By: Stephen Lauer
Post 9: 3D Modeling for Projects Other than Architecture
Throughout my education at SIU, I have used 3D modeling programs for mainly architecture design but I think everyone should know that it is applicable to other situations than just architectural design.The program I use for most areas of design is SketchUp. I have used it because it is VERY simple software that allows for quick models to be built but also allows for intricate and complex designs. Over the years I have used it to design furniture, buildings, objects to 3D print, and many other things that I want to get a 3D conceptualization of before making it. My most current project has been a table design for my Arc 502 class, Furniture Design. I have designed a table that gives off the illusion that it floats while using age old joinery to construct it. By modeling it in SketchUp, I gave myself a lot of initial help just from taking roughly 2 hours of my time to get all the joints worked out and overall design finished. The model also allowed me to calculate the amount of wood I would need to buy in order to build the table by simply taking dimensions and finding the total amount needed. I was able to do this by taking my overall model and breaking it down to the individual pieces that are required to build the table. When I model in SketchUp I use groups and components frequently because in this case the disassembly process was extremely easy to accomplish by just selecting each group and pulling it away from the overall model. This is also useful in creating process diagrams by creating an exploded isometric of the overall model to show how each piece looks and fits into the project (as shown in the image to the right. The model also comes in very helpful during the construction phase because I am able to refer back to it to get dimensions of the wood needing to be cut or the location of a mortise and tenon joint. This is just one of my many projects that I have used SketchUp for other than architectural projects. In my opinion this is possibly the best software for making quick models that can be adjusted to be used for a detailed informational model. For those of you who have not used this software before follow the link (http://www.sketchup.com/) to download and try it out for yourself. And as I have said numerous times before if you have questions about how to do something in a program use the internet to find answers. YouTube has tutorials, most software has a forum on its website that has help, or even websites like reddit has a subreddit for SketchUp help. Do NOT be afraid to ask questions and get help. Have fun modeling!