19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

A Steampunk Lunchbox

This was a quick commission project that I was retained for by a client who had seen some of my other Final Fantasy XIV projects. Here, I was hired just to make the model that the client could 3D print themselves. The item in question is called an ‘aetherotransformer’, and it’s an offhand item used by the Machinist class in the game. My understanding is that it converts magical energy in the area into ammunition for the Machinist’s firearms. In practical terms, it’s basically a steampunk lunchbox.

I pulled the low-poly model out of the game to use as a reference and started rebuilding all of the geometry in higher-poly forms with a mind to keeping the 3D printing process on the simpler side. I tried to scale it to a reasonable approximation of what I saw in game screenshots – here’s a comparison of the base model with a 6′ human:

For a project like this, I’d usually prefer to print the basic form and add details to the physical parts afterwards. Things like the leather wrapping, hinges, latches, and screws are things I’d typically do with actual hardware and fabrics. However, the client for this project wanted all of those details to be part of the 3d-printed mesh, which meant I’d have to get a little creative with how to separate the parts out for printing. 

More importantly, the inside of the box needed to be accessible, which meant the lid needed to hinge open and closed. I managed that by making the wrench removable from the loop it sits in on the front, which gives the lid enough clearance to swing back. 

Yes, I know latches don’t work like that, but it’s a concession to make things a bit easier to print!

The inside of the pressure-vessel canister on the left side is hollow, and it connects through to the lantern-light looking element on the left side. I hoped that by leaving that cavity accessable, it’d be easier to light with LEDs and tuck a battery into so that it glows in the same way that the in-game model does. 

Here’s a look at the final product!

Leave a comment