Up for Auction: Solid Model of - Disney's Nautilus Submarine?

24 Oct, 2004

Doug Rogers has taken the label "movie buff" to a whole new level. A fan since childhood of Disney's 1954 classic movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," Rogers says he thought it would be fun and interesting to create a solid model of that famous submarine, Nautilus. And now the movie's fans — and CAD fans? — can purchase a copy of the model on the online auction site Ebay. Rogers, a design engineer based in San Diego who has been solid modeling for about 14 years, primarily turbomachinery, recently talked to us about his project. To view the auction on Ebay, click here.

Q: How did you go about creating this model?
Doug Rogers' solid model of Disney's Nautilus submarine, created using PTC's Pro-Engineer software.
A: I obtained a blueprint of the Disney set model, scanned it, and performed a raster-vector conversion to obtain a DXF file. I imported the DXF into PTC's Pro/ENGINEER solid modeling system, exported that file to IGES, and imported it to a part file I could use to create feature sketches. The process was a little convoluted — I'm on the lookout for a better approach. I use a modeling technique that is a variation of the master model techniques developed by various Pro/E users. I constructed a master model of Nautilus that comprises more than 1,100 features. I created the model purely for aesthetics, so it doesn't have the level of detail necessary for a real product. It took about 1,000 hours over an eight-month period.

Q: What was your workstation setup?
You're not going to believe this: a Sony Vaio laptop with 14.5" screen, AMD Athlon 1600 processor, 512MB RAM, and 30GB hard drive. The only upgrade to the setup was an additional 256MB RAM.

Q: What's response been from the Ebay community?
I've sold about 30 copies of the model since first posting the item on Ebay in mid-September, mostly to Nautilus buffs. I had one customer tell me he pasted a wall with the drawing. The strongest feedback I've received has been from fellow engineers who have an idea of the skills and effort required for the modeling.

Q: Have you produced models of any other nontraditional projects?
Two Star Trek Enterprises - 1701 and 1701E - both without internals; a partially completed British King George V-class battleship; and currently, a P51B Mustang that will have a complete internal structure, including a Merlin engine.