From 2D to 3D

As I have 3 different elements to design and make, I decided it would be better to shift my focus to one single thing for the next few weeks; that is the wall element of my project.

This week I attempted to turn the above 2D models into 3D. The idea is to 3D print 2 cases that will be hung on the wall (check my previous post for more details on the design).

To be quite honest, this is going to be a challenging task for me, mainly because I don't have much 3D printing experience. I have done it a couple of times in the past, but not too much to say I am comfortable with it.

I designed a test model on Sketch Up. However, when I went to the lab to send my model to the printer, the technician wasn't very impressed with my choice of software. Sketch Up is a beginner modelling tool and as a 4th year, he suggested I should be using Rhino. Since I hadn't used Rhino before, Rob spent an hour teaching me how to use it which I am very grateful for!!

Reflection After this learning session, I feel that Robbie's advice was very useful. If you compare the two models below, the Sketch Up one isn't actually a circle but is rather a polygon. On the contrary, the model made in Rhino is very sleek and round. Plus, once you get the hang of it, Rhino enables you to do many more things and a lot easier than Sketch Up.

SketchUp Model

Rhino Model

I designed my model so that there is a rim for the frosted acrylic to sit on. On that same rim, I added slots for the neopixels and finally a holder for the mat right in the middle. On Friday morning I send my Rhino model to the printer. This is how it came out:

It didn't come out perfectly for a number of reasons.

  1. The 3D printer went a bit crazy at some point that caused the model to come out with imperfections.

  2. I didn't consider the support factor, that was printed to enable the model to stand; therefore the bottom side of the model is completely inaccurate and wrong.

  3. I made an error when calculating the dimensions, therefore the neopixels don't fit properly.

This attempt was a major fail but at the end of the day, this was just a test and the reason for tests is to try things and learn from our mistakes.

Lots more tests to do in the next few weeks. Hopefully, I'll get it right soon!

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