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Old 12-28-2007, 04:45 AM   #1
Yuri_Rage
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With our house about to hit the market, and my time in NM drawing to a close, I really can't start any new projects. I'm even debating brewing the 888 I had planned for this weekend. So, my projects have now hit virtual-land. I've been messing with Linux video editing software, and I happened upon Blender - a very in-depth 3D modeling program that includes support for complex graphics, animations, and even a gaming engine. I just had to take it for a spin...and I've found myself designing a new grain mill with big rollers that are 4" in diameter by 8" long. Here's the start:



Clearly I'm a n00b at this stuff. The lighting sucks, and the aluminum rollers don't look quite right. I was particularly proud of the way the bearings turned out, though. It turns out that creating knurls in such a program is not a simple task. I followed one tutorial and found it to be sub-par. I think I may just "fake it" with a texture. On to creating the frame!


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Old 12-28-2007, 04:55 AM   #2

Very nice! A texture would definitely be the way to go for knurling I think. It would be a pretty big job to render something like that, not too mention making the designer really slow while any of it was on screen.

I've been using various CAD packages for years to design my cabinets and such (cabinet making is a hobby for me, plus my dad is a carpenter/cabinet maker, I guess it's in my blood). I've been playing around with google sketchup lately to design a milling station to go with my new monster mill.

I'll have to check out blender, I haven't been paying enough attention to linux software lately.


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Old 12-28-2007, 05:03 AM   #3
Yuri_Rage
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Google Sketchup is a fantastic tool for things like this. It doesn't run well under Wine, else you'd probably be seeing a Sketchup screenshot above. Blender is incredibly powerful, but I'm finding that it can be very tedious. Check out this rendering, designed in some unnamed watchmaking CAD program but textured and rendered in Blender (NOT mine - credits below):



The rest of the gallery can be found here, and there's a discussion about it on a Blender forum.
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:09 AM   #4

That is amazing! Reminds me of some of the stuff the engineers at the office are doing to 'wow' clients now. They're using Inventor I think. Blender sounds excellent, I'm going to have to check it out.

SketchUp needs .NET1.1, I wonder if it would run at all on mono (probably not, I have a feeling they hook into directx somehow).
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:48 PM   #5
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Blender - I installed the program and attempted to use it 4 times and got no where. Being a CAD guy and very familiar with AutoCAD, I installed 3Ds Max and was blown away... I started modeling cars and slowly stopped using the program b/c work got super busy...

I've also dabbled in SU and it's a wonderful program as well, very user-friendly! and you're work is amazing! I've only modeled houses and landscapes, your detail is wonderful...

glad to see another fellow fabricator in the house!
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:17 PM   #6
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I'll take Sketchup over any other modeling program I have tried, and since I have 2/3 of the entire campus done including photo wrapping I have a little experience. Sketchup is the easiest to use and become effective with.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:41 PM   #7
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Where you movin to Yuri?

 
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_PA
Where you movin to Yuri?
Moving to SW Texas in March.

I did a little more work with Blender this morning. The entire roller mechanism is modeled now, but mostly I've been messing with lighting and textures. I didn't put the knurled texture on the rollers - instead they're just roughened up a bit (which might not be a bad idea in practice...). There's a reflective "floor," so the bottoms of the rollers are visible as well.

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Old 12-28-2007, 08:09 PM   #10
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Wow, I think I just found a new obsession. Thanks guys for the crack. I will spend hours drawing now on google sketchup. If I had a wife or g/f she would surely put out a hit on Yuri just for stimulating my grey matter this way, and the rest of you would get the "two Italians with trench coats and hammers" showing up on your dorrstep. :P Thanks, for reals.


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