Some background info:
I had found a Skyward Sword heart container necklace to give to a friend (http://www.thepixelsmithy.com/collections/necklaces), but I wanted to present it in the most elaborate way possible.
So, to make it true to the game, I made the Goddess Chest (oh and the Goddess cube is the gift box). The chest even plays the chest opening tune as you open it.
Step 1: Modelling the Chest - Part 1
I first outline the object in Adobe Illustrator. I prefer Illustrator over the outline capabilities of 3D modelling tools.
I then export it as an AutoCAD drawing, which allows me to import the vector graphic into SolidWorks.
I then perform the necessary 3D manipulations in SolidWorks.
It is during outlining that I plan the 3D manipulations. One needs to be mindful of the types of vectors needed to perform certain manipulations. It is also during the outlining phase that I plan all the pieces I need. The chest top, bottom, legs, and in inner top lining to house the electronics are all separate pieces, and I need enough vector artwork to model them as separate pieces.
Shown, are the reference photos I've used. It is best if you can extract the actual 3D model from the game, but purely for the texture mapping images (the 3D model used in-game is crude). I am able to find the papercraft model for the chest, so I used that for my reference images.
Step 2: Modelling Chest - Part 2
Most of the parts are easily recognizable. The last image is of the inner top lining of the chest. It leaves enough space in the top cavity for the electronics. There's also a notch for the reed switch (which I will talk about later). There are also holes in the lining to allow for sound to escape.
Step 3: Printing the Model
The steps in which I designed, modelled, and printed the chest did not account for the brass hinge that I eventually used. So I did not add a notch for the hinge on the chest. I had to file down a space for the hinge.
Step 4: Electronics
ALL reed switches are NO (normally opened). When you bring it near a magnet, it closes. However, I wanted it to function NC. The magnet would be on the bottom portion of the chest. When the chest is closed, the magnet opens the reed switch. When the chest is opened, the switch will be in it's NC position, triggering the sound module to play.
Note that there are "NC" reed switches, but they're really NO's that's been modified to work as NC. You may try to find those switches, but we can also create our own. Shown in the images below is how we can contruct one. We need some rare earth magnets. By attaching one to the reed switch, we keep the leads constantly magnetized. If we expose the switch with another magnet with the some polarity, we cause one of the leads to become magnetized with the introduced magnet, causing the leads to oppose each other.
Shown below is the constructed audio module attached to the chest lining.
Step 5: Painting
The gold is from a gold oil pen (although, really any gold paint would probably work)
And here is where painting gets a bit tough. You have to paint the iridescent paint on top of a base color. I looked at samples of the paint color and the suggest black as the base paint makes the effective color too dark. I started experimenting with different paint combinations.
Here are my findings:
- The chemical compound of the Tamiya paint, which is intended for polycarbonate plastic, DOES NOT mix with krylon paints. The solvent in the Tamiya paint dissolves the Krylon paints. It doesn't turn it into a liquidy mess, but it does soften the paint. With enough time, the paint eventually dries. However, there is significant risk that the paint starts to wrinkle. If you have enough time, you can apply REALLY light coats and wait for days for the paint to dry before apply more coats.
- Use Vinyl dye instead for the base coat. It actually dyes the plastic so the Tamiya paint solvents won't eat into the base color. However, if you are planning to use dye, you have to sand the printed object really well as the dye is unforgiving and will accentual all of the printing errors.
The iridescent affect is hard to capture on camera. It's best when viewed at an angle and with natural warm light. But the image below shows the some purple glimmering.
Step 6: Construction
Just a note:
I also embedded magnets to the front corners of the chest to hold the chest closed. I did not add space for the magnets in the 3D model, so I had to hand file space.
I also didn't bother to embed the reed switch magnet in the bottom of the chest. It is just glued to the inner-front of the chest. It's not really noticeable.
Step 7: The Icing on the Cake
I'm not going to talk much about this step, but I did draw the goddess cube in Illustrator.
I had purchased a 7" cubed gift box from the Container Store. I transferred the cube design with sticker paper to the gift box. (Update: I've included the PDF of the cube design now)
I also bought a Skyward Sword master sword keychain as a ribbon topper (and some purple-y ribbon). The ribbon's like the master sword's energy beam thing, which is used to get the Goddess Cube to disappear and expose the chest. Get it? hurhurhur
I've released my STL files on my Thingiverse account. So go grab the model files here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:87465