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Modeling and Preparing a Tank for 3D Printing

Bogdan Burdyuzha talked about the modeling workflow behind the Ferus project and shared the process of preparing the model for printing.


Hello everyone, my name is Bogdan, I am a Concept Artist and I am most interested in hard surface art. I have completed several courses, for example, the Yuri Snytko's Super Maya video course and the Hard Surface XYZ course. I am currently studying the Movie Man XYZ course. I also participated in various concept art competitions.

Now I am just starting my way in the video game industry, so I am open to any job offers and ready to participate in any activity.

The Ferus Project

My favorite hobby is board games, I really like to assemble and paint models and then play with them. After I mastered the initial design and modeling skills, I decided to start developing my own wargame from the models. The first unit was APC Ferus because I mainly do hard surface art and it was also possible to test the assembly without glue, rotating wheels, and tower. After setting up the task, I started selecting references. I usually don't limit myself to the number of images because they can be easily saved and sorted in wonderful PureRef.


For modeling, I usually use ZBrush and Maya. In Maya, you can very quickly make a blockout and kitbash for the future model. After that, in ZBrush, you can work on the shape and silhouette and put the pieces together. 

Preparing the Model for Printing

I don't know how to sculpt from clay and I don't have my own 3D printer (but it will arrive soon), so I decided to contact a company that prints on an SLA printer.

Before sending the model to be printed, I did a few steps. My recommendations to you:

1) The model must be solid. This can be checked in ZBrush using the 3D Print Hub plug-in. If the parts do not pass the test, then you can correct the geometry using the functions in the Geometry menu. 

2) Then, you need to reduce the number of polygons using the Decimation Master plug-in and then repeat the test.

3) Next, you need to make sure that all the details are of the correct scale. Since OBJ and FBX do not contain information about the size of the parts in real dimensions, you need to use the 3D Print Hub for exporting from ZBrush (watch the dimensions carefully!) or use a simple but long way to make sure not to make a mistake. I decided on the dimensions of the future model and, using a parallelepiped, scaled each detail and saved it in the STL format.

4) After I made holes in the details to reduce the volume of the material used for printing, I checked the grid again. 

5) Next, you need to add support for printing. Many programs can help you with this, they will place them automatically, and you just need to add additional supports in the necessary places or move the already generated ones.

After preparation, I sent the model to the company, where it was printed, dried in an ultraviolet oven, and the supports were cut off. I recommend additionally cleaning the model in an alcohol or soap solution after production because even a small amount of polymer is toxic. For additional protection, you can gloss over the model or paint it.

I found all the necessary information to prepare the model for printing on the internet and when communicating with the company employees.


If you are interested in a new, yet unknown wargame and want to take part in the development and discussion of the project, you do not understand something in the text and you have questions, or you have something to say about modeling and preparing a model for printing, comment below, I will be happy to talk to you.

Bogdan Burdyuzha, Hard Surface Artist

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

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