the now

More Summer Semester

Hopefully it was educational and interesting to read my submitted papers from my summer Human Centered Design class. I thought I would also quickly post some of the other work I produced in the summer semester that finished a couple weeks ago. (I have already begun my fall 2020 semester at the Academy this week).

Apart from the Human Centered Design class, I was also enrolled in a Digital 3d Modeling class where the rad modeling software called SolidWorks was used. I had familiarity with SolidWorks from a job and career path I began in 2001 that was unfortunately cut-short for a multitude of reasons (a subject I could probably expound upon at a later date). To experience sophisticated software evolve this much is impressive, that being said, it didn’t evolve enough to be completely foreign to me however. A couple weeks of reintroduction and I felt mostly comfortable “driving” it again. Delving into surface modeling in it was a completely new experience that did take some getting used to, but I think the end result and the final project demonstrates this well (in my opinion).

The midterm was a task to model and render a common product that was able to be dismantled, measured, and recreated in digital three-dimensional form in SolidWorks. I chose a small simple, geometric device laying around my house, the garage door opener. I think it came out just alright for something as mundane as it is. It hit all the right buttons though (pun intended): multi-part assembly, internal ribs and bosses, rendered, etc. Click the images to enjoy them more thoroughly:

Following that project was one substantially more involved using surface modeling to create a product featuring a complex compound surface. Not having an option on hand to measure and model from, we were tasked with designing a virtual reality headset. I went a direction that was unique and very organic I thought. (This was done also to satisfy the project requirement of modeling a complex compound surface in the software).

(Again, click through to fully view the images).

Developing this further I would incorporate more internal components that really lend to the model name I chose h.o.L. (for Head-on Level) including some actual user-interface display for the digital sizing and adjustments. Working out more of the draft angles and overhangs would also be wise. I initially intended on rendering it in more of a dystopian setting with the vibrant and unique color I chose as a stand-out feature compared to the predictable flat black models I’ve seen in the real world mostly. However, I think the action shot with the human model demonstrates a dynamic activity fairly well.

Being an Apple guy, I’m bummed to not be able to more readily use this awesome software for more future projects. Hopefully soon, that will change because honestly, I find it one of the more intuitive and logically based modeling software packages I’ve used yet.

the now

Summer Semester ’20

I’ve been chipping away at this degree by taking classes at as many available opportunities that I can fit. This summer has been no different. It is a compressed semester (just as much work in half the amount of time as the normal fall and spring semesters, whatever “normal” means nowadays of course). This summer has been a digital solid modeling class, which is a sort of review for me of a CAD software package I used to use many years ago: SolidWorks. Which is a super rad modeling application, it has changed a good deal in the nineteen year gap since I had last used it professionally.

The other class is an ergonomics class, Human Centered Design; probably one of the more academic classes I’ve taken in a while, (i.e. reading and writing). It was good preparation to have already read most of the required texts prior to this semester, but reading Don Norman’s Design of Everyday Things again is never a chore, it’s a great book. The other textbook on the other hand is pretty weighty. R.S. Bridger’s Introduction to Ergonomics. Amazing breakdown of the subject, and of the chapters we’ve covered so far, fascinating analysis of how the human body functions in a workspace.

I thought it might be an interesting experiment to share some of the work I’ve been producing from these classes, specifically the Human Centered Design class that I have been really enjoying. I’ll post here a number of the papers I’ve written, some of which are just the “ergonomic diaries” that we began the semester writing. I look forward to people’s feedback and perspective on them, so you get to read and write as well if you’re up for it!