Monday, April 28, 2014

At the USA Science and Engineering Festival

This past weekend I worked in the SketchUp book at the amazing USA Science and Engineering Festival, in my own town of Washington, DC. I heard that 250,000 were expected to attend, and that that number was actually exceeded. It's by far the biggest show I ever saw, with five enormous hangar-sized rooms full of rockets, chemisty experiments, math games, stage performances, you name it. And of course, lots and lots of 3D printing! You'd need three full days to see it all.

I was there with my Afinia printer, showing how easy it is to take a SketchUp model into a printer. The second most popular model was the Lego bunk beds, but in the shuffle of the crowds, each one I printed out managed to get stolen (the nerve!) before I could take pictures. But I did have a couple left of the MOST popular model - an elephant whose legs actually move. (You can find this model on Thingiverse.) People didn't believe it was a single print, and I myself hadn't seen something like this before!

With the Afinia I was able to create the striped version easily.

If you print this yourself, watch out - the trunk breaks off easily. I'm spending today printing out a few of these for my family.

The printer worked like a champ all weekend.  It was running pretty much without a break all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and other than a couple of recalibration, needed no maintenance. All I did today was clean the nozzle and clear out the gears. It even traveled well in my rolling suitcase.

It was a great show, and I hope to do it again next year! I also hope to join SketchUp at some upcoming Maker Faires.

Anyone can design anything in 3D!

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Join our FREE Email Mailing List!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Specialty Book: Modeling with SketchUp for Interior Design

The second book in the SketchUp Specialities Series is now officially released! (The first book is Modeling with SketchUp for 3D Printing.)

Drum roll....

Modeling with SketchUp for Interior Design

This book is an updated version of the book I wrote for Pearson Press back in 2011, when SketchUp 8 was current. This book is changed a bit and updated for SketchUp 2014. (If you're working with an earlier version of SketchUp, the projects in the book still work the same way; only a few icons have changed.)

If you're an instructor, the book works perfectly as a textbook. Each section contains a step-by-step project, followed by a "Model It Yourself" project that reinforces concepts, and can be used as class or home assignments. There are 40 of these projects. And each chapter comes with a set of review questions.

What's covered in this book? You can see the entire book's contents here, and here is a list of topics:
  • Modeling an empty room
  • Furnishing a room with 3D Warehouse models, correcting common model errors
  • Modeling furniture from scratch (straight and curved pieces including tables, sofas, cabinets)
  • Working with colors and materials (changing base colors, resizing, texture positioning)
  • Working with digital images ("free pin" positioning, tracing, modeling based on a photo)
  • Kitchen design (dynamic components, cabinet plans, counters and sinks)
  • Model presentation (layers and scenes, presenting multiple design or material options, walk-throughs)
  • Working drawings (labels, dimensions, plans)
  • Additional resources (tutorials, models, rendering applications)
If you're an instructor and you're interested in viewing an evaluation PDF of this book, please email us to receive a copy. Be sure to let us know where and what you teach.

Here's the link again for this great new book. Enjoy!


Anyone can design anything in 3D!

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Join our FREE Email Mailing List!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Math is Beautiful

Like pretty pictures? I got these from Cye Waldman, a retired engineer who's been doing mathematical modeling for over 40 years. The images below weren't created in SketchUp (he uses Matlab), but he just got one of my books to learn how to make them in SketchUp.

Here are some of his Voderberg patterns:

And here's the book that shows how to make these, and others:

If you're a math geek (and maybe even if not), you'll love what Cye has to say:
By way of introduction, I’m a retired engineer/physicist/mathematician with 40-odd years of experience in mathematical modeling. Upon retiring, I took up recreational math and have had a number of papers accepted at the National Curve Bank (specific links below). A few months ago I turned my attention to tiling. I do all my work in the complex plane, it really simplifies things. This morning I undertook to model Voderberg tiling. I parameterized it in terms of two angles and calculated all nine arm lengths. (Actually, I start out by taking one of them to be unity.) Well, one of the angles must be 12 degrees and the other is limited to ~111-153 degrees without lines crossing. Thus, with 20 lines of code I have a generalized Voderberg tile. The material in your book helped me proceed further very quickly. Especially the tile sets required for the outer rings. I also found that I could use the conjugate tiles to good advantage and that I could construct an ordinary rectangular tiling as well. This tiling gives me access to any of the wild transformations you see at the Web site. The computation of tiling takes about 0.02 seconds and then another 0.2 seconds to render.

Cye also can tile those Voderbergs linearly:

And like this:

Lastly, here's his Hirschhorn 72-degree tile.

Cye's five interior angles, which would be a bit cumbersome to enter in SketchUp are:


If you like this stuff, here are some links to some of Cye's animations on the Curve Bank pages. Warning - hypnotic!

Sinusoidal Curves

Fibonacci Spiral and more Fibonacci Spiral

Polynomial Spiral

Gamma Pulse

 and my favorite, Valentine Heart Tesselations

Anyone can design anything in 3D!

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Join our FREE Email Mailing List!