Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Adding 2D images to 3D objects in Tinkercad

I hope nobody notices how rushed this video is. This is the first video edited on the new laptop, and the tool chain isn't all there. So if this video seems a bit rough around the edges... is it. But today is Wednesday and come what may I'm uploading a video today, darn it.

Not to brag, but my boys are great. I kinda wanted to know if the wild success of my last video was due to the topic or the kid sharing the screen with me. I think I know the answer, but still, science must be done. So I changed one variable, a new topic, but brought in a kid. Next week I'll do another spinner video without the kids. I sill suspect this video might out perform  similar videos with just me in it. I hope so. I'd like an excuse to have my kids join me on video more often.

I've been using Inkscape to trace bitmaps for as long as I can remember. I kinda don't know what else it's good for. I hear it's useful if I ever get a laser cutter.

I used this technique to make my Iconified Chinese Chess set this way, and that was the first 3D printed model I uploaded to the internet that, in many ways sealed my fate. Because it was that set that Kitlaan in Massachusetts saw and decided he had to print and agreed to print me a copy. The moment I held in my hand something I had designed in the computer and that a 3D printer had made real, there was no way I wasn't going to be into 3D printing.

The process basically goes:

  1. Load a bitmap image (jpg or png) into inkscape
  2. Path->Trace bitmap
  3. Adjust settings to get a good trace of the picture
  4. If you have a multiple scans in one object, Object->Ungroup the object
  5. Delete the traces you don't want to keep
  6. Save the SVG file
  7. Import the SVG file into your 3D program
  8. Do magic
I honestly use this technique, like, all the time. I use this to make soap stamps. I use it to put logos on trophies. 

Inkscape is one of those super useful tools that any designer would be silly not to have in their tool set.

I still love the supporter tile project and thank you to Blaine for giving me a reason to give him a great big shout out. Also, big thanks to all my supporters. Since my last video I've gained a few new Pateron backers. Thank you all for your help.

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