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Monday, May 23rd, 2016 07:39 am
OK! I got my software, I pulled in my helmet's stl file, and I unfolded it. Blam!

It took a tiny part of one page. I squint and squint at the screen until I see the stats for the finished object are (approximately, I don't remember the exact numbers) 20mm x 20mm x 30mm.

Time to spend some time learning how to re-size the object, and specifically how to resize it for my own head. First, I used math! I measured my head on a plane that included my glasses, then divided by pi to find my head's diameter. But I wasn't thrilled with that, because I was worried that the diameter would actually be wrong, because my head is not really a circle, but more of an oval. To confirm that my measurement was correct (I have been informed I must reenact this while The Barbarian films it), I took a placed a piece of paper on the kitchen counter and laid my head down on it. First I put my ear down, and used a pen to make a line where my nose was and a line at the back of my skull. Then I flipped the paper and, placing my forehead on the counter, made marks at each ear. Obviously these were rough measurements, but they did confirm that my head is not a perfect sphere! :D Anyway, this gave me the depth number I needed. I plugged it in, plus a couple of centimeters for the interior plastic resin coating, and Pepakura re-sized the other dimensions proportionally.

However, realizing I am a noob, I also watched a few videos of people talking about how to size your helmet, and these people pointed out that you need to go into Pepakura and find the distance across the actual opening you have to put your giant head THROUGH.

Ha! So, I went in and checked the opening, and yup, pretty clear my fat head was not going through that. So I started scaling up 10% at a time until the opening was big enough to accommodate my head. This made rest of the helmet HUGE compared to my head measurements. The instructor reassures me that this is a good thing, because I may want to put padding (excellent idea) inside the helmet to make it more comfortable, or I might even want to put electronics in there (sounds dangerous!).

Dimensions all set, I unfold the thing again. And realize that something isn't right, because it unfolded as three, super complex crazy shapes. Um.

Back to YouTube I go, this time looking for an explanation of how to get a more sensible unfold. Turns out, you have to go in and specify which edges need to be "opened."

Screen short of the helmet in Pepakura

Basically, I needed to go in and turn every blue edge that I wanted opened into an orange edge. That turned out to be A LOT of mouse clicks.

I did a first pass, unfolded, clearly still too complicated.

A couple more iterations, and then I just started breaking up pieces in the 2D. Then all the pieces needed to be placed compactly to save on expensive paper. 28 pages of pieces, many of them tiny. I think it is possibly the worst Pepakura design/layout EVER. Anyway, I hit print and walk away to do some laundry. I come back to find that my printer did not select the back tray where the cardstock was, so it printed 28 pages or plain paper. But this turned out to be a good thing, because NONE of the pieces was labeled in any way. WHAT?!?!

At this point, I quit for the day. Perhaps one might even say I rage quit. Possibly.

I was certain that I probably just need to click one button to fix this problem. When I came back on Sunday morning to look at it again, yes, that was in fact the case. I clicked the button that labeled the edges, and reprinted, this time on the cardstock.

Now. The big question (which I probably should have considered more before printing) I want to try again on the layout? I'm pretty sure this one is terrible, with too many pieces being glued and not enough pieces being folded. I have the whole week to contemplate this question, as I doubt I will get another chance to work on this before Saturday afternoon. And possibly not even then, as that will probably be The Barbarian's birthday party.

I have also been asking myself, would foam be a better solution for this helmet, since it has a lot of smooth lines, and the details are probably all things I could build from foam. But I am thinking no, I will try this, even if it turns out to suck because it is my first one, it will be good experience.


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