A Pocket-Sized Warp Core

Designed in the 2350s at the Utopia Planita shipyards, the warp core found in Galaxy class starships Yamoto, Odyssey, Challenger, and yes, Enterprise was a incomparable work of engineering, leading to more than one Daystrom Prize for its development. We’re still at least fifteen years away from the great [Zefram Cochrane]’s birth – and another 200 years until [Richard Daystrom] is born – but now, thanks to our advanced technology, a miniature warp core is within reach.

About a year ago, [Alex] found a warp core table lamp based on the one found on the Enterprise. it called out to him, but it’s a an extremely large build and only having a Solidoodle 2 as a 3D printer, [Alex] decided to scale it down to 25%.

Inside the warp core are a few Neopixel strips driven by a 5V Trinket. It’s not the ideal solution – if all the LEDs are turned on at the same time, the Trinket will brown out. It’s enough for an accurate pulsating effect, though, and was a nice enough gift to appease even the most discerning Trek fans he gave these mini models to.

Video below.

14 thoughts on “A Pocket-Sized Warp Core

  1. I hate to say it, but that print is exceedingly ugly. As someone who’s had a Chinese-knockoff MakerBot dual extruder for all of two weeks now, I’ve made my fair share of ugly-as-sin prints, but I can already print something a hell of a lot better-looking than that when I try, let alone before I’d put it on the interwebs for all to see… :S

    Great idea though, maybe I’ll try something like that at some point… I have transparent white ABS, even. :D

    1. Yep. The Solidoodle 2 he is using is probably a big part of the problem. My first 3D printer was a Solidoodle 4 and it did not leave me with a very good impression of what was possible in 3D printing. The prints were just ugly and they didn’t get better even as I got better at designing. Then, I ended up ordering probably the same printer you have and it instantly made a world of difference. And it was half the price I paid for the SD4! Live and learn.

      I would never recommend a Solidoodle to anyone.

    2. Where’d you guys order the knockoffs (if you don’t mind saying). I have a Solidoodle 2, which I’ve tweaked so it’s not too bad, but would love to get a dual extrusion capable printer for a decent price.

      This looks like a fun build BTW. I now just need to get a spool of ABS in something other than plain white!

      1. Got mine on eBay, a CTC-3D ‘dual extruder’. It was $580, but then dropped $30 the night before I bought it. (Though they nixed the plain wood model altogether at the same time, which is sad, because I felt that’d look better in photos/video, exposure-wise.) And then two days after I bought it, the price dropped another $50! Man, I sure coulda used that to get more filament. :P

        This is the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/231335803819

        So far, other than the build platform dipping enough in the center that perfect nozzle height on the edges makes for less-than-ideal adhesion in the center, I don’t have anything else to complain about. (And I bought a 0.25″ borosilicate glass plate to give me a perfect print bed, but haven’t installed it yet) I even installed the latest official MakerBot Replicator firmware on it right from within MakerWare. As soon as I had the thing leveled the first time, it was printing amazing parts. The first time it printed the 20mm calibration cube at 0.10mm layer height, I couldn’t believe the resolution… I didn’t think these printers printed *that* good.

        I want to save up and get Simplify3D to control the thing though… Amazing stuff. I love all the things it lets you do. Which I could probably do anyway if I learned the more technical software like ReplicatorG and whatnot, or edited gcode by hand, but jeez! Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D968RL1Z6l4

        As far as filament, aside from the spool of red PLA they gave me with the printer, I’ve bought all my filament from Amazon; Hatchbox filament is pretty great stuff. I’ve got 1kg spools of PLA in Black and Red, and ABS in Black, White, Red, and Blue. And 0.75kg spools of Transparent ABS in White, Red, and Blue. (And then Hatchbox raised their prices like $6 a spool… T_T) http://media.makecoolthings.com/wp/2015/02/3dp_filaments1.jpg

        I’ll be doing a write-up on my blog (Click my name) very soon, and hopefully start doing regular posts on 3D printing. So keep an eye out. :D I also need to find some articles on fine-tuning my settings to find the temp/speed ‘sweet spot’ for each filament I use.

        1. Thanks very much for the detailed reply. That looks like a great deal. I look forward to reading your write-ups on the blog.

          I almost wish I’d not watched the Simplify3D video now because I want it! I use Repetier Host, which is great, but the ability to customize exactly where supports are going to be visually in Simplify3D would be awesome!

  2. A Pocket Sized Warp Core, now i can send my wallet to Alpha Centauri! Anyway, and I’m not ragging on it, I have to agree the print quality leaves something to be desired, maybe Alex should check out the hacks on here for smoothing out 3D prints.

  3. I build these to at 70% scale. I use the dripping led icicle Xmas lights the creator suggested on thingiverse.com. one icicle, a switch, and a 9v, done. I originally setup a Larson scanner with a trinket pro but it was over kill.
    Everyone loves these, no one cares about seams or perfection.

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