Introduction: Exocomp Prop Build
I have been a Star Trek Fan since The next generation was first broadcast in 1987, and since then I have grown to enjoy all the series, and more recently Start Trek Lower Decks where they had a character based on an EXOCOMP named Peanut Hamper. My wife and I have a wall in our home with various Star Trek related items on display and with her Birthday coming up I thought it would be awesome if we had an Exocomp to add to the collection. I enjoy 3d Printing and designing in Fusion 360 and Cinema 4d and felt it was totally possible to create a replica. the biggest challenge was my own motivation to stick with this project.
Step 1: Reference
My first step was to scour the internet for as much reference material as I could find. screen shots from the TNG episode Season 6 Episode 9, "The Quality of Life" and some photos of an actual Exocomp prop that was up for Auction were invaluable. I found an initial sketch which helped to give me a general scale, but the early sketch was much different then what appeared in TNG.
Step 2: Fusion 360
I've been using Fusion 360 for years as a hobbyist, Never had any formal training in cad, But my daily work involved 3d and I use Cinema 4D daily. So I have used Fusion 360 to assist with C4D projects. and since 2014 I have been involved with 3D Printers and Fusion 360 has been amazing for it. I have had to redraw so many elements for the Exocomp when things didn't feel right, getting the overall scale and proportions has been difficult, using photos as reference is fine, but perspective messes with your mind. even photos with a ruler or know dimension doesn't always help .
Step 3: Refine and More Reference, LEDs & Servos
Once the initial draft of the Exocomp CAD was made, I shared it on Star Trek Prop Enthusiasts Group on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/468336335426
I must say the warm welcome and enthusiasm from this group was great, It really helped me to stay motivated to keep going. I had people who worked on the original prop and also collectors of actual units for the Exocomp reach out to me and offer additional reference material.. which I found humbling and that started to help me understand the love the Star Trek community has for the Exocomp and TNG. very much appreciate the assistance.
I plan on 3d printing this once the cad is ready, Id love to Resin print it for the smoothness and detail, unfortunately I only have FDM machines (2) and Sending them out to be Resin printed would be very expensive. I am also planning on adding functioning LEDs and Servos to animate this to be as close to the Canon original as possible. I feel many people are looking forward to getting the final cad/stl files so make their own.
Step 4: Hardware
Been searching for certain security screws used in the original unit, they are a tri-wing design with gold or copper/brass finish.
Stay tuned for more as I progress
found something similar here.. they list it as SS (Stainless Steel) but finish looks close
Step 5: Let the Printing Begin.
I have started printing out the pieces that I feel are not going to change much. Using Esun PLA+ Cool white for the Feet as its what I have and I really enjoy Esun filament.
Using 0.8mm Nozzle on my custom Corexy 3d Printer. with 0.25mm layer heights