3D modeling program

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by Jeff Jilg, May 13, 2006.

  1. Jeff Jilg

    Jeff Jilg

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    If you are looking for a program of this type you might want to try:'
    SketchUp from Google

    I tried it and there is a learning curve, but it is also free. Sometimes I draw out stuff with a pencil and, well, the best way to put it is that I'm a lot better at woodturning than I am at drawing. This program would be good to draw out the shape before you do the final shaping of the piece.
     
  2. Andy Coates

    Andy Coates

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    software

    Thanks Jeff, that looks interesting. It might also be useful for the pencil challenged amongst us for drawing line diagrams for website use! I'm glad I'm on broadband though.

    I thought I'd post a link to a piece of software written specifically for woodturners. There are trail versions available for download. I haven't used it myself but know turners who have and think it's invaluable.

    http://www.woodturnerpro.com/

    Andy
     
  3. John Abt

    John Abt

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  4. Jeff Jilg

    Jeff Jilg

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    Those are also good suggestions. Does anyone have other software they find useful? If we can get a few more posts, I'll move this to the tips subforum for future reference.
     
  5. Open Office

    Another alternative is Open Office, a free alternative to MS Office. It has a Draw program, with some 3D capabilities. I have used the word processor and spreadsheet for a couple years, and they are excellent. You can save documents as .doc files and .pdf files, read and write excel files. Very reliable, highly functional, excellent documentation and user forums. I will never pay for MS Office again. I haven't used the Draw program, apart from a quick look, but if it is to the same standard as the other components it is well worth considering.

    The package is available at:
    http://www.openoffice.org/product/index.html

    Here is a summary of the package:

    DRAW - from a quick sketch to a complex plan, DRAW gives you the tools to communicate with graphics and diagrams.

    'Park' your most commonly used drawing tools around your screen ready for single-click access.

    Use Styles and Formatting to put all your graphics styles at your finger tips.

    Manipulate objects, rotate in two or three dimensions; the 3D controller puts spheres, rings, cubes, etc. at your disposal.

    Arrange objects: group, ungroup, regroup, and edit objects while grouped. Sophisticated rendering let you create photorealistic images with your own texture, lighting effects, transparency, perspective, and so on.

    Smart connectors make short work of flowcharts, organisation charts, network diagrams, etc. Define your own 'glue points' for connectors to 'stick' to.

    Dimension lines automatically calculate and display linear dimensions as you draw.

    Use the picture Gallery for clipart; create your own art and add it to the Gallery.

    Save your graphics in OpenDocument format, the new international standard for office documents. This XML based format means you're not tied in to DRAW. You can access your graphics from any OpenDocument compliant software.

    Import graphics from all common formats (including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF).

    Use DRAW's free ability to create Flash (.swf) versions of your work.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2006
  6. Philip Streeting

    Philip Streeting

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    other alternatives

    Having posted before on the subject of 3D programs to assist the design process and had some criticism here, I thought some viewers might be interested in alternative 3D. The program I am currently using is not free, is difficult to master because you have to have an intuitive approach to it but it does provide some thought provoking imagery that can be adapted to turning. I am producing more images than I can possibly use, if anyone is interested I will gladly forward some via e-mail. See some recent experiments in the image below. I can mail a larger version of the jpg if anyone wants a better look. Samples here are in low res and are not fully rendered.
    Happy turning and 3D experimenting
     

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  7. Ken Grunke

    Ken Grunke

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    That from the program's README, dated 1992 :D
    Believe it or not, this old program still works, and is worth using because it's so basic and simple.
    It's a 90 kb zipped file ("lathe.zip") you can download at woodturner Grant Marshall's site here:
    http://www.marshallarts.co.za/technical.htm

    You can save "turnings" as bmp files, and I convert them to jpgs.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  8. Philip Streeting

    Philip Streeting

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    Microlathe

    Ken,
    Microlathe is the program that started me in the quest for info on 3D and I agree with your observations. It's a great, simple to use piece of free software.
     
  9. jbyrom

    jbyrom

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    "Creative Woodturner" Lathe CAD Software from MDR

    As a woodturner and computer geek, I recently purchased the "Creative Woodturner" software from MDR (in the United Kingdom).

    I wasn't sure what to expect, since my Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) experience was limited to full blown AutoCAD ... or a small shareware program I had played with for years, entitled "MicroLathe". One was a behemoth, and the other was a piece of fluff (albeit a nice piece of fluff).

    When my new CD arrived in a DVD style box, I couldn't wait to get the software installed! I had no problems with this, and the install went quickly and easily.

    Now to play with my new toy! Oh what wonderful designs I would create! ... then I saw the interface ... wait a minute ... is that it? I was briefly disappointed, since the user interface looked like an introductory web page, and not at all like a stand-alone application.

    Then I began my voyage of discovery. Cleverly hidden in its menus and choices, is a robust little program with fairly advanced features ... but without the learning curve associated with more powerful CAD programs. I could select straight line segments, curved line segments, insert dimensions ... Hey, this was great!

    I got so overjoyed at the simple but powerful drawing tools, that I almost overlooked the program's ability to take my creation and apply a woodgrain applique, thereby giving me a better idea of what my finished project might look like. I could choose from a nice variety of woods, straight and end grains, even some composites. Over 140 images.

    OK, for those who know me, yes, I did "geek out" and copied my entire library of wood photos into the program's applique directory ... but hey, you never know when you might need to apply an applique of a highly figured, transverse cut of Cocobolo ... right?

    Overall the features are outstanding, there is the ability to do some limited customization of features for those who like extra control, and the "Gallery" function is a nice way to view and catagorize your drawings. The price is nice, too. This program will set you back about $125 ... but for these features, it is well worth it.

    Plus, one more feature (for me) ... when I am travelling for my job, and I just can't wait to turn some wood ... I don't have to! I can "turn" a bowl, design a vessel, or make plans for those lamps and candlesticks my wife has been asking for ... but I must admit, I do miss the sawdust!

    For this program you need a PC compatible system (Sorry, Apple Guys!), with Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, or XP. A minimum processor of a P75 or better is recommended, with a 200 MB Hard Drive, 8 MB of memory, and a 3D compatible graphics card. This is all pretty standard stuff for any PC built or bought in the last couple of years.

    For those of you who may be interested, the web site for the software is www.creative-woodturner.com I hope you enjoyed my review, as much as I enjoyed the new software. Happy Turning!

    Jim Byrom
     
  10. Christopher K. Hartley

    Christopher K. Hartley

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    One of the best free 3D modeling programs I have found is a program called Anim8or. It is powerful, simple and always being updated. It has great instructions and there simply isn't anything I know of that you can't design with it. If interested try this link. Here is something I did with it just to give you an idea and I am just an novice.:) Be sure to look at the gallery. http://www.anim8or.com/
     

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  11. Ken Grunke

    Ken Grunke

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    Very impressive, Christopher. I see it must have a Lathe feature, a prime requirement (duh-uh). Downloading now...
    only 828 kb?? How can such a small program do so much?
     
  12. Christopher K. Hartley

    Christopher K. Hartley

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    Let me know what you think after you've played with it for a while. I did a lathe that was turning and made it into a small movie in the program. I'll see if I can find it and post it.:)
     
  13. Ken Grunke

    Ken Grunke

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    I've only had a couple hours to play with this, trying to construct an inside/out ornament. Looking for a way to subtract one shape from another, necessary to "lathe" into a square shape. (pic below)

    Personally, I'd be happy to look at what you've made with this program. Do you have a website with examples?
     

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  14. Christopher K. Hartley

    Christopher K. Hartley

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    Here is a model of a lathe I made it has motion but not good at this point. Feel free to do whatever with it. Just unzip and open with the program:)
     

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  15. Ken Grunke

    Ken Grunke

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    Your lathe looks almost like a Oneway--I'll call it the YourWay :D Looks good!

    I'm getting the hang of this neat little program, and found instructions for what I was looking for--referred to as "Boolean Subtraction" although this is somewhat of an involved "kludge". That can be found here:
    http://www.anim8or.com/tutorials/from_users/boolean_subtraction/booleans_1.html

    Here's a couple goblets I stirred up from the pixels in my 'puter:
     

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  16. Christopher K. Hartley

    Christopher K. Hartley

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    EEK!!!!!:eek: Oneway:eek:. Go easy I'll have to change it as I am a Robust owner! Great work and so quick too!!:)
     
  17. Turnedoutright

    Turnedoutright

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    SketchUp for woodturners

    I dont know if the previous post went through, my computer reset. So if this is redudndant I apologize.

    I have been using and modifying SketUp for woodturning modelling quite successfully.

    I have woodturner pro but like the flexiblity of SketchUp. I especially like using it for hybrid projects that have furniture and turning elements. You can model both in the same workspace.

    There is no end to the things that you can model once you know some basics of using the "follow me " functions of SketchUp.

    You can get full scale printouts from SU that can be used to make story sticks and templates.

    SU takes a bit of learning but the learning tools that Google provides are quite good.

    I am in the final phase of completing a book on the subject.

    If you are interested in a conversation on the subject or purchasing a pre-release copy go to to my web site.

    www.turnedoutright.com

    At this link is the modelling stuff.

    http://www.turnedoutright.com/store/modelling-woodturning/
     
  18. Christopher K. Hartley

    Christopher K. Hartley

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    Thanks for the info.:)
     
  19. Turnedoutright

    Turnedoutright

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  20. Info on Sketchup Book is Sketchy

    How many pages? Table of Contents? Sample page? Has anyone gotten this book? Tough to go for $20 without a little more detail.
     

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