This week was about 3D scanning and printing. I wanted to take the opportunity to play with scale, taking advantage of the resolution of the scanners and printers to work at a scale I can't with my bare hands.

I made an accurate model of my apartment in Sketchup.

Unfortunately, there were some issues when exporting to stl format. According to Tom, there were "inverted normals and open curves" in my model. I think this is a function of Sketchup's limitations combined with everything I don't know yet about 3D CAD. Given the time limitations, I had to quickly make a simplified model. I ended up going with just the walls.

It came out pretty well. I could have made the walls even thinner I think (I thickened them when scaling it down just in case, I wasn't sure about the fragility).

Just for fun I used the lasercutter to make a tiny version of the bed I made on the ShopBot a few weeks ago to put inside the tiny apartment.

(The original bed)

For the scanning part of the assignment, I did (or rather, Nadya did and we watched!) a 3D reconstruction on the CT scanner of a tiny RC car. I'm trying to reverse-engineer this car to use as a tiny robot base, so was hoping the scan would help me understand how it worked on the inside. In the end it was easier to see what things were with the naked eye than with the scanner because many of the parts were plastic, but it was still extremely interesting. It was fun to puzzle out what some of the pieces were, because they look completely different when sorted by material density. For example, the solder joints took a while to figure out without being able to see the board.