Going Up? Starfleet Turbolifts


Well, I decided to experiment a little with the turbolift access area in the cargo bay.  According to the deck plans I am following, the region that houses this turbolift door appears to have a great deal of turbo lift activity on 3 full decks, all behind a fairly stark and featureless wall.  I thought I might spice it up by using those glowing turbotube designs seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. TMP has these exposed structures in the Enterprise cargo bay and on the ship’s recreation deck.  I’d already built and used them for other projects, so I really wanted something like them in this area but couldn’t see a way to realize it without seriously diverging from the deck plans I’m following.  Then it occurred to me- “kitbash” might be the way to go.


In many Trek reference arts, turbolifts often come to rest in recesses or nooks where they essentially dock with an access hatch, which also places them out of the way of other turbolifts that might be zooming along the tube en route to other destinations.  The cargo bay turbolift access on deck 6, has just such a nook on the ship’s center line.  Deck plans reveal two turboshafts in this area, one on either side of the turbolift access door. They service this entire area of the ship, because of the large space taken up by the shuttle/cargo bays and engineering sections, which are just on the other side (aft) of this turboshaft area. The turbolift system doesn’t dart off into any other direction except in the dorsal and ventral sections of the ship; decks 3 and 7 respectively.  Decks 4, 5 and 6 all have nooks vertically aligned and resting between these parallel turboshafts.  The cargo bay turbolift doors face forward, while the remaining decks have doors facing aft.


This area is something of a vital juncture.  On the uppermost deck the shafts are forced into different directions due to the main engine’s intermix chamber running along the ship’s center line.  The lowest deck houses a large machine shop where turbolift cars can be parked and maintained.  The shafts diverge from that area as well.

Another reason I thought this sort of design was even useful, (besides aesthetics) was that maybe the tube frames could be opened up in some way (a hinged-swing-outward mechanism?) in order to allow turbolifts to be easily removed and replaced. The deck plans actually show a an oddly placed hatch in the middle of the shuttle bay deck where the lift cars can be extracted from the tubes up through the floor. I thought that seemed a bit awkward and it conflicted with the huge separation doors I added. I figured something like this might be more efficient.  I might render something like that in the near future.

Here’s a nice shot from the high bay, though it reveals some lighting errors I need to look into.



~ by starstation on April 6, 2009.

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