or, How NOT to Make a Sculpture.
Haven't posted anything new in a while, due to massive problems I'm having on this new design. It all started innocently enough: a sketch of an interweaving, "infinity"-esque design on the little notepad I keep next to my computer.
Let the games begin! I started messing around with the idea in Wings3d, the sweet little FREE, open-source modeler, from which I was able to get workable proximity of what I'd envisioned. But Wings doesn't really have the kind of CAD accuracy necessary for producing real-world objects, so I tried importing said design into Sketch-Up. Despite trying several different variations of several different file formats, I couldn't get clean enough geometry to properly unfold. I tried rebuilding the main elements inside SU from what geometry was available, but the tedium level was daunting (dragging points to ensure planar surfaces is NOT something SU is geared toward). From there I tried adding some new tools into my toolbox, including Modo and some so bad I won't even mention them here, but soon realized that I was falling into the trap of playing with new software rather than resolving the issue at hand. So I've started over from scratch, intent on doing everything inside Sketch-Up so as to avoid the pitfalls of importing/exporting and fubar geometry. I was able to use the previous work to at least get some images of what I'm striving towards, in hopes of generating some client interest. I still need to create clean, developable geometry and build a usable path for the laser, but at least you can see what I'm shooting at.
Oh, and in case anyone's interested, here's where the magic happens:
ps the really frustrating thing about all this is that in Rhino I could have done this design three times over again by now, and probably would be out in the shop welding right now. But Rhino is Windoze-only. I hate that. (Come on, McNeel, crawl out of Gates roomy back pocket and port it, already! Didja hear? Steve's gone Intel!)