CAD software discussion forum > 3D CAD/CAM > Advice needed - general ramble....

Advice needed - general ramble....

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 1 of 11

 Advice needed - general ramble....
04-09-2007 07:46 . am | View his/her posts only
I design a lot of bathroom products and accessories and one of the big trends that I have seen is a move to more surface detail in products - especially those with a more traditional style. This presents a unique issue for designers in that how do we model these highly detailed parts for manufacturing purposes? Take something like a traditional type freestanding claw foot bath - the claw foot in particular. These are typically very ornate designs based on Victorian patterns. Indeed, most manufacturers simply copy existing designs. But the challenge for new products is to introduce a hint of this kind of detail into a new product.

Conceptual design is OK - here we can knock up a quick simple model and apply a texture map to mimic the form for visuals. The problem is at the prototyping stage getting parts cut or built via RP. Here we need the data that defines the surface. This is why texture application tools are important.

The question is - just how good are these tools in VX? I was at the UK user day in February or March this year and Bob demo'd v13 and it appeared to have much better capabilities in this area, but are they up there with say, Artcam (I know a modelmaker who uses this and they machined some claw feet for us)? I have to say that in v12 whenever I have tried to use this stuff it ends up a mess. Is 13 really that much better/easier to use?

Earlier this year I bought a Next Engine 3D scanner and this provides tools for scanning and conversion to 3D to STL - which is great if you already have a pattern. My nightmare is when a customer spots some kind of traditional pattern and says "apply that to this foot or that product". The patterns are either flat artwork and have to be mapped onto the surface, or they are already on something and this has to be extracted then remapped onto the surface!

Failing that does anyone else face this problem? What do you do? What solutions are there out there (aside from, of course, model making and scanning to stl - which we already have done). I would rather not have to switch from the systems I have in place - namely VX and SolidWorks.

As I said, I have seen Artcam in use and I know several Artcam users who rave about it - ideally v13 will bring Artcam like functionality and results?

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 2 of 11

04-09-2007 06:40 . pm | View his/her posts only
ArtCam and VX are chalk and cheese Kevin. There are a number of specialist products designed to tackle various problems. From your description of the work you need to create, VX should be all you need. I would not describe the average Victorian bath foot as highly detailed, but if you do want to create a lot of fine detail from 2D information then you would need to tackle that with a specialist product dedicated to the task.

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Kevin

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Message 3 of 11

05-09-2007 03:16 . am | View his/her posts only
I have attached some pics of the kind of detail I am talking about. Question is, can VX tackle this easily or should I be looking to a more specialist tool (like Artcam perhaps). These are actual designs in use. The white ones are ones that have been modelled. The metal ones have been made by hand. The trend is to apply more of the type of detail from the metal designs to the simpler - more modern - white ones.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 4 of 11

05-09-2007 12:03 . pm | View his/her posts only
So, your design aim would seem to be a more modern look for the ornate designs such as "ornate_foot_2". This I think equates to cleaner, smoother lines but with more detail than the "white" designs such as "ornate_foot_3"? I think you could model that with VX. Why not set aside a bit of time and give it a try?

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Kevin

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Message 5 of 11

05-09-2007 02:13 . pm | View his/her posts only
Sort of. More a case of taking the texture of 1 or 2 and applying that kind of detail to the others. The problem Chris is that the budgets for doing this kind of work are generally small, and when you show a customer a faked version (achieved by texture mapping on a render) they think that the full on ready to tool version will be available in a few hours, and telling them you have maybe 3 or 4 days work isn't feasible. Quite frankly, I have been in the situation with these things where they take the visuals and send them to the Far East where the pattern makers at the foundry sculpts them by hand and ships back a cast sample in a couple of weeks or less. There is nothing wrong with that method but, ultimately, it removes control from the design process and increases lead time if there are multiple iterations to be done (as there always are).

What I am trying to build into the process is flexibility whereby we can experiment using RP processes before committing to 3rd party tooling. We can already successfully reverse engineer via laser scanning to stl data, but the missing stage is applying the detail to new forms in the first place.

I suppose what I am after is something where I can take a graphic and convert it to relief surfaces on an underlying surface. I have tried this in v12 unsuccessfully ( and Bob did say that it was underdeveloped in v12), hence my original query about the enhancements in v13. Bob;s demo, as I recall, was a JPEG of his dog onto a flat surface so maybe VX can't handle mapping onto a more complex surface? Be interested to try it out.

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John

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Registered: 2005-12-14

Message 6 of 11

05-09-2007 02:56 . pm | View his/her posts only
Kevin,
We make moulds for the glass container industry. A lot of detail and decoration. VX should have no problem modeling all the examples you have. One solution in VX for the texture would be to use: Wireframe, Wrap based on face, Wrap based on surface. You could make a curve represenation of the texture on a flat surface, then carry the curves to the modeled surafce then extrude them .005-.010", which when machined would look very much like your examples.

One software package that will texture the surface is Type3. We also use Icem for some of our deco as it allows us to not only carry curves ( same as VX ), but an entire 3d model. I have attached a movie showing that capability. Take away the 3D and it is how VX carries curves.

John A

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randy

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Registered: 2011-5-21

Message 7 of 11

06-09-2007 10:48 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi,

Here is a link for the webex player download so you can view John's movie.

http://www.webex.com/downloadplayer.html

Thanks John for sharing.

Regards,

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 8 of 11

06-09-2007 01:19 . pm | View his/her posts only
Thanks John. I'm going to have a play with this next week so will hopefully post up some results...

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Tim

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Registered: 2011-10-31

Message 9 of 11

06-09-2007 04:30 . pm | View his/her posts only
One approach would be to model gross shape with VX solid and surface construction tools and then add the details (ridges, etc.) using Emboss or Inlay.

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Robert

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 10 of 11

11-09-2007 08:16 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Kevin,

I tried a new approach with a Lizard.jpg instead of my dog.

1. Used V13 Emboss with a large (?) deformation, 15 to 20mm but kept the resolution really loose, 1mm. That created a underdefined but raised 3D surface.
2. I then used morphing tools to raise or lower areas that didn't look quite right (morph with a curve worked well)
3. I then Embossed again to get a good texture and used a tight .2mm tolerance.

This is similar to the Point Cloud technique of projecting to a sub-surface instead of the XY plane. (sorry for my difficult-to-understand scribblings, I'm on my way to Chile and it's late).

Ciao

bobf

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Paul

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Registered: 2011-9-17

Message 11 of 11

12-09-2007 03:44 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hey Bob,
you're a real tease. Where are the pics of the lizard art???? even the dog for the that matter....

Cheer
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