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:

Google Sketchup 3D Challenge #064 – Luxury Motor Yacht

I have been participating in the Google SketchUp 3D Challenge since challenge #40.  My latest entry into the challenge is a modern luxury yacht.  It was inspired by the Sabdes 50M Axebow, a hybrid diesel/electric hybrid vessel designed to be economical and environmentally sound yet high-end luxury.  I know very little about the workings of yacht but with some research through Wikipedia and Google I decided on a planing hull which is the type of hull a speedboat uses.  Typically a yacht of this size uses a displacement hull with a bulbous bow which provides a great amount of stability but I wanted a high performance design that would be more about fun than elegance.  Take a look at what I came up with: The SoloCraft 52m Planing Hull Luxury Motor Yacht.  You must have Google SketchUp (free) to view the model interactively.  If you don’t have SketchUp installed, you may take a look at the image gallery below:

Update: I won the Challenge in a tie with a.j.unknow!