I've been wanting to make one of these for a long time so I finally sat down and did some modeling.
I will take you through the process I used to model this prop replica. I am using Solidworks 2005, but the modeling concepts will give a valid method to make the piece.
The concepts can be interpreted into other softwares that you may be fluent with.
What you will need:
- 3D Modeling software (or STL files found in Step 5)
- Various grits of sandpaper
- An exacto knife
- Grecian Gold Rub 'N Buff
- Disposable Latex Gloves
- Spare cloth for buffing
- LED lights
Step 1: Research, Planning and Design
The first step is to visualize what you want to model, and work out how you are going to accomplish that.
There are usually 2 paths to any model creation, and those are:
-Adding material to create the piece
-Subtracting material to create the piece
I use methods that are usually subtracting material from common shapes and adding small details after.
For this piece I see a full sphere first, that we take away material to make the outside pattern, then cut it in half and create the registration keys and fine details.
Looking at the apple in the main characters' hands, I decided on a 4.5" diameter.
I wanted to be able to incorporate the Staff of Eden later, so I'll have to leave an area where it can slide into the shaft to hold it.
From the final reference photo, we can see how the two halves will come together. Now we know how we are going to tackle this model.
Step 2: Modeling the Exterior of the Sphere
We start by modeling a sphere with a diameter of 4.5" or 114.3 mm.
- Start a sketch on the front plane
- Draw a half circle
- Dimension the diameter
- Draw a construction or center line through the center
- Create a Revolve Extrude
Next is to start the exterior line design, I have attached a 2D layout from 4 sides showing how the pattern wraps around the sphere. (Keep in mind, this is how my software does this, others work differently)
- Start a sketch on the front plane
- Sketch out 1 loop (as shown in the photo only 1 loop is accepted by the next function)
- Create a splitline feature in the forward direction, onto the surface of the sphere
Repeat this step for all feature lines on the surface of the sphere, don't worry if lines cross. You will need to sketch on the front plane and the right plane to get all the features on all the sides. (When finished it should look like the next photo.
Next to offset the surface
- Start a surface offset, and choose all the surfaces that make up the feature we wish to remove from the surface at a 1 mm offset.
Next to thicken the surfaces
- Using the thicken feature, select the surface to thicken (from this profile there should be 2, one for most the features, and one for the isolated circle)
- Thicken towards the inside of the sphere by 3 mm, make sure you DO NOT MERGE SOLIDS.
Next to remove the material.
- Using the Combine feature, select subtract
- Select the pattern as the bodies you wish to subtract and the sphere as the main body
Lastly to clean up the surfaces.(This is optional as it should not affect further features and is cosmetic)
- Using the Delete face feature, select the odd shapes left on the surface of the sphere that you didn't cut from the surface.
Congrats! You now have a solid apple of eden model.
Step 3: Designing and Modeling the Registration Key
Time to work on the registration key.
- Start by saving a separate file to be the second half of the apple.
- Choose which half you are working on first and cut extrude the other half off as shown in the photo
- Cut Extrude a circle 85.61 mm diameter and 28 mm deep
- Extrude a half circle from the inside edge 55 mm
- Sketch the pattern shown in the photo on the protruded edge and cut extrude it into the surface 2 mm
- Sketch the pattern shown in the photo on the recessed edge and extrude it 2 mm (this profile is 0.5 mm smaller than the last to be unobstructed.
Repeat this process for the mirror piece on your other file.
Congrats! you now have 2 halves of the apple finished.
Step 4: Modeling Addition Features for Future Assembly
Time to add the last couple of features to the apple.
Time to make the cut to incorporate later with the staff of eden
- Sketch the rectangle on the top of the protruded edge as shown in the photo and cut through, the top edge lines up with the half line on the sphere.
To make space for magnets.
- This step is to accommodate rare earth magnets of 1/4" dia and 1/8" thickness
- Sketch 4 circles equally spaced around the lip of the apple half as shown in the photo, and cut extrude them 0.175 mm deep
Time for the illumination:
I used LEDs like the ones in the photo, these are described as:
Submersible LED Light
I got a few of them in different colours from 100candles.com
- Start by cut extruding the outside diameter as shown in the photo, the depth should be just a bit more than the height of that lip on the light.
- Then do another cut extrude concentric to the last one the diameter of the small portion of the led, a bit deeper than it's height.
Congratulations, you have finished modeling, and now it's time to start printing. You may decide to give more clearance for the mating parts, these were designed with a 0.2 mm gap between mating surfaces since the printing service I use can accommodate that.
Step 5: 3d Print and Cleanup
Now that you've finished modeling, here's my STL files for the apple.
Best to have it printed in a clear PLA, I tried Clear PETG, which was not as transparent as I had hoped.
After printing, clear off the support material and the parts may slide nicely together, or may need some minor sanding using 100 grit sandpaper on the mating inside surfaces.
Overall, the features turned out well, and I was happy with it.
Next, get your rare earth magnets, I found that the holes for them were tight enough to do a press fit of the magnet into the pocket and it would stay, you may have to use crazyglue. Make sure, the magnets on the opposite side of the apple are the correct poles to attract each other. Repeat for all 4 magnets.
Sand the outer surface and the inner surfaces using increasing grits of sandpaper to smooth out the print lines. I did a light sanding, but I will have to go back for a much heavier sanding.
On to paint.
Step 6: Paint
In order to keep this as transparent as possible, I decided not to use a spray paint coat.
I decided to apply the Rub 'n Buff directly to the surfaces I wanted to be gold colored.
Wearing Disposable Latex Gloves, apply small amounts of Grecian Gold Rub 'N Buff to the outside surfaces of the apple that are raised using the tip of your gloved finger or a Q-Tip.
Rub an even coat on each of the surface, try not to get any wax on the recessed areas, but if you get a little bit it's ok cause you can remove it with some high grit sandpaper.
On to display.
Step 7: Final Piece
Pick which LEDs you want to use in the apple.
Slide the a light into place inside each half of the apple.
Mate the two halves of the apply together and you are done. A nice Apple of Eden replica and you made it all yourself.
Note: I had an issue with light transmission as seen in the photos, I would recommend a clearer filament as the light from the LED was not enough to light up a full half of the apple. Another option is to find brighter LEDs.
I can't wait to see someone make another, and always remember.
Nothing is True,
Everything is Permitted.