When styling meets no function – the Space Drone

 
 
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Robert Kovacs

Industrial Designer

During this maform labs project, my goal was to break away from all the limits and restrictions that are present in the typical product design process at maform, and create something only for the looks.

At maform we use a system called OKR (Objectives and Key Results), where we can set up personal goals. That means we can spend about 10% of our paid time on personal projects, learning a new tool or do something what is not releated to the ongoing client projects.

Usually I’m working on smaller to bigger projects from smart gadgets to real size vehicles. Most of the time we have to design the technical parts too, not only the shape of it. That means we are 3d printing and building a lot of prototypes during a design proccess. It is important to test  all parts of a product, like fitting the electronics inside and assemble everything to see that we didn’t miss anything during the digital modelling. This is a nice chalenge in product design, but also takes a lot of energy to figure out all the small details.

I have started the Space Drone project to create a futuristic looking object. My goal was to focus on the style of the design. This time I didn’t have to think about technical details or manufacturing solutions. It is more like a concept art. The beginning is an ideation sketch as usual, but the end result is a display model instead of a working prototype. 

From sketches to 3D

 
 
I have created the first digital sketch in  Photoshop . Placed some mechanical looking parts and designed a body around them.

I have created the first digital sketch in Photoshop. Placed some mechanical looking parts and designed a body around them.

The second step was to build up the main parts in 3d. In Fusion 360 I used the mix of freeform sculpting and solid body modelling.

The second step was to build up the main parts in 3d. In Fusion 360 I used the mix of freeform sculpting and solid body modelling.

It’s a good technique to finish the half done 3d model in Photoshop. This way it’s faster to put there all the details and helps in the modelling process.

It’s a good technique to finish the half done 3d model in Photoshop. This way it’s faster to put there all the details and helps in the modelling process.

Adding all the  details  takes time, but it makes the model more realistic.

Adding all the details takes time, but it makes the model more realistic.

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Colours and rendering

After the 3d model is totally finished it’s time to color it and do the renders.

 
 
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Realising the display model

Next step to prepare the model for 3d printing. For better surface quality I prefer to print with the least amount of support. For that I have cut the model into 3 main parts and separated the small doors. It’s a good idea to place some reference holes to make the assembly easier later.

3D printing

First I had to split the CAD model into parts that could fit in our 3D printer.

First I had to split the CAD model into parts that could fit in our 3D printer.

 
 
Next step is to print the parts. Perfect fit here!

Next step is to print the parts. Perfect fit here!

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Before painting I had to attach the printed parts together.

Before painting I had to attach the printed parts together.

Painting

 
 
First layer of black primer

First layer of black primer

 
 
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Final Display model

 
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