Design Parts In 3d

3D modeling and CAD programs have been used for many years to create models for many purposes — from movies and video games to industrial uses. In addition to models that are complete objects like a building or car, some models are made simply to show the appearance or layout of a particular part. In addition to the professional architects and engineers that create these models, many private individuals are also want to create parts models for various purposes, such as to show a potential licensee what a part in a patented invention looks like — separate from the rest of the item. If you would like to make a model part, there are several free programs you can use, such as SketchUp, Blender or Wings 3D.

Instructions

Google SketchUp

1. Sketch out the part you want to make from several angles. Add notations about the width and height.

2. Start SketchUp. Select the default figure in the scene and delete it. Select “Camera” from the menu and from “Standard Views” choose “Front.”

3. Select the “Line” tool and use it to draw a profile of your part. Drag with the middle mouse button to change the camera angle.

4. Select the “Push/Pull” tool and use it to drag out the shape to roughly the thickness you want, based on your sketches. Use the “Line” tool to add more lines where you need them.

5. Select the “Move” tool and use it to move the lines to refine the shape of the part. Save your work.

Blender

6. Sketch out the part you want to make from several angles. Add notations about the width and height.

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7. Start Blender. Select the default cube in the scene and in the panel at the bottom change the “Object Mode” to “Edit Mode” and the selection mode to “Faces.”

8. Select the front face of the cube. Click “E” on your keyboard to extrude the face outward. Then click “S” and resize the face to better conform to what the shape of your model would be in that area. The point of this process is to slowly sculpt the cube into the shape of your part model.

9. Select either faces and lines and move them to refine the shape. Continue the process of extruding, resizing and moving to get the shape you want. Save your work.

Wings 3D

10. Sketch out the part you want to make from several angles. Add notations about the width and height.

11. Start Wings 3D. Right-click in the view and choose “Cube.” In the panel at the top, change the selection mode to “Faces.”

12. Right-click in the view and choose “Cube.” Click on the front face. Right-click and choose “Extrude” to bring the face outward.

13. Right-click and choose “Scale Uniform.” Resize the face to better conform to what the shape of your model would be in that area. The point of this process is to slowly sculpt the cube into the shape of your part model.

14. Select either faces and lines and move them to refine the shape. Continue the process of extruding, resizing and moving to get the shape you want. Save your work.

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