Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

CAD Project of the Month: 3D Spoon Tutorial

Friday, January 6th, 2017

While it’s unlikely that every 3D designer’s lifelong ambition is to create a 3D spoon masterpiece, we do know everyone has to start with the basics. Hence, a simple, but highly effective 3D tutorial perfect for CAD beginners.

The first half of the video below takes you through the easy process of creating a 3D model using only a couple simple tools. The second half of the video, which we’ll be diving into next month, shows how you can take the 3D design you’ve created using our CAD software and turn it into a printed 3D model.

Much of this project can be completed using the Mesh and Subdivision tools native to ViaCAD 2D/3D and ViaCAD Pro.

The project starts you off right away using the mesh block tool to create the cube your spoon’s head will be formed from (take advantage of the data entry window to maximize accuracy).

  1. Using the gripper tool you can push/pull  the shapes you’ve created, and you can build the spoon handle by simply pulling out the center cube of the object. Make sure to use the select deep tool and to hold the ctrl key while push/pulling. This ensures you’re targeting the cube you want instead of manipulating the entire side.

Bonus Tip – It’s useful to have your Inspector Box open throughout this project – it’s located below the top menu on the right side of the screen.

  1. After this basic spoon shape is made, click ‘view’ in the top menu and select ‘front’ to change your view.
  2. Next you can use non-uniform scaling, which you can find in the inspector box, to increase or decrease the size of your 3D spoon’s head. You can also change the size of the neck separately, which will initially change with the rest of the spoon head.
  3. To start rounding the edges of your spoon you will again use the scaling tool. Select every corner of your spoon head while holding the shift key and, with uniform scaling selected, scale toward the center of the shape. You should start seeing the corners rounding off.
  4. Once you’ve selected the two points of your spoon head and extended them to your liking, switch back to ‘isometric view’, which is listed in the view dropdown.

Bonus tip – We find this view to be very useful when looking at 3D drawings and designs, and we recommend to everyone who uses our CAD software to play around with the different views to find what works best for them.

  1. From here, you want to click the subdivision tool and select your shape. In the video, we subdivide our spoon three times, which rounds off the 3D model perfectly. To make additional changes like deepening the bowl of your spoon head, lengthening the handle, etc. you can toggle subdivision and control facets on and off (using the ‘T’ key on your keyboard) so you can precisely make changes to your object.

So there you have it! Stay tuned next month for another post where we dive into the rest of the video and show you how to 3D print your ViaCAD creations using Shapeways and other 3D printing software.

 

CAD Tip of the Month: Push/Pull Modeling

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Tip Level: Beginner

 

One of the most useful and flexible PunchCAD features is the push/pull modeling tool. What is push Pull modeling? Push/pull allows you to take your 2D shapes and bring the faces of those shapes into 3D space.

 

Push/Pull Modeling Tool

Additionally, you can add or remove material on an existing 3D face based on your project needs. With both 2D shapes and 3D objects just click on the center of the surface you want to manipulate, and push/pull from there.

 

The video below does a wonderful job of showing you the basics of turning 2D shapes into 3D objects, then manipulating those objects using nothing but the push/ pull tool.

 

 

The video also demonstrates our CAD software’s recognition of curves and lines that have been drawn onto faces. With our 2D/3D modeling tools you can draw and manipulate additional shapes onto faces, allowing for flexible addition and subtraction in your modeling projects.

 

Push/pull always works in a direction perpendicular to the surface, and only works on surfaces (not edges).

 

A snag you might run into when using this tool is not being able to push/pull curved shapes that aren’t in the major planes. The fix to this problem is quite simple (as is demonstrated in the video). When this happens, use the ‘WorkPlane’ tab to click ‘select objects’, and once your object is selected go back into the ‘WorkPlane’ tab and click ‘Show Work Place’. From there you can go right into the Push/Pull tool easily.

There are numerous applicable uses for this tool in our CAD software, and we recommend practicing with it on one or several projects. Once you master it you’ll find uses for it all over the place. From doorframes to silverware , our push/ pull modeling tool helps you create precise and specific models with ease!

 

Tip: Select Deep Tool

Friday, July 15th, 2016

In this post we cover some of the amazing features of Select Deep, one of my favorite tools in ViaCAD.  Select Deep provides a means to access nested or embedded components of a CAD object.  With this component access you can do operations such as:

  • Delete solid faces
  • Delete mesh elements
  • Delete points from polyglines or splines
  • Delete elements from a group
  • Move faces and elements in a group
  • Change colors

In the video linked below, we demonstrate some of the many features of the Select Deep tool.