Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #082 – Energy Saving Item

I decided on this challenge to create a virtual replica of the Moisture Vaporators seen on the Lars family moisture farm in Star Wars.  I normally create something completely unique so perhaps this time I took a short cut by modeling something real.  Okay, not so much real because it’s only a prop.  And if it were real we would need a droid who could speak it’s language just to get it working.  C3PO isn’t real either… hence the real problem.  If c3PO were real then people wouldn’t waste time yelling at inanimate objects when they don’t work, they would just have their custom programmed protocol droid do it.  Anyway, there are real machines that work just like a Moisture Vaporators and thankfully they don’t use binary brain units.

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Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #079 – Cordless Phone

My entry to this weeks challenge was inspired by the design of the Phillips ID555 Slimline cordless phone. I chose to model a slimline one because they are the latest in cutting edge technology. This one is just 7/16″ thick and not much bigger than the typical TV remote but not too uncomfortably small to hold. Moveable parts have been kept to a minimum to maintain durability. The buttons do not depress, rather, they work like a touch screen interface found on some mobile phones. A phone like this wouldn’t be complete without Bluetooth technology which allows the use of any Bluetooth compatible headset. Through Bluetooth, it also allows the user to pair the phone with their mobile phone to initiate and answer their mobile line.  Check out the image gallery below:

Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #077 – Camera

This challenge was fun for me.  I decided to model/design a camera setup that would be suitable for me to use from my wheelchair.  I came up with a robotic camera mount that would fit any standard camera with a tripod socket that would allow for 360 degree hands free aiming.  I added in the ability to transmit the video output of a capable digital camera to a separate display that would also house the controls for the 360 degree gimbal and a place to attach the optional remote for the camera.  Of course you must use a camera that has a remote control option in the first place.  The only other option would be something that physically presses the cameras buttons using tiny modular solenoids or actuators that could do it.  Take a look below in the image gallery:

Poor Neglected Blog

I completely forgot to post my last SketchUp Challenge entry to my blog!  I will do that next.  In the meantime, here are some updates:

I kind of fell off the apple cart when modeling challenge #075 which was an RV.  I got most of the outer shell finished but ran out of time to post it before the deadline.  Then I skipped #076 because I had no interest in modeling a weight machine.  I did #077 – Camera but never posted it to my blog.  I’ll post it next… really, I will!  Then I helped out my mom and dad in helping them visualize a plan for our future vegetable garden.  Still in progress.

Since my last blog post I’ve been contemplating starting my own SketchUp challenge… Where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.  That’s right, it’s like giving the Queen of England an iPod.  All joking aside I plan to make it unique from the Google SketchUp 3D Challenge and I’ve been thinking of ideas to make it unique.

I just started on the latest challenge, #079 – Cordless Phone, which should be easy… should.

Roadster Golf Cart

I have finally finished working on my golf cart from Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #070.  Originally I titled it “Custom Electric Club Car” but once I decided to finish it, it turned into a roadster.  I left the frame the same except for pushing the rear wheels outward by a few inches and moving the front end forward by 8 inches to give it a better roadster look.  If this was a real there would be no major modification to the frame.  The new body panels and seating were designed to fit on a standard Club Car Chassis as with the body panels and seating I made for the challenge version.  It has a working trunk, a cherry wood dashboard, headlights, taillights and it comes in 7 colors.  To top it off, I added a Jedi Council emblem to the hood.  Check it out here, or take a look at the gallery below:

Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #072 – Museum

Here’s my entry for this two-week challenge: JediCharles’ SketchUp Museum . This is the most complex challenge entry I have ever modeled. In addition to it’s complexity, I was able to get it completed relatively quickly meaning several days before the deadline. I designed the museum to showcase every challenge I have entered so far, the challenges I’ve won and the post challenge version of my golf cart. The exhibits for the winning challenge entries include several images of each model and the model on a museum pedestal (not actual model but transparent parallel projection images set to face camera). There are 4 levels including a basement with storage area, restrooms and the museum office. A large elevator moves guests from level to level. The second floor features a wraparound balcony. The roof features a rain water reclamation system to provide the water for the restrooms. There are 26 scenes in the model showing all of the features and exhibits. See below for image gallery.

Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #070 – Golf Cart

This challenge was a lot of fun.  My entry is entitled Custom Electric Club Car.  The cart is based on a mid 1980’s Club Car golf cart because I was able to find photos of an actual frame off restoration of one to use as a reference.  The body is a custom design I created that would fit on a Club Car frame.  I didn’t have enough time to finish the golf cart due to the amount of detail I decided to achieve but I did manage to do most of it.  I modeled it from the frame up so I could build it much like a custom hotrod shop would.  I laid out where the wheels would be, created frame rails, built the complete suspension and wheels, installed the motor, finished all the frame parts, and then I created the body and added the seating and fixtures to it.  There are quite a few things left to do and I am in the process of finishing it.  I will upload it to the 3D Warehouse and write a blog post when it’s done.

Click here to see the model as posted for the challenge and see below for an image gallery:

Google SketchUp 3D Challenge #069 – Toothpaste and Brush

Toothpaste and brush…  Sounds boring, eh?  It did to me from the beginning but as I continued to model my entry I realized it was more complex than it seemed.  I had to figure out the right technique to accomplish modeling a few items we all take for granted everyday.

The toothpaste tube was fairly simple for me but required some trial and error.  I started out with a circle about the diameter of a tube of toothpaste at the neck.  I then extruded it about an inch with the push/pull tool.  Then I used the scale tool while holding down Ctrl to resize the resulting end of the extruded circle to make it slightly wider on the green axis and slightly narrower on the red axis.  I repeated the steps on the resulting ovals until I had the basic shape.  I then created some small rectangular boxes in a row, positioned them to overlap into the narrow end of the tube. I selected the face of the tube and intersected by selection to give the crimp effect at the end of the tube and erased the boxes and the resulting clipped faces on the tube.  The label was a matter of creating the elements floating over the top of the tube and extruding them into the face of the tube and intersecting by context on the face to create the geometry.  There were many additional steps involved that would take too much time to explain.

The toothbrush was simpler and involved the follow me tool on curves I created and using the same technique I used in the Luxury Motor Yacht challenge to create the yacht hull.  For the neck and head of the brush I had to use the follow me tool in segments, then erase ends of those segments and manually recreate the ends and stitch them together with the line tool.  All that might not had to to be done had I planned it out better but when you have to stop on the edge of a curve with the follow me tool, the ending face is not at right angles to the extrude path which is frustrating.  The handle was easier than the neck.  I modeled that by creating circles of varying diameter on a curved edge I created as a guide.  I then stitched each circle together to create faces.  I learned that technique by reading or watching a tutorial for modeling a banana somewhere.  The grip was created by intersecting some extruded ovals into the handle and colored in the bristles were not too hard; they were just slightly rounded tubes rotated outward from each other to give them a slight flair.  They were copied and pasted, then grouped.  The grouped bristles were then copied and pasted into the layout I chose.

There were many times where I had to resize the model 10x and intersect items and reduce the model by 0.1 to overcome a glitch in SketchUP that creates missing faces when they were too small.

Creating the Kerkythea rendering was frustrating only when trying to make the bristles look transparent and shiny.  The rendering process took 5 hours and I had to cancel it when it was taking too long to anti-alias the rendering.  Only this morning I was able to get it done.  I unchecked specular sampling for the bristles materials and it rendered in 5 minutes!  D’oh!  The 2250 individual bristles caused too much lag with the specular sampling.  It would have been quicker to use Pixar’s rendering farm but I don’t have access to that, I’m just a hobbyist, not George Lucas.

Click here to see my entry.  Look below for an image gallery:

Update: I won the challenge!

Google Sketchup 3D Challenge #066 – Library

When I first read that the challenge was to model a library I thought “boring!” and said to myself I was skipping this one. Then I thought maybe I could do the Jedi Archive but it would be way too complex to do in 1 week. But, later as I was in bed, I starting getting the idea to make the library of the future which would have no physical books and use virtual bookshelves and virtual books (tablet computers). I had a hard time getting to sleep because I was flooded with ideas. So for a challenge I didn’t want to do at first turned into one of my favorites so far. So here it is: the Library of the Future. Take a look at the gallery below: