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Mech's Mods: Gears & Things

Discussion in 'Released and WIP Mods' started by MechanizedIT, Sep 17, 2014.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    [FONT= &#39]Mech's Mods: Gears & Things

    Workshop Link: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=315432320


    [FONT= &#39]Large Ship/Station Blocks:[/FONT]
    • Small Gear
    • Medium Gear (Multi-Block Construction: Side, Corner One, Corner Two, Center)
    • Rack
    • Rail
    • Blast Rack (Same width as the Blast Door blocks)
    • Blast Rail (Used with the Blast Rack)
    • Hinge
    • Heavy Duty Hinge
    • Spindle Assembly (Basically a rotor without power, torque, braking, displacement. Spins Freely)
    • Spring Assembly (Multi-Block Construction: Spring Cylinder, Spring Rod)
    • Tank Tracks (Chain Link, Chain Link Pin, Track Pad, Sprockets)
    [FONT= &#39]
    Small Ship Blocks:
    • [FONT= &#39]Small Gear[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Medium Gear (Multi-Block Construction: Side, Corner One, Corner Two, Center)[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Rack[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Rail[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Blast Rack (Same width as the Blast Door blocsk)[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Blast Rail (Used with the Blast Rack)[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Hinge[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Heavy Duty Hinge[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Spindle Assembly (Basically a rotor without power, torque, braking, displacement. Spins Freely)[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Spring Assembly (Multi-Block Construction: Spring Cylinder, Spring Rod)[/FONT]
    • Tank Tracks (Chain Link, Chain Link Pin, Track Pad, Sprockets)

    [FONT= &#39]Block[/FONT][FONT= &#39] Features:[/FONT][FONT= &#39]
    • Blocks are mechanically functional but may still need tweaking to improve performance
    • No Build-Stages
    • Blocks are paint-able
    • Medium Gear Center block includes built in GYRO function
    • Rail/Blast Rail includes Landing Gear Function for locking Racks in place
    • [FONT= &#39]Spring Rod includes Landing Gear Function[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Spindle Assembly transfers power like rotor[/FONT]

    <div>[FONT= &#39]Planned Blocks/Features:[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Improved Functionality/Reliability[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Better Models, Textures[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Build Stages[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Small Ship Variants of All Blocks[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Multiple Gear Sizes[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Bevel Gear[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Worm Gear[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Shaft[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]U-Joint[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Ball Joint[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Sprocket[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Chain[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Crawler Tracks/Pads[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Threaded Shaft &amp; Tapped Block (nuts &amp; Bolts)[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Curved Rack[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Curved Rail[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Pintle Hitch[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Rotor Part Gears[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Wheel Part Gears[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Connector Cable[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Rack without Teeth[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Rollers for Rails/Racks[/FONT]

    [FONT= &#39]Building[/FONT]
    [FONT= &#39] Tips/Disclaimer:[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]If you build something on a station you must convert the block to a ship if you want it to move.[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]Build things all on the same grid if possible and then remove the blocks holding the parts you want to move from the original grid.[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]When blocks touch/rub each other, damage is going to occur, there is currently no way around this. I suggest building redundancies such as more gears, more rail guides to support your racks, etc. I tend to add welders at key points in some of my builds to auto repair damaged parts.[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]The Spindle is a rotor that does not use power, has no braking, torque, or displacement. It has better alignment than the original version and has the added function of transferring power. It is currently offset for compatibility with the old version.This is actually useful because of the ability to remove the Spindle Hub, and place it back down on the block the spindle appears to be, allowing you to build off of the hub on the same grid that the base of the spindle is on, alleviating the problem that people have with rotors when trying to attach a grid to more than one rotor such as a swinging door with rotor on top and bottom. I may make a modded version of the Vanilla Rotor that has this feature.[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]In some instances, you can use the GYRO function in the med gear center block combined with the spindle to cut out the need for rotors, although that method is not as effective when you want the precision of rotors.[/FONT]
    • [FONT= &#39]I know there are issues with these blocks, I will continue to work at improving their functionality.[/FONT]
    [FONT= &#39]

    Original Post

    UPDATE: I got around this afternoon to adding a rack and rail, the modpack can be found here.

    Yesterday I put out a mod, that adds a large ship gear that has a model slightly larger than 1 block but with collision boxes inside the 1x1 block so that you can place two gears on top of two rotors side by side. The dilemma I am having is that the way I have the collision boxes set up the gears will mesh and spin but it is rather loose and sloppy since they don't mesh very tightly.

    I feel that I have two options that to improve this; one, I can make the collision boxes stick out slightly larger than the 1x1 just as the model does which would require manually having to move two rotors with gears on top together to get them to mesh, or two, I can change the size of the gear so that there is a block space between the two rotors and the gears mesh in the middle of that block with the block size still actually only being a 1x1 and the gear model and collision boxes sticking out making the size look like a 1 1/2 block radius.

    Here is a picture of the current gears I have with 10 teeth, and the best mesh I've come up with, although still not very good.


    The next dilemma I have is that as far as i'm aware only 5 collision boxes per model is allowed, making larger gears with more teeth sort of impossible. The most teeth I believe is possible would be 20, as that would be 5 collision cubes, with each corner a tooth, which would mean that if I want to do a 5x5 gear, same size as the largest wheel, with a max at 20 teeth, then a 1x1 gear would have to have 4 teeth, and I don't know about you but that is a pretty sloppy and imprecise gear. So, there is that.

    EDIT: Original issue with model problems resolved, n-gons, lesson learned.
    Last question I have, is there any info on making multi-block models like the piston and rotor?

    Any and all advice, criticism, tips &amp; tricks, ideas, and answers are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
  2. demonocolips Apprentice Engineer

    first off love the idea. a hard industrial iron finish would really bring these together as a nice cosmetic piece. and right now i don't think you would need to change the base mesh you have already on the mods page i think they fit with space engineers very well as they currently are.

    second i cant actually see any of your images. and when i go directly to the source url i get a locked dropbox icon.

    third. about the piston and rotor. as far as i know no one has been able to mod either one. i saw one person have a mod that did something with it.

    you can see a few rotors in the picture but im not sure if anyone has done anything with pistons. but asking shaostoul about the rotor would be a place to start.

    wait someone did work with the piston got the workshop link http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=314697182&amp;searchtext=
  3. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

    I've done nothing with rotors or pistons! Blasphemy!

    Seriously though, The only thing holding me back from releasing some of them is menu space. I've been getting asked by the modding collective to make gears, so I might just have to tackle this idea.

    Gears in SE will not function as you'd expect them to in real-life, so you have to play to SE physics. I think I may be able to muster something up, but give me time. I've been trying to work on making money and finding other ways to make money, as I'm currently rather poor.
  4. Nilat Apprentice Engineer

    First, your mod is very interesting

    The second option seems better to me.

    You can't do anything with teeth reduced to mere triangles (in the case of "corner" teeth). The angle at which teeth from different gears collide is of utmost importance if you want your rotors to rotate and not lock up and glitch, and it requires at least some kind of teeth shape which is very difficult to get from the corner of a squarish convex collision mesh.
    Also, however you do it, remember that collision meshes are virtually larger ingame because of friction. This will be very tricky in your case

    If you need more collision meshes, then split your block. Have a Gear Shaft, a Gear Side Teeth and a Gear Corner Teeth. Bonus: if some mechanical stuff breaks, it will only break some teeth and not the whole gear, that's realistic and interesting from an engineering standpoint since it's a very different kind of thing to repair.

    What do you have in mind?
    Info on these two blocks is out there and I can share all I know about them but I'm not sure it'll help you with your gears.
    Multi-block things like pistons and rotors are very special cases where function and structure are linked. Right now there is no generic multi-block thing, the kind that could be used to place a whole gear (shaft, 4 side teeth and 4 corner teeth, for example) in one go using a predefined template or something.
  5. Shadow_Flux Apprentice Engineer

    To solve the lack of collision boxes available on larger gears you could (as mentioned above) do multi model.

    When placed it will producte the stator and a rotor hub. A seperate block would be placed on this for the teeth; aka 9 teeth blocks or w/e depending on size.

    The only issue I forsee with this whole gear plan is moving things that directly touch each other in SE tend to break each other.

    Another thought is try defining them as wheels since those are perfectly round and have built in friction. the gears would just be visual mesh; the actual transfer of motion would be handled by the wheel collision mesh.

    I haven't played with pistons yet, but the rotors can be modded any which way your imagination desires as long as collision and dummys are correct. I have one that is 4 blocks tall with a large ball in the middle; also made tank tracks out of a 3x3 suspension wheel. That one uses the concept outlined above. Mesh is pretty, collision does the work.
  6. Nilat Apprentice Engineer

    The problem with wheels' friction is, it's unreliable. You can't guarantee any gear ratio with it as it will often lose friction and skip a bunch of teeth
  7. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Thanks demon for the links, I changed the pics to imgur maybe that will work now, I don't know. I am working on better textures, going for a machined, dark iron look.

    Now that the master Shaostoul is on the case, I can throw in my hat :). Making them work like in real life isn't neccessarily the whole reason I'm doing it, I like the appearance of them ore than anything, and if I can get them somewhat functional i'd be happy.

    I've decided to make the 1x1 gear where you have to move them into place to get them to mesh as well as maing a 2x2 gear which will mesh with another 2x2 gear if placed a block apart.

    I agree about using the corners of collison boxes as teeth as it is sloppy, I did get prisms to mesh pretty well though. I am not very familiar with what is and isn't possible in modding this game so far, and I am wondering if it is possible to reduce the friction on the gears which should cut down on the meshing issues and wear on gear teeth. Also I too was mulling the idea of using 9 separate blocks to make a large gear, I think that is a good route to pursue.

    As far as my interest in multiblocks, I'd like to make gears with shafts, sort of like the rotor where the stator is the shaft and the rotor is the gear, that way they can be mounted and freely spun without rotors, as well as maybe a rack inside a rail, or a chain with links that pivot, etc.

    Any information or links to more documentation about functions that can be used with blocks in the 'CubeBlocks.sbc' files would be appreciated. Also, I'm needing to find info on how to make a 'modpack' with multiple blocks in one pack.

    Yes, multiple blocks seems to be the route i'm probably going to take.

    As far as breaking, yeah I forsee that as a big issue as well, when I figure out how to, if possible, reduce friction and increase hardness like hard armor, I think that will help a little.

    I thought about defining them as wheels but as Nilat pointed out, I think they would slip too much. The first model I tested where the collision boxes went outside the 1x1 to match the model mesh, but required moving them together manually, worked really well as far as being precise gears.

    I haven't seen your tank track, but that is something I wanted to do as well but not for tanks, just chain links.

    the multipart block i'd like to make would be a gear rack that slides inside of a rail, all in one block. I currently am working on a rail that will hold a rack that is a separate block, so you would mount one on each side of the rack and the collision boxes would hold the rack in place. But again, friction and breaking is an issue. I am wondering if there is a way to make the rails like mag lev, sort of the way people use landing gears, or the connector.

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts thus far. I Look forward to learning more from this community.
  8. GotLag Senior Engineer

    With regard to the number of collision boxes, have you considered using large triangles? Think of how the star of David has six points but is comprised of only two triangles. This does limit you to multiples of 3, but 15 teeth is probably enough.
  9. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Yeah I have used triangles, they work ok, but again the limit is like you said 15 teeth. I am currently working on a multi block gear for the large gears, will be 3 types of blocks, hub, outer gear teeth and corner gear teeth. so a 3x3 gear will be made up of 9 blocks.
  10. Nilat Apprentice Engineer

    This is not hard.
    Any basic block (block without special function) can be turned into a rotor part, BUT you have to change something in the CubeBlock.sbc: (and thats why it only works with blocks without function)
    MotorRotor and Wheel are mostly interchangeable. The only difference being, wheels are more resistant to damage, shocks, compression - and maybe that'll make them better as gears, who knows?

    Sliding stuff, like with rails, is... Hard, for now. We have a piston but it can not be unpowered like the motor yet. There is a rail model but no implementation that we know of. A "simple" way to stabilize something inside a rail / casing is using suspensions and wheels. A very complex way to stabilize it, but also much stronger, is using multiple cranks to limit the freedom of movement.
    Yes, right now its a pain.
    No idea about the connector trick, never heard of it before, didnt play with it yet. Sounds interesting
  11. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Ok, So lets say I add that bit of code to turn my gear into a 'rotor' which is the top bit or the rotor, correct? Then lets say I model a shaft to go inside the gear and I wan't that to be the 'stator', or the bit at the bottom of the rotor that does the work, but so that the shaft just free spins, no power options, just a very low braking, so that it doesn't spin forever. SO say, I make those two models, add the code to the CubeBlocks.sbc how does the game know that these two separate models should be combined and placed, and will that override the basic rotor?
  12. plaYer2k Master Engineer

    It knows which rotor parts to merge based on this simple line &lt;RotorPart>MotorRotor&lt;/RotorPart>, taken from MotorStator.
    It refers to the MotorRotor block which is the head in that example.

    So make your pair of "gear motor" + "actual gear" (guess you can even use the normal gear as reference model for the rotorpart, as the vanilla MotorRotor has no special property too i am aware of) and link them together from the stators side. That should be it.
  13. Twei Trainee Engineer

    All we need is gratuitous piping and we'll be well into the steampunk age. :D
  14. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Ok, so if I make two models, and one is like the stator and one is like the rotor, by the simple fact of adding '&lt;RotorPart>MotorRotor&lt;/RotorPart>, to each of their definitions in CubeBlocks.sbc, that will make them place combined at the same time in game similar to the rotor? Wouldn't that cause some kind of conflict with the existing rotor, I mean how does it know which models with the 'RotorPart' definition above go with what model, also, how does it know which model should have the properties of the stator, like power, etc.
  15. Nilat Apprentice Engineer

    Stators have these important lines:
    &lt;Definition xsi:type="MyObjectBuilder_MotorStatorDefinition">
    And other lines that you can find in CubeBlocks.sbc which are pretty self-explanatory

    Rotors have these important lines:
    Note that &lt;RotorPart> only says what rotor part will be put on the motor by default. Once a motor is placed, you can remove the rotor and replace it with any other rotor part (MotorRotor) or Wheel, even those that will collide with the stator and explode as the game doesnt check.
    Also, something that might be of interest:
    It says you can place the block according to its collision boxes, instead of the pseudo-box derived from its size. This option is incredibly useful, you should put it on your blast gear racks for example.
  16. TheDeinonychus Trainee Engineer

    Question. Just how are the hinges supposed to work? Tried messing around with them, but they didn't do anything
  17. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    I would refer you to my tutorial video here:

    I'd like to mention that I am working on an improved version of this hinge as well as a powered hinge, and a chain that can be used like tank tracks with a sprocket.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2014
  18. TheDeinonychus Trainee Engineer

    I was actually looking at using the hinge as something like a tank tread, or more likely a tow cable.

    Actually, a suggestion might be some sort of rotor or motor, which you can set to only do so many rotations in each direction.
    For example, you set the speed just like you would for a normal rotor, then the number of rotations (either full or partial) that you want it to go through. Then, once it's activated, it goes through the rotations, then stops, till it's set into reverse, then it goes through the same number of rotations in the opposite direction.
    Something like that would be useful for lifts and moving platforms without having to stack multiple pistons.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2014
  19. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    I am planning a chain, sprocket and tank tracks.

    I think you can can pretty much do that with sensors and/or timers.
  20. H_Heart Trainee Engineer

    Sir, From the start of your first gear project i have followed your progress and i must say well done and thank you !!
  21. lochlain000 Trainee Engineer

    How about a really big hinge? Something which could perhaps use the Spindle as basis.

    Ability to attach blocks to one side of the spindle to create a big block sized hinges for doors etc, which could then be opened and closed with pistons etc contraptions.
  22. Vortexthewise Apprentice Engineer

    MechanizedIT: I have to say, going from asking for gears and rails, to actually seeing someone make them is an absolutely awesome to see.

    We, over in the engineering thread, have been talking about this for a long time, and I look forward to trying this mod out!

    Thank you for your hard work!

    (Now I really need to learn some modding skills...)
  23. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Thank you, it is a pleasure to work on these mods, I am having fun making and using them, glad others enjoy them.
  24. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Interesting Idea, will have to add that to my list. Thanks for the suggestion.
  25. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    I am not an engineer, I wasted 2 years of college on philosophy, only then to discover my real passion mechanics, wish I had gone into engineering. So, naturally I too had wished this game had gears and racks, and didn't understand why no one had added them, so I figured if I wanted them I should just learn how to mod myself.

    I highly recommend that anyone who wants to mod, learn how, it's fairly easy even with no experience. I wish someone more knowledgeable than me, engineering wise, would take up modding and make all the great mechanical shizwah this game is lacking, cause I'm not sure my implementation is up to snuff.
  26. H_Heart Trainee Engineer

    Dont sell your self short Sir, Yea a Mechanical engineer could do all the math for gear layouts and such , but what works in real world has to be re-thought of for SE limits, we will never see a truly highly mechanized "game" it would reduce the player base greatly and not be a real big money maker from gamer market. there is some serious software out that at $1,000.00 's of dollars a copy for that kind of work. But to have the basic mechanical elements you have started is more then enough to keep things "interesting" beyond basic ship building. with out having to have an engineering degree to play
  27. Vortexthewise Apprentice Engineer

    MechanizedIT: You are doing a pretty good job so far my friend. An engineering degree isn't needed to build most of these mechanisms. Machine sense is far more usable.

    I am attempting to learn some modding right now. It all depends on how much time I have between design meetings and such. I have some great ideas for this game!

    H_Heart: It is true that making 'true mechanics' would drive away most players.

    It is also true that SE versions of parts should be much more simple.

    We, over at the engineering thread argue for a level of realism that allows you to use parts, but are not punished by the maintenance or complications of those parts. Making mechanical parts will allow players to build amazing machines. The game is also friendly enough to not require the use of those parts, so that those who are not interested are not forced into using them.
  28. Zeblote Trainee Engineer

    Did you change anything with the gears and/or racks in the last update that added the spring things? After steam crapshop auto-downloaded the new version I can't get simple gear+rack interaction to work anymore.

    Even very basic attempts like this


    don't work anymore. The rack will move, move slower, and stop. The gears will build up a bit of stress and then break. (Only the front gear is powered. Before the update basic contraptions like this worked just fine)
  29. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    I'm sorry for your trouble Zeblote. I don't think I changed anything regarding gears, racks, or rails in my last update. I can't see anything wrong in the picture, if you could publish the world i'd be glad to take a look.
  30. Rizzitoni Apprentice Engineer

    I'm not sure why this thread only has 3 stars. Honestly, these are some of the best mods for building mechanical structures. The gears and track work well with minimal breakage. I posted a door I built to the Steam page for this mod and provided some feedback a bit back. MechanizedIT, I salute you! Great job :)
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