3d modeling

Scale Modeling Tutorials: Basics of 3D Modeling for 3D Printing – 3DPrint.com

In my last article, I talked about the use of 3D printing for model enthusiasts. Hobbyists find 3D printing to be a useful tool for making custom parts, or even creating detailed models from scratch and sharing a few of my own 3D printed models. 3D modeling can seem daunting to many 3D printing enthusiasts, but the learning curve isn’t as steep as many think and there’s never been a better time to start learning. It’s fun browsing sites like Thingiverse for free templates, but there’s a certain satisfaction in printing something you’ve designed yourself. If you want to create your own templates, I’m here to help you with everything you need to get started.

I will share more hobby-related tutorials in the future, including more detailed modeling procedures, the best settings for printed models, and how to finish and paint your prints. For now, let’s get to the basics of CAD design.

CAD, or computer-aided design, is computer software used to create, modify, or optimize designs. It has a wide range of applications, from conceptual design to machining and manufacturing and, of course, 3D printing! There are a number of CAD options available today, ranging in price from free to outrageously expensive. Luckily, today’s enthusiasts don’t have to compromise on quality and functionality when opting for free options. My favorite is Fusion 360 and this article will focus on teaching you everything you need to start creating your own models with the software.

Fusion 360 from Autodesk is a powerful cloud-based CAD software that offers a number of features. It’s also free for non-commercial use! Non-commercial use, in this case, means anyone earning less than $100,000 per year using the software. This makes Fusion 360 the ideal option for hobbyists who want to create their own models.

To start

Fusion 360 can be downloaded from the Autodesk website by choosing the non-commercial/personal download option and following the download instructions. After creating an Autodesk Account and following the download instructions, Fusion 360 is yours!

Navigation in Fusion 360:

When you first open Fusion 360m, you’ll see an empty workspace with three planes highlighted on the X, Y, and Z axes. This is where we’ll draw sketches and create objects (more on that later). later). Note: If you don’t see a grid when you first open the program, go to the “Grid and Snaps” settings at the bottom (the icon that looks like a grid), clicking the drop-down arrow and checking ” Layout Grid”.

The first thing you need to know is how to move around the workspace. Use your mouse wheel to zoom in and zoom out. By pressing the mouse wheel and moving your mouse, you will be able to pan back and forth. Hold down Shift and the mouse wheel and move your mouse to move around the scene. You can also select different camera angles by clicking on different axes (X, Y, and Z) or views (Rear, Front, Top, etc.) at the top right.

Views and navigation in Fusion 360 can be customized in the selection box at the bottom. In the orbit settings, I prefer “Constrained Orbit”, which makes it easier to navigate the environment. As mentioned before, I like to include the layout grid in the “Grid and Snapshots” settings, but this can be unchecked if needed. I prefer the default settings for everything else.

Basic overview of the workspace

Now that you know how to get around Fusion 360, let’s review some of the basic functions and where to find them. Click the “Show data panel” box in the top left to view a list of your recent designs. If you just opened Fusion 360 for the first time, it should be empty. Click on the “File” drop-down menu next to it to reveal the basic options you’d expect, such as opening a new file, saving and exporting designs (as STL, OBJ, etc. .). There is also a quick save icon next to it.

Just below these options, you will find a Workspace drop-down list, allowing you to select a design environment. You’ll find a number of environments including design, rendering, animation, simulation, manufacturing, and drawing. The default should be set to Design, the workspace where we will create our design using sketches and objects. I may dive into the other workspaces in future tutorials, but the design environment is all you’ll need to start creating your own models.

To the right of the Workspace drop-down list, you’ll find the main design ribbon, with four tabs (Solid, Surface, Sheet Metal, and Tools). We’ll focus on the Solid tab, so click on it if it’s not already selected by default. This ribbon has all the tools we need to start creating, so let’s start with the most basic tools you’ll need to get started.

The CAD design process

There are really only two things you need to know to start modeling:

  1. Create a two-dimensional sketch
  2. do something to him

“Doing something” can mean any number of actions (extruding, rotating, smoothing, etc.), but that’s the basic process and really the steps you’ll follow to start creating models. Before moving on to a concrete example, let’s review the basic components and functions of CAD design.

Indicate: a precise location on a map, represented by a single point

Edge/Line: The distance between two points

Face: A flat surface formed by the intersection of three or more lines

Plane: a flat surface formed by the intersection of two axes or lines

Sketch: a two-dimensional drawing

Object: a three-dimensional shape

Creating an object

Now for the fun part! Let’s use this information and the basic functions of Fusion 360 to create a basic three-dimensional object. Following our two basic steps, we will: 1. Create a sketch, and 2. Do something to that sketch, in this case extrude it.

Creating a sketch

To create a sketch, go to the ribbon at the top and click “Create Sketch”. Of course, the sketch must be created somewhere, either on a plane or on a face, so click on the XY plane in the center of the workspace (the yellow square formed at the intersection of the X and Y axes ). The camera should now switch to a view directly above the plane you selected. You’ll also notice a new “Sketch” tab at the top and several new options to choose from. In the “Create” drop-down menu, select “Rectangle”, then “Two-point rectangle”. This will allow us to draw a basic rectangle. Click anywhere on the workspace to place the first point of the rectangle. Then move your mouse until your rectangle is the size you want. Now just click and you will notice that the rectangle turns blue. Congratulations! You have just created your first sketch!

A Quick Note on Keyboard Shortcuts

Eventually, you’ll want to learn some of the basic keyboard shortcuts in Fusion 360. Instead of clicking the “Create Sketch” button and selecting Rectangle, hitting the “R” key will automatically create a new sketch and get you started. to draw a new rectangle. Similarly, typing “C” will create a new sketch and allow you to draw a circle.

Do something to our sketch

Now it’s time to “do something” to our sketch. In this case, we will extrude the sketch, which basically means turning a 2D sketch into a 3D object. First, click “Finish Sketch” on the top right. You should now see the “Solid” tab from before. Click the “Create” drop-down menu and select “Extrude” (or just type “E”). Now click on the sketch we just created, which will highlight the rectangle in darker blue. In some cases, Fusion 360 automatically selects the last sketch you created. You will notice an arrow on your sketch. Click and hold the arrow, then drag it up. When you like the height of your extrusion, just click “Ok” in the Extrude window. Congratulations! You have just created your first 3D object! Now let’s repeat these steps and build on our object.

Go further

Let’s continue sketching and manipulating them to introduce some of the other features of Fusion 360. Of course, a sketch can be created on a surface. So, let’s add a cylinder above our box. Create a circle by typing “C” (it’s never too early to learn keyboard shortcuts) and click on the top face of the box. Now click somewhere in the middle of the top face to place the center point of the circles. Then move your mouse to draw your circle and click to create the sketch. Then type “E” to extrude. Click on the circle and extrude the circle as we did earlier with the rectangle. There are a few options available in the “Extrude” window before clicking OK. For now, focus on the “Operation” drop-down menu. Selecting “Join” will join the current object. Selecting “New Body” will create a new object that can be moved separately from the box below. Let’s join them for now and click OK.

Let’s draw another circle on top of our cylinder. Type “C” and click on the top of the cylinder. Create a sketch like we did before. Type “E” to extrude and click on the circle as before. This time, however, drag the sketch down rather than up. You will notice that the new shape is now red and the “operation” in the extrusion window is set to “Cut”. Instead of creating a new shape, we now clip geometry from the existing shape. Click “OK” in the extrusion window.

Stay tuned, because this is just the beginning. In the second half of this tutorial, we’ll expand on what we’ve learned so far to create a simple fuel canister for a spacecraft. If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to see some of my designs, check out my Instagram where I share photos of my designs and prints as well as painting tips.