3. Computer-Aided Design¶
This week is about design, I started modeling my final project in AutoDesk Fusion 360, the reason I am working with fusion is that I often use it alongside AutoDesk Eagle their PCB design software and I like the integration and the workflow between the two software.
3D design Using Fusion360¶
First, as I am not sure about the size of my project, I started with setting parameters to have a fully parametric model.
I like to model a ground to have a visual reference to my model, therefore I draw a square with the project origin in its center, I made it 3 times bigger than the project, then I extruded it to -1 to have its top as the zero.
Then I constructed a new plane at the height of the base and started drawing the base from there, the top and bottom of the base have a simple rabbit joint to take in the left and right sides, and the four sides top, bottom, left and right have a rabbit for a thinner panel as the back to add stability to the structure, and an oversized one for the front which will be a sliding panel.
For the feet, I made 2 sketches one on the bottom of the base and the other on the ground, the two sketches are the sides of the feet, a loft operation between them will construct it, then I mirrored the first foot to have 4 feet.
using 2D tools, GIMP, and Inkscape¶
Now, I want to design a structure the would hole the pipe that holds the plants, I want it to be separated from the base for ease of assembly, packaging, and maintenance. I am still not sure how it would look, but the main idea is to have a thin strong metal tubing structure, till I can take a look in the local market and see the options available I wanted to practice taking the profile shape from a picture, I started with finding a general picture with some profiles on them, took the one I want, used GIMP to filter the cropped image, then took it to Inkscape to turn it to a vector image that I can use in the design, video to showcase the work
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is freely distributed software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
I used Gimp to crop a picture of the profile that I want to use for my project. then using some filters to make the picture clearer.
Here I am cropping the profile that I want to use
and after cropping the profile edges are pixelated and not very clear.
Here I am using enhance filters to make the cropped picture more clear.
Here are the results of the high pass enhance filter
Here I am using the blur filter to reduce the sharpness of the profile pixelated edged
Here are the results of the gaussian blur filter
Inkscape is a Free and open-source vector graphics editor for GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS X. It offers a rich set of features and is widely used for both artistic and technical illustrations such as cartoons, clip art, logos, typography, diagramming, and flowcharting.
I am using ink scape to convert my design to a vector to be able to use it with fusion 360 design. to do so I used the edge detection tool in the trace bitmap option.
and now, after the design is a vector, I can scale it to its needed diminution without losing any details.
Using the vector design in fusion 360¶
now that I have an SVG vector design I can import it to fusion and use it in my design.
and after extrude, here is the profile ready to be used in the design.
and here is a video documenting the whole process.
Here is a video showcase the whole design process.
Here I tried to mess around with animating my design, I will later use it to showcase how to assemble it.
To try a second 3D design software, I went for onShape, which is a full 3D cad software that runs in a browser. the idea of cad software that runs on a browser was very interesting, and it can help me in the courses we give in FABLAB Irbid to newcomers to digital fabrication that might not have a computer that supports a full-fat CAD software.
I started with making a makers account for free on OnShape website which was fairly straight forwards.
I jumped right into the design, trying to make a simple parametric drawer box, coming from AutoDesk fusion 360, I found the interface very easy to use, some of the commands were named differently, but I had no issues finding help on the internet.
the definition of the parameters is a bit different from Fusion, I defined them like components in the design tree, going back to them was easy, but I think once the design gets more complicated and the design tree gets too long its be less convenient, there is a second way of defining the parameters in the configuration panel, but I didn’t get to try it, but I am definitely will to get the full advantage of this tool.
you can check my design through this link.
Download the design files here