Dec 4, 2014 | By Alec

We always enjoy seeing 3D printed fan tributes to video games, movies and tv shows, and not just because they appeal to our 'inner nerds' in a completely unprofessional fashion. But most also perfectly capture the innovative and customizable strength that 3D printing has to offer.

While many of these printed toys or tributes are impressive and original objects, some fans just take things to a totally different level. Fans like Cara McNab, who has created the most impressive tribute to the hit sci-fi franchise Stargate that I've ever seen: an actually 'working' Stargate.

For those of you unfamiliar with the francise's premise, all the movies and series are named after the Stargate device, a large ring-shaped devise that can connect as a portal to other Stargates spread out over the universe. In the original 1994 film, the gate was discovered in the 1920s, though it would take another 70 years before scientists were able to decipher the hieroglyphs necessary to open the portal. As the image shows, each gate is covered in nine 'chevrons' that light up when a certain location is being contacted, or 'dialed'. Once opened, you can simply step through the light to be transported to a distant location and adventure.

Amazingly, Cara has managed to make a detailed miniature copy of the Stargate, complete with a moving ring and chevrons that light up. While I'm not sure if this actually creates a portal to another planet, the level of detail and craftsmanship is amazing. And what's more, you can 3D print yourself one too! Simply download the necessary STL files from Cara's Thingiverse page, though you will need a few additional parts to make it move and light up. However, the whole project doesn't look too complicated and comes with a detailed tutorial, so it might be a very nice weekend activity.

The complete gate is an impressive 42 cm in diameter, and Cara has printed the entire thing on a Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer, using mostly Gray PLA filament and a few parts in transparent PLA. All the different parts can be glued together (not the moving ring!) and assembled following her basic steps.

Now the movement and the lights are most impressive. As she explained on her page, these effects are realized with a NEMA 17 Stepper motor and an Arduino UNO with a Motor Shield. The printed gear fits snugly onto the motor, and powers the gate's movement. The chevrons themselves are NeoPixel LED lights.The specific dialing sequence that powers the Stargate can be programmed onto your Arduino using the code she provides along with the files.

All in all, it's thus a very fun and slightly challenging project that every sci-fi fan definitely needs to try. What better tribute to the Stargate franchise could you possibly 3D print?

Also check out this video of the Gate in action:


 

 

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jwsmith53@yahoo.com wrote at 1/10/2017 1:29:47 AM:

I have no idea what you're talking about. I have no idea how 3-D printers work or what they use for material. How much did it cost to make? How long did it take you? I want one!!

Yep wrote at 1/9/2017 12:57:02 AM:

9 symbols, where are you going the beginning of time. Also, shut up and take my money!

Jacob wrote at 9/2/2016 3:06:43 AM:

Now all it needs is an event horizon.

Rob wrote at 12/14/2014 8:15:42 PM:

Wow this is really really Epic :D nice job!

Cara McNab wrote at 12/5/2014 2:31:03 PM:

In the show, the chevrons do light up, as well as move and lock into place. I wasn't prepared to build the gate at a scale that would have allowed me to embed micro servos into it!

Andreas wrote at 12/5/2014 8:55:15 AM:

Impressive. Now the next step would be to have each chevron actually "lock" not only with some LED-light, but use some kind of electromagnet that would allow the typical chevron lock-in action we know from the "real" stargate. Think i have to order me some gray filament and start printing away...

Juan wrote at 12/5/2014 4:12:57 AM:

Very clever, but a true fan knows that the chevrons don't light up but move and lock into place. Extremely nice project still !!



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