Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Coding for 3D Part 6: Building Blocks

ST Medical Devices

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Building

Playing with Legos allows people to realize the beauty of starting small. I like Legos. I had a bunch of them as a kid. I particularly remember the instructions and guides they give individuals for building sets. I always appreciated the guides, but I usually would try to create ridiculous structures based on my own imagination. I guess I haven’t changed much. The major takeaway from Legos though is that we build from basics. Modeling in 3D is difficult. For a while, it intimidated me as it seems like a lot of work. The key though to building and doing anything in life is being able to break it down into components. This powers a lot of my own philosophies of life, but that’s a conversation to have over tea. So let’s delve into the way I look at 3D modeling through my building blocks framework.

Adobe Creative Cloud

2D design is familiar to me. I have worked with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop for about 4 years now. I understand how to make things, draw, and design with print medias in mind. It is simple and easy for me to relate to these programs. Illustrator is great because of its ability to create vector images. This is the basis of 2D parametric design within Illustrator. Being able to do this transfers over well to a mindset of thinking within 3D modeling. Now all one has to do in theory is add another parameter of height. It sounds easy enough.

Image result for 2d design parametric design illustrator

The jumbled but accurate description of Workflow in Design

So what am I going to make? Let’s make a ring. I have done this before. I want to see how simply I can create this with a minimalist approach. I am going to do some basic prototype sketches and then create an initial illustrator file for a parametric reference. Something I learned recently through research is the ability to import an illustrator file into Rhino and grasshopper. Being able to use your favorite tools makes life so much more fun. I have utilized illustrator for items such as laser scans and embroidery already. It is awesome to see the beauty of having a multidimensional tool within your kit of skills. I did not simply think about how I can make mockups in illustrator, but that is because I have not thought about my possibilities. Something I noticed instantly when I was using Rhino is that it is very distracting for me. Setting up 2D parametric constraints within Rhino is doable, but why do that? Why not use a tool that is highly skilled at 2D parametric design? Illustrator is my go-to tool for that so I will keep using it. It is my initial Lego block.

In conclusion, I am thankful for my abilities in different aspects. I am someone who is able to break down complex problems into miniature doses. It makes life easier and projects more approachable. So let’s always look for our own personal Lego blocks whenever we are building projects. Small steps lead to bigger action.

 

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