april 5th
New York City 2017

piecing it together
#32 3D printed Puzzle

I don’t enjoy 3D modeling. That’s pretty much all I really have to say. Not really.

We had one main idea. A puzzle that when pieced together (heh), became a specific shape. We had two resolutions in mind; The first, a sphere that with the same pieces could became a cube, that one I was not so keen of, due to the added difficulty when working with shapes that have no corners and how hard it would be to make the cube stay together.

The second option was to have a cube that was an actual puzzle in the most basic sense, so we did that.

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Using tinkercad we build a cube out of 64 small cubes, then used that structure to build the 4 different pieces. we exported one of the pieces to Rhinocerous and tried to modify it to a more complex shape. Once exported, the wireframe of the shape showed up in Rhino and we really liked the look of it.

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That made us want to create a piece with a similar look. With that concept in mind we came up with the following design.

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This design had two main characteristics; The 1st one is that instead of cubes it had only diagonals or triangles, that way, doing the shapes would allow us only to work with 3 sides per connection instead of 5. The 2nd one was that we were still using the same system of the cubes to create the new shape making it easier to align everything properly.

The color coding helped to map all the exterior connections. The interior ones proved to be way more challenging.

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the shape was clear. but the software was the wrong one. If we wanted to create a look similar to the wireframe we wanted, we would have to change to a different one due to rhino making subtraction and solid shapes very difficult to work with. So we did that. We re-did the model in Fusion 360, which has very different controls to the ones that Rhinocerous uses. So the nightmare begun. We kind of modeled the exterior of the cube, but it proved to be very time consuming and nerve wracking. This is how far we got.

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We accepted our defeat and proceeded to use the first model we had, we shaved the inner connections so once printed the would actually fit. We still had to do a fair amount of sanding.

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Please, tell me how good or bad this post was. And comment on anything that comes up in that beautiful brain of yours.