We’re gonna blow a 60 amp fuse

A classic song lyric goes,

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t, we going blow a 50-amp fuse

You Can’t Always Get What Your Want by the Rolling Stones

I wasn’t frustrated, but I beat them by 10 amps. This week I blew a couple of 60 amp fuses. As a reminder that I need to order more spares, I have two blown fuses on my desk. I decided that they could be used to test what kind of results I can get modeling with photogrammetry. I get questionable results when I have labels that are on a cylindrical surfaces. Since your eye knows what to look for when looking at text, texture errors in the labels really stands out.

The following story is about how I converted the photogrammetry model into a good mesh with good topology. If you’re interested in how I messed up and blew a couple 60 amp fuses, then jump to the end.

Continue reading “We’re gonna blow a 60 amp fuse”

What can you do with a 3D Printer

I often can asked what I can do with a 3D printer. The ideas are endless for someone with imagination, but here is a short list to get you thinking:

  1. Home decor: 3D printing allows individuals to create unique and personalized home decor items, such as vases, lamp shades, and figurines.
  2. Repair and maintenance: With a 3D printer, individuals can print spare parts or replacement items for appliances or other household items.
  3. Education and hobbies: 3D printing can be used for educational purposes, such as creating models for school projects, or for hobbies such as building model airplanes or cars.
  4. Clothing and accessories: 3D printing can be used to create custom clothing and accessories, such as shoes and jewelry.
  5. Medical devices: 3D printing can be used to create custom medical devices, such as prosthetics or orthodontic braces.
  6. Personalized gifts: 3D printing allows individuals to create unique and personalized gifts for loved ones, such as custom jewelry or figurines.

New Prusa Surprise

My old Prusa got fried. The plug from the power supply melted. I replaced the plug, but I could never get it working again. Every time the header for the bed turned on, the control card re-booted. I figure that there was a surge that damaged the Rambo board.

A new board would be cheaper, but 1) it might not be the problem or the only problem and 2) if it worked, I would still have an older version of the Prusa.

So I sold some stuff and bought a new Prusa and here’s the surprise.

I paid over $100 to have it shipped, but then I got a message from DHL that the package would be held hostage unless I paid $50. That maybe a little dramatic…I owed import duties. I was a little surprised that this wasn’t communicated clearly when I purchased the printer. It might have been in the fine print somewhere, but I never saw it and was concerned it was fraud. To make sure, I went to DHL and paid over the phone.

Start/Stop Combo Button

I posted a start/stop button on CGTrader today. I was looking for something to model in low poly and I was inspired during a walk through our machine shop. The start/stop button on the bandsaw is a little detail that can be added to machine models.

Reference Photo

My idea was to model it buttons with details (hi-poly) and then again with no-details (lo-poly). Then bake the diffuse and normal maps from the hi-poly model to the lo-poly model. It didn’t work as suspected.

Continue reading “Start/Stop Combo Button”

Garden Trellis

Today I finished a wooden trellis. It’s a design similar to one I found in one of my wife’s catalogs. I might actually make this one. I need something for my tomatoes to grow on.

It did not take long for me to create the model in Blender, but it took some effort to convert it to a single mesh and game ready textures.

The Garden Trellis is available for download at CGTrader.com


Safety Barrier

When I sit down to create a new model, I try to come up with something that will be helpful to someone creating a complex scene. Today’s addition is a safety barrier. These barriers are often used in industrial settings or somewhere that needs crowd control.

It was modeled with curves in Blender and then converted to a mesh. The material is very simple. It’s a yellow, non-metallic surface with some procedural bumps to make it look like paint.

Safety Barrier available at CG Trader


Photogrammetry for Old Machines

When I am tasked with modeling old equipment, I like to do a photo scan (photogrammetry) first. This allows me to go back when I’m done with the design and compare important features. If you have ever made a part and then discovered it was off by 1″ when you went to install it, you’ll understand the value of this.

I once designed a bracket for a generator. I used a tape measure to draw the as received part. Normally, when I use a tape measure, I don’t use the end of the tape. I just don’t trust that the end isn’t bent or the slot in the tape that allows the end to move 1/16″ isn’t damaged. I line up one edge with 10″ and then take the measurement subtracting 10″ from what I read on the other end.

Well…I use 10″ now. I used to measure by lining up the first edge with 1″ and this created the problem with the generator bracket because I forgot to subtract the 1″. The bracket was about 20″ tall and I forgot to subtract the 1″ from the measurement. If I had started with 10″, my error would have been obvious when I was drawing the new bracket.

The lesson learned was that initial measurements are sometimes wrong. If you are modifying a design, that initial photo scan can tell you alot.

So…today I scanned a fluid drive. This is an old American Standard Size 315 Gyrol fluid drive. The size “315” refers to the diameter of the oil circuit inside the fluid drive where 315 = 31.5″.

Even though 99.999% of artist don’t know what a fluid drive is or how it works, they may find the old authentically dirty look an interesting addition to an industrial scene. I didn’t do much work after scanning it. So if you want to use it in a large scene, you may want to decimate it a bit.


Platform Truck

I took a break from creating CGTrader models for a while. When CAD work fills my day, it’s hard to get motivated to do even more drawing when I get home. Fortunately, I have a job where I wear many hats and lately I have been doing more Photoshop and Blender work, and it has inspired me to get back into Blender modeling.

I have started modeling again.

Today I modeled a platform truck. The only place I have ever seen these trucks is at Home Depot or Lowes, but maybe it will come in handy for someone.

platform truck 3D model