Autodesk Inventor

Once again curiosity about CAD software has me returning to Triton for an intro class in Autodesk Inventor. Autodesk offers a generous three year student license of fully functional software.

Toy Train Model

Toy Train Model

Our first warmup project was a toy train. The image included here was created by exporting the model to Maya and rendereing it with Mental Ray.

I found Inventor’s interface very similar to Solidworks making the transition easy. Same feature based parametric modeling techniques: sketch in 2d; apply parametric constraints and dimensions; build the solid model using features such as extrude, revolve, sweep, loft, fillet and chamfer. This is, of course, a simplistic explanation. Creating complex and adjustable solid models is truly an art-form and requires much practice.

Lab Jack Part Drawing

Lab Jack Part Drawing

My final project was a lab jack. It had a variety of interconnected parts and allowed the creation of a simple animation. After all the parts were modeled an assembly was created. The parts were constrained in a way to allow proper motion of the jack. You can watch the exciting animation below.

Although I do not use solid modelers in my regular work, I do receive CAD models from clients. Having a basic understanding of the modeling software has been useful as well as interesting.

Posted in Inventor, Maya, Mental Ray, Uncategorized

Solidworks Watch Model

Last fall I took a Solidworks class so I thought I would share what I was able to create before the demo ran out. SolidWorks is a Parasolid-based solid modeler. Parasolid is a geometric modeling kernel owned by Siemens PLM Software, that is licensed by Dassault Systèmes for use in Solidworks. Parameters refer to constraints that can be either numeric (lengths or diameters), or geometric (tangent, parallel, concentric, horizontal, vertical, etc.) The values drive the shape of the model, an approach to modeling different from what I am accustomed to.

Minute Hand Wheel Drawing

Minute Hand Wheel Drawing

I picked a Stopwatch as my project. It was water damaged so I did not feel too bad dismantling it and in the process learned quite a bit about how a stopwatch works. I scanned the parts at 1200dpi and was able to get fairly accurate dimensions in Photoshop.

Features are the building blocks of parts. Typically you begin with a 2D sketch of shapes using lines, arcs, circles, ellipses, etc. The shape is extruded or cut to add or remove from the part. You can also use features such as fillets, chamfers, slots, holes, etc. Features are built on existing features creating a parent/child relationship. For example, a hole is the child of the solid in which it is cut.

Gear Train Assembly

Gear Train Assembly

Assemblies of parts are created using assembly mates. Types of mates include angle, coincident, concentric, distance, lock, parallel, perpendicular, and tangent as well as mechanical mates such as gear, hinge, screw etc.

Dimensioned drawings of parts and assemblies with a bill of materials can be created. Materials can be assigned to the parts or faces of the objects.

I did not have much time with the built in renderer before the demo expired, so I exported the model to STEP format to render in Maya. This was a great learning experience even though I only had time to try some of the features Solidworks has to offer.

Hanhart Stopwatch - Solidworks, Maya, Mentalray




Posted in Maya, Mental Ray, Solidworks

ING “El monstruo”

Really nice animation from The Frank Barton Company. It’s about “El Monstruo” that wouldn’t let children go to school. For ING and Unicef. Ogilvy One Madrid was the agency. Has a great stop motion look and was created with Maya.

ING “El monstruo”

Posted in Animation, Inspiration, Maya

New Website

After two months of playing around and reworking, the new site is going up. You may even see an occasional post! There are still some bugs and annoyances to work out, regardless, its going live!

Hopefully you enjoy the new look.

Posted in News