PROJECT: Box Project

GOAL

Create a custom shaped box.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Open Image in Illustrator
  • Create Vector Outlines in Illustrator
  • Export SVG from Illustrator
  • Import SVG into 123D Design
  • Reinforce How to Extrude Objects
  • Learn Shell Tool
  • View Transparent

STEPS

  • Why Vector Art
  • Select Object/Image Trace/Make
  • Clean Up Object
  • Save as SVG
  • Open SVG in 123D
  • Extrude Object to Desired Height
  • Option 1 Shell Tool Step One
  • Option 1 Shell Tool Step Two
  • Option 2 Copy Scale and Subtract Step One
  • Option 2 Copy Scale and Merge Step Two
  • Save + Export
  • Print
  • Why Vector Art

    To bring assets into 123D it requires that the file be an SVG file. What is an SVG? Watch the slide show and read the notes here to learn more about the difference between image file types.

  • Select Object/Image Trace/Make

    Download a PNG image that you like from The Additive Project website. OPEN the file in Illustrator.

    SELECT the object from the Artboard (screen), then find Object on the top toolbar. SELECT Image Trace in the drop down menu, and then Make. Optionally, SELECT Make and Expand if you want or need to simplify the image or remove extra anchor points.

  • Clean Up Object

    OPEN the image in the Layer Bar to the right. In some cases there will be extra layers created that are not pictured and are not the image you wish to export. If necessary, DELETE these extra layers. Ensure the layer and object you want to clean up is selected and SELECT it in the active screen. You can use the view and hide to make sure the layer you are going to delete isn’t an active part of your desired image (click the little eyeball on the layer)

    SELECT the path Delete Anchor Point Tool. TRACE the object looking for extra Anchor Points that can be deleted. If deleting an Anchor Point alters the image in a way you don’t like, COMMAND + Z will undo the action.

  • Save as SVG

    Once all modifications are complete, SELECT File + Save As from the top toolbar. Under Format in the dashboard that appears, drop down and SELECT SVG. SAVE the file in an easily accessible place.

  • Open SVG in 123D

    OPEN 123D Design. Using the drop down toolbar over the logo, SELECT Import SVG and CHOOSE As Sketch. NAVIGATE to the file you created in Module 1; If you skipped those steps, DOWNLOAD and IMPORT one of the SVG files provided on TheAdditiveProject.org.

    In some cases the image you import will have an extra outline. If the shape appears with a border outline, or frame, SELECT the individual lines and Delete, leaving only the shape itself. Make sure that once completed the inside of the object you imported still shows as slightly tinted and you are sill able to select the center.

  • Extrude Object to Desired Height

    Ensure you are viewing the shape in Home View. SELECT the shape on the grid plane. Find the Construct Tool on the top toolbar and SELECT Extrude. An arrow will appear above the shape. DRAG the arrow upwards to extrude the shape into a solid object to your desired height. You can also TYPE a number into the extrude tool. TYPE in 10mm.

    The following steps for creating the box and lid are divided into two options, which both have advantages and disadvantages depending on the complexity of the shape you are working with. If you choose Option 1, be sure to follow the steps labeled 1 throughout.

  • Option 1 Shell Tool Step One

    SELECT the top face of the object. A green highlight around the face will ensure that only the face is selected as opposed to the whole object.

    Locate the Modify Tool on the top toolbar or in popup toolbar attached to the selection and SELECT Shell. The interior of the shape will be hollowed out, or shelled, from the face you selected, leaving the other sides in tact. You will see an arrow inside the shape, allowing you to drag to adjust thickness. DRAG the arrow or TYPE in thickness. A thickness of 0.5mm works well. WRITE down the width that you choose to make the walls of the box (you will need to reference this in a moment as you create the lid).

    NOTE: In the case of more complex objects, this tool may not work. In these cases, you can use the process outlined in option 2.

  • Option 1 Shell Tool Step Two

    MOVE the shelled object away from the sketch using the Move Tool. SELECT the sketch. SELECT the Extrude Tool from the pop up menu and DRAG the arrow upwards or TYPE in the provided field to achieve the desired thickness. You can TYPE in 2mm for this object if you chose to set the previous object at 10mm.

    SELECT the top face of the new object and locate the Shell Tool again. ENTER a width the same or slightly larger than the bottom by TYPING in the thickness. Increase the number you noted before for the width of the box walls by .1 or more depending on desired snugness (the larger this number, the looser the eventual fit). Example if you set the wall thickness of the box bottom at 1 then set the thickness for this to 1.1.

    SELECT the inside face of the object, making sure that only this face has its outline highlighted in green. SELECT Push/Pull from the pop up menu and PULL the arrow upwards to extrude the face above the shell. This extruded area now becomes the plug of the lid which will keep the lid in place.

    *Depending on the complexity of the object, this tool may not work. In these cases you can use the process outlined in option 2. If you used option 1 above, use the same method for this step as it will make it easier to ensure the lid insert properly fits into the box base.

  • Option 2 Copy Scale and Subtract Step One

    COPY + PASTE the extruded object. Pasting automatically places the new object in the same space as the old.

    SELECT the second (pasted) object and find the Scale Tool on the pop up toolbar or top toolbar. Remain at the default Uniform setting and Drag the arrow inwards to scale the object down or TYPE the scale into the Factor field. The new, smaller object will be subtracted from the original. A factor of 0.9 represents 90% of the object’s original size, which will leave the original with 10% of its original mass after the smaller is subtracted. WRITE down the scale that you set for the smaller object as you will reference this in a later step.

    SELECT the Move Tool. DRAG the newly scaled object upwards inside the original object so that it protrudes from the top of the original, larger object.

    Locate the Combine Tool on the top toolbar and SELECT Subtract. A popup will appear with two options. Target Solid/Mesh will be highlighted. This is the target from which material will be subtracted. SELECT the larger object. The pop-up will automatically highlight the second option, Source Solid/Mesh. The shape and size of the object selected will be the source of the material to be subtracted. SELECT the smaller object. PRESS Enter to complete the action.

  • Option 2 Copy Scale and Merge Step Two

    SELECT the Move Tool and move the object away from the sketch. Return to the sketch, SELECT it and EXTRUDE to create the top at your desired thickness.

    COPY + PASTE the object. The pasted duplicate will inhabit the same space as the copied object. SELECT the second (pasted) object and find the Scale Tool on the pop up toolbar or top toolbar. Remain at the default Uniform setting and DRAG the arrow inwards to scale the object down or TYPE the scale into the Factor field. This will be the plug for the box opening, so if you used 0.9 (or 90%) as the size of the subtracted object in the previous step, make this piece smaller, e.g. 0.85.

    SELECT the new object and use the Move Tool to DRAG it upwards so that it protrudes from the top of the original, larger object.

    Locate the Combine Tool on the top toolbar and this time SELECT Merge. SELECT the larger object as the Target Solid/Mesh and SELECT the smaller object as the Source Solid/Mesh. PRESS Enter to complete the action. Try highlighting the object to ensure the merge was successful. If the objects were not touching, adjust the position of the smaller object with the Move Tool and REPEAT MERGE.

  • Save + Export

    SAVE the file in 123D for future use with both components. Delete the box lid, leaving only the bottom. In the dropdown menu, SELECT Export STL and label the object for easy identification. COMMAND (Control) Z to undo the previous action, bringing back the deleted lid. DELETE the bottom of the box and REPEAT the Export STL process, again labeling the lid for easy identification.

  • Print

    OPEN MakerWare and SELECT Add File. NAVIGATE to the first saved file, Select and CLICK Open to add it to the print space. If prompted, CHOOSE Move to Platform in the pop up window. REPEAT the process with the second object. MakerWare will put it in the same centered location. SELECT one object and use the Move menu on the left side to move the second object away from the first.

    Find the Export Print File tab on the top tool bar. An Export pop up will appear and load the file to export to the printer. After it is fully loaded, the pop up will display the print time. For our purposes, a 20 minute print time is ideal, so you will may have to CANCEL out of the export and RETURN to the Scale Tab on the side menu. Once you have achieved a print time near 20 minutes, complete the export to printer.

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