Here was an interesting experiment - Model an accurate mockup of something, and then try to add details and recreate it in Medium! If you don't want to read the rambling, just skip down to the photos below and see what a wireframe mesh reference looks like.
Shortly after making some sculpts in Medium I saw a potential for it to be an amazing creative 3D Printing helper, with the solid creations and raw speed it enables. Dimensions or more importantly the relative scale and position of one part to another is critical for this, and 1.2 has come a long way.
This object was originally made in OpensSCAD, which is good for it's numbery, accurate positioning of stuff. It can let you change the size of a hole or lid just by changing a variable and your whole file changes right away.
So this test is using a Flight controller mount - 30.5mm holes on a square base. Lets do it!
The mesh was originally an STL, then opened in 3D Builder (windows 10) do repair it. Meshmixer FWIW did not work and would not import as a mesh reference by the way.
With the file imported, at the moment they are plain shaded so look like a cartoon - not the best for a depth reference so instead I used it as a mesh view, and used that as a guide to fill in and cut holes.
You can see on the closest two holes here are a flip/duplicate of each other, and the constrain to surface clay tool working over all layers now - is amazing. That curve overlapping multiple layers would have taken a few minutes in the past - this was one instant brush stroke. Amazing. Anyway that helps for giving it a more organic look, and for the goal of 3d printing helps smooth the corner transition on the edges.
I was able to soften the inner hole, with the goal that when putting threaded inserts
, it means that the plastic won't ooze out.
Things I learned:
- Working at the mm scale, I needed to up the resolution many times to have a usable non blocky clay brush. With that in mind, I should have created the object at a higher scale right at the end - ie make it be a 3000mm (3m) big object instead of 30mm, and scale it only when i go to 3D Print it.
- Cutting holes was a bit tricky because I forgot you can't make a layer be see through. If that's not possible, Having a glowing or see through mesh reference would help (so the wires would show up over what you are sculpting).
- Cutting accurate 90 degree holes was tricky - the Constrain line tool would be perfect, but it relies on your hand to lock in that angle. The new transform tools are amazing, and if you could do that to the line (so I could set a 90 degree line manually), it would be perfect for drilling accurate holes and cuts.
- The transform tools in general are amazing - world and object level transform/rotations are a godsend!
- The Snap tool isn't as good as I thought it would be. In this example, I thought I could turn snap on, use .1m and move a connector 3 steps across (30mm). Not so. The increments don't seem to be relative, but absolute - you can see this when you start moving, because you can't move it back in place while sliding it across on an axis. If this was an option somehow (world scale units, relative object units?), it would make it fantastic.
Hope that input helps!
One last photo. The scale of the object is a bit more obvious here - you can see the square part is correctly 3 Squares (30mm) long.