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3d Printing - Windows & Doors




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#1 Stubby47

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 15:59

Now, I know nothing about 3d Cad design or 3d Printing, so I'm offering this for discussion.

Using the Peco / Ratio set of windows & doors as inspiration (not as a pattern!), is it possible to produce similar in a CAD / 3d printing format ?
What I'm suggesting is a set of standard designs for windows & doors, which can be tweaked dimensionally to be bigger or smaller, both within a scale and across scales.

For example, a standard sash window that is prototypically 2ft across and 4ft high could be made in 4mm in three parts - the frame, lintel & sill, the upper sash and the lower sash. If a window was wanted that was 2ft 6" across, the Cad would be tweaked & the 3d printing run again. If the same window was then wanted in 7mm rather than 4mm, the scale tweak could be adjusted and then the item printed as before.

In practice, from a website displaying the set of standard designs, the purchaser could choose the qantity & sizes of each and order as required.

Bespoke designs could be added as needed, which would then add to the portfolio.

What do you think ?

Stu

Edited by Stubby47, 16 March 2012 - 16:02 .

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#2 54Strat

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 17:32

My job involves automating processes and tools to do with 3D geometry, so this is very and easily achievable within the context of a DCC app. The difficult thing will be to get this driven from the website, and there are frameworks that could interface and drive a 3D Cad or Modeller DCC app that would then do the export the model in the required format and push it to the printer service.

You could also author a simple 2D flash / java based interface to give a parametrically controlled envelope to alter the sizes of fixed assets such as windows, then replicate this in the DCC app for export.

Certainly doable.

Paul
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#3 Stubby47

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 23:59

Thanks Paul,

I hadn't considered driving from the website, but using it more as an ordering portal, for manual intervention between the order and the printer.

OK, to progress this, what 3D Cad software would be good to use as a starter ?

(Baring in mind I have no knowledge of this sort of program, but am quite able to draw 3d using a pencil & rule...).

Cheers

Stu

Edited by Stubby47, 17 March 2012 - 00:01 .


#4 54Strat

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 00:47

I'd look into cad or modelling software that supports a scripting language. Blender, Maya or Max for example all support python which would be suitable. However, if this is a service then one possibility would to create editable templates that could quickly be configured to meet the client's requirements, and uploaded to a shop such as shapeways.

Paul
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#5 Ben A

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:43

Hello all,

On previous occasions there has been discussion about an RM Web exclusive project, and these have always foundered on the basis that we are an eclectic mix and there was never one single item, scale or idea that would appeal to enough people.

However, I feel that this suggestion has merit and I wondered whether there could be a way forward for RMWeb becoming some kind of "clearing house" or "facilitator" for the ideas mentioned above, with perhaps an area of the forum acting as a kind of click-through catalogue for the various items.

The way I guess it would work would be that members could upload suggestions for an item - a velux roof window let's say - with photos and dimensions. Any group member with 3D CAD experience could volunteer to draw it, and the artwork could be peer-reviewed through the site. Once all are happy, the design could be sent to Shapeways and members could then order it as they wish.

What's in it for the members? - An interactive way of obtaining needed and fiddly items
What's in it for the designers? - A ready-made market place for their items, and in the longer term some income from those items that are popular.
What's in it for RM Web? - I suppose just the satisfaction of finding another way to make the site a "must bookmark"

Of course, I am all too well aware that it can be irritating when people volunteer others for work, and it may be that with the new commercial tie-in RM Web has that this idea is not feasible.

cheers

Ben A.
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#6 Etched Pixels

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 00:16

Easiest way I can see would be to write an openscad script to produce them. Stick an AGPL licence on the script and that'll require anyone redistributing the software or providing a web service from it makes the code available for anyone else to modify under those same conditions.

For simple parametric extrusions its pretty easy to knock up the needed scripts if you've done any parametric modelling work.

In fact for the simple cases if you've got a 2D drawing of a window frame you can just extrude it 0.4mm thick and fire it at Shapeways without really applying any brainpower at all.

Bigger problem is the minimum thicknesses - right now for small scales a lot of the finer window detail is still etch only. For big scales yes - and being able to actually get angles on the edges etc is going to be a big win.

#7 Stubby47

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 13:48

Thanks for all the replies - some of which I actually understood....

I'm the first to admit I can't do any of this ( and don't have the time at the moment to learn the software needed ).

Would it be possible for someone to draw an example of a simple window, with the future idea of it being passed to a 3d printing establishment to be created as a proof of concept ?

I also like the idea of this being an RMweb product (subject to Andy Y's agreement, any contractual issues, etc) - I'm not precious about having any intellectual rights or hold over any part of the process - even to the extent that someone actually creates a business case and makes this into a productive process.

It's really over to you guys with the experience to take this idea and run with it - I'm happy to watch but am not able to add any constructive input.

Stu
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#8 Andy Y

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 14:00

However, I feel that this suggestion has merit and I wondered whether there could be a way forward for RMWeb becoming some kind of "clearing house" or "facilitator" for the ideas mentioned above, with perhaps an area of the forum acting as a kind of click-through catalogue for the various items.


I agree with Ben's suggestion and would be happy with some form of open-source process to enable it. I wouldn't be seeking for RMweb to derive commercial benefit through such a arrangement but I think it would be wise to look at some kind of framework agreement for both ends of the equation so that a. ) it works and b.) it's not subject to commercial opportunism from someone outside that framework.
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#9 Etched Pixels

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 14:49

I suspect you don't actually want to "draw a window" to do this right you need to describe a window mathematically. At that point everything important becomes a variable and you can just change those and produce any window within that basic pattern.

So for example if you are doing an industrial window with arched top you'd probably describe it as

'x panes wide, y panes high, arched top is n mm higher than the edges, panesize is a x b'

From that you can produce just about any rectangular paned window with arched top. (You might also want to be able to specify
fans etc)

Similarly all the modern double glazing in the real world is assembled from a standard kit so you can describe stuff in that way and save a lot of work.

This is essentially how a lot of us do things like model kit design. You can describe a many designs of coach very succinctly for example - its a set of standard parts in varying positions. Drawing them all would take hours, telling the computer where the windows are and what type takes minutes !

Alan

Something like this for a starter

And there is much you can add - window locks, handles, the lower windowsills, rotation of openable windows etc.

The point being do it for one and you can do it for all


// Initial modern window example
//
// â“’ 2012 Etched Pixels Digital Design
// Licensed: CC-NC-BY-SA (UK)
//
// http://creativecommo...y-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
//


// Produce a rectangular raised block the size of our
// window with a shallow bit round the edge to stick
// to the cardboard wall
//
// w - width
// h - height
// d - material depth (0.4mm for FUD)
//
module simple_window_body(w,h,d)
{
translate([0,0,-0.1])
cube([w + 1, h + 1, d], center=true);
cube([w, h, d], center = true);
}


//
// A simple window - a hole with a frame
// f - frame thickness
// d - depth
//
module simple_window(w,h,f,d)
{
difference() {
simple_window_body(w, h, d);
cube([w - 2 * f, h - 2 * f, d + 0.3], center=true);
}
}

//
// A simple window - a hole with a frame
// but without the border as this is for making
// interior panels
//
// f - frame thickness
//
module simple_window_panel(w,h,f,d)
{
difference() {
cube([w, h, d], center=true);
cube([w - 2 * f, h - 2 * f, d + 0.3], center=true);
}
}

//
// A fancier opening window look done as a panel
// bf = frame width of inner opening bit.
// r = amount to raise opening bit above level
//
module simple_opening_window_panel(w,h,f,bf,d,r)
{
// Draw a simple window
simple_window_panel(w, h, f, d);
// Then draw another one inside it raised forward
// a spot. The 0.01 is to make sure the objects
// overlap so we don't confuse shapeways
translate([0,0, r])
simple_window_panel(w - 4 * f + 0.01,
h - 4 * f + 0.01, bf, d);
}
//
// Modernish looking window with opening top
// th = top height
//
module simple_window_top_opener_panel(w,h,th,f,bf,d,r)
{
simple_window_panel(w, h, f, d);
translate([0, (h - th)/2, r])
simple_window_panel(w, th, bf, d);
}


//
// And you can put these together to make big windows
//

module three_panel_modern(w,h,th,f,bf,d,r)
{
simple_window(w, h, f, d);
translate([w/3,0,0])
simple_window_top_opener_panel(w/3, h, th, f, bf, d, r);
translate([-w/3,0,0])
simple_window_top_opener_panel(w/3, h, th, f, bf, d, r);
}

three_panel_modern(30, 15, 5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.4, 0.2);


// Basically any modern window in this style you
// want consists of a simple_window the full size
// which will add the border, then window_panels
// of various forms to fill it in
//
// e.g. this produces a single window with a top
// opening bit.
//
module top_opener_modern(w,h,th,f,bf,d,r)
{
simple_window(w,h,f,d);
simple_window_top_opener_panel(w,h,th,f,b,d,r);
}

Edited by Etched Pixels, 22 March 2012 - 14:51 .

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#10 Etched Pixels

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 14:52

(formatting is a bit mashed, but that seems to be flaws in the forum software rmweb uses)

Edited by Etched Pixels, 22 March 2012 - 14:52 .


#11 Stubby47

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 15:11

Alan,

That looks exceedingly simple to process, but as a pencil & paper merchant (despite countless years as a programmer) how would I translate my window design sketch into a series of parameters to input to such a process ?

Or are you saying once a design is coded, a simple set of entry parameters could be entered by anyone (eg via a web portal) to detail the dimensions of that design they require ?

If so, then once there is a set of standard designs created, then this process would be a viable concept ?

Stu

Edited by Stubby47, 22 March 2012 - 15:12 .


#12 Etched Pixels

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 15:16

Providing it's been taught the window style you like you just give it the dimensions you need

So this

three_panel_modern(30, 15, 5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.4, 0.2);

will let you change the numbers, thicknesses etc and produce a wide range of windows. You could certainly plug it into a web interface to make it friendly. My first thought there would be a web version of the sketch of the window in question with the dimensions marked and fill in boxes for the values


But yes its certainly viable, if not routine. You don't think people sit there with advanced cad tools hand drawing every new piece of plastic packaging for example do you ?
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#13 Campaman

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:55

Sounds reasonable to me, we produce steel nuts we have in excess of 3,000 different sizes and styles, but within our cad system they are all derived from a series of templates numbering less than 100.
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#14 Stubby47

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 16:24

Sounds reasonable to me, we produce steel nuts we have in excess of 3,000 different sizes and styles, but within our cad system they are all derived from a series of templates numbering less than 100.

Thanks for that - but how does one go about actually creating the CAD files ???? Can a 3D printing firm supply CAD services ? Or is it better to source / draw these elsewhere and supply the 3D printers with a simple set of parameters ?

#15 StuartM

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 12:37

Unless I'm missing something, why not print the whole window in one piece ?
3d printers can print the most intricate things these days






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