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Makerbot & Miniatures: Common Sizes & Playsets

Furniture and architecture elements are common subjects in many miniature genres.  This week we’ll learn about how to use common sizes to create cohesiveness in a scale model, and consider how these rules change when working on a playset.  Measurements of real objects are great source material for modeling, but if you’re working off of photographs, or designing something from scratch, it’s helpful to know typical measurements of a variety of common objects.

Common Sizes

Width and depth vary, but the height of common furniture pieces is fairly constant.  Online catalogs are a great source for photos that are accompanied by dimensions.

Building code and human proportions have changed over the centuries.  Common architectural dimensions like door width and railing height are typically wider and higher in modern buildings than in older architecture.

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MakerBot & Miniatures: 123D Catch

I’m taking a short break from the blog series this week, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging.  I’ve put together a short screencast on how I use the creation tools in 123D Catch, specifically reference points and reference distances, to create scans that print in my desired scale.  This tip is great for anyone who wants tight control over print size, whether you’re working in scale or not.

YouTube Preview Image

A Quick Note: I’m running Autodesk 123D Catch on my mac through VMware Fusion.  Autodesk just released a web version, which is great for mac users, but it lacks some of the advanced features like creation tools.  So to use this tip, you need to use the desktop application on Windows.

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MakerBot & Miniatures: Developing A Workflow

This is the second entry in a series of posts discussing MakerBot & Miniatures.  Check out last week’s post!

My journey to 3D modeling started at a drafting board and most of my CAD work still ends up in two dimensions on a piece of paper as a plan, section or elevation.  As many of the things I model in CAD are much larger than a piece of paper, it is common practice to create full scale geometry in a CAD program, and then choose a scale in which to depict the project in a layout. When I sat down to design my first model for 3D printing, I wasn’t sure how to get started.  Should I continue to create in full scale, and then scale down when I wanted to make it with my MakerBot?  Or should I design directly in scale?  I currently use both methods in my work, and today I’ll talk through the pros and cons of each approach.

I already had a workflow to go from CAD to 2D, but how would 3D printing change that?

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MakerBot & Miniatures: Thinking About Scale

Earlier this week, I appeared on MakerBot TV to chat with Annelise about how I use my MakerBot in my work. As a part of my job as a scenic designer, I create scale models of theatre sets.  Are you curious about how you might put a MakerBot to work on your scale project?  Want to hop on the playsets bandwagon? I’ve put together a short blog series about getting started working in scale.

This week, we’ll learn about scale factors and use a bit of miniature math to consider what scale to work in.  Stay tuned for more in coming weeks! Read the rest of this entry »

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12 months special financing on new
MakerBot 3D printer hardware purchases
with Dell Preferred Account on

Limited-time offer for qualified customers.
Offer Details

12 months special financing on new MakerBot 3D printer hardware purchases is a no interest if paid in full by November, 2015 financing promotion. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full by your payment due date in November, 2015 or if you make a late payment. Minimum monthly payments are required during the promotional period. If not paid by end of promotional period, account balance and new purchases will be subject to the Standard APR rates, which range from 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR, as of 8/30/2014, depending on creditworthiness. Offers subject to credit approval and may be changed without notice.

Dell Preferred Account offered to U.S. residents by WebBank, who determines qualifications for and terms of credit. Promotion eligibility varies and is determined by WebBank. Taxes, shipping, and other charges are extra and vary. Payments equal 3% of your balance or $20, whichever is greater. Minimum Interest Charge is $2.00.

All products in your cart at the time of purchase will qualify for the special financing promotion if purchased with Dell Preferred Account between 11-26-2014 through 12/30/2014.

New MakerBot 3D printer hardware purchases are eligible! Refurbished and/or used purchases do not qualify for promotions. Eligible e-value/order codes: A7516721, A7629818, A7598495, A7617635.

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