Monday, March 1, 2010

Melissa March: FDM Modeling - Project 2

Goal: to find a form through polygonal modeling, develop that form with techniques described in class, and produce an object with the FDM machine.

At this time we were ju
st learning Maya. We were seeing a wealth of possibilities open up with this software. Professor Scott showed us how to 'sculpt' in Maya using basic forms and manipulating them using simple commands (like scale, rotate, move, etc.). The form for my first project was not created using this sculptural process and I wanted to try my hand at it. As part of the lecture, Andrew showed us a honeycomb structure. Later, I created my own honeycomb structure.

I created this form by first making the basic cylinder in Maya (to the specifications that the FDM machine could print). Then I triangulated the faces and created the honeycomb. And LASTLY I found that I could play with the form of the objects by pushing and pulling the control points of the honeycombed cylinder with the soft select. The object turned out as pictured, it passed the 'closed form' test in rhino, approved by P. Scott and off to the printer!!

Or so I thought. Turns out there were some problem areas.

EXHIBIT A: See how the bottom edge is not touching the ground plane. Problem.

EXHIBIT B: See the 'rim' of the cylinder is all jaggedy. Problem.

So, even thou
gh my form had 'passed the test' it wasn't going to work the way it was. Back to the drawing board! Remember how I had adjusted the form AFTER I created the honeycomb? Therein lies the problem. When I did that and began adjusting the form some of the faces intersected themselves, which is a big no no. But one of the benefits of Maya is that is saves your history. Back in time I went, way back to the form as a cylinder, no honeycombing.

I then sculpted the form FIRST before doing the honeycomb stuff. This worked out much better. I also made sure that the cylinder touched the ground plane and that the 'rim' edge was smooth. And here's how it turned out.

As you can see, it's a little crankier than the first one. I played around a little more with the sculpting part and I think I came up with a more interesting form. One thing I did differently (that Professor Scott helped me with) was to show the polygonal form of the honeycomb. When you are modeling and adjusting the honeycomb, you see the edges of the triangulated faces. Well, I wanted that to be apparent in the final form, as well.

If you compare it to my first one (orange) the edges aren't defined. They are smooth (minus the voids of the honeycomb). But the final form (red) has those edges defined. It is a subtle difference but one I really wanted.
After my form was printed, I sprayed it with a good coat of clear coat so that the form would accept paint. I then painted it with a metallic spray paint because I wanted light to reflect off of it. From here, I will paint the outside a different color. I am thinking I will place a light source inside of the form because I think it would create really interesting shadows.

1 comment:

  1. nice post. i would like to see some pix of the fdm model. great backstory.