All posts by conor

Assignment [3/5/14-3/12/14] – Begin Midterm

Howdy everyone. Great job in class today! I was happy to see how engaged everybody was. You guys have all made a lot of progress really fast; Maya is strange beast with many deterring interface quarks. Keep it up!

This week’s HW = Start your midterm project!

HW specifics:

  • Start working on your midterm. You can continue the model that you’ve been working on, but I encourage all of you to start from scratch even if you want to model the same thing; it’s always better the second time! For your midterm, you will be asked to bring in a 3D-printed version of your model in 2 WEEKS! Next week I will introduce everyone to importing your models into Slicer and Makerware. Then you will have one more week to iterate on your model and get it printed at the ARC (or via a printer outside of the school network). You should come in next week with extensive progress on your midterm model and plenty of questions to ask me. In addition to the Slicer/Makerware lecture, we’ll have an in-class work session where I’ll be working with each of you individually.

  • Please email me your Maya .mb file for your “midterm in progress” before the start of class on Wednesday, and submit a post to the blog about your project idea with 3-5 sentences describing your vision and intentions for the project and a few screenshots of what you have so far.

  • Finish whatever Lynda tutorials you haven’t already from Maya Essentials 1, 2, and 3.  Links are in the Google Docs below.

Here are the relevant Google Doc links:
– Class 4 – 3D Modeling w/ Maya (Part I):
– Class 5 – 3D Modeling w/ Maya (Part I):

And finally, a sweet 3D Print GIF!!!

HW – Model a chair in Maya and do some Lynda tutorials!

This week I want you to do the following for HW (before class on Wednesday):
- Sign up for a Lynda account (if haven’t already done so) with your New School ID. It’s FREE!
- Model a super-sexy chair in Maya (like the one in the image below)! … while modeling your chair, focus on the following:
  • create and manipulate different polygon models
    • Note: make sure your Maya is in Polygons Mode: Inline image 3
    • Create polygon primitives like such: Inline image 4
  • get comfortable with switching between polygon selection modes (vertex, face, object, edge) … you can do this by holding down right-click on the model and dragging over the appropriate mode

Inline image 5

  • experiment with the settings in menu link Display > Grid … you can mess with the settings by clicking on the rectangle on the right side of menu link … Inline image 6
  • use the hotkeys Q, W, E, and R to switch between manipulation modes (select, move, rotate, scale) … you can do the same thing by selecting the mode from the left toolbar Inline image 7
  • Play around with Snap to Grid setting … Inline image 2 … to use the grid for building symmetric models with fixed unit sizes
  • Lastly, get familiar with extruding faces … Inline image 9 … from polygons:

Inline image 8

Inline image 1
Optional (but recommended): 
- Add some extra stuff to your maya scene… play around with modeling in polygons!
- Get a jump start on modeling with Polygons by starting this Lynda tutorial:

Assignment 1 – Balsa Truss Cantilever [Create & Destroy!]

The Task:

The task is simple. Create a structure that extends horizontally from the edge of a stack of textbooks. Next week you will be building the weights that we will use to destroy said structure.

The Rules:

1) You must design the “platform” for the weights so that it is greater than or equal to (>= … this is the mathematical sign for “greater than or equal to”) 12 inches away from the edge of the  surface at the top of the stack of textbooks.
2) The “platform” for the weights must be at least 3 inches wide by 3 inches deep.
3) You cannot have any vertical supports that are touching the ground underneath the structure.
4) No part of your structure can be more than 4 inches below the plane of the top surface of the textbooks. You can build as high as you want.
5) Your structure must have a section to rest on the top of the text books that extends at least (>=) 8 inches away from the textbook edge. This will be where one member of your team place their hands to provide the counter balance. (see diagram)
6) Your structure can only be comprised of:

  • The 30 sticks of balsa wood provided (or less)
  • The amount of glue in the one bottle provided (you are allowed to dilute the glue with water during the building process)
  • no more than 5 ft of “general sewing” cotton thread.


The Competition Procedure:

On the day of the competition (in ~2 weeks), one member of your team will place their hands above the section of the structure on top of the textbooks; this will provide the counter-balance as we add the weights to the “platform” of your structure. We will continue to add weights until the structure ruptures or deforms beyond functional point.

Competition Winners

The team that builds the structure that can sustain the most weight, will win a “special prize”.

The team with the most aesthetic / creative design will also receive a special prize though maybe not.

Additional Comments

Note: Aisen and I encourage you to do anything and everything you can to build the most creative and effective solution to this challenge. If you find a loophole in the rules (a way to hack the system), more power to you!

Some resources you might want to check out:
– Analysis of Truss Structures:
– Beam Deflection:

- Truss Arch Bridge:

- Truss:

- Other words you might want to google for ideas: truss, cantilever, beam, structural deflection