We've all heard the urban legend of the group who goes to Renfaire in Star Trek Uniforms as an away team. My wife and I decide that this year is our year to live the legend. We've got the costumes. And with the help of Amazon and my 3d printers, we even have the props.
Ginger wanted to have Uhura's earpiece. Now, there are sellers that will sell you an "authentic reproduction" for a couple of hundred. There are unfinished resin printed ones for sale on Etsy. But armed with the Ender 3 I got on father's day I decided to do one better.
I ended up printing it out in 2 hollow pieces. The pieces are glued together after printing with superglue. It isn't practical to print this model as once piece for a few reasons. The fins on the bottom part will droop if not supported. Also, depending on what mood your printer is in, the long thing neck can cause a variety of headaches. (I was just breaking in my new all-metal hotend, and I learned the hard way about jams caused be retraction.) The other nice thing about the two halve printing a once piece is that the glue and bottom layers provide a nice strong spine for the prop.
If you want to print one yourself, the openscad file and stls are here:
My next thought was to print a Tricorder. But wife of mine and I realized we are going to need some drinking tankards. And ... well something hit me. We can print out own sci-fi themed steins.
PETG is the basically the same stuff soda bottles are made out of. After brainstorming for a bit Ginger and I figured out they should look like the Raktajino cups on Deep Space 9. (Mostly because that was the only series that anyone seems to be drinking on a regular basis.) (Ok, besides Picard.) (Oh right, and Scotty and his day drinking...)
Our Uniforms are from the original series, so I did run into one bit of canonical trouble. As of the mid 2200's Starfleet and the Klingon Empire are mainly exchanging energy discharges and torpedoes at one another. Not coffee.
So I decided I'd just make something that was in the style of those cups. In truth, they were just a 90s fad of spill-proof mugs. So I went to work grafting one in OpenScad. After consulting the sages, I thought I had a rough idea of how to make a water-tight container. And with a little more learning I figured out how to emboss the Starfleet logo, and some text. What text? I figured these would be standard issue canteens, which are usually marked with the name of the ship.
Which ship? I decided we'd be be from one of the more obscure starships of the Starfleet universe. Leafing through the Star Fleet Technical Manual (which I'd bought a copy of to get the specs of the Ear peices) they listed various hull numbers and names for several classes of ship. I was looking through the Scouts and the Destroyers, but then it hit me that the ships that the Federation cranked out like sausage were the Heavy Cruisers. I decided on the XERXES NCC-505. A destroyer made in the same era a the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). The only canonical references to it are in the Starfleet Technical Manual and a brief mention in a novel. It also happens to be the name of my youngest son.
I did a little calculus and aimed for a 500ml flask.
Overnight I set my trusty printer to work, and out popped:
Like all first tries, there were some kinks to work out. A few spots of the internal volume were unsupported and I had to cut away a ton of spagetti. The vessel does hold water, but the emboss imprint seemed to go all of the way down to the internal flask. The rim around the decoration was thick enough to generate some infill, and if I fill it over that line water sweats out through there. Some of the seams in the back sweat. To top it all of the vessel only held 340ml. I screwed up somewhere with my math.
Ginger gave it a few test sips, and we discovered a few ergonomics issues. The hole at the top for imbibing was only 40mm across. Both her nose and my nose bump into the rim when we sip. The handle, while really, really robust, was just a little too small to get an adult fist into comfortably. You can sip with two fingers, or stick your pinky out and contort your ring finger to drink semi-normally.
The lid with the jar-style screw, oddly enough, worked the first time. I used the Bottlecaps library from Belfry OpenSCAD library v2.
With all of that feedback, I designed a second version. This time the decoration was applied to a completely different object. The internal flask remained as a single piece. I enlarged the opening at the top. I added a foot at the bottom with some crush space below the bottom. I also enlarged the vessel to get a fill 20oz (I hope) of beverage inside.
Also, Ginger wanted her ship to the Enterprise. Not the NCC-1701 enterprise. The space shuttle Enterprise. So I changed the text, and replaced the hull number with OV-101 (NASA's hull number for the Enterprise).
Making a film quality tricorder seemed on one hand a lot of work, and on the other entirely too easy. After researching a bunch of other efforts, I decided instead to make a glorified case for my iPhone of something approximating a tricorder. In my head canon, this would be a model from some time period between TOS and TNG. Something of a mix between the handheld tricorders of Star Trek TNG and the shoulder bag of TOS. The iCorder has a shoulder strap, and then some plastic to build out the volume of the iPhone to something beefier. I decided that the touch screen would simply be exposed. The flip open feature being added later because the device had to be held in a pocket.