从零开始学3D建模软件Blender(V)

Chinese Uncategorized

今天我试着用Blender创作了一个五角星模型,对于本身不是学设计专业的我而言,用这款免费3D建模软件还是挺好学的。首先,我们需要到Blender的官网(http://blender.org)上下载一个版本。然后就可以一步一步地进行学习创作了,我是通过圆创屋的入门套件(http://3droundhouse.com/how-to-videos/starter-kit/)进行自学的。

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Who are the slower students in my 3D Printing classes and how to keep them motivated?

English

It’s inevitable. No matter how “awesome cool” a class may be, there’s bound to be a few stragglers who are unable to keep up with the other students. I think most teachers understand the mild sense of angst I feel when I come across a student who just seems lost on the most basic steps, taught just a few lessons ago. What happened? Was I not clear enough? Am I teaching too quickly? How can I get this student back in the game? Here’s what I try to do to avoid this situation, before and during the time it happens.

Pre-wire them

During the first class of each course, I present the slide below, strongly recommending they do this homework at the beginning in order to avoid being stuck at a later stage. While 3D printing is a powerful tool to make virtually anything you have in mind, it’s a necessary pre-condition that you have something in mind in the first place. Most times, people don’t get hit with inspiration; it might or might not come. When it doesn’t strike, you need time to think about it or you need to actively look for it. Hence, this is why I set this goal at the very beginning.

Some homework

Following from this, my overall approach is to focus on teaching the 3D modeling tools during the first half of the course, creating my Starter Kit models (more on that in future blogs). By the middle of the course, students should be able to use the tools that they learn to begin to create their own models. This is when it becomes clear who followed my recommendation from the first class and who did not.

Challenge them

So for those who didn’t come up with their own models, I find designs that I think they should be able to do, based on the tools learned so far. For example, after teaching the tools used to make a table and a ring in SketchUp, I challenge them to create any of the following items. 

Can you 3D model these?

I hope that applying the tools that they just learned to make alternative versions of the Starter Kit models will boost their confidence in their CAD skills. I would present these types of challenges with every class because, in my experience, quite a few students simply don’t know what to do. 

When all else fails, use poop

Inspiration can be tricky. Personally, I don’t like force-feeding students because I prefer to treat them as adults. I would tell them to create any of the challenge designs before the end of class, but there is no penalty if they don’t. For the students that still say no to my challenges, I resort to my secret weapon: toilet humor. 

At a recent lesson covering how to make a cup in SketchUp, one student finally got inspired to create her own version of the poop emoji cup. I think she got a good grasp of SketchUp’s Follow Me tool now!

More to come!

Who are the students in my 3D Printing classes?

English

At a handful of schools and maker spaces in Hong Kong, I teach a paid, after school class for students interested in the STEAM subjects. The class is quite popular. In the most recent school term, 65 students applied for 36 seats. I guess I must be doing something that has really struck a chord with these students. So who are they? 

How young can they be? 

All students range from 8 to 15 but quite a few parents have come to me asking if their own five or six year old child can learn 3D modeling for 3D printing. The short answer is yes. But there are a few reasons why I think they should wait until they are eight or older. First, working in 3D space can be a challenge, even for adults. It’s why I always teach Navigation in the first lesson. Looking at a flat, 2D computer screen, we are conditioned to see only what’s in front of our eyes and little else. We forget that all six sides of the model also need to fit into its overall structure. And because we are passively using a 2D point of view, the model looks intact when in fact it simply isn’t. 

A floater

Floaters

I’ve seen quite a few student models with “floaters,” or parts, such as a star or some text, that should be attached to another part of the model, but is hanging freely in 3D space. In all cases, these floaters are clearly part of the overall model, but because they forgot to take the two seconds to orbit around their model for a quick check, it’s simply incomplete. (And when they discover this issue, it’s usually time to catch the school bus!) Depending on their numbers, floaters are relatively easy to fix. But it gives you an idea of the students’ abilities. 

Mouse Control

Another reason why I think children should start 3D modeling at age 8 or older is because of mouse control. Perhaps this is my own shortcoming as a teacher, but I don’t use iPads to teach 3D modeling. I prefer a cursor on a laptop because it is far more exact, while you can also take advantage of the shortcuts available from a full keyboard. Should I consider a pen on an iPad? This is a fair question, but it also means there should be enough 3D modeling software available, which are fewer than for laptops. Maybe one day in the future, but not now.

A need for mouse control

The one 3D model that I always start my lessons with, after Navigation, is a simple Table. As simple as this model is, you will be surprised how many students cannot get the legs to line up with the corners of the table top. I think only about 20% of the students were able to get it on their first try. Why is this? An arts teacher once told me young children are not good at measurements. I guess children are still developing their sense of spatial intelligence. With a mouse/cursor, I am hoping this tool can give the children a way to develop this sense. Even if they are still developing their spatial sense, it’s important a tool is available to help in the development. 

In the future, I suspect 3D holograms will replace the mouse for 3D modeling. But that is another story altogether.

More to come!

What if Your Kids Were Right?

English

PART I: THE ORIGINAL IDEA OF A 6 YEARS OLD BOY.

On April 26, 2016 I published an article about some discussions my son and I had frequently about the Moon and Mars and how we could use a 3D printer there (if you can read Moliere’s language, french, here is the link to it). The main subject was to, one day, use a 3D printer with recycled material made from things that became useless or from raw material directly collected on the surface of the planet or deeper in the crust. Why doing that instead of using new material especially made for the printer? Well, let’s say that because 1 kilo of freight still requires more than 8 kilos of propellant for a little trip to mars, it makes the freight cost quite expansive.

PART II: SCIENCE PROGRESS TOWARD THE REALIZATION OF HIS IDEA

In April 2018, I wrote another article around the same topic: How can we get cheap material to 3D print what we would need once arrived on another planet (As this article is in Shakespeare’s language, it should be easy for you to read it following that link). Researchers in the Canadian University of Calgary had found a way to transform the production of your digestive track into a solid material that will work very well in a SLS 3D printer.

Markus Kayser and his great invention, the Solar Sinter, was in my article too. Using the energy from the sun and the sand from the desert to 3D print objects was genius.

PART III: WE NEVER GOT CLOSER

And the story just got one more chapter thanks to the great work at the Tethers Unlimited Company. These guys created the Refabricator. A few weeks ago, it was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). The name of the machine speaks by itself. Something useless that was fabricated before can be transformed in raw material to re-fabricate something with it. In the size of a refrigerator, you get together a 3D printer and a recycling machine that can feed directly the printer to re-use, for example, the packaging of the scientific equipment you just got from the delivery boy on his space scooter.

PART IV: THE REFABRICATOR II CAN ALSO 3DPRINT USING CRUSHED ROCKS

Of course the Refabricator II doesn’t exist (yet…). But someday, in one or two years from now, I will write a fourth article about the concretization of an idea my son had when he was about six years old. The title will be “From a little boy’s dream to reality”. He will be reassured that having creative ideas is a good thing. Great ideas rarely comes from following the main road.

I encourage you all to foster the creativity of your kids and discuss any topics they find interesting to them, even the craziest ones. It will be good for them and for us, parents.

如何用3D打印技术增加你的现金流?

Chinese

先与大家分享一个真实的故事,通过此故事你会得到一些启发,或许可以知道如何扩大自己的现金流,从而助你尽早达到财务自由。

Gary Adams一直是一名爱创造的达人。因此,当他嘈杂的露营炉扰乱了他的户外体验时,他决定采用自己的方式去解决这个烦人的小麻烦。在这里,Gary谈到BernieDawg 野营炉如何开始以及他如何使用3D打印来扩展他的作品。

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What’s the best way to teach 3D printing in schools?

English

After sharing with you my Lessons Learned after Teaching almost 200 Kids 3D Modeling for 3D Printing in my earlier blog, I now want to do two things:

  1. Share with you in greater detail how I’ve been teaching kids (age 8 and older) 3D modeling for 3D printing and
  2. Examine if I can do it better (your input would be greatly appreciated!)

Cubing from writing 

But let’s start with the questions that I need to ask. Writers and journalists commonly practice various forms of “cubing,” which, aside from being a coincidentally 3D concept, can help me work through the tasks mentioned above. So here are the questions I want to address in the coming months based on these six basic aspects.

The Whos

Who are the students involved? How young can they be? Do they need to have a special skill set, such as good math skills, to learn 3D modeling? Should they have a certain type of proclivity, such as a love for science? Should they be inquisitive? Does extraversion matter? Can they work in a team with their peers?

Who is a suitable teacher to train kids 3D modeling for 3D printing? (Am I a suitable teacher?!) What should their skill set be? Do they need a STEAM background? Do they need an art background?

https://3dinsider.com/3d-printing-schools/

The Whats

Which 3D modeling software should we teach? Should we differentiate based on the students’ age? Can we teach other modeling software at the same time? Is it worth teaching how to use slicing software? Which one or ones? 

Where

Does the school have a Maker Space, or something close to it? Does the space provide the sufficient IT infrastructure? What brand 3D printer(s) do they have? How are the laptops? Can they properly run the needed 3D modeling and 3D slicing software? What about the virtual classroom?

https://3dprint.com/117138/stratasys-free-curriculum/

When

How often can we run 3D printing classes? How long should each class be? Are there benefits to weekend sessions? What about school holidays? What about during the regular class sessions as opposed to after school?

Why

Do you really need to ask?! Because we love 3D printing! But we should ask: how can we get the kids just as excited about it?

How

This is the million-dollar question. How exactly should we teach 3D modeling for 3D printing to kids? How fast can we deliver the information? How much can they absorb in a given amount of time? How useful is repeating the same exercises? Would they be able to apply what they learned quickly? How can we direct them to the more practical applications of 3D printing, especially when most desktop 3D printers just print plastic? How can we sustain their interest?

OK let’s look at the answers in the coming months! If you want to add your own questions, feel free to comment below!

“Open Source 3D creation. Free to use for any purpose, forever”. What is that???

English

What a great statement for a title. Do you know what is it? Read bellow for the answer.

THE UB IWERKS AWARD 2019

One of the “Creative Tools for the Mind” our kids and us use just got a special reward: the Ub Iwerks Award (Ub Iwerks created, among others, the character of Mickey Mouse). It is given to honor individuals or companies for technical advancements that make a significant impact on the art and industry of animation.
Past recipients of this award include Dr. Ed Catmull for his breakthrough technologies at Pixar, Scott Johnston for his innovative work in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Digital Domain, Inc. for their groundbreaking innovations in Titanic, and Eric Daniels for the development of the ‘Deep Canvas’ process for Walt Disney’s Tarzan.

TON ROOSENDAAL, A VISION DRIVEN LEADER

This award was given to none other than Ton Roosendaal, the genius creator of Blender. Of course the amazing Blender community of developers, artist and users of almost any age you could imagine made this 3D creation suite what it is. But if it has survive since the 90s and grew up to become one of the most look after software in the 3D animation industry, it is mostly thanks to the leader of the “Blender tribe”, Ton.

BLENDER 2.8 = 3D MODELING + 3D PRINTING + 2D & 3D ANIMATION + VR + AR…

Imagine that our kids can learn from 3D modeling to 3D printing and even 2D and 3D animation, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality without paying anything for the software. Even if a beginner can easily found his way through Blender (especially the last version Blender 2.8), more and more big animation studio use it among their tools. Artists, engineers, scientists, schools and many others use it as well. If it is good for them, it is good for our kids.

Dear parents, the vision we share of a World with proactive, open minded and creative kids just got rewarded.
Have a great day!

3D Creation Apps Recommended for Aspiring Designers

3D Creation Apps Recommended for Aspiring Designers

English

It is clear now that doing 3D modeling on a computer is a great and beneficial activity for the development of the brain of our kids (very effective for adults as well!).

Autodesk alone in the sky.

Tinkercad main screen

Until recently, Autodesk was somehow alone in the sky with no real competition to challenge its Tinkercad web-based 3D modeling software. And Tinkercad is great. Very intuitive and simple to use. Kids love it. But being unchallenged is not very healthy in the long run. Some real adversity is good to stay sharp and give the best it can.

A real competitor is arriving on the “3D Modeling Software for Kids” market (and it is a big player!)

Many among you will know, and maybe have used, another really powerful software named Solidworks, used mostly by professionals around the globe for more than two decades. Like Fusion 360, it is awesome to do parametric modeling (you create your model following precise steps and parameters like size, shape…). As it is not at all for beginners, kids would have a hard time trying to use it to create a model of their own.

Shape It from Solidworks Apps for Kids

Fortunately, at Solidworks, they worked hard to develop new tools especially for kids. They choose a different path than Autodesk. Instead of a complete software with many tools immediately available right after the child is connected to a web-based software, they developed a cluster of very simple and efficient apps. For example, if you want to create a new model, you launch Shape It. In an instant, you have the ability to model something with mostly a sculpting tool. You have very few options available. It is your imagination and some virtual clay at play. Which is wonderful for beginners. You just have to learn one simple tool to have fun. The interface is very clean with just a few buttons.

Cube Print to the rescue!

And if you are happy with the result, just launch Print it. You have the choice to 3D print it if you have a 3D printer available. If you don’t have it in your backpack, don’t worry, they get you covered! They have a funny surprise for you. You can Cube Print your creation. A regular 2D printer using regular flat sheets of paper is sufficient. Once printed, you just have to cut following the outer line around the model. You use some glue to stick together the faces. And you get a nice cube made of paper with a picture of the model on each face. The front face with the front view of your model, the top face with the top view, and so on. A marvelous idea to use 2D images to see in “3D like”. Your kids will love it.

Cube Print

Which one is the best for your kids?

As a 3D modeling enthusiast, I love them all. But for a complete beginner, I would recommend to start with the SolidWorks Apps for Kids. It will help your kids to be at ease with a 3D model on a screen. They will be much more comfortable to do more advanced models faster than you would have dream of it. Tinkercad would be the natural next step.

Encourage your kids to play with them all. The way to create a model in 3D is different but the goal is the same: allow our children to become creative masters, to think critically, to make mistakes and learn to persevere.

The road will be long for our children and with many bumps along it. If a simple and yet so powerful activity like 3D modeling for 3D printing can help them live an interesting and engaging life and see the world in a more creative way, let’s do it!

P.S.: www.swappsforkid.com has just been released and is at the beta stage of development (the last one before the official release). Try it anyway. It is a good one. I’ll tell you when it will be at full speed and will do a complete review at the same time.