Week 2: Computer Aided Design

Pangolin Made by Laser

Tools: Rhino, Adobe Illustrator, Laser Cutting, Vinyl Cutting

Goal for all projects: "AHHH MUST HUG THE PANGOLIN!". To create this fawning effect, my form factors should be as rotund and huggable as possible. At the sound of 'Press-fit kit', the Pangolin's scales immediately came to mind. My original idea was to create a kit of parts based on the Pangolin's scales, but getting the curvature of the Pangolin correct purely from stacking scales would have been challenging given my nascent Rhino and parametric modeling skills. So with help from my new friend Raphael, we brainstormed 1. A skeleton we could could create a press fit kit 2. A skin created by vinyl, which would give us the pliability to tackle the Pangolin's acorn-like body

I first took a real photo of a pangolin, and overlaid him into rhino. As I observed the form factor grow, I thought about creating a product use case for it and most naturally since I just got a bike, I thought the form factor could be quite becoming of a hat, or helmet. We will see where this goes though...

After tracing its initial form and extrapolating its scales, I began imagining it in 3D space. I decided not to give it a tail because cute and rotund was the name of the game. After drawing out initial contours, I lofted the figure and saw the complexity of the curves

Using rhino I turned contours into planar surfaces after intersecting the lines. There were a few decisions ot make - did I want orthogonal joints, or create vertical angular planes? In rhino I would perp the lines to account for how the joints would meet

I cut the joints at the intersections, accounting for the widths into a kit of parts. I was not sure structurally whether an orthogonal spine, versus a diagnol spine would make more sense

Modeling and Vinyl Cutting

When putting the parts together, it was challenging to see the angles configured for this curved figure. The width of the cardboard made it obvious when the edges touched

But at last, the pangolin skeleton has been formed

For skin, I used vinyl stickers given the pliability of the material which would aid in forming the skin of the Pangolin (Sorry architecture lab if you were wondering where the red vinyl went :*-))

The Vinyl Machine and mods were not the easiest to work with. First I had the contours of the scales drawn from image, but the mods did not read the contours well and created gaps. I played around with the threshold and tracing options, but ultimately got frustrated and turned the scales into solid shapes in Adobe Illustrator. I left half of the label to create the "scales sticking out" look.

Pangolin-like, but Mr. Pangolin is not quite huggable yet

Week 2: Computer-Aided Cutting — Left Menu