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Explorer Wheel

Blog: #38 of 100 by Dave Luebbert

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July 20th, 2013 - 10:42 PM

I made this planetary explorer wheel today with ZBrush. First I used the Quicksketch function with radial symmetry turned on to draw a "spirograph" type design for the inner wheel. This design I based on recent innovations by researchers working to make an "airless" tire that couldn't be punctured, or in military situations, not damaged by bullets or explosions. The wheel is made of some sort of composites that have enough strength to support a heavy vehicle, and also have enough flexibility to soften bumps and dips. I figured why not take it into space as well? So after drawing the spiraling lines I converted it into a texture and alpha, and as an alpha I turned it into a 3D object. I reduced the poly count by decimating it, then ZRemeshing it into a very clean mesh and low polys. The outer wheel that contacts the surface that the vehicle will travel on I made using a simple ring primitive, initializing it with a thin ring and large inner space, till it looked about right as the "tire" part of the vehicle's wheel. After making it a polymesh, I used the standard brush with radial symmetry again, this time with a small brush, drawing in the treads I wanted, decimated it, then ZRemeshed it till the mesh looked great.

Explorer Wheel

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