Blog Archive


7 February 2011

Personal Reflection

We have been working on the 3D Material Concepts project for just over 3 weeks now. The software is really amazing and the effects and detail and high level of designs that can be achieved from using this software are unbelievable. I think it will take time to be able to gain a much clearer understanding as to how this software works, however the effects and products which can be achieved by this is very exciting.

3D Studio Max is generally used within Advertising and films, each single design is captured in stages and then recorded which results in a movie shot of each stage. Although using the movie aspect within this project will not be necessary, it is still an interesting element which could be used within the degree show presentation.

To help[ with the learning and understanding of this software there have also been online tutorials which have been highly benificial which is available at:

The following is my recordings and process of this project


First Session Feedback & Notes:

Personal Development:

I have found this session really difficult to understand and think it will take a matter of self learning and understanding to ensure i fully understand and keep working over the features we have been taught today. Using the skills we have been taught today, I have noted the main learning features on the following pages, indicating key elements, which will enable me to learn, adapt and apply into a design mode for my final design.

Basic Understanding:

The above is a screen capture, which has been taken from my reflective written journey of the project, simply indicating the basics learnt from the first session which are detailed below:

  • Red: Indicates 4 separate windows which view different angles of each design which is created in 3d studio max. Each window shows a different angle as to which way a design is viewed.
  • Green: Indicates that there are many various basic shapes which can be created in the 3D Studio Max, by selecting the create option, and selecting the shape you wish to create. Selecting this button will give you a variety of features and objects to use.
  • Blue: There are many options and tools available on here similarly to using Photoshop. Many of the key features along this tool bar enable you to move, rotate, re-size and view the angle of an object.
3ds Max

Starting off with the Basics

Having missed the first of the taught lessons, I had a little bit of catching up to do. Ertu went very fast whilst teaching during the lesson so it was very important to pay attention at all times otherwise it was very easy to fall behind. In saying that I was happy with what I had learnt after coming out of the lesson. We learnt how to using the spacing tool (array), the mirror modifier tool and how to extrude and bevel.

Spacing Tool

Using the spacing tool- starting off by using the the circle tool then drawing a torus, make sure the torus is selected before selecting spacing tool. Open the spacing tool which is underneath tools> align> spacing tool. Select pick path and click on the circle, the torus should then be grouped around the circle.

Really liked this tool as it seems simple, easy and effective to use. It also made me think how this could be used in relation to one of my own designs. If I designed an object on 3ds maxx ( making sure they were linked together) they too could be spaced around a shape.

Concept 2 Rendered

This design will be made using Rapid Prototyping. The production concept would need to be more flexible, to make sure that SMA could be included; this is possible by adding more plasticised into the powder before the prototyping starts. However for this sample we are unable to change the mix.

Unrendered Sample

Rendered Sample - with lighting and shadows

Each piece will move according to temperature

Initial Concepts

So...all my concepts are for interiors I wanted to involve Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), as I am currently researching into my Final Major Project. I wanted to try and bring nature inside. Try and create the breath of nature, indoors.

Concept 1

Concept 2

Concept 3

Applying the ‘Array tool’ / the ‘Spacing’ tool

The array tool allows you to accurately copy and place an object, using a mathematical equation; this means you can twist each object to any angle. Using an oject that is defaulted in 3DS Max, I manipulated the 'teapot'. Array toolwe come in useful for my final sample.

Array Tool

Spacing Tool

Again I think this will come in very useful for my final sample.

3D Modeling from Sphere / Line

Ertu and Andrew (14.01.2011), Ertu is going through the program really fast, which is good as we are fitting a lot into the 2 hour sessions, however it is difficult to keep up. I used the online tutorials*, using the same skills I that were taught in the lesson; I designed a bicycle seat and a Wine glass.

* Unver, E (2010) Creating a Bicycle Seat from a Sphere. [online] Available at: [accessed: 20th January 2011].

Bicycle Seat

Wine Glasses