Aug 15, 2016 | By Benedict
Imgur user Mitch [themitch22] has built a highly detailed, 3D printed “Nuka-Cola” PC housing, inspired by the post-nuclear vending machines found in the Fallout series of games. The massive 3D print features a Raspberry Pi-powered functional display and UV-lit Nuka-Cola Quantum bottles.
3D printing and Fallout have enjoyed a long and happy marriage ever since the first forward-thinking gamer-maker decided that a brightly colored, crudely printed plastic prop was needed to truly maximize the Fallout gameplay experience. Over the years we’ve seen hoards of 3D printed Pip-Boy wrist computers, 3D printed Fallout weaponry, and even a 3D printed Furious Power Fist. Excitingly, the latest addition to the never-ending catalogue of unofficial 3D printed props might be the best (and most practical) yet. This Nuka-Cola vending machine PC housing, shared by an Imgur user going by the handle of [themitch22], features glowing cola bottles, an LED display, and an incredibly detailed design which pretty much blows other Fallout prints out of the water.
If you’re wondering how you’d go about building one of these crazy things, the short answer is “with great, great difficulty.” The amount of effort and care that has gone into the epic 3D printing project really is hard to fathom, but let’s try to cover the basics: according to creator Mitch, the housing started with this 3D model extracted from the game. Taking that design as a starting point, the maker extraordinaire then messed with the STL files for the vending machine using TinkerCAD, separating and hollowing out the parts so they could eventually be used as a computer case. And that was just the start…
Once the correct scale for computer components was established, the designer used Netfabb and Meshmixer to separate the model into printer-sized pieces. These parts were then sliced using Kisslicer using 10% infill, 5mm brim, and 3 outer shells. Larger parts were printed on a PolyPrinter 508 3D printer. Without a stopwatch to hand during the printing process, Mitch estimates that around 40-50 hours were needed to print everything, so book some time off work or school if you ever feel like building your own. Support material was removed and components sanded down before CA glue was used to put everything together.
As well the 3D printed parts, the stunning Nuka-Cola PC housing uses some laser-cut acrylic panels, a fancy power button from Adafruit, and a 3.5″ Adafruit PiTFT LCD connected to a Raspberry Pi 2, used to show a looping Nuka-Cola animation video. The design even features some incredible 3D printed Nuka-Cola bottles, which were 3D printed at 0.1mm layer height for ultra-high detail and acetone vapor smoothed for a glass-like finish. The bottles were filled with blue UV-reactive dye and have a UV light placed underneath, which produces an eerie nuclear glow. We simply cannot stress enough how cool this looks—it’s no surprise that Mitch and co-tinkerer Pearce made tiny versions of the bottles to sell as Fallout-themed keychains.
These glowing 3D printed bottles are, of course, faithful to the game from which they are borrowed. The Fallout Wiki website explains all: “In 2077, a new version called Nuka-Cola Quantum was introduced. According to the advertisements, it had twice the calories, twice the carbohydrates, twice the caffeine and twice the taste. To make it stand out more on the shelves and to give it an extra kick, the Quantum included a mild radioactive strontium isotope. The effect was a drink that not only boosted your energy, but also glowed with a bright blue light.”
After applying a layer of primer to the PC case, Mitch and Pearce used a very bright Rustoleum Apple Red paint to color the entirety of the shell. Thomas, another contributor, offered help weathering the surfaces to make them appear aged, and additional iron paint was used to give a rust effect. Once the paint had completely dried, the designers could begin to introduce the PC components and wires, and the finished result is a sight to behold.
Mitch hopes that the design could win him a prize at an upcoming case-modding contest—we think he’s got a pretty good chance.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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