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Old April 26 2009, 10:32 PM   #23
Cary L. Brown
Rear Admiral
Location: Austin, Texas
Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

FrontLine wrote: View Post
Cary, great work and I cant find fault with a decision you have made yet. I'm looking forward to seeing this project grow.
Thanks, I appreciate the comments from you (and all the rest of you too). I'm putting it up here for two reasons - one, it's just more fun to do this stuff when you can share it with people who'll appreciate it, and (2) because I'm (as always) actively seeking comments, both positive and negative (provided that the negatives fall into "constructive criticism" rather than what I've seen a bit too much of in other arenas on here from time to time). So please, everyone, feel free to chime in, suggest, criticise, etc.
In the mean time what CAD package are you using? I use ACA 2008 and seeing this work you are doing is really kicking me in the butt. I really need to learn how to work in 3D
I'm running Pro/ENGINEER, "Wildfire 2.0" at home. At work, I'm using Wildfire 4.0 (upgrades are expensive and I don't need the minor additional capabilities for home work), and they've just released another major build ("Wildfire 5.0").

I've used plenty of 3D CAD packages, but overall, Pro/E is my favorite. Which is not to say it doesn't have problems... and that some of the other packages don't excell where this one has troubles. Pro/E's rendering capabilities are minimal... but I have a few add-on rendering options I play with, as well as an old version (6.0) of Maya that I can interchange data with for nicer renderings, once I've got everything really worked out.

Now... on to today's work.

Mainly, I've been working on the dorsal and windows today, with the real focus being getting the integration between the dorsal and the primary hull to make sense. (I've also added in the beginning of nacelle pylons, but those are mainly there to help me judge interconnections between power systems, and to START thinking about secondary hull structural elements.)

Here is the primary hull with the new dorsal. I think it looks very much like the real ship.

(FYI - My biggest gripe with the Casimiro plans is that they reduce the primary hull underside details a bit, and even if those are "more accurate" they don't look to me like the ship I see on my screen. I far prefer this version, with the slightly larger lower primary hull protrusion.)

Now, a section through the centerline of the ship. (Note that when you see solid material, you shouldn't assume "solid mass of metal" in the "real" ship... those are just regions which are heavy with structural materials and hardware, but are not necessarily "solid volumes." That includes walls, decks, hull, and the big regions you see here. Basically, I'm modeling habitable spaces and leaving everything else solid. Make sense?)

Now, realize I've taken a few liberties here to make everything work, and one of those is here. I'm not "exactly" matching the window locations on the model (per ANY of the sets of prints I've seen). Here are my window locations as compared to the Sinclair window locations.

What I did there was to choose a "dorsal deck height" (in this case, 8' even) and a "dorsal deck thickness" (in this case, 2') and start shifting things around 'til everything lines up as well as it can. I thought about altering deck thicknesses in the dorsal, but didn't end up having to do that. The region up at the top is where the interconnection occurs... about halfway between the ceiling of deck 8D (that's "eight, dorsal") and the lower lip of the primary hull.

Once I had everything "tweaked in" (remarkably, I didn't even have to change the deck spacing or deck thickness numbers this time, though normally that's unavoidable) and I'd made my decks inside the dorsal's volume, well... I had to decide how to handle windows. I wanted them to be at a consistent height and size... they're 1.6m wide, 0.75m high, and 1m from the deck at the lower edge, by the way. It actually matches up very nicely, and some are pretty much exact. I moved a few windows longitudinally, to avoid having them go across any "split lines" (which can cause problems when making windows the way I do), but I don't think this is really noticeable, do you?

I'll add in the round "sensor windows" on the primary hull underside and the dorsal once I'm done with the square windows.

Now, I've also STARTED on the secondary hull's mechanical structure. One of the big "whines" I frequently hear about the TOS Enterprise is that the pylons are just "Popsicle sticks" stuck onto a cylinder, but that's not really true. Jefferies clearly thought through how this would all integrate, and I believe that if handled properly, (ie, build the rooms around the mechanism, not the other way around!) you can have a very robust structure here. What you see here is the very beginning of my secondary hull structure... the pylons come together at the centroid of the secondary hull (the inside corner of the "V" is exactly at the axis) and also are supported by "heavy ring" structures at the leading and trailing edges. There will be similar "heavy ring" structures at the dorsal leading and trailing edges. There will be several "heavy beam" elements going between the two ring sections, but a central axis "heavy beam." My plan for the secondary hull is to build the structure first, then start laying in decks and rooms and so forth.

One of the most common topics of conversation re: Trek has always been "where is the engine room?" Well, I imagine that the "triangle of pipes" falls right in the middle of the "V" made up by the pylon frame members. I'm not sure of exact details yet, though, obviously... I want to let the geometry drive the location, not vice versa.
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