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gavino200

Subnautica working model submarine

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gavino200

My son, who's now 11, asked me to work on a project with him. He asked me to build with him a working model of a Submarine in a cartoon that he watches. The show is "Subnautica", and the submarine is the "Subnautica Cyclops". 

 

I have no clue how to do this, but I accepted the challenge as it think it'll be a good father/son activity. I know the technology is available, as I looked into model submarines a while back. I don't think there's a model available of this particular sub, so I'll have to learn how to fabricate the shell. 

 

We want it to look like the sub, have onboard camera and lights, and to be drivable and submersible. 

 

My approach will be:

 

1. To research available submarine designs, parts, and kits. 

2. To start learning how to fabricate a shell that looks like the cartoon shell. CAD and 3D printing may be the way to go. 

 

Theres a link below to the sub. 

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjC0MXI3_7mAhUTOs0KHVWJB8EQjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.psu.com%2Fnews%2Fsubnautica-cyclops-how-to-build-blueprints-upgrades%2F&psig=AOvVaw04wuhBRoT6WzEPfcoh1Mso&ust=1578942026504400

 

Any advice or suggestions would be welcome. Thanks. 

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cteno4

Way cool and fun! 
 

Many subs have a dummy shell over the actual pressure hull to contain crap That’s doesn’t need to be inside pressure hull (ballast tanks, conning towers, etc).

 

super true of deep sea subs where pressure hull is a small fraction of the space and all batteries, motors, tanks are external.

 

so you could do the guts from a cannibalized toy or robotics bits and just make the thin external shell to hold it all. Not so simple though on a complex shape like this. Making a half moulds (ie carve from foam and cost with plaster to make hard) and then thermo vacuforming would do the trick but need to find a shop with a vacuform unit that would make the shells for you.

 

start with the functional stuff as it may be so cool building that he may not care about the shell in the end!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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cteno4

Btw, there are some underwater rov robotics challenges out there and they may have some ideas for parts and such. Maybe something to work into his academic program?

 

https://www.seaperch.org/index

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
On 1/12/2020 at 7:30 PM, cteno4 said:

Btw, there are some underwater rov robotics challenges out there and they may have some ideas for parts and such. Maybe something to work into his academic program?

 

https://www.seaperch.org/index

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Thanks this is a great idea!!

 

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gavino200
On 1/12/2020 at 6:18 PM, cteno4 said:

Way cool and fun! 
 

Many subs have a dummy shell over the actual pressure hull to contain crap That’s doesn’t need to be inside pressure hull (ballast tanks, conning towers, etc).

 

super true of deep sea subs where pressure hull is a small fraction of the space and all batteries, motors, tanks are external.

 

That's really good to know. Thanks!!

 

 

On 1/12/2020 at 6:18 PM, cteno4 said:

 

Not so simple though on a complex shape like this. Making a half moulds (ie carve from foam and cost with plaster to make hard) and then thermo vacuforming would do the trick but need to find a shop with a vacuform unit that would make the shells for you.

 

Thanks. I could send it away if necessary. I'm also going to look into CAD and 3D printing. It would be a good lesson for the boy and also for me. At this stage, all options are on the table.

 

 

On 1/12/2020 at 6:18 PM, cteno4 said:

 

start with the functional stuff as it may be so cool building that he may not care about the shell in the end!

 

 

Nah, he definitely wants the look. But that's ok. It's sort of a game we play. He sets me an impossible challenge and then we try to achieve it. I think the shell will be as much fun as the guts. 

 

After your other post he's willing to add robotic arms as a modification. I think I'll let that one slide for now. 

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cteno4
19 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

Thanks. I could send it away if necessary. I'm also going to look into CAD and 3D printing. It would be a good lesson for the boy and also for me. At this stage, all options are on the table.


yep that should work. Little work to get the curved surface bit getting easier these days in cad. Who knows maybe someone out there has made their own cad drawings of it and may share.

 

arduino May also be a fun bit to make it autonomous. Going to have to become friends with someone who has a pool!

 

jeff

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Kiha66

Sounds like a fun project!  Have you considered getting a commercially available RC model first, and they modifying the shell to match the prototype sub?  Might be much easier than trying to build the whole thing from scratch.

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gavino200
44 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

arduino May also be a fun bit to make it autonomous. Going to have to become friends with someone who has a pool!

 

 

Brilliant. I love it. We made some progress a while ago, playing with Arduinos. A good excuse to pick it up again. 

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gavino200
24 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

Sounds like a fun project!  Have you considered getting a commercially available RC model first, and they modifying the shell to match the prototype sub?  Might be much easier than trying to build the whole thing from scratch.

 

Thanks. I think that's a great idea. All ideas are on the table for now. I still have to do an organized search of the market. I researched it a few years ago, so I have some idea. I'll probably post my findings. 

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cteno4
25 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

Have you considered getting a commercially available RC model first, and they modifying the shell to match the prototype sub?  Might be much easier than trying to build the whole thing from scratch.


 

Where’s all the fun in that?! 😜

 

jeff

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Kiha66
19 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Where’s all the fun in that?! 

 

Start with a kitbash!  A lot faster to finish, and then if you like it you can try a scratch build!

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cteno4

Naw this is an rov, dive into the deep end of the pool! 😜 

 

just kidding. Scratch building this will be a big challenge, but like you said gavin you guys don’t go for the simple ones!

 

may be easier to get parts from an existing model.

 

jeff

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cteno4

OMG, Yes! yes! Yes! A number of baking soda and other tablet subs. But then again I grew up on a research ship so it wasn’t that surprising I had toys like this.

 

jeff

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gavino200

I'm going to use this post to store links to Submarine models and kits on the market. 

 

YouTube videos

 

And interesting video discussing a model sub. I'm happy to see that the guts (motor and ballast units) and the hull are usually separate. The guts can even be swapped out to be used on multiple different hulls. 

 

 

 

Websites about Large RC model submarines

 

Excellent site with a great beginners secton

https://www.rc-submarine.com/

 

 

 

 

Particular product websites

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

This is becoming a Sunday project. I'm researching it bit by bit while watching the Star Wars "Rebels" with the boy. 

 

Last week I learned about how the internal (tech part) cylinder works and how it's put together 

Today I learned about how the hulls are made, and how the cylinder and hull fit together 

 

The hard part for me will be making a hull. I'm going to go with 3D Prining/CAD design for a few reasons. 

1. That's what the leading modelers are doing these days. 

2. It's something I've been interested in for a while. 

3. It's technology that it would be good for the boy to know. 

 

So my next task will be finding a suitable CAD program to use. Any suggestions or input would be very welcome. 

 

 

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cteno4

Sketchup is a simple and free place to play a little with 3d cad. While doing essentially all do the same thing, each cad system has its own logic and personality and good to find the fit for you as well as does it do the things you need like organic vs rectangular.

 

its a bit of a learning curve investment and good to take notes as you go along as it’s the kind of thing I’ve found that if I’m away from it for a few weeks the notes help me get back in gear better.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200

First experiment with Sketchup. It's actually quite fun. I haven't tried to measure anything out and it's not even symmetric, but I'm getting the gist. Not to figure out how to add that important third dimension!

 

IrCVzhF.jpg

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gavino200

I put this project aside for a while. Drawing in 2D on Sketchup was fairly intuitive. But making something 3D was beyond me. I quickly realized I'd have to start with basic tutorials and learn the software like any other skill. I'm ready to do that now. 

 

CAT's block thread made me realize how much I'd like to be able to design 3D print pieces for my train modelling. Likely I'll have to make some simple 3D items before jumping to the Sub shell, so I might as well make layout objects. I'll be able to learn about the mechanics of working with a printing site, and all the likely problems involved. 

 

I'm starting with YouTube tutorials. 

 

Regarding the sub, I have an idea in mind. It's a partial cheat. The Nautilus Drydocks (a submarine modeller/seller) sells CAD files for sub shells. I'm thinking of using one and modifying it if it's not somehow write protected. What I'll use from the purchased plan is the interior of the hull. His designs are designed to fit specific submersible units and have a cavity that should fit well. The files aren't very expensive.

 

I'll design the subnautica shell around the interior shell. If it works and I every wanted to make a submarine again, I could do the whole thing from scratch. I'm happy with this compromise. 

 

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