Blog Archive


12 February 2011

Design Implications and Issues with Printing Prototype

3D STUDIO MAX –9TH February 2011


Design Implications:

Today was supposed to be the final hand in day and submission date of the design files. However due to design implications, this was not possible.

I had two designs which I proposed as my final two designs, the first one was the light bulb concept from the previous design proposal Design concept 4. (See earlier Blog entry)

  • This was the first design I proposed to the printing department, however there were many implications with this design which made it diffcult for printing. The implication with this design was firstly the bottom of the design. The intricacy of the entwined ends, are too thin, and must be of a minimum thickness of 2mm. To print an object of a thickness smaller than 2mm, will result in the object breaking, and possibly not even print into a solid shape
  • To alter this implication, the tails of the object had to be removed, the only way to acheive this was by completly removing the ends, which resulted in a completly new design.

The screen capture above clearly shows the structure being changed. The end tails have been removed to leave a structural thickness suitable for printing. Using the process of experimenting with the rotaional functions, I began developing a new concept design. This time I used the array tool, to develop a structure suitable for printing.

Initial Inspiration & Research

Initial inspiration has come from shadows, crystalisation, and hidden qualities

Lighting became my main market source of inspiration, Visiting the Interior Design show In Birmingham NEC 2011, became my main source of inspiration, looking at new innovative ways for lighting.

Initial design concept 1: This design consisted of a sphere with cut out sections, positioned within a cube. However it would be impossible to acheive as a design needs a solid structure to be positioned in, and the cubve would have no substantial wall structure to be constructed.Inital design concept 2: Continuing from the previous design, using the cut through technique, it would be interesting to see the way light reflects from a cut through surface like this. See how to create cut through elements for further details as to how this was acheived.
Initial Design Concept 3: A structual pyramid, with a central cut through section, consisting of raised and cut areas.

Overall Conclusion, Design Analysis and learning curve

The learning stages and learning curve of this project has developed over these past 3 weeks. It has been a really short time scale to which we have been taught and tried to implement our design ideas into 3D Studio Max. The beginning stages of this project I struggled to understand the concept and software, and translating 2D designs into a 3D concept was proving really difficult.

The 3 week time scale is a very short learning time, and would be beneficial and interesting to have been taught over a longer period of time, to be able to develop our designs, and strengthen our knowledge and understanding of 3D Studio Max.

By using the online tutorials and developing my understanding of the software, I have been able to progress much further in the last week of this project. By working daily on the tutorials and trying to implementing ideas and working and experiment I have been able to develop a series of designs which would work effectively as a form of lighting.

The final design I feel is a really interesting design, and would work really effectively as a light bulb construction. With the market always looking for innovative ways and new design concepts, I think that this software works effectively in creating new lighting concepts from implemented designs.

I also really like design 1, as a complete lighting installation, the different levels, and design aspect of this design form a really interesting concept, which would be really interesting to see as a 3D prototype.

I have learnt a lot in this project, and although I have struggled with the understanding of the software, I feel over the weeks it has enabled me to strengthen my understanding and I would like to further develop my understanding and continue using this software as part of my Final Major Project.

Final Design & Concept Development

Fourth Design Concept & Development: Concept for a constructed Light

This next concept is for a Light bulb, influenced by the company Plumen, I have looked into a new way of Lightbulbs becoming aesthically more appealing and a sculptural form of art as well as a lighting feature.

Initial Drawing & Idea:

Front, Side & Back View

Bottom View

Top View

I really like this idea and concept for a light bulb and the construction of entwined objects. The impact of light formed through this object would be really interesting as a product.

Final Design Development, Inspiration and Design Proposal



Final Design & Process:

This next section is my reflective journey and progress development of the techniques I have learnt over the 3 weeks of this project and implementing my design ideas into a 3D concept. We are now in the third week of the project, from the presentation and design ideas we have proposed, and the feedback received I am now able to develop my designs further into a working prototype.

Inspiration - Lighting:

The design concept for this project is to design for the Interiors market, looking into lighting and how new innovative ways of lighting can be designed. From market research and looking into how the lighting industry is developing I have decided to develop my designs and look into new ways as to how lighting can work, firstly as an art installation, and also looking at how light is portrayed.

Constructed Light Bulbs:

From Market research and visiting the Birmingham Interior Design Show January 2011, the lighting areas inspired me a lot, one in particular was ‘PLUMEN’

Plumen is the antithesis of low energy light bulbs as we know them. Rather than hide the unappealing traditional compact fluorescent light behind boring utility, Plumen 001 is a bulb you’ll want on show” (Plumen (no date)[1]

[1] Plumen (no date) The Designer Energy Saving Light Bulb. Available at: (Accessed 7 January 2011)

Constructed lamp shades, geometric constructed shapes - Le Klint Lampshades

Living etc (no date) Le Klint Lamp shade. Available at: (Accessed 28th January 2011)2

From the inspiration of Plumen, and research I intend to now develop my initial ideas and thoughts into creating various design concepts for both a lighting installation and a light bulb.

The following will be a recording of my progress, development and how I have gone from start to finish and how each design has been constructed. Although It has only been 3 weeks of training on this software, hopefully I can continue developing and progressing to gain a further understanding and use this process as part of my FMP.

Design Inspiration:

The design inspiration for this design project has come from the concept of shadows, and all things hidden. The underlying meaning and purpose behind this project shows the nature of being guarded, and how ourselves as individuals are like delicate valuables which are protected. It will portray a deeper understanding and a reflection of a journey which many remain unaware of.

The lighting will consist of a design which incorporates the initial light, or possibly a shade which forms the outer protection to bulb, or the actual bulb which protects the inner light. I aim to design a new form and concept of lighting which becomes unique and interesting.

Creating the Design Concept:

Using the techniques and skills which I have been taught and learnt over the past few weeks, i began applying them into a final design. By firstly drawing out an initial box, i began the editing process using the extruding technique, and converting the object to an editable poly. I wanted to have a more structured upper surface, and therefore by duplicating an object and positioning it beside the first object will enable a much stronger structure to work from.

To duplicate the object simply select the whole object until it is fully highlighted, and then by holding down the shift key and drag the object out beside the first object. A window will then appear offering the options to either clone the second object to first one or simply as an extra element and then click ok.

I began the initial design stages by extruding from the original object, which can be seen. Once an object has been extruded, it usually extrudes vertically. This can be adjusted by simply using the key tools on the tool bar above.

To extrude two objects at a time, simply by holding down the shift key and selecting both areas, and locking them into place enables both sections to be extruded exactly the same time, and of the exact same shape and movement.

This next image is the current construction of the design in the side perspective view. I am going to use this structure to further develop the concept of shadowing, but firstly converting it to turbo smooth to see the design construction is a smooth mode, and then experiment with duplicating, repositioning and other design features.

Changing an object into Turbo Smooth:

To change the object into turbo smooth mode enables the design to be seen in a much clearer, smooth view. To do this simply in modify mode, select the option turbo smooth and the design becomes less rigid, edges are curved and smoother. This will now enable me to develop the design further.

Adding Modifiers:

To manipulate the design further, I added a modifier known as ‘Twist’ simply by selecting the modifiers tab, and scrolling down to twist.

By editing the Angle and the Bias of the twist parameters, enables the manipulation of the design to alter which can be seen in the screen capture above.

Duplicating & Finalising a design:

By firstly selecting the object, going to Edit, and select all, will enable whatever step is now taken forward will change the complete object as a whole and not a section of it.

I want to duplicate the object now, and begin experimenting with angle, rotation, and movement. Therefore by holding down the shift key, and dragging the object outwards, a window will appear commanding how many copies you wish to make. For example 9 copies were entered which resulted in the object multiplying as shown in the scree capture below.

Although the object has clearly been duplicated, I want to create a duplicate that is rotated on a circular dimension. To do this works in exactly the same way however this time, by selecting the rotation, and holding down the shift key and dragging the object will enable the object to be duplicated in a circular position rather than a straight continuing line.

Using the rotation tool instead of teh move tool, using the same process, I copied one of the shapes and rotated anti-clock wise to create a circular structure. We can see how the duplicity of the object has rotated; this is the outcome after 6 duplicate copies.

By increasing the amount of rotational copies to 12, this will complete the design as a whole complete object.

We can see how now the object becomes complete as a design, and the original shape, was simply the first element of the design. The shape interlocks with one another and works very effectively as a form of lighting and as a design.

First Design concept for Lighting:

Front View:

Back View:

Second Design Concepts for Light Bulb:

Initial Drawing & Suggestion:

Interlocked layers, entwined to construct one shape, to form the conbsturtcion of a light bulb, Lights could easily be place inside the construction, and then be used as a form of decorative lighting.

Third Concept for Lighting:

Left View

Front View

Back View

I really like this design concept, the build-up of layers, the design concept from each angle is different and intriguing and would be really interesting as a lighting prototype.