Layer By Layer: Create Patterns and Shapes for #3DPrinting #3DThursday

Shapes and patterns add intricate detail to models. Today we’ll cover some of the workflows used in designing the Hulk buster UniBeam detail.

Building spike shapes
The spikes are arranged in a circular pattern around the outer portion of the Unibeam. To build the shape, we’ll select the sketch polygon tool. Drag the mouse onto the grid, click once to scale and place the outline. Enter the number of sides, in our case we wanted a hex bolt style, so we have 6 sides.

Extrude Spikes
To build a spike with a tapered point, select your object, click on the cog wheel and select the extrude command. To taper the point, select the small handle to edit the amount the point will taper. You can drag to increase or decrease the amount of tapering or you can type in the desired value.

Add detail to spikes
Use the sketch polygon tool to build a triangle that will act as the subtracter. Skew the edge of the triangle by selecting the tweak option to elongate one of the points.

Circular Patterns
The diamond details are pattern brushes created inside of Photoshop. Build the shape by modifying one of the boxes inside of the shapes library. Add a rectangle to cut out the corners by applying an intersect area option to it. Merge the paths into a manifold shape and you should have an object that will act as a stencil for the model.

Pattern Brush
With our completed shape, we’ll jump inside of Adobe Illustrator to make the circular details of the diamonds. Drag the shape into the brush panel to create a brush. Double click the brush to edit the options. Here you’ll have control over the spacing to scale the way the repeater will behave. Now you’re ready to export as SVG files for importing into your preferred 3d modeling app!

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

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