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Raymond G. Potter

Sci-Fi Toy / Prop Replica - Tricorder

from Star Trek: The Next Generation

This is a work in progress . . .

In the Star Trek mythos, the Tricorder is one of the "workhorse" instruments of all Starfleet officers. It combines the functions of sensor, computer, recording device, and remote uplink in a single handheld unit (pretty much like a smart phone!). This model is from the middle of the Star Trek the Next Generation era, c.2370.

  • When we first got the Formlabs Form-2 printer in our workshop, I knew I had to give it a real workout. It took a lot of personal time to gin up the 3D object the way I wanted it, but ultimately, it was ready to print.

  • Breakapart View

    A talented modeler named Gerhard Mros sells a DIY guide to building your own replica from polystyrene. I bought Gerhard's instruction book, but I ultimately just used his dimensions as a starting point for my own design breakdown.

  • The main body casing: 3D fabrication makes single piece compound shapes with interior cavities easy.

    The various panels will drop into the détentes in the casing. The screw-on panels on the back will accommodate metal threaded inserts to receive size 2-56 machine screws. The result is a spacious interior with room for the eventual electronics package.

  • A transparent look at the fold-out door (which is opaque in the actual part)

    The fold-out door has a single LED that needs to get power from the main body. As the hinges on the studio props were notorious for breaking, I designed hinges to be 3D printed in a resilient material. The hinges have a tiny pass-through to accommodate 30 gauge wire for the LED. The circular depression on the tapered edge will hold a magnet to activate the reed switch located in the body.

Size: about 7" long in open position

Material: Acrylic, 3D printed parts

Approach: Modified Pattern

Client: Personal Project


Autodesk Inventor

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