Introduction: Full Scale Aperture Turret From Portal 2

Picture of Full Scale Aperture Turret From Portal 2

Note: If you have a question, please read through all of the "Notes" first.

Note: I only have access to the student version of Autodesk Inventor on this computer at the moment, so that is what I will be using to demonstrate this process and write out the steps, but Since I  made it in 123D aswell, I will be posting both the Inventor files and Autodesk 123D files at the end of this Instructable.

The purpose of this Instructable is to provide a way for people to Create, 3D Print and/or Machine a version of the Turret from Portal 2 that will be incorporated with mechanical parts to redesign how the original Turret from Portal 2 works, while teaching them how to design objects, and use the software. The turret itself is not copyright protected, but all of the credit for it's original design, and my inspiration for making this goes to Valve.

I have had a desire to make one of these undeniably adorable, military grade turrets since I've played Portal 2 a couple years ago. And since then I've gotten some experience with Autodesk design software and now have the ability to continue on with this project. After about four days of drawing, redrawing; modeling and remodeling it(since there are no real references referring to the measurements of the turret), I have obtained a satisfactory result, while keeping in mind that I would eventually be printing it out and incorporating the mechanical workings I have made to replicate the actions of an actual turret from the game. You are welcome to redesign the mechanics I have created(on a limited budget), which I will be posting in a later Instructable. But for now, here are the step by step instructions to getting the shell, arms, and gun box ready for 3D printing, and assembly .

Step 1: Video Instructions.

Note:Please watch in 720P or higher, or you won't be able to see the small numbers

Important Note: To do step 6(making the indention down the body) correctly in Autodesk 123D, simply extrude out the .2 inch gap, create a sketch on that surface, and offset the outline of the sketch .2 inches in, and fill in any gaps. Also when making the main body in 123D, you can just take an elliptical shape and stretch/distort it using the measurements provided in the video/instructions

 Please excuse the lack of editing. I have no real video editing software on this computer

Also, Since I am more comfortable using Autodesk Inventor, that is what I will be using to do this "speed-modeling" here. You can take the basic concepts shown and apply it to Autodesk 123D.  

Step 2: The Basic Shape of the Turret

Picture of The Basic Shape of the Turret

Note: There are few differences between Inventor & 123D. The only difference that will apply to this tutorial is the creation of work planes. There are multiple ways to create a work plane in 123D. If I mention offsetting a work plane. just create a new work plane however many inches in front of the original plane that I say to

In this Instructable, We'll be going over how to use the Polyline/line tool, ellipse/circle tool, trim tool, extrude tool, loft tool, and chamfer tool in Autodesk 123D/Inventor.

The first thing to do is to figure how to begin going about creating the basic shape. What I have found is that it is simply 3 ovals that overlap each other on the 3 dimensional plains.

First, Go ahead and make a Sketch on the XZ Plane and make a line that is 4 inches long starting at the center point, and going along the X axis. Then another line, starting from the center, that is 5.2 inches long, and going long the Z axis. Select the ellipse tool and click the center point, then the end point of the first line, and then the end point of the second, and finish the sketch.

Create a second sketch on the XY Plane and make a line on the X axis from the center that is 4 inches long, and then another line from the center along the Y axis that is 11 inches long.  Create an ellipse using those 3 points, and then get the trimmer tool and snip off the left half of the ellipse and finish the sketch. (you may need to place a point at either end of the ellipse so the trimmer tool knows the limits of the trim)

Repeat the steps in the following paragraph above, but this time trim off the right half of the ellipse. 

Now create a sketch on the YZ Plane and use the previous two sketches to make an ellipse that intersects both of the previous ellipses. Then, again, trim off the left half.

Repeat the steps in the following paragraph above, but this time trim off the right half of the ellipse.

Go back through each sketch and delete any STRAIGHT LINES. (they may interfere with lofting later on)

Place two workpoints on the top and bottom of where the two longer ellipses intersect.

Select the loft tool and select the top workpoint as the first selection. Then select the ellipse that is going across the XZ axis as the second. and then finally the bottom workpoint as the third selection. Go to the rail selection box and select each of the for semi-ellipses we made earlier and press finish loft.

We have now made the structure which we will base the body and arms of the turret off of.

Step 3: Making the Eye Hole for the Turret

Picture of Making the Eye Hole for the Turret

This step is sweet and simple. First, make a plane that is offset from the XY Plane 5.2 inches forward, then create a sketch on that plane and make a circle from the center that has a diameter of 2 inches. Extrude(cut) that circle 1.1 inches into the body, effectively making a hole. Then make a chamfer the front edge of the hole that is .35 inches deep at a 45 degree angle, and you're done!

Step 4: Separating the Body From the Arms

Picture of Separating the Body From the Arms

First, create a new sketch on the work plane we made in the last step. This sketch will be used to make both the body and the arms.
From the center, make a 2.4 inch line going across the X axis, and then a 6.5 long line, from the center, going along the Y axis. Then make an ellipse using the three points.

Next Make a line going along the y axis 4.615 inches upward. and then another line 1.690 inches long connected to the one we just made and running to the left, parallel to the x axis. The end point of that line should connect to the small ellipse we just made. From that endpoint, make a 70 degree line(or 110 degree's measuring from the right side) that extends past the main body(it doesn't really matter how long).

Then make a line starting from the center and going down the Y-axis that is 5.681 inches long. Make another line going off of that one, parallel to the X-axis and running left that is 1.167 inches long. Again, it should intercept with the ellipse we drew. Make a line off of that endpoint that is 260 degrees(with 0 starting on the right of the X Axis and running counter clockwise)(or 100 degrees as shown in the picture above) and extends past the main body. Again, it doesn't matter how long.

Now connect the two lines we made that extend past the body, but don't let the connecting line(s) intersect with the body itself.

Then select the mirror tool, and select the two lines that extend past the body, and it's connecting line(s) as the lines we want to mirror, and use one of the lines that run along the Y axis as the mirror line and click done.

Delete the lines that we used to mark the placement of the angled lines and the lines that we used to create the ellipse, so they do not get in the way later.

Use the trimming tool to trim the very top of the small ellipse, you should begin to see the shape of the Turret at this point.

Use lines to connect the mirrored lines we just created to their respective mirror. Do not let any lines pass through the main body.

Now finish the sketch and select the extrude tool and select the two arms that we made in the sketch. extrude these arms out of the body, and you should end up with a shape like the one in the picture above.

Step 5: Creating the Arms

Picture of Creating the Arms

This step is quite simple. Simply make the sketch from the previous step visible(or remake it) and extrude out the body instead of the arms. If you plan to 3D print this, there is no need to make two arms though since they are a mirror of each other. so you can extrude out everything except either the left or right arm. Make sure you save the arms and the body on two different files.You should end up with a picture like the one above. 

Step 6: Making the Indention Down the Body

Picture of Making the Indention Down the Body

Create a new sketch on Workplane1. Then  make a rectangle that has a width of .2 inches, and center it to the body of the turret, and make it longer than the body itself. Finish the sketch and extrude out that rectangle from the entire depth of the Turret, making a .2 inch wide hole throughout. Now create a sketch on one of the inner faces of the turret that were just created and outline the entire face that the sketch is on, but instead make everything .2 inches smaller. We can accomplish this by redrawing the original ellipse, but subtracting .2 inches from each dimension. Then trim off the parts of that ellipse that have been modified (ie: the eye hole) and draw in lines .2 inches inward. Again, trimming off excess lines. 

The only exception to this is the bottom line and the back face of the eye hole, those line should follow the original. Because if you think about it, a turret is not indented along the bottom surface. 

Finish the sketch and extrude it .2 inches so it connects with the other half of the Turret.

Step 7: Making the Slit in the Arms.

Picture of Making the Slit in the Arms.

Create a sketch on the XY Plane. Draw a line on the center point of the outer edge of the arm(which should be on the x axis) that is .2 inches above and .2 inches below that point. Use those lines to create a square that is .4 inches by .4 inches and cuts into the arm. finish this sketch and extrude the square both ways until it makes a cut through the arm, making the slit in the side of the arm.

Step 8: Shelling & Tweaking.

Picture of Shelling & Tweaking.

Now select the Shell command(no not Chelle) and set the thickness to .3 inches. Then select the faces on the body and the arm that will be deleted(as shown above) and click finish.

Step 9: Gun Box Time.

Picture of Gun Box Time.

Note:Due to the complexity of the gun box(and because its' custom design does not really replicate the aesthetics from Portal for functionality's sake) I will leave my precise measurements out of the steps where the customization come into play. You are welcome to use the .ipt or the .123D file as a reference though. 

Now it get's a bit more tricky here, because we have to make a shape that fits perfectly into the arms, and fits the size constraints of the body. first we'll need to get the basic shape for it done. so create a sketch on the XY Plane. Since the thickness of the arm is .3 inches, we can figure out the contours of the inner arm by subtracting .3 inches from both dimensions of the ellipse.  

So, starting from the center, make a line across the Y Axis 11 minus .3 inches long and a line across the X Axis 4 minus .3 inches long. 

Create the ellipse, and then trim off the left half. Then create a new sketch an trim off the right half.

Now we will need two sketches that will constrain the shape on the YZ Plane when we loft it. To do this, make a line along the Z Axis that is 5.2 minus .3 inches long from the center. and then make another line along the Y axis that is 11 minus .3 inches long from the center.

Create the ellipse and trim off the left side. Then create a new sketch, remake the ellipse and trim off the right side this time

Now we need it to be able to fit inside of the XZ Plane of the arm, this will be one of the base sketches for the loft. To do this, create a new sketch on the XZ Plane. Again, we will be making an ellipse that will fit inside of the arm, and since the thickness of it is .3, we will be subtracting that from the original ellipse we made on the XZ Plane. so, along the Z Axis,from the center, make a line that is 5.2 minus .3 inches long.  and on the X Axis, from the center, make a line that is 4 minus .3 inches long. Create the ellipse, but since this will be a base sketch, do not trim anything.

Now go back through and delete any STRAIGHT LINES in the sketches so they do not interfere with the loft.

Create two 3D Workpoints, one on the top, and bottom, where the ellipses intersect. These will be used as the other two base sketches for the loft.

Now select the loft command and click the top workpoint, then the ellipse on the XZ Axis that we made earlier, then the bottom workpoint. then select the four semi-ellipses that we made as rails for the loft and click finish.

Now, to make it fit inside of the rest of the arm, Remember the smaller ellipse we made to extrude the arm and body in the first place? Recreate that on a new sketch on the XY Plane. Finish the sketch and extrude(cut) it out of the entire shape. you should now have an elliptical shape with an oval cut out of the middle.

Now we need to figure out how long we want the gun box to be, I made mine 6.6 inches long for practical reasons, since these pieces will be used to make a working model later on. So Create a new sketch on the XY Plane and make a 3.3 inch line that runs along the Y Axis on EACH side of the X Axis. Now use that line as a reference to make rectangles above and below the line that are wider than the elliptical shape. When you extrude(cut) out these rectangles, you should just be left with a 6.6 inch slice of the ellipse in the center. There will be two gun boxes(one on the left and one on the right) just extrude one of them out so you are left with one.

We now have a shape that fits pretty snugly inside the general shape of the arm. In the next step I will go over how to build upon this shape so it actually looks like a gun box.

Step 10: Making the "Box" Part of the Gun Box

This process is too complicated to explain exactly how I did it, since I am making it to fit with the paintball gun and extending arms that I will be rigging it with. so I will leave the file and you can see it step by step for yourself. 

But I will explain the basic idea:

Simply extrude a rectangle off of the base shape we just made. After that give it detail and a way to connect with the main body, and then a way to connect with the arm. You can see examples of this in the files I'll be providing.

Step 11: The Eye

The eye is just an extruded ring with little prongs in it that go toward the center. The files for it are below

Step 12: The Leg Guards

The leg guards(the shiny white parts of the legs) would be made from the "leftover" material from what we cut out of the main body. I will not be making it in CAD software because I will be attacking that aspect in a different way. But basically extrude(cut) out everything but the small piece between the bottom of the arms and divide it in half across the XY plane, and then divide the front part in half across the YZ plane and add in small details.  There is the basic idea of how to construct those parts is you are interested in making them. Have fun^_^

I decided to model those pieces just in case this project places in the 123D contest so that they could be printed out. Below are my versions of the turret leg guards(trust me, there are many other versions)
Tell me in the comments if you think I should change something on them(and no, there is no way to have them accurate and have it able to fold up like in the Aperture Investment video.) 

Step 13: Theoretical Mechanics for the Arms

In this part I will be explaining the implied mechanics I will be using to bring all of these parts together, and providing a few inventor models to get the point across. The basic idea behind it is to have a rod on a rail that is attached to the body. The rod will be notched on one side so it could be driven by a gear. and the end of the rod will be attached to the gun box/arm. Add some screw holes so you can attach the rail to the frame of the body & done. Simple as that 

(123D files will be uploaded shortly)

Step 14: Getting It Ready for 3D Printing

Picture of Getting It Ready for 3D Printing

Now as you can imagine, a Turret is way too big to be printed out by a standard sized 3D printer.the easiest way to fix this is to split it up into pieces. I will leave how it gets split up to your own discretion(but again, my final files will be linked at the end) but the way you split it up is to extrude(cut) out chunks of the piece that you want to be printed out separately, and save it to a separate file, and repeat that process until you have the entire thing split up into appropriate pieces.

Note: If you want, you can make extrusions so you can screw the cut up pieces together after they have been printed

Note: The files may be edited so that the body can house extra parts. Any editing will be finalized by the end date of the 123D competition. (the mechanics themselves may also change as I substitute parts from the original plans. So the tolerances in the 3D files may vary up to the final contest date as well.)


Numbuh1 (author)2013-09-28

Hey by the way guys, I'm open to any suggestions about how the arm mechanics should work. What I have posted is just the best way I could think of doing it right now.

Duct-Tape-Master (author)2013-11-25

Does anyone have any good pics of the "live ammunition" sign? I would like to put it on my model, but can't find a good pic. This is all I have but it isn't great :-(

I hope this helps!

Duct-Tape-Master (author)2013-11-23

I am 3d printing this, but what should I use for the arm connection thingy?

Numbuh1 (author)Duct-Tape-Master2013-11-25

Ah, That is in my later version. Message me your E-mail or Skype and I will send you the files^^

Fafnisbani (author)Numbuh12014-01-30

Could you please send them to mee too?

Numbuh1 (author)Duct-Tape-Master2013-11-25

Also, it is unbelievably expensive to print this out through a 3rd party company. You might want to use your own printer to do so, unless you are planning to make the model itself smaller(in which case it will not have enough room to add functioning parts)

Duct-Tape-Master (author)Numbuh12013-11-25

Actually, my friend has a 3d printer and all I have to do is pay the material costs (which he estimated was about $20-$30) PS I am making this in a scale that is 15% of what your files are, which should be about 3 inches tall. PPS, for the mechanics, what do you want them to do, make it so that the wings can just rotate up/ down, or go out and in?

Duct-Tape-Master (author)2013-11-02

This is so cool!

WhatTheSchnell (author)2013-09-17

Love it! Just crossed-over to Inventor from ProE, some very slick renders there!

Brings back turret songs...

moldypizza (author)2013-09-17

No fair you have autodesk inventor ~_~ Just kidding those are awesome :)

Nickmensch (author)2013-09-16

Looks pretty nice! Good job :)

Numbuh1 (author)2013-09-15

If there are any questions, please feel free to ask me:)

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