Digital Fabrication Studio.03 _Software @ Aalto Media Factory


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The course provides a general understanding on how to design and manufacture products and prototypes in a Fab Lab, using digital fabrication technologies and understanding their features and limits.

Students will learn how information shapes design, manufacturing and collaboration processes and artifacts in a Fab Lab. They will learn how to digitally fabricate a project or how to digitally modify an existing project; students will also learn how to manage, embed and retrieve information about a project. Projects and prototypes developed and manufactured in this course will not be interactive.

The course consists of lectures and a group project to be digitally fabricated, be it a project already designed but not yet realized or be it the modification of an existing project. Every lecture (3 hours) includes time for testing the technologies covered (1 hour) and for developing part of the group project and for receiving feedback about it (1 hour).

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Digital Fabrication Studio.03 _Software @ Aalto Media Factory

  1. Digital_Fabrication_Studio.03Software – how to design a project for digitalfabricationMassimo Menichinellimassimo.menichinelli@aalto.f 07.05.2012@openp2pdesign Aalto Media Factory Helsinki
  2. Today:* Geometries and file formats* Softwares available in the lab
  3. 01.Geometries and file formats:modeling techniques and formalrepresentations
  4. 2D: Raster graphicsA raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structurerepresenting a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points ofcolor, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium.A bitmap corresponds bit-for-bit with an image displayed on ascreen, generally in the same format used for storage in thedisplays video memory, or maybe as a device-independentbitmap. A bitmap is technically characterized by the width andheight of the image in pixels and by the number of bits per pixel(a color depth, which determines the number of colors it canrepresent). Source:
  5. 2D: Raster graphicsThe structure of a bitmap image. Source:
  6. 2D: Vector graphicsVector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such aspoints, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are allbased on mathematical expressions, to represent images incomputer graphics. "Vector", in this context, implies morethan a straight line.Vector graphics is based on images made up of vectors(also called paths, or strokes) which lead through locationscalled control points. Each of these points has a defniteposition on the x and y axes of the work plan. Source:
  7. 2D: Vector graphicsEach track can be assigned a color, a shape, a thickness and also a fll. This does not affect the size of the fles in a substantial way.. Source:
  8. 3D: Solid (parametric) modelingThe use of solid modeling techniques allows for the automationof several diffcult engineering calculations that are carried outas a part of the design process. Simulation, planning, andverifcation of processes such as machining and assembly wereone of the main catalysts for the development of solid modeling.A central problem in all these applications is the ability toeffectively represent and manipulate three-dimensionalgeometry in a fashion that is consistent with the physicalbehavior of real artifacts. Source:
  9. 3D: Solid (parametric) modelingComponents have fnite size and well behaved boundaries, and their dimentions can be changed through parameters. Source:
  10. 3D: NURBS modelingNon-uniform rational basis spline (NURBS) is a mathematicalmodel commonly used in computer graphics for generating andrepresenting curves and surfaces which offers great fexibilityand precision for handling both analytic (surfaces defned bycommon mathematical formulae) and modeled shapes.NURBS surfaces are functions of two parameters mapping to asurface in three-dimensional space. The shape of the surface isdetermined by control points. Source:
  11. 3D: NURBS modelingEdit points and control points for NURBS modeling. Source:
  12. 3D: NURBS modelingControl points on a NURBS surface. Source:
  13. 3D: Mesh modelingA polygon mesh or unstructured grid is a collection ofvertices, edges and faces that defnes the shape of apolyhedral object in 3D computer graphics and solidmodeling. The faces usually consist of triangles,quadrilaterals or other simple convex polygons, since thissimplifes rendering, but may also be composed of moregeneral concave polygons, or polygons with holes. Source:
  14. 3D: Mesh modeling Objects created with polygon meshes must store different types ofelements. These include vertices, edges, faces, polygons and surfaces. Source:
  15. Node-based modelingData is passed from component to component via connecting wires which always connect an output grip with an input grip. Source:
  16. Node-based modeling Data can be imported and it is always stored in parameters, which caneither be free-foating or attached to a component as input/outputs objects. Source:
  17. CodeA code is a rule for converting a piece of information (forexample, a letter, word, phrase, or gesture) into another form orrepresentation (one sign into another sign), not necessarily of thesame type.In computer science, source code is any collection of computerinstructions (possibly with comments) written using somehuman-readable computer language, usually as text. The sourcecode is translated at some point to machine code that thecomputer can directly read and execute. An interpreter translatesto machine code and executes it on the fy when the program isrun, while a compiler translates the program in advance tomachine code that it stores as executable fles. Source:´
  18. CodeHuman-readable code and comments. Source:´
  19. .SVGScalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a family of specifcations of anXML-based file format for two-dimensional vector graphics, bothstatic and dynamic (i.e. interactive or animated). The SVGspecifcation is an open standard that has been underdevelopment by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since1999.SVG images and their behaviors are defned in XML text fles. Thismeans that they can be searched, indexed, scripted, and, ifrequired, compressed. As XML fles, SVG images can be created andedited with any text editor.All major modern web browsers have at least some degree ofsupport and render SVG markup directly. Source:
  20. .SVGAnd this is why it is a standard for the web... Source:
  21. G-codeG-code is the common name for the most widely usedcomputer numerical control (CNC) programming language,which has many implementations. Used mainly inautomation, it is part of computer-aided engineering. G-code is sometimes called G programming language.In fundamental terms, G-code is a language in whichpeople tell computerized machine tools what to make andhow to make it. The "what" and "how" are mostly defned byinstructions on where to move to, how fast to move, andthrough what path to move. Source:
  22. G-codeG-codes are also called preparatory codes, and are any word in a CNC program that begins with the letter "G". Source:
  23. G-codeG-codes are also called preparatory codes, and are any word in a CNC program that begins with the letter "G". Source:
  24. .OBJA geometry defnition fle format frst developed byWavefront Technologies. The fle format is open and hasbeen adopted by other 3D graphics application vendors.The OBJ fle format is a simple data-format that represents3D geometry alone — namely, the position of each vertex,the UV position of each texture coordinate vertex, normals,and the faces that make each polygon defned as a list ofvertices, and texture vertices.Materials that describe the visual aspects of the polygonsare stored in external .mtl fles. Source:
  25. .OBJYou may probably need to edit it by hand, one day... Source:
  26. .IGES / .IGSThe Initial Graphics Exchange Specifcation (IGES)(pronounced eye-jess) is a fle format which defnes avendor neutral data format that allows the digitalexchange of information among Computer-aided design(CAD) systems.Using IGES, a CAD user can exchange product data modelsin the form of circuit diagrams, wireframe, freeform surfaceor solid modeling representations. Applications supportedby IGES include traditional engineering drawings, modelsfor analysis, and other manufacturing functions. Source:
  27. .IGES / .IGSYou may probably need to edit it by hand, one day... Source:
  28. .DXFAutoCAD DXF (Drawing Interchange Format, or DrawingExchange Format) is a CAD data fle format developed byAutodesk for enabling data interoperability between AutoCADand other programs.Versions of AutoCAD from Release 10 (October 1988) and upsupport both ASCII and binary forms of DXF. Earlier versionssupport only ASCII.As AutoCAD has become more powerful, supporting morecomplex object types, DXF has become less useful. Certain objecttypes, including ACIS solids and regions, are not documented. Source:
  29. .STLSTL (Standard Tessellation Language) is a fle format nativeto the stereolithography CAD software created by 3DSystems. This fle format is supported by many othersoftware packages; it is widely used for rapid prototypingand computer-aided manufacturing. STL fles describe onlythe surface geometry of a three dimensional object withoutany representation of color, texture or other common CADmodel attributes.The STL format specifes both ASCII and binaryrepresentations. Binary fles are more common, since theyare more compact. Source:
  30. … and much more file formats!
  31. 02.Softwares:what tools are available in thisFabLab
  32. Mac and Win, but also... VirtualBox VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualizationproduct for enterprise as well as home use and it is open source. Source:
  33. Ubuntu, with a virtual machineUbuntu is a computer operating system based on the Debian Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software. Source:
  34. Ubuntu Unity: the new desktop environment Founded in 2010, the Unity project has gone on to deliver a consistent user experience for desktop and netbook users alike. Source:
  35. Fab Modules Fab Modules are developed by the MIT CBA with the Fab Network. Availablefor experimental / personal use; commercial licenses are available from MIT. Source:
  36. Rhinoceros 3DRhinoceros (Rhino) is a stand-alone, commercial NURBS-based3-D modeling tool, developed by Robert McNeel & Associates. Source:
  37. Rhinoceros 3D for MacUnder development, but still available for free (registration required). Source:
  38. Grasshopper for Rhinoceros 3D (Win)Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D and it requires no knowledge of programming or scripting. Source:
  39. TopModOpen Source software for modeling very complex geometries. Source:
  40. RhinoCAM (Not available now) … not the center for rapid prototyping: “investigating theinterface between computer science and physical science” Source:
  41. Blender3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging/ skinning, fuid / smoke / particle simulation, animating, rendering, video editing / compositing, game engine. Source:
  42. Blender: theres a video introduction available3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging/ skinning, fuid / smoke / particle simulation, animating, rendering, video editing / compositing, game engine. Source:
  43. MeshlabMeshLab is an open source system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes with tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting. Source:
  44. MeshmixerMeshmixer is a free tool for making crazy-ass 3D stuff without too much hassle. Source:
  45. Netfabb Studio BasicNetfabb Studio Basic is freeware and runs on Windows, Linux or Mac. It is not just a viewer, it provides mesh edit, repair and analysis. Source:
  46. Replicator GThis is the software that will drive your MakerBot Thing-O-Matic, CupCake CNC, RepRap machine, or generic CNC machine. Source:
  47. InkscapeAn Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator,CorelDraw, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) fle format. Source:
  48. Corel Draw Graphics Suite X5CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 is a fully integrated graphic design software suite that helps you creatively express ideas for any media. Source:
  49. GIMPGIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open source software image retouching and editing tool and is freely available for Win, Mac, Linux. Source:
  50. DraftSightDraftSight lets professional CAD user create, edit and view DWG fles. DraftSight runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. Source:
  51. SketchUpSketchUp is a 3D modeling program marketed by Trimble Navigation and designed for ease of use. Source:
  52. LibreCadLibreCAD is a free Open Source CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux. Source:
  53. Free CAD FreeCAD is a general purpose feature-based, parametric 3D modeler for CAD,MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM, aimed at mechanical engineering and product design. Source:
  54. Eagle CADThis software offers user friendly, powerful and affordable solutions forPCB design, including Schematic Capture, Board Layout and Autorouter. Source:
  55. Fritzing Fritzing is an open-source initiative to support designers, artists,researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics. Source:
  56. NodeboxNodeBox lets you create 2D visuals (static, animated or interactive) usingPython programming code and export them as a PDF / QuickTime movie. Source:
  57. NodeBox 2NodeBox 2 creates generative art and design through a node- based system. Source:
  58. ProcessingProcessing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. Source:
  59. Arduino IDEThe open-source Arduino environment makes it easy to write code and upload it to the i/o board. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Source:
  60. Adobe Creative Suite 5Adobe Creative Suite (CS) is a collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications made by Adobe Systems. Source:
  61. 123D AppSculpting on the iPad, slicing models, 3D scanning... made easy! Source:
  62. … and much more software!
  63. Thank you!!Massimo MenichinelliAalto Media Factorymassimo.menichinelli@aalto.f 07.05.2012@openp2pdesign Aalto Media Factory Helsinki