When you break it down into major aesthetic parts – the Social module only really has 3: The body, the fascia, and the indicators.
Individually these parts should all be beautiful. They should all have the same attention to detail as each other; and as well as standing apart they need to work together.
In this respect, the main body was the hardest to prepare.
When the object is finished from the printing process it looks like this
The material is a heat extruded plastic that is built up in layers. The object is not solid and is comprised of “Walls” it is in essence a shell in areas. This gives the model an extremely durable build.
However this also makes the plastic very hard to work by hand. Also because of the way in which it is printed, the object has a layered feel and look to it.
Two things need to be done before painting can begin:
1. The radius for the fascia needs to be made bigger to allow it to sit in properly
2. Complete fill + rub down to flatten surfaces.
So the first one was undertaken by grinding the inside radius out with a dremel. Unfortunetly the dremel seemed to have had extra cornflakes that morning and took too much material away in places which meant when the fascia sat in the edges looked uneven. This would mean I had to fill the gaps and sand them flush again. Like so:
You can see the patterns in the structure as well as the filling in progress.
The filling was done by a two part putty compound which was mixed, thumbed into place and then scalpeled to approximate size – then sanded back when it was dry.
I also used this method on the surfaces to fill the larger layer gaps.
Once the body was sanded even it was ready for paint. I was a bit aprehensive at this stage to how the paint would take to the plastic (things have melted in the past). So I prototyped it on our mini version
The finish took extremely well and didn’t reduce it to a puddle of goo either so I moved onto the real thing.
First it was coated with primer, rubbing down with gradually finer wet & dry as I went
Once I was happy the paint was even I applied the top colour – A lovely bright “fiat” white followed by the clear coat following the same process.