Instructables
Picture of Bioshock Belt Buckle in Bronze
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Step 1: Photoshop!

Picture of Photoshop!
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This step is pretty simple. I needed to create a nice, clear reference image to trace in 3d. All I had to do here is increase the contrast and clean up an image of the Bioshock logo I found online. I started by resizing the image so the logo filled the canvas. Then I pulled up the image>adjustments>levels menu and slid the two tabs in towards the center of the histogram (the little graph in the middle.) This is to increase the contrast so I can isolate the areas of the image that I'll pull out into 3d. Ctrl+shift+u will turn the image monochrome and a little bit of magic with the wand, bucket, and brush tools will get you an image that's ready to trace in SolidWorks.

Step 2: Solidworks!

Picture of Solidworks!
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Solidworks is an incredibly complex and incredibly powerful program for designing parts for anything from cars, to rockets, to blow driers, to buildings. I can't get into nearly enough detail to show the entire process of playing and tweaking to get it just right but I can give a pretty clear outline. If you want to learn the program in more detail there are a bunch of good video tutorials on youtube.

I've been using the program for a while so I find it pretty intuitive but it's really hard for a first timer. If you've never heard of it you might consider trying simpler programs like VectorWorks, Blender, or Google Sketchup before hunting around for SolidWorks. That being said SolidWorks is what I've got and what I know so it's what I used.

I started by importing my drawing on the top plane with insert>dxf/dwg. Then I created a new sketch on that drawing and traced over the shapes with the sketch tools. From there it was just a few simple cuts and extrusions to create the logo in 3d. Now all I had to do was scale it down to the right size and save it out as an STL (a common 3d format to deliver to the CAM program.)
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I think the "No Gods or Kings, Only Man" quote would look great going around the belt. Favorite quote of entire game :D
Same.
Pyrofan3 years ago
if only i had a cnc
x z i t3 years ago
nobody can do this
i have :)
Clayton H.4 years ago
What are the dimensions of the buckle?
paperclip324 years ago
Honestly,I think the unfinished buckle looks better.Fits the theme of Rapture.
punkhead584 years ago
A gym for nerds?

How about a gym for people that want to do something that's more productive than running in place and throwing weights around?

(By the way, for the price of joining TechShop for a year or two, you can buy your own industrial tools. Check out Harbor Freight; you can get a lot of cheap imported tools that actually work surprisingly well.)
Clayton H.4 years ago
Do you have the CAD files for this? there's a cnc machine at my high school and we get unlimited access after school.
Im so using this to make a halo logo belt buckle
Where do you get a cnc machine? Also, how much do you want for a silicon mold or red wax copy?
This has to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen


Ever
russian54 years ago
Awesome instructable! I think I'm going to make a sunwheel like this.
ZOMG TIS IS SO FRICKIN AWESOME!!! i want to make a companion cube to replace my old one... rip best friend :(
I am going to see if the guys in the shop can make me one with the CNC machine out of metal from this:
http://www.3dcontentcentral.com/download-model.aspx?catalogid=171&id=10866#
bofthem (author)  watermelonhead5 years ago
It is common to form inappropriate attachments to the companion cube.
It willnot threaten to stab you, and in fact cannot speak. Unless you use gary's mod ;D
What I wouldn't give for a weighted companion cube :)
Sigh... I doodle companion cubes all over my agenda :(
bofthem (author)  watermelonhead5 years ago
you can play around with this model of a companion cube in blender or any other 3d program that can import stl's: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:915
S1L3N7 SWAT5 years ago
Very cool!! But, I have one question. Is that Bioshock image copyrighted? If yes, then would this be considered illegal since you are using that image to make money without a licence from the owners? I'm guessing the makers of the game probably could care less and also think it's awesome. But their big legal department might see fault with it. Does anyone know if this is infringment or something? I hope it's not because I would buy it!
How is he making money off of it?
He's selling them for $60. Did you click the link to his site?
it should be illegal to charge 60 for a this thing, copyright or not
That's mean. He did an excellent job on this thing. The quality is excellent as well.
(removed by author or community request)
I don't think you fully understand what the term "price gouging" means. Price gouging is when a business charges an exorbitant amount for a good when there is a sudden increase in its demand, usaully brought on by a crisis. For example, when a hurricane is expected to hit some part of the country people tend you run out to the gas station to buy gas so they can excavate. The gas company see this and raises the price knowing full well that people are going to buy it no matter what because it could be a matter of life or death. It usually turns out to not be a serious storm, but the stations have still made a lot of money. For a hand made item like the one here, $60 is a reasonable price considering it's the only source for a Bioshock belt buckle. However, if there were more people or companies producing them, then $60 would not be a reasonable price. It's not the same as price gouging, since price gouging usually applies to items that see an increased demand in times of crisis.
Nope. But he checked, and they said no he can't. So this is all a moot point anyway. And as a personal note... I think that if someone makes something based off of something but the company who owns the trademark isn't making anything like that... They shouldn't get in trouble for doing so.
Yeah, when he originally posted this it didn't say anything about checking with 2K. Anyway, I agree with you. He should be able to make these things all he wants, and even sell them, but I know there is a possibility he could get in big trouble for it.
He's advocating warez software and "technically legal copies from cheap software resellers". I don't think he's worried about copyrights.
True. I was just wondering.
This would only be illegal if he tried to sell any. That's why he says in the intro: "*I just heard back from 2K Boston and I won't be able to sell any buckles under pain of death. Thank y'all for all your interest and support but it looks like it wasn't in the cards. I'm still working on getting official licensing but the outlook is dim.*"
It's a very low level of illegal if any. He could always ask for licensing.
Nautilus345 years ago
wonderful. unfortunately, i'd get half way through this and stop working on it all together.
If you wan't to cast the bronze yourself (the most interesting part imho) and live in the bay area you can go to The Crucible.
Seconded. I haven't been to the Crucible myself, but I have a number of friends who work/play there and love it.
now i am beginning to hate te fact that i live i NYC
bofthem (author)  Gamer9175 years ago
If you really want to make and do and play with tech folks there's always NYC Resistor.
Ha! I'm reading notes from conferences in NYC right now that make me wish I lived *there*! I don't know much about workshops in your area but I'd really think there must be *something*. Some help, instructables people?
Its Giggles5 years ago
I hate dejavu, i just got dejavu and did not like it at all. =/
anyway, nice instructable
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