Design for Complexity With Structure Synth

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What would you make if designing complex objects were actually easy? For some years now we’ve been hearing the buzz-phrase that “complexity is free” with 3D printing. With an SLS printer, the cost of printing a plain wireframe cube is the same as the cost of printing a complex, knotted wireframe cube, provided that they both take up the same amount of machine space and printing material… // Column at Shapeways

Learn to Code in 3D With BlocksCAD

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Happy Fourth of July! Today we’ll take it easy with a look at 3D design with BlocksCAD, an accessible block-based CAD programming tool that you can work with online in your browser. BlocksCAD works much like the popular intro-to-code language Scratch, but instead of creating animations, it is designed for creating 3D models. The fastest way to learn is by watching BlocksCAD in action… // Column at Shapeways

Wrapping a Thing Around Another Thing

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For an amateur 3D designer, how to wrap something around another thing is one of those questions that you know must have an answer but seems impossible to figure out. It comes up so often, in fact, that we’re going to devote this post to answering using Grasshopper. And we’re going to give you the code so you can wrap your own things around other things. // Column at Shapeways

Parametric Modeling With Grasshopper

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Why create just one design when you can create infinitely many? Instead of designing a ring in just one size, you could use parametric design to control the ring size or the surface pattern, effectively creating many designs within one. Parameters also enable you to create algorithmic, generative designs with amazing complexity. This week we’ll learn how to get started with Grasshopper… // Column at Shapeways

Using OpenSCAD to Design with Code

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This week, we speak to the geeks. Did you know that you can create 3D-printable designs with code — no 3D modeling required? OpenSCAD is a programming language specifically built for creating designs that are exportable as triangular meshes for 3D printing. We’ll walk you through the basics and show off some designs created with this powerful parametric modeling software… // Column at Shapeways

PolyBowls – From zero to OpenSCAD in 6 minutes

PolyBowls – From zero to OpenSCAD in 6 minutes 638 483 mathgrrl
This collection of bowls and pen holders were all generated from the same simple OpenSCAD code by changing a few numerical parameters. The main purpose of this design is to serve as an accessible introduction to designing with OpenSCAD. Designing with code is easier than you think; if you have six minutes to spare then you can learn this! Okay, maybe seven minutes. But it’s not hard… // Hacktastic

Tackling three.js

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I want to learn to use the JavaScript library three.js to get WebGL to render 3D animations. The trouble is, I don’t know anything about JavaScript, three.js, or WebGL. Are you in the same boat? If so, then we might as well paddle together. I managed to make a spinny graphic after many days of scrutinizing code that I actually old-school printed out and read on the subway every day… // Hacktastic

Polyhedral LEDs, Step 1: Mathematica

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It’s time for another design walkthrough. This time we’ll be making polyhedral covers for LED string-lights. Since I’m just a hack at 3D design, for me the answer always involves using a chain of software programs, each of which I know how just enough about to get by, in this case Mathematica, TopMod, and Tinkercad. Each ornament is a hollowed-out instellated Archimedean solid or dual… // Hacktastic

Snowflake Cutter

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Last winter we made 3D-printed snowflakes by converting images to bitmap with Inkscape, and then extruding in Tinkercad. You can read about that on the old MakerHome blog, Days 70 and 71, or download the models from Thingiverse. The reason we made 3D snowflake models that way last year is because that was all we knew how to do. I’m somewhat wiser now, and one whole year older… // Hacktastic

Trigonometry Style

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Last summer we designed a series of customizable bracelets with trigonometric shapes. Today we have more general code for even crazier bracelets, including ones with oval shapes, gaps to make wrap-style instead of bangle-style, flares, low-poly sampling, and crazier trigonometric combinations. The crazy thing is that every one of the bracelets shown above was created with the same code… // Hacktastic
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