Author Archives: seankell2000

Mouse design, Fusion work and filmic color management addon for Blender

So after finishing modeling this mouse design in Fusion360, it was a worthwhile learning experience and I’m happy with how the 3d print turned out.  After looking in more depth are other mouse designs, Logitech’s especially I’ve an appreciation of the complexity and skill involved in creating a tool that has become something of daily use and taken for granted.  What makes this design unique is the touchscreen, but in all honesty if this was to go into production I would redesign it, making it about 40% more compact, the side buttons larger, with buttons on the side, LED lighting and textured surface patterns.  It needs to look as visually sophisticated as a Logitech design.  I’ll explain in more detail in the coming days how the concept functions.

What was lacking in my portfolio was evidence of knowledge of injection molding and the manufacturing processes involved.  It has a constant 2mm wall thickness with ribs with a thickness at a .5 ratio as advised back when I visited a Takata plant in Bavaria.


With further sanding with Z-Poxy to fill in the crevices smooth out the surface it will eventually be ready for spray painting with the aim of making it indistinguishable from an injected molded product apart from micro details.

 

Now that I’m at a stage where I’m comfortable using Fusion, less mental energy is used concentrating on how to make the desired shapes and it becomes more enjoyable when making something creative.  This watch design will look great, a level above the Sioux watch that never really looked top quality and high end in terms of design.

 

In Blender Cycles, I re-rendered pretty much everything since buying some HDRIs, a plastic PBR shader and discovering the filmic color management addon, it’s amazing.  Render time is increased, it takes more samples to deal with graininess and it’s worth the extra time when the end result, for interiors especially are more realistic thanks to a larger dynamic range.  Before my work didn’t look quite right and could not understand why as you can see below in the rendered image below.  The differences between the two renders speaks for itself, it’s like they were made with an entirely different renderer.  It’s not bad for open source software, is it?  Who needs to spend €3000 on 3dsmax, when Blender is free?

Work Update

The first 3d printed of the CAD modeled coin display for the Roman coins I’ve collected over the years had a few issues with it.  Firstly, the larger coins didn’t fit properly, the slot for the cover wasn’t tough enough and despite using glue and alcohol to help the print stick to the surface, I had an issue with warming.  Modifications were made to the design, I added more variation to the slot sizes and split the main body into four parts.  Once all parts were printed I simply superglued them all together after a bit of sanding.  So far so good.

 


After many hours of sanding, the Manny character from Grim Fandango was painted.  The photo shows up all the little flaws, in real life it looks good if I do say so myself.  It was requested by my brother and given to him as a birthday present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother asked me would I make a model of Two-face for the boy she looked after.  He still has not seen the print and it is yet to be painted, but I’m happy with how it turned out.  The sculpting tools in Blender are under appreciated, I even prefer them to Zbrush.

Lastly,  having joined Upwork.com I have begun working with a client there.  Hopefully, when I gain a positive reputation I can begin to run my own business.  We’ll have to wait and see.  The mouse design still have to be completed, the engineer aspects to it are tricky and a lot of detail is going into it.  Really want to get it out of the way and move onto other project, such as video tutorials.

Mouse Update and Roman Coin Display


I have collected a few Roman coins over the years and always wanted to show them off.  Now with a 3d printer I can do just that.  A couple of the components are 3d printed and in the next couple of days the rest will be printed out.  With some Z-poxy brushwork, sanding and spray painting it will look like it came right out of an injection moulding.


An update on the mouse design, it still hasn’t a name.  The trickiest parts have been figures out more or less, that being how the touchscreen and buttons will function.  The six side buttons are return to the their original position using springs, although I had considered using rubbery plastic like that used for console control buttons.  How the parts will fit together is a choice between using snap fittings and screws.  Finally, when it is close to completion, some ribbing may be required to counteract shrinkage with the material of choice being either PLA or ABS.  Ideally, if this ever goes to production I would want to use PLA.  The material is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and recyclable coming from sustainable sources, that being starch.  From my experience of using PLAs, not only with 3d printing the warping is less of an issue and PLA last forever as long as it is kept away from outdoor elements.

3D Printer and Fusion 360


Earlier in the month I bought a 3d printer that is self assembled.  After running into some trouble with the extruder and with the help of an engineer who has experience of assembling and customising his own 3d printer I was up and running.  One of the first models I printed as a sculpted I made of Michael Schumacher.

For my brother, with his birthday coming up soon I modelled in Blender a 3d version of Manny from the point and click adventure Grim Fandango.

For Christmas, a chopping board I bought my Mother needed somewhere to be stored, so I designed and 3d printed a hook.


The next thing I printed was a stand for a pizza slicer.

 

Over Christmas I spent some time learning Rhino and the plugin for it T-Splines.  I needed a CAD program that would allow me to create the surface, with Solidworks’ surfacing tools I wasn’t getting the desired shape and it was clumsy and time consuming to create.  I was able to import the surfaces made in Rhino using T-Splines, but a friend of mine later told me about Fusion 360.  I decided to give it a try and found it to be a fantastic piece of software.  It’s got the best features of Rhino and Solidworks combined, without Solidworks’ rigidity.  Next step is to complete the mouse design with a 3d printed display model, production ready CAD and CAM, beauty render, assembly drawings and graphics showing the uniquer features and how it work.

Mouse design


Inclay-models

In order to gain an understanding of the ergonomics of the mouse design, to understand how the mouse will fell, to work out the scale and dimensions of the buttons some clay models were sculpted, be it quite rough.

components-study-breakdown

To understand how to go about designing the mouse in CAD, firstly I studied existing designs.  The only difference being the touchscreen interface like that of tablets and mobile phones.

 

mouse-components-front
This may be superficial, but with the ergonomics sorted out and having decided upon a design, only then could I develop the inner workings.

Mouse design

mouse-conceptsmouse-iterationsmouse-iteration-final

Using sketches, the open source sculpting tools in Blender and red clay (waiting for daylight to take better photos) I came to a design with the desired aesthetics and fitted the required criteria.  This mouse design uses touch screen technology to easy the pain of repetitive strain injury reducing the need to press buttons and move fingers.

Biopodz update

bio2016 Got to finally create visuals of the redesigned Biopodz where it is now less expensive to manufacture, designed for injection molding and uses snap fittings.  The main render isn’t as nice as the original Biopodz render, I should really go and rework it using some sub surface scattering and translucency to add realism.

calendar2 More time was spent on the calendar which is aimed at teaching children about the seasons, how crop rotation works and when to sow and harvest plants.

disassembled2
The new design has less components, uses less polymers, has a 2mm even wall thickness, uses snap fittings, designed for injection molding and the pots are slightly smaller while still having a wall thickness of 1.5mm.

school2
My arch viz portfolio is lacking and for that reason I went to the bother of modelling an entire primary school environment.

school1
Showing the components laid out on tables as before to give an idea how all the CAD models look.

Sioux Watch

Sioux watch frontSioux watch one

With the improvement of shaders appearing for Blender Cycles and the previous Vray renders of the “Bad News” watch I was never fully happy with.  Now it has a proper looking black leather strap and a branding other than “Bad News”.  When first inspired by Indian Motorcycles, I came up with the brand name of Sioux.  The Sioux were a native American tribe known for their eagle feather head gear and for being great warriors.  The letting in the logo is designed to look like the Sioux clothing design patterns.

sioux-logo

Sioux watch closeup 2 med Sioux watch closeup medSioux watch behind med Sioux watch top med