Using the Flattery SketchUp Plugin I created a fordable model created out of 5 sheets of paper. You can cut them out using an old school method of a razor blade or you can cut them faster with a laser cutter. So from 3D to 2D and back to 3D!
Thanks to everyone who voted for this project in the past!
Next Limit Technologies has come up with a great affordable plugin for SketchUp, a simpler version of their very powerful Maxwell Render. Here are some quick one click renders using only SketchUp materials, sunlight, and environment. See SketchUp exported images here.
There seems to be some limitations with advanced interior lighting, if there is not a lot of daylight but, who designs without daylighting anymore. For $95 and one click not too bad! There is a great set of starter tutorials that walk you through the interface as well as a large library of Maxwell textures and skies available for your rendering pleasure. Your SketchUp materials can also be saved with the Maxwell render settings for ease of use later. As you can see from my portfolio, I am not a huge fan of photo-realistic renderings. I find my time better spent on designing instead of waiting for renderings. With the new plugin though I can now have the best of both worlds without a lot of hassle. Overall the Maxwell plugin is a well priced, simple, and powerful addition to your SketchUp workflow.
I recently went to an open house at the revamped Fab Lab located in the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Fab Labs were created at MIT and now exist throughout the world. They were designed to allow (almost) anyone to make (almost) anything. The tools they use include; milling machines, laser cutters, CNC routers, 3D printers, and freeware. I was able to participate in one of their shorter 45 minute programs that showed us how to create a key chain in the laser cutter.
Is personal fabrication the future? I believe it is, there is even a new 3D printer that is now ready for space travel. So hopefully I will be helping the next generation learn how to use these new tools. Here is a sneak peek at a program that I am developing for the Fab Lab.
The program will teach a brief tutorial on Google Sketchup and you will get to create something similar with a personal twist. I also used a Sketchup unfold plugin.