Being sci-fi, I decided to go totally digital for the illustration. So I used my knowledge of CAD and built the forms for the image as 3D objects. Then I imported them into a modelling application for texture mapping and rendering.
It's been well over a decade since I did anything of this nature but I managed to blow off the cobwebs and produce the work anyway. The original post rendered image seemed a little sterile and clean cut so I transferred it to photoshop and added a roughness to the textures. Once satisfied, I gave it a nice retro style book cover look.. and there you have it..