Life is a Learning Curve

English

Hi guys!

We all know what a learning curve is, right? If it’s a valuable thing you are learning, the beginning of the curve will be almost flat for a while (with small bumps). Then, when all the pieces you learned will start to match together, you curve will go up faster. It will become steeper and steeper and steeper. That’s the beauty of an exponential growth and that’s the beauty of learning design with 3D modelling tools.

At the beginning, you have fun. Then you start to think that you could model something fun and nice. Then you see yourself creating something fun, nice and useful. Then you hit the ceiling of your current knowledge…

And that’s when Thomas Edison comes in. This really creative mind is supposed to have said:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Think about it one minute. I am sure you had those moments when you wanted to give up because it was becoming too hard for you (at least, it was your feeling). But you decided to go on, found the right tool, the solution and finally conquered a new victory.

You will have that experience very often while learning a 3D modelling software, Blender for example. I still do from time to time. That’s the beauty of it. If you are never challenged by something you already know well, it starts to loose interest, it becomes boring. This situation will never happen with Blender.

The next time, I will show you what you can do with your learning curve using Blender. You will love it!

Stay tuned!

How to colorize the interface for Blender

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Check out how to add some color to the interface in Blender!

 

 

Note: these are ‘.txt’ files; please change them to ‘.xml’ files before installing them in Blender under User Preferences.

Download: Blender_2_79_for_Beginners

Download: Blender_2_8_for_Beginners

 

How to get a surprising material to 3D print while traveling towards Mars

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Almost two years ago, I wrote a blog (in French 🙂 ) with my son about the use of recycled material to 3D print on the planet Mars. The idea was to turn into powder anything we didn’t need anymore once arrived on Mars. It could be plastic parts, aluminum or other metal parts. I even mentioned that we could melt the sand we can found on the red planet to build shelters or buildings. Scientists are already working on all these ideas.

Researchers in the Canadian University of Calgary have found a new source of material to use in a 3D printer. It could even be useful during long space travel. They will recycle the “result” of your short stay on the toilets. That’s right, thanks to a special process and a hard working special enzyme, they will create a solid material that will work very well in a SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printer. If dogs are allowed for these kind of trips, we will get even more material 🙂 .

Modern Space Toilet

Going back to the use of sand, it reminds me of the 2010 adventure of Markus Kayser, an industrial designer and pure genius. He designed a 3D printer able to 3D print by melting sand. He did his experiment in the Egyptian desert. Solar cells were there just to deliver the energy for motors, the sun tracking system and the electronics.

Markus Kayser and his Solar Sinter

The melting energy was provided ONLY by the sun through a Fresnel lens. The concentrated sunlight, thanks to this Fresnel lens (like the lenses at the top of lighthouses), was enough to melt the desert sand in order to print objects like this bowl.

Bowl made of sand

As you can see, the kind of material you could use in your 3D printer is sometimes surprising. Thanks to the imagination and genius of some people, new possibilities are created all the time. These guys don’t limit themselves to the usual.

I encourage you to apply for yourself and your kids, my today’s take-away advice: Always look beyond your habits to break your limits.

Have a great day!

Recipe for a Fun Plane in Blender

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Check out our new recipe for designing a fun plane in Blender, which you can make with your children!

Tools:

A computer

The Swiss army knife among 3D software: Blender!

A few minutes

1 brain (or more)

 

Ingredients:

2 spheres

2 cones

Salt, pepper…

 

Here we go!

  • Delete the cube (Right-click on it and press X + Enter).
  • Add the first sphere (Shift + A and select the UV Sphere in the Mesh list).
  • Rotate it 90° following the X axes (R+X+90).
  • Quadruple the size following the Y axes to create the fuselage (S+Y+4).
  • Go to Edit Mode (press the Tab key).
  • Select and delete the two extremities of the fuselage (in side view, Press B to activate the “Box Select” tool).
  • Go back to Object Mode.
  • If you want, you can decrease the size following the X axes (S+X+0.5) to make the fuselage narrower.
  • Give some thickness to the fuselage using the Solidify Modifier (thickness value = 0.2).
  • Add the second sphere (Shift+A and select the UV Sphere in the Mesh list).
  • Decrease the size by half (S+0.5).
  • Make it longer in the Y axes (S+Y+1.5).
  • Move it upward (G+Z+1 or more).
  • Move it a little bit toward the front of the fuselage (G+Y+”-1”). Only the top half of your second sphere should be visible.
  • Add the first cone (Shift+A and select the Cone in the Mesh list).
  • Rotate it 90° following the X axes (R+X+90).
  • Quadruple the size (S+4).
  • To create the wings, decrease the height of it (S+Z+0.2 or 0.3).
  • If you want wider wings, increase the width (S+X+1.5 or 2).
  • To create the tailfin of your plane, duplicate the first cone (Right-click on it, press Shift+D, press Enter).
  • Rotate your new “flat cone” 90° following the Y axes (R+Y+90).
  • Decrease the size (S+0.5).
  • Move it backward until the vertical part of the tailfin and the horizontal back part of the wings create a perfectly flat cross along the X axes (G+Y and move your cursor toward the back of the plane).
  • Move the tailfin upward until you get a nice fin.
  • Select the fuselage, the cockpit, the wings and the tailfin together (Right-click on the first one, while holding the Shift key pressed, Right-click on the three other parts).
  • Press “Control J” to join these four parts together to form a unique object.
  • Your plane is ready and looks like it is made of many facets, like a cut crystal.
  • If you want it with a smoother surface, use the Subdivision Surface Modifier (View value of 2 or 3 should be ok).

Good job!

To get the best result with your printer, print your plane the nose upward and its rear part on the bed of your printer. Enjoy!

The Not Yet So Obvious Benefits of 3D Modeling for 3D Printing

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3D printing technology makes progress every day. It reaches more and more areas in our lives. In the years to come, it will be a common thing to get something through a 3D printing service. Today I would like to spark a new idea in your mind and the mind of your children.

3D printing just a few years from now

Imagine for a minute your kids have grown up a little bit. You are about to build a new house in the countryside, on the seaside or in the mountain (or anywhere else you would like to have your new house). You are having a meeting with your architect to decide how to design your house. He tells you all the requirements for energy efficiency, comfort and safety. Suddenly, he looks at your child and asks him:

“Do you know how to create 3D model for 3D printing?”

You are surprised. The architect goes on:

“As you probably know, building technology has improved greatly these last years. I was wondering if your child could design his own living area, so we can 3D print his model for him. You too could model some parts of your house to make it unique.”

Two scenarios

Now, dear parents, you have two possible situations:

Situation 1: Your child and/or yourself have never created anything in 3D. Needless to say, something specifically for 3D printing.

Situation 2: Your child and you have already practiced several times 3D modelling for 3D printing. You had lots of fun and have already several Family Made 3D printed objects at home.

In which situation would you like to be? 1 or 2? I would personally prefer the second situation.

Maybe you are telling yourself:

“Patrick is a nice guy, but it will be long before we can do this kind of thing, like modeling all or parts of our living area.”

Really? Think about it. Building constraints have considerably changed. New concrete allows funny shapes as strong and durable as reinforced concrete without iron rods. 3D printing technologies specifically for the building industry are popping all around the world. They progress quickly. Sooner than you think, you will be able to 3D print the house of your dream.

My advice for today

Begin as soon as possible to think about your new house in the shape of a concert grand piano or the shape of a delicious mango.

The Modifiers Bracelet, a nice model created for 3D printers

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Want to learn how to make this “modifier” bracelet?

The video below will teach you how to create this and other similar bracelets using the Modifier tools in Blender, which you can then 3D print!

 

Do you have sculptors in your family?

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Hi families! Do you have artists in your family? Any sculptor among your ancestors? I love sculptors for one main reason. They take a piece of something, like a piece of wood, a rock, you name it, or they start with a pile of clay, and they will find a way to create a piece of art by adding or subtracting material. They are magicians.

A few weeks ago, David (one of the great dads within 3D Roundhouse) talked to me about sculpting. I found the subject quite strange at that time. Did he found some stone to play with in his garden? Had he put a big trunk in his living room and started to smash it, cut it and scratch it to create a funny wood statue inspired from his daughter? Not at all. He was talking about sculpting in 3D on his computer.

Blender can sculpt!

Long time ago, I have done it using Blender. I found it interesting but it didn’t become a passion for me. As David has aroused my curiosity, I decided to check the evolution of the sculpting tools in Blender. That’s the beauty with this opensource software. You feel very much at home once you know it a little bit. But you have many other choices available if you want to quit your comfort zone and challenge yourself. And developers take an immense pleasure to continuously improve Blender. Great guys! To know more about the new possibilities with the Blender Sculpt Tools bundle, I decided to meet the daunting Dyntopo.

But who is Dyntopo?

Is he a nice guy or a monster? Is he Italian or Colombian? To see him, they told me to check my Symmetry, if I have Accumulated enough and got the “Ctrl” key to subtract material. I arrived on time in front of a huge grey door. “Radius of the brush” was the password. The Snake Hook lets me in. I was finally in the Sculpt Mode room ready to meet Dyntopo…

Will your host survive the test and see his son again? Could it be possible to learn some incredible and frightening secrets? Will Dyntopo be magnanimous or dreadful?

To know the end (or maybe the beginning of something), stay tuned in the days to come. I will do my best to keep you up to date (maybe a video or two). If something terrible happen, never forget to do great for you and others. Life is sometimes shorter than expected.

See you soon, maybe…

What if your child could become even more creative?

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Hi parents!

Has your child ever given you some jewelry made by himself? What a great moment, do you remember? How was this piece of jewelry? Did you like it? I am quite confident the answer is yes. Was it a necklace or a bracelet or a ring? Did you ever wear it at work or when you were outside for some activities of yours? Probably not. It was maybe too fragile or not very convenient to wear.

Have you ever researched on the internet about the subject “kids creating jewels?” If you do it, you will find many things. From noodles necklaces to Lego-like plastic parts to assemble the way kids want. In addition, some websites have services to create a copy of your little loved ones’ drawings in different kinds of metals.

It’s all very nice but now, you have a new and much more “brainy” way of creativity. He will be able to create exactly what he has in mind. In order to do that, he will have to learn some new tools. And he will have to think in a new way: the 3D thinking way.

 

Thanks to the 3D printing technology, it is now possible to give your kids the tool they were craving for. They will be able to 3D print their own jewels creations for you. It will be at the right size for you. It will be beautiful and easy to wear. You will enjoy it much more than before because, this time, you will be able to wear it and show it at work or when you participate to your leisure activities.

First, your kids have to break one more creativity limit. 3D modelling software are here to help toward this progress. And we, at 3D Roundhouse, are here to teach your children and you how to use these new and fun creativity tools. We can do it online or in real life during our workshops.

Now is the time to have brainy fun. Email us (workshop@3droundhouse.com) to register to our brand new 3D Printing Jewelry Creation Workshop. As you already know, places are limited. Reserve your seats now to enjoy a family brainy fun.

See you in our next workshop!