Introduction: 3D Companion Cube. Its Time to Fire Up Inventor and Make My Own Companion Cube.

Portal (Valve Software - Orange Box) Go out and buy it! Then you will understand why you might want a companion cube. So after several hours of game play gone, Its time to fire up Inventor and make my own companion cube.

Kdjames@berkscareer.com

Step 1: Inventor

Created in Inventor 2008, now that I have the solid model it's time to create sides to print out.

Step 2: 3x2cube-proto-01

O.k. enough rendering it's time to print!
I sliced the cube to six sides and layed the sides out on a 3 X 2 grid. Total RP printing time 7.2 hrs

Step 3: Cheap Led Light

Take one cheap LED $2.50 flash light and dremel cut everything but lights off add 3 ohm resistor to a cut off USB cord add a little hot glue and bobs your uncle you have a USB light! ( I know crappy photo)

Step 4: Let There Be Light

Hot glue the sides together and... Let there be

Light! Now when ever my computer is on I will be comforted by the glow of my little companion cube

Comments

author
Vick Jr (author)2010-02-06

I can give you the original 3d model used in the game (as well as the texture). I have the source sdk and can extract it. This is a .max file from 3D studio Max. You should be able to open it in auto-cad, but, if not, I can upload it in another format.

3d model:www.filefront.com/15520553/companion_cube.max
texture:www.filefront.com/15520675/metal_box_skin001.bmp

It's made of polygons, not splines, so you may not want to use it directly. You should first scale to an appropriate size then somehow make the curved parts actually curved, instead of triangulated. Autocad may have a tool for this. I don't know.

Great instructable by the way! I find myself  wishing I had a machine shop near me more and more.

author
tecnocubeguy (author)Vick Jr2010-05-16

Could you please upload in .3ds format?

author
Vick Jr (author)tecnocubeguy2010-05-30

Here's a max 9 version. If you need a max 8 version i can get that too. The textures are a bit screwy but the model is fine. You should be able to import it into inventor or open it in max.
http://www.filefront.com/16597623/companion_cube.max


author
Vick Jr (author)Vick Jr2011-12-25

UPDATE:
I loaded the file in inventor and completely re-made it based on the old dimensions. It now has nice curves instead of polygons. Download the inventor part, max model, and texture in a variety of formats here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?axz5axck9qkkaub,hpm863k5ftlrw8f,8gm11y8hnj9b4g9,62l9hyua8gta73i,eup35h93jabijaq,612sy26kkggf540,saffmhvnuudhzbk

author
dscott4 (author)2011-10-10

I would love to see it added to the 3D print group I have just started

https://www.instructables.com/group/3Dprint/

Thanks

author
postlife (author)2011-08-28

potato...potAHto....it's great.

author
A1v1n1 (author)2011-08-25

Should paint it a bit :D

author
tr45h (author)2011-06-27

I can't wait till we'll be reminiscing about how it used to take 7 hours to print a measly 3D Companion Cube model and laughing about it...

author
357awc (author)2011-05-21

Here is the sketchup file for the companion cube

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=3c79f8b67da71418b838bf15fb6aa6c9

author
captainjazzhands (author)2011-05-04

congratulations youve created your own wieghted companion cube. unfortunantly it cannot be saved and must be emancipated

author
typenamehere_____ (author)2010-07-08

Free 3-D modeling software is available from Google called "SketchUp" easy and simple, especially for people new to modeling, but Autodesk Inventor is much better. Not spam, just saying so that people don't have to spend loads of $$$ to model this.

author

Hey go to my ible. i show how to get it free legally in the first step! https://www.instructables.com/id/Autocad-Inventor-2011-How-to-make-a-widget/

Matthew Enderle

4.jpg
author
Hephestus (author)2010-04-09

i use a 3d modelling software called PTC Pro-desktop will your 3d model be compatible with my software

author
Bctcteacher (author)Hephestus2010-04-09

Don't know what file types can you import into your software? If I know what you can import then i will know what to export as.

Ken

author
tecnocubeguy (author)Bctcteacher2010-10-31

I use blender.

author
jeiku23 (author)2010-06-17

This sin't really an instructable or a tutorial or anything like that... This is more of a you showing off the fact that you wasted time on making a companion cube....

author
finbar galdeep (author)2010-02-17

i have a star trek game and in it the best ship in the game looks just like this, except without the hearts. i think its called a Borg tactical cube.

author
Stingray56 (author)2009-05-24

can someone who does not work at a 3D modeling industry use it? can you download it off the internet?

author
daedalus12 (author)Stingray562009-05-29

Professional CAD programs are usually very expensive, and it is almost impossible to hack around the licensing. However, right now Solidworks (another CAD program, and my current favorite although I haven't tried Inventor since 2005) is doing this special thing because of the recession, where you can download it and use it for 90 days. Heres the link if you're interested:

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/esp/engineering_stimulus_package.html

author
Nyxius (author)daedalus122010-02-02

 Inventor sucks...if you go "old school" and use plain old AutoCAD I could draft that Cube in 5 min. and convert it to something plot-able in less than 60 sec.  If you register as a "student" you can get an unlimited student license for free (for most of their products).

students.autodesk.com/

author
Bctcteacher (author)Nyxius2010-02-03

Nyxius it time to put up or shut up!

I'll take that  Challenge, I bet you can't make this cube in 5 minutes.

Go ahead and try then email me your dwg file. Ill post your results.

author
Nyxius (author)Bctcteacher2010-02-05

never played the game & I can't find actual dimensions.   Get me some dimensions and I'll take your challenge.

author
Bctcteacher (author)Nyxius2010-02-05

What dimensions? I didn't have any dimensions, I simply worked off of pictures that I found on the internet or screens shots other people had posted. I made my Cube 4"X4" to fit nicely on my desk. Thats all the dimensions I had to work with, the rest you have to figure out on your own.

author
Nyxius (author)Bctcteacher2010-02-05

Well, OK.  I didn't include figuring dimensions in my 5 min estimate.  If I had a complete set of dimensions I could do it in 5 min, but I neither have the time nor the patience to sit there and scale the thing.

Still...it is cool to see an actual RP machine.   I'm trying to design one that works with metal...still has lots of kinks (pun intended).

author
Nyxius (author)Bctcteacher2010-02-05

Cool RP Machine by the way...wish I had one.

author
Stingray56 (author)daedalus122009-05-30

thanks a bunch! Ill definitely give it a try.

author
Fuingurth_rocker (author)2009-07-31

does that mean that it took 7.2 hours to convert the model to a flat image? If so there is a program called pepakura designer that will do that automatically and much faster (it also adds tabs so you can connect the pieces)

author

No it took 7.2 hours to print the models six sides.

author
freakyqwerty (author)Bctcteacher2010-01-24

7.2 HOURS

author
berky93 (author)freakyqwerty2010-01-28

I don't think he means with paper. He used a 3d printer to print the sides. 3d printing takes a LONG time.

and now I really want to go print a companion cube for myself. so I think I will!

author
Chromatica (author)2009-12-27

Portal ROCKS

author
red-king (author)2009-01-07

I want one! wish i had a 3D plotter...

author
TheTeslaWarrior (author)red-king2009-12-09

 you should... plotters are fun (my hs has 1)

author
Darkknarf (author)red-king2009-02-13

it's called a 3d printer ;-)

author
hg341 (author)Darkknarf2009-02-18

or a 3-d {{{plotter}}} ;-)<br/>

author
n1LWeb (author)2009-02-19

I'd like to remind all of you that this companion cube can not speak!

author
Panzer_mike (author)n1LWeb2009-02-19

If it does, Should we disregard what it says?

author
Rokko8652 (author)Panzer_mike2009-06-07

Most of all, It won't stab us (Sorry if it's not quoted right, haven't played the game in a couple of months.)

author
watermelonhead (author)Rokko86522009-07-22

And we were going to have a party for you with cake with your best friend, but now he can't come because you murdered him.

portal geeks rock! :D

author
Kaiven (author)watermelonhead2009-10-20

There really was a cake.

author
OnyxxStone (author)2009-08-22

From 3-D To Real Life Simply Amazing, Cudos My Friend

author
dark clerick (author)2009-08-19

hey since some of us dont want to drop cash on the programs needed can you post the print out file?

author
Articas (author)2009-06-20

may i please say this WTF WHERE CAN I GET A 3D PRINTER

author
redsoxrock97 (author)2009-05-30

Nice job. That thing is exactly like the game.

author
Bctcteacher (author)redsoxrock972009-05-31

thanks, it was fun to make.

author
g3thig4chri5 (author)2009-05-23

do you have a picture of it finished and plugged in?

author
b_animal (author)2009-05-10

if its making the parts its called a cnc machine

author
Bctcteacher (author)b_animal2009-05-15

A CNC machine is a subtractive process of taking away material, A 3d printer adds material. Yes they are both controled by a comupter, but a RP machine does not need G code or tool changes

author
Default117 (author)2009-03-13

You know there are pink LED's right?

author
Bctcteacher (author)Default1172009-03-15

yea but I had a cheap led flast light on hand. which gave me a ready made led mount.