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80's Console Room

Started by d33j r093r5, Sep 28, 2014, 05:47 am

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d33j r093r5

Sep 28, 2014, 05:47 am Last Edit: Sep 19, 2021, 11:16 am by d33j r093r5 Reason: Old post frm before site was down. All images missing. Have re-added them.
I have wanted to build a Police Box and a Console Room since I was a kid. Life being what it is, I have never got around to it, although I do have plans for the Police Box. A few years ago, my girlfriend at the time (also a mad Whovian) wanted to have a Doctor Who themed 30th, so I started work on a full-size Ironside Dalek, first modelling it in Solidworks, before fabricating parts for it. I acquired a Police Box (yay!) and figured I should probably model a console room. My 2 favourites are Tom Baker's Wood Panelled version, and the 80's version which debuted in The Five Doctors. A K9 was also on the cards, but due fo time, life and budget, never went beyond the idea for it. The Ironside also got put on hiatus. I designed, fabricated and built a 70's wood paneled console (from coreflute), one of my 2 favourites, for the party also.

It's a few years on. I still have the Police Box and Console, and have returned to modelling the Ironside. I decided it was time to design a console room. In this instance, I went with my other favourite,  the 80's version. I got dimensions for it from ALL over the interwebs, and I think came up with a near-as-dammit 3D model in Solidworks as you could hope to get (see pics!). Part way through designing it, I got myself a 3D printer, and figured that, even if I never actually built the thing, I could at least make a model of it! I am an avid collector of the 5" range of DW figures made by Character Options,  and felt a few classic consoles were missing. So, once I had completed modeling the room, I scaled it down,  and printed it! The images of the final results are below! :-)

Designing and drawing/modeling took a couple of months. Print time was, all up, approximately 145 hours, give or take a few. I'm very happy with the results. There are a few items missing (Time Rotor, door handle etc), which I will get to. I may also re-print a few items I'm not 100% with. But essentially,  this is the finished product!  ;D



Woowwww!  Dude!   What an amazing idea - well done! :D

d33j r093r5

Thank you very much!  ;D


Sep 29, 2014, 06:11 am #3 Last Edit: Sep 29, 2014, 06:11 am by galacticprobe
You 3-D printed that!? :o Un-smurfing-believable! Can I ask, what was the cost of printing that? I mean, I know you have your own printer for it, but how much in materials?

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

d33j r093r5

Sep 29, 2014, 01:39 pm #4 Last Edit: Aug 04, 2015, 06:01 am by d33j r093r5
Depends on where you get the filament from. If you buy it in the US, it'll cost about $30/kg, from China, between $12-$15/kg. Including trials, errors and mis-prints, I probably went through about 3.5 kg.  However, you can only buy by the kg, so for each colour used you need to buy a kg, regardless of how much you use. So, when printing the red items for the console (which are a few buttons and parts of the time rotor, which I haven't printed yet) I still needed to buy a kg of red, even though I will only use a few grams. Mind you, I'm sure I'll find other uses for it!  ;D Same deal with the yellow for the roundels

Would be less material if I printed it again as I don't need to print any more trials, and I made (hopefully) all the errors the first time. Mis-prints you can't always predict, but with a properly levelled bed and correct temperature settings they're few and far between.

UPDATE: I have since found you can also buy in 2lb (0.9kg) or 0.5lb (227g) for anyone who buys from suppliers in the US or Europe...


Sep 30, 2014, 04:57 am #5 Last Edit: Sep 30, 2014, 04:57 am by galacticprobe
Thanks for that info. And wow again; what you've done really is amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing the rotor and the details on the console come together.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

d33j r093r5

Oct 18, 2014, 02:47 am #6 Last Edit: Sep 19, 2021, 11:35 am by d33j r093r5 Reason: Old post from before site went down. All images missing. Have re-added them.
Hi all. Been a few weeks. It's been busy. But I HAVE updated the look of the console (lots of little details.... gah, it's fiddly, even to draw!). Unfortunately, have hit some hitches in terms of making those details a reality.
I'll start from the beginning...

As you can see from my earlier images, the console itself lacked any detail; there were no lots of nice little buttons on either my virtual or 3D printed versions. So, have spent a good many hours sloooooowly drawing them in, and trying to make it as screen-accurate as possible. I did take a little license; obviously, my console isn't as "perfectly" accurate as I had assumed, because of space limitations I had in putting in the buttons. Some spaces were bigger and needed a few extra buttons (or larger buttons) to flesh them out, some were a little smaller and so needed a few less, or slightly smaller buttons. Also, due to the scale, I needed to put the buttons in in a way so that they would stand out from the console and actually BE printed (at least I hoped). As an example, at the model scale the "keyboard" type keys are only 1mm square! Now, the printer resolution is quite fine, layer increments are 0.25mm, but the spaces between buttons are only between 0.2 and 0.5mm, so I was worried that they wouldn't print at all! I also had to do the buttons in "blocks". That is, I grouped the same types of buttons in an area together with the intent of printing them as one piece. You can see from the images what I actually did. I also altered the layouts slightly - my original drawing/print just repeated 1 of 2 sides, which IS how this console is laid out, but there ARE variations, such as where the pentagonal thingy on the console is. It's only on 1 side, but I had it on all 3 alternating sides. Also, each side is distinguished by the fact that they all have different button/lever layouts, so ALLLLL that had to be drawn individually. I took a little license with colours, as I don't have the full plethora to print with as the actual console actually has, so everything is a variation on black, red, green, blue and yellow. It's close, but not "exactly" the same.

The fascia of the monitors in my original version were vertical. On the actual, they are tilted back slightly, so I also adjusted that.

Here are images of the virtual model... :)

80s Console_140524_1_Buttons.JPG

80s Console_140524_2_Buttons.JPG

80s Console_140524_3_Buttons.JPG

Doesn't look TOO bad... does it...?

The idea was, after drawing it all laid out, I could then cut the buttons from the model as seperate models, and print them individually in their corresponding colours, like so:

80s Console_140524_4_Buttons.JPG
Two lots of "keyboard" keys, and a row of yellow buttons. I know they don't look like they would on a full size model - remember, scale is an issue here, I have to lose some detail to try and make it work.

Split 1...

Split 2...

and Split 3!

To give you an idea of size, that large "keyboard" section is about 7.4mm x 7.4mm TOTAL!! The other 2 are obviously smaller. erk. I went ahead and drew it all ANYWAY, even though I wasn't sure if it would work. I'm a completionist, sue me...

After all that I decided to try and print one of the smaller sections to see what I would get. After all, if the smallest bits don't work, then there isn't much point! You just end up a horrible mess...

Suffice to say, ALL the tests I did were ghastly, and either far to small to be seen or recognised, or just a lump of gooey plastic. There was no WAY this was going to work...

I had wanted to re-print the console for some time anyway, because reasons and shush! ;)  No seriously, I HAD wanted to for things like the slant on the monitors and the removal of the extra pentagonal thingies. In addition, this being one of my earliest prints, I was not completely oh-fey with the settings on the printer yet, little tricks you use to get a good print and a good adhesion, and had the temperature settings a bit awry, so the original warped in places. Also, the original was printed with pins on the base that slotted into holes in the mid and top sections, that hadn't worked out too well, so the build was quite loose-fitting, with a couple of the pins broken off and extra holes re-drilled and plugged with wooden dowels. It hadn't been planned overly well. I DID like the use of tight fitting dowels however, it simplified everything, and that was actually the method I used when putting the console room together. It was designed with dowel-holes in strategic places, so everything slotted together nicely (sort-of) at the end. So, when I went back to redesigning the console, that's the method I used. (see images below)

The original had space for the time-rotor, with a slightly smaller hole underneath going all the way through to the bottom, to leave room for any electronics I might want to squirrel away underneath. I was not so confident with my printer builds then, and I was not sure about leaving large, open areas INSIDE the printed models, because overhangs don't necessarily print well without added support, and removing that afterwards would be a... well... nightmare. Having more experience now, and knowing that I CAN get away with overhangs if the angle is 45 degrees or less, I redesigned the base to have a much larger opening, and then, once past where the dowels terminate, widening out the area by tapering outwards at about 20 degrees. I also sealed off the bottom, so now any electronics can be hidden away nicely inside, and the whole looks like a nice, closed unit (see images below).

Back to the buttons. I decided to try and print the top of the console as 1 piece, with all the drawn buttons already in place. One thing you learn when doing work at small scales in CAD/CAM is that fine details may come out ok when attached to something larger and more stable. That's why I was initially trying to print the buttons in blocks. I was hoping that, if there was enough detail on the console, I might get away with painting in the colours later. Never mind that I have NO experience in model painting whatsoever, but I'm optimistic. And for people like me, who don;t have that kind of experience, YouTube! Am I right...?  ;)

Here are the results of the above...

The original is on the right, the new on the left...

some close-up detail on the original...

and from another angle...

Close-up detail of the re-print. SOME of the detail is there, and from a distance doesn't look too bad. Up close, however, I think it's just waaaaaaaay too small...  :-\

original @ different angle

re-print @ different angle...

Looking down through the centre of the original. Note, the time rotor space, and then the smaller diameter hole underneath which tunnels all the way to the bottom...

... and from the other side

Looking down through the centre of the re-print. Notice that the entryway is larger, you can no longer see out the bottom for the floor, and that the area fans out wider after about 10mm to make use of the space underneath for electronics... actually, you can't REALLY see that because the top is in the way, but you can see the light coming in from what is obviously a much more open area as in...

... this image! :) also note the large dowel holes, and the circular recess in the floor for securing the base of the time rotor... when I eventually get round it!

The base of the re-print. Access this way, no longer available...

The two versions, the original on the right still. Differences are obvious...

Lastly, a close-up of the original separated sections. Originally tired to print the base with 3 pins, that went through the mid and upper sections, but the results ended up being inconsistent, and the pins themselves were too brittle and snapped (bar one!). Became a bit of a lash-up. You can see why I went for dowels in the new version...

All up, I'm happy with the new print. It's got a lot of fix-ups and clean-ups from the original, and fits together much more nicely, and will better house electronics when I get to doing them. As to the buttons... well... bit of a hit and miss really. The console LOOKS better completed for them, and from a distance looks ok. I SUPPOSE it COULD be painted, but the details are so tiny that I think even master model-builders would probably struggle with it. Printing the details separately is not really an option, due to the scale, and it's also due to the scale that the finished product looks... well... messy, for want of a better word (at least as far as the button details go). Might be back to the drawing board...! Any advice or tips y'all can offer would be much appreciated...!  ;D

I'll update again when I have some new news...


Oct 18, 2014, 06:33 am #7 Last Edit: Oct 18, 2014, 06:33 am by galacticprobe
Whoa! That was a lot to take in! The printed buttons look great. (You'll probably go blind painting them, or doing whatever you have planned to give them their color - or lights - but they look great!)

Are you planning to print small graphics or astronomical photos to use on the monitor screens?

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Some very exciting stuff, at one point I was considering going this very same route in order to make a C/O scale Five Doctors Console.  Glad somebody was able to make the idea reality. :)

d33j r093r5

Oct 18, 2014, 04:43 pm #9 Last Edit: Sep 19, 2021, 12:05 pm by d33j r093r5 Reason: Old post from before site went down. All images missing. Have re-added them.
Quote from: galacticprobe on Oct 18, 2014, 06:33 amWhoa! That was a lot to take in! The printed buttons look great. (You'll probably go blind painting them, or doing whatever you have planned to give them their color - or lights - but they look great!)

Are you planning to print small graphics or astronomical photos to use on the monitor screens?



Like this...?  ;D

Also, thanks for the kind words, glad you like it

And Kingpin,  do you have a 3D printer? If not, well worth the investment...! :)


Don't have the budget for it at the moment, and wouldn't even know where to begin in comparing the different machines out there.

d33j r093r5

Oct 19, 2014, 02:12 am #11 Last Edit: Oct 19, 2014, 02:18 am by d33j r093r5
Quote from: Kingpin on Oct 18, 2014, 09:22 pm
Don't have the budget for it at the moment, and wouldn't even know where to begin in comparing the different machines out there.

I hear ya... I wouldn't call myself an expert on all the various types that are out there myself, but if you ever need advice, give me a shout. For the record, they are much of a muchness, with some a bit easier to use and setup than others, but they all work on the same principles, and the same format, so a printable file will work on models a through to z. My own printer requires a little more setup than others, but if you're even reasonably handy it's not an issue. And, once you have the hang of it, printing is simple... my printer is probably the cheapest out there, being a cheap Chinese knock-off of an already cheap US printer for people on a budget... it's like the IKEA model of printers... and you can see the results I've got from that. My printer cost me less than $1, 000.00 AU... that's a tad more than £500.00 GBP, or approx. $850.00 US...

Anyway, just an FYI...  ;)


Oct 19, 2014, 05:38 am #12 Last Edit: Oct 19, 2014, 05:38 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: d33j r093r5 on Oct 18, 2014, 04:43 pm
Like this...?  ;D

Also, thanks for the kind words, glad you like it

You're quite welcome. And yeah. I was also wondering about the small screens on the console as well as the large wall monitor. Are you planning to put some sort of graphics in those console monitors? (That would be cool.)

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

d33j r093r5

Oct 19, 2014, 11:27 am #13 Last Edit: Aug 12, 2015, 05:42 pm by d33j r093r5
I WAS just going to paint them black, but now you mention it...

Having said that, the screens are REALLY small, like really only a few mm across... I might just be better off leaving them plain / black...

d33j r093r5

Feb 18, 2016, 04:53 am #14 Last Edit: Sep 19, 2021, 12:29 pm by d33j r093r5 Reason: Old post from before site went down. All images missing. Have re-added them.
Hi all, I know it's been a while - quite a long while actually - but it's been a busy few months. Lots of things completely un-Doctor Who related have been happening! Quite shocking I know, but rest assured, it's all pretty positive stuff that I'm fairly excited about, and it's going to a busy and exciting year. However, I would NEVER allow any of that to permanently get in the way of model building. So I'm back on board. More or less. Still busy, so times between posts may be longer than was previously usual for me, but I will attempt to keep them reasonably regular... Anyway, on with the show...

During that period with lots happening, my 3D printer decided to have a caniption! That means that my other on-going projects ground to a halt. So I wouldn't go stir crazy in the interim, I decided to get on with an idea that I had been toying around with in the back of my mind for some time: completely re-do this console room!

I know many of you probably think that it's fine the way that it is. And you're right, it IS... however, this was my first major 3D print project, certainly in terms of DW and Console rooms. And while I was happy with it at the time, I have gotten a lot better at it, and know more about what is possible and what I can achieve. If you haven;t already seen them, I invite you to check out my Time Monster Console Room (pretty well finished) and my season 18-20 Console Room (still a WIP), both on this forum...  ;D make a comparison, you'll see what I mean...

This was essentially my checklist:

- print the console room in more realistic colours, ones that were closer to the original screen images of it on the show.
- this means that many items will need to be split into separate printable items that will then be affixed afterwards, rather than printing it as one item in one colour. As an example, the plinth of the console.
- a more screen-accurate representation of the viewing angles of the room. In my original, the rear door and main doors face each other directly.
- and more screen-accurate representation of the walls and columns.

Originally, I printed the entire room in plain white. Which, on cursory examination is fine. However, the room and console are actually very light shades of grey (beige? off-white? meh! the point is to match it, not worry about what it's called...). When finding colours for my S18-20 CR, I found a grey that was perfect for the walls. And it's essentially the same grey in this console room as well. So that's sorted...

On my very, very first console I didn't worry about any of the controls; they simply seemed too small and fiddly. When I re-printed a better version of the console, I included the controls, but they were soooo tiny (and the same colour!) that you pretty well couldn't see them, unless you looked really closely. With a magnifying glass. Aaaaaanyway... experience with modelling subsequent consoles has taught me that I can probably make some reasonably good looking separate controls for the console. Well, we'll know for sure when it comes time to print. Suffice to say, I had to model each and every control that is to be printed, and then source colours for them. Done, and done.

As I mentioned above, the base of the plinth is 2 separate colours; light grey for the main part and central hexagon, and a dark bluey-black for the hexagon surround and underside of the console. Black will suffice, I have plenty of that. So, that all needed to be re-modelled into separate parts as well. Again, done, and done.

The angles of the walls was a little simpler. The modelling software I use is a parametric design program called Solidworks. It means you can make design changes on the fly, and the model will update itself based on the new geometry, provided you set it up correctly to start with. It meant adjusting the angle of the columns essentially. In the end, it not only opened the room out, but made the columns look more like they did on the show, more box-like than trapezium. I also played with the column striations, making them fatter and closer together, same on the scanner wall, which I reduced in width. I also reduced the width of the main-door wall and doors (plenty of experience now of the actual size based on my work on the other console rooms), and adjusted the size of the roundels and patterning on them. There were lots of tweaks here and there to try and get it as exactly right as I could. The end result is a major improvement over the original:

80's Console_160218_001.jpg

... room looks and feel larger. The angles between the walls has been increased by reducing the angles on the columns. Main-door wall and rear door wall are no longer parallel...

80's Console_160218_002.jpg

... scanner wall is shorter, as is the screen, giving it a much squatter look, closer to the original. Also note the scanner wall and column striations. The are fatter and closer together.

80's Console_160218_003.jpg

... the rear-door wall has been significantly reduced. It's now a much more screen-accurate size. Also note the additional terminating column, missing from my original. The roundels have been enlarged to better reflect their size as well...

80's Console_160218_004.jpg

... main-door wall has also been reduced, again to be more screen accurate. I've modelled the doors in my other builds, so it was a fairly easy correction to make. My original left no gaps between door and wall, so they don't close properly on my original, something I have subsequently corrected. In addition, while the doors appear to be symmetrical, they are in fact angled, so that one closes over the other, again reflecting how they were made for the show. In addition, the original version I modelled had a flat buttress above the wall. It now has the same angled coving as the other walls...

80's Console_160218_005.jpg

... overhead shot, showing the new angles...

80's Console_160218_006.jpg

... the modelled controls. They're probably going to be a bugger to print, but I'm going to hace a damn good crack at it!!

80's Console_160218_007.jpg

... note the different colours on the base of the plinth. They are all separate printable parts now. They were a pain in the proverbial to try and make them that way, but the end result I think will work!

Rendered 005.jpg

... and just for the hell of it, I was playing around with the rendering tools in the software to try and get a more realistic feel of what it will look like once printed. This was the result...  ;D

... so, that's where I'm up to. I think I'm all caught up now! All these changes I made in late November / early December. I have my S18-20 CR to finish before I start printing the updated version of this. Just to let you know that exciting things are on the horizon...  ;)