Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Project of the Month: A coffee cup that put all others to shame!

Monday, February 20th, 2017

You’ve had some experience doing some 3D modeling in ViaCAD and want to take your design skills to the next level. This project combines many of ViaCAD’s adaptable 3D tools to produce an impressively useful result: a coffee cup!

In the video, we see that the first step is to pull the Subdivision toolset into the work area.

 

 

This is important because the bulk of the work in creating the coffee cup will be done using these tools – having them at the ready makes the process much faster.

Bonus Tip: In the ‘View’ dropdown menu, you will see the following viewpoints – Right Side, Front, Top, Left side, Back, Bottom, Isometric, and Trimetric. This ‘Cup’ project uses a variety of views but it primarily starts in the ‘Isometric’ view and the ‘Right Side’ view.

Designing the Cup

To create the base of your coffee cup, select the center point circle tool and click the intersection of the x, y, and z axes, expanding it until the diameter reaches 3.5 inches, which can be specified in the data entry window.

 

 

 

 

Next, select the “Extrude Mesh” tool in the subdivision pallet. Making sure the circle is highlighted, select a point along the z axis that is slightly distant from the base. In the data entry window, you can change the length of your extruded mesh to however tall you want your coffee cup to be. For the sake of the video change the length to 4.5 inches.

 

 

 

 

In the same data entry window change the number of distributions around the circle from four to 15.

You should now see a cylinder with openings on each end. To close those openings, use the ‘Fill Hole’ tool, again located in the subdivision tool pallet.

 

 

 

 

With the ‘Fill Hole’ tool selected, make sure the drop down menu in the top bar says ‘close edge’ NOT ‘close all’. This will ensure that the ‘Fill Hole’ centers in the middle of the circle rather than on one of the sides. On the top and bottom of the cylinder select one of the sides and the ‘Fill Hole’ tool will do the rest.

At this point you can choose what will be the top of your coffee cup and angle it out. You can do this by selecting all the vertices on the top face and scaling them out using the gripper tool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’re satisfied with the basic shape of your cup you can use the ‘Add Loop’ tool and the gripper to cut out the center. Focusing on the top of your cup (the end you extended using the gripper tool), select the ‘Add Loop’ tool, select a triangle at the top of the cylinder, and then select the distance from the edge which will represent the thickness of your cup. This should create a loop around the inside of the top surface of the cylinder.

Use the ‘Deep Select’ tool to select each of the triangles on the top of the cylinder – holding shift as you click each shape. With each shape selected, you can now use the gripper tool to push them into your 3D model. Hold the ‘alt’ key on mac, or the ‘ctrl’ key on PC, click the Z arrow of the gripper tool, and push it down into the cup.

In the video, the view is changed to ‘Wire Frame’ so the modeler can inspect the inside of the cup and make sure the thickness of the walls and base are even.

 

 

 

Deselect the wire frame so you can view your 3D model. You’ve finished the rough body of your coffee cup!

Smoothing it Out

In the video the model is subdivided twice to smooth out a lot of the shapes. After you subdivide your design you will see some of the edges still have some geometrical sharpness. A great trick to eliminate this, which the video goes over, is using the ‘Add Loops’ tool near the edges of the modes to smooth them out.

 

 

 

 

You can add as many loops as you feel is necessary, but we recommend loops close to the edge of the open side of the cylinder, as well as the bottom (as demonstrated in the video).

Making a Handle

To add a handle on the outside of your cup, use the ‘Add Loop’ tool on the outside of the cylinder, creating two pairs of loops – one toward the top and one toward the bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the ‘Deep Select’ tool click on one of the rectangles created by the ‘Add Loop’ tool. When the gripper tool appears, ‘alt’ or ‘ctrl’ click on the Z arrow and extrude the rectangle from the cylinder about an inch. Do the same with the bottom rectangle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tilt the extruded facets toward each other by 45 degrees – precisely specifying using the data entry window.

To finish the handle, use the bridge tool to connect the two extruded facets. Simply click on the first side, and then on the second and the ViaCAD will do the rest.

Bonus Tip: To eliminate any possible frustrations with the ‘Bridge Tool’, make sure you have selected ‘facet’ and not ‘edge’ in the drop down window. Doing this should make the process a breeze.

You can subdivide your mesh one more time and there you have it – your own coffee cup!

*The remainder of the video goes into tools that are only available in Shark products.

3D Scanning: Preserving our Past, Presenting our Future

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

From photographs, to building floorplans, to HDRI images, artists, technicians, and designers have always been adjusting and improving our tools and methods to capture and improve the world around us. With the addition of 3D technology, particularly 3D scanning, point cloud processing, and printing, we now have the ability to obtain surface and physical data of our surrounding environment, and use tools and software to manipulate and exhibit the realities of our past, present, and future.

A Look into the Past

3D scanning has provided insight into the restoration and preservation of ancient artifacts and historical landmarks. Organizations such as CyArk & The Smithsonian have been leaders in embracing these new technologies and pushing the boundary of application in regards to what 3D scanning can provide in respect to restoration, research, and the education of the general public.

CyArk’s mission is to ensure that the world’s cultural heritage sites are available to future generations by creating a free, 3D online library of the sites before they are lost to time, natural disasters, or destroyed by war.

The 3D image below is that of the Rani ki Vav, and it has a fascinating story: Translated as “The Queen’s Stepwell,” it is the most intricate of all of India’s Stepwells. Stepwells are a rather unique form of underground water storage systems on the Indian subcontinent and have been constructed since the third millennium BC. Rani ki vav was built as an inverted temple, has seven levels of stairs, and holds over 500 principle sculptures.

Rani Ki Vav

And now you can virtually visit and learn more about this amazing and UNESCO protected stepwell via CyArk.com.

Present Day Fun and Profit

Fast forward from our first moon landing to our present-day tech scape; the accessibility to apps and equipment is incredible. Only a few years ago, Microsoft Kinect technology had the population dumfounded and now, fast forward, you have technology retailers coming out with their own 3D scanning and virtual reality equipment. It’s not even a monopoly – you literally have the option as a buyer of whether to buy a 3D scanner via Windows 10 that can be incorporated into your phone, or if you’re a die-hard Apple veteran, as an app for your iPad. This accessibility is so robust that it gives users the ability to seek new bounds and diverse uses of the technology, while driving the market forward through competitive innovation.

The upgrade of tools and practice to the design and manufacturing trade have inspired the design-driven and business-minded alike to re-evaluate all parts of their respective pipelines and shape the way design and marketing is done in today’s retail and residential business.

Given the future direction of VR and the shopping experience, as well as the demand for 3D assets in those environments, 3D scanning will play an integral role in reducing the cost, time, and scope of creating these interactive landscapes.

Shifting from the retail market and into the residential sector, the accessibility of 3D scanning has also shaken up the practices of interior designers, architects and contractors. Even the DIY & hobbyist communities are getting involved. The days of cross-eyed examination of plans, elevations, and patched photographs to recreate a conceptual space have long passed, and now with the convenience of a commercial mobile scanner, you have the ability to gather point cloud data of an entire room in your home to then modify with prospective home redecorating and renovation projects. Needless to say, I’m sure the demand for the ability to “CTRL + Z” during home improvement projects will have this new technology significantly supported and financially backed.

On a smaller more practical level, this technology is equally interesting. Imagine the possibilities of scanning an antique architectural detail or a damaged hard-to-find auto part, fixing it in your favorite 3D CAD program (hint, hint) and then 3D printing a physical representation of it. The applications are nearly endless.

 

The Future is Here.

There are also countless stories about 3D’s role in ergonomic prosthetics, orthopedics, and dental work, accelerating into even more complex and impressive roles in the realms of medicine and internal surgeries, including the 3D scanning and libraries of hearts and related organs. Now as the medical field continues to push forward in this technology and shape the way our bodies run on the inside, the “aesthetic” driven business, i.e. elective surgeries and cosmetics are following suit.

One profile of a cosmetic medical practice is Dr. Yakup Avşar, founder of AVSAR Aesthetic Surgery Clinic in Istanbul, Turkey. He had previously developed surgery previews of his clients as hand sculpted masks. However, with the introduction of 3D scanning and printing, he’s been able to reduce his labor time, production cost, and environmental impact while simultaneously increasing his clientele’s confidence by providing a significantly more accurate preview as well as variations and options.

We understand that 3D scanning your face for potential improvement may not be appealing to everyone, but it’s another data point to show the potential of 3D scanning and printing for altruism, commerce, and even feeling better about yourself. What’s not to like about that?

Image to 3D with ViaCAD and Abobe Illustrator

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

I’m a big enthusiast for creating photo rendered images from 3D models.  However, when it comes to creating 2D images without a 3D model it’s tough to beat Adobe PhotoShop(TM) and Illustrator(TM).  In this tip we show how you can use Adobe Illustrator to convert a 2D image into something ViaCAD can convert into 3D solids.  Our example will convert the Shark FX logo created with PhotoShop into a 3D model suitable for rendering or 3D printing.  Click the image below to watch a video demonstration of this interesting workflow.