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3. Computer-aided design

In week 3, we covered 2D and 3D design. We looked at different 2D and 2.5D (raster, vector) and 3D design tools. The types of 3D design and the formats they can be saved in. In the global lecture, different game engines, simulation programs and audio and video recorders were presented. In addition to ways for compressing images and encoding audio and video. In the local lecture, Yrjö Louhisalmi, a previous Fab Academy graduate, gave us a brief introduction to Autodesk Fusion 360 and the different commands.


The tasks for the week were to try different:

  • 2D raster tools
  • 2D vector tools
  • 3D tools
  • To model a possible final project

For this week, I used one 2D raster tool, one 2D vector tool and one 3D tool described below.

2D Design


It has been a while since I used GIMP, a free cross-platform image editor available for different operating systems. This week was mainly refreshing my knowledge and going through simple tasks like drawing shapes primarily using the Path, Gradient, and Paintbrush tools that are found in GIMP’s toolbox (these are highlighted in the image below).

GIMP Toolbox

One was creating a simple star-like image with a circle in the centre using the Path tool and the Paintbrush to colour it. The other was drawing a cube following this tutorial. The steps for creating the cube basically involve creating the three sides (left, right, and top) on different layers, joining them and applying a Gradient to get the different shades of blue (as in the image below) or which ever colour one uses. When done, you merge the three layers and can export and save it in different file types. For the other image, I just played around with the Path tool. I selected a rectangle from the tools box and turned into the star shape shown and added the circle in the centre. Both of the shapes are displayed below.


Similar to the tasks in GIMP, I mostly did simple tasks in Sketch to refresh my memory of the application. These included creating and interacting with different copies of objects, editing shapes and drawing vector shapes. The tutorial for editing shapes can be found here and that for drawing vector shapes from here. The tutorials outlined different techniques and shortcuts that can be used in Sketch to create and edit shapes. Below is an image of the different shapes.

I also followed these instructions to create a Google Docs icon. The design file included in original files section.

Additionally, I modelled a possible final project logo. By applying constraints to ensure a symmetric shape, I drew multiple circles and combined them to form one shape using boolean operations (Layer > Combine).

Circles to be combined:

Boolean operations (Union, Subtract, Intersect, Difference) are the ways shapes can be combined into complex ones (at least in Sketch.) They include:

  • Union: The result is a vector that is the sum of both vectors’ areas.
  • Subtract: The result is a vector where the area of the top shape is removed from the one under it.
  • Intersect: The result is a vector consisting of the parts where the original shapes overlapped.
  • Difference: The result is a vector that is exactly the part where they didn’t overlap. It’s the inverse of an intersect operation.

Each shape is its own separate layer and when applying any of the boolean operations, it is important to remember that the top layer is always subtracted from the lower layer.

The multiple circles forming one combined shape.

After, this I added an icon and text (Insert > Text or press T on the keyboard) and the logo was done.

An alternative to the above is adding two other icons as in the image below.

3D design

Fusion 360

Like the two tasks above, I just followed tutorials to familiarise myself with Fusion 360. Out of the three applications, Fusion is the least familiar to me so it took a bit of back and forth before getting these two done.

Lamp Base

For the lamp base, I just followed this short tutorial from instructables.


For the keyring, I followed the Initials Keyring tutorial from the WMG, International Manufacturing Centre’s website of Fusion tutorials. The tutorials are available in both written form and video which made it easy to follow. When tutorials are in written form and well annotated, it is easier to follow and understand.

Resources used

  • Gimp
  • Sketch
  • Autodesk Fusion 360


I could not do as much as planned because I was not feeling well over the weekend (when majority of the work gets done, if it does not involve using Fab Lab equipment) and at the beginning of this week. This is reflected in the minimal documentation for the week. For the Vector tool, I will either be using Sketch or Inkscape.

The final project idea is clear but the design is not yet decided. Hopefully, I will come up with a design before the final weeks.

Original Files