to 3D print on my new 3D printer that I just got up and running over the past couple of weeks.  From the computer design I will be able to break all of the components down so that they can be assembled like any ordinary plastic model.  Once completed the spaceship will be 25.25" long, 9.8" tall and 11.25" wide.  It should be an impressive model once I get it all together.  

I still have a couple more projects that I have to finish first before I will start construction on this project.  I also have to wait for a couple more components that I want to install into the model. I will have to wait until these show up so I can incorporate them into the model.  One idea that I am looking at is to light the fusion drive (the dead light bulb) at the rear of the model using electroluminescent wire that could be wrapped around the glass base of the bulb and then powered by a small battery pack that would be mounted into the capsule of the model.  I will have to test out this idea before I actually build it into the model to see if the EL wire will give the fusion drive a nice glow when lit.  Even without lighting the model it will still be quite impressive when I get it built.  It should be another challenging and fun project to work on in the coming weeks. I'll let you know when the build starts!

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