Vintage typewriter

I’ve been using the scaling method for intersecting curved surfaces while avoiding the app’s precision limit for a while now, but I’ve recently discovered a method which seems to get the same result as Dave, without up/downsizing:
I’ll combine (compound?) curves by making groups out of the extrusions, putting them together, exploding and intersecting them while everything (within the former groups) is still selected. This seems to avoid a lot of the aberrations that occur at the lower end of SU’s “comfort zone”. The resulting 3D curves form without interruptions or gaps between the segments, as often occur when skirting the lower limits of SU’s range.
BTW, I get an error message from the forum’s corrector when typing “calipers”, which was my 1st choice.
That’s why I’m using the two “L” version.

What a beautiful work, Franquin. I am full of admiration.
I’ve done scale up/explode/intersect/scale down operations. This year, I changed all the drawings on my current project to metres, instead of millimetres, due to rounding and approximation issues. Even so, I tend to still turn on View Hidden Geometry and clean up the mesh, line by line. Now I can draw, say, an M3 thread near enough to the ISO metric standard and expect it to behave itself. I wish I’d done it years ago.

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Gee, thanks a bunch, Robin (I’d guess!..)
I was talking about switching from a “binary” scale (halves) to a decimal one (10ths), or imperial to metric.
Millimetres to metres wouldn’t be an issue. As for screw threads, you might have noticed that I leave them out.
This isn’t laziness, it’s due to the fact that I get black blotches when zooming away from them. I’d have to delve into Styles to get over that hurdle, but there are a lot of SU’s functionalities that are left for me to look into in depth.
Have you seen TDahl’s work on the Viking lander? Have a go, you’ll be as overawed as I was, I’m sure.
Again, thanks for the kind words…

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Go View/Edge Style/Profiles untick.

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@franquin thank you for your kind words regarding my project; you apparently found some of my mechanically oriented re-creation work, which is perhaps in a similar spirit as your typewriter project. Can you describe your motivation, and ultimate goals (if you have resolved them in your own mind)?


Well, this’ll require a bit of introspection…
I got my first computer in 2000, when I was 45. One of the reasons I did so was that I wanted to get into 3D drawing. I had done a lot of pen-and ink and pencil drawing in my youth, but somehow drifted away from the activity and eventually stopped altogether, letting that talent die on the vine. 3D drawing is a way for me to compensate for that loss.
You’ll have noticed that I don’t bother with rendering. This is largely due to the fact that I’m color-blind, and that working with colors is out of the question for me, as I can’t tell wether they clash or work together.
It took me a while before I had enough basic computer skills to go beyond surfing and E-mailing, when SU came along. I made 2 or 3 attempts, including taking courses, to no avail.
Then, finally, one day, I hunkered down and started making headway.
As for goals, I’d say acquiring a measure of proficiency is the main one, and that’s an open-ended proposition.
Eventually I’d like to get into more organic shapes, such as the ones made possible with extensions like SubD, Vertex Tools, QuadFace Tools and the like.
The learning curve steepens, and I now need cleats to make any more progress. As Trimble has grown increasingly hostile towards us free-loaders, I’ve installed Cheetah3D and Blender due to their more conventional approach to 3D work, but I keep coming back to SU because of the rewards that are within my reach, as opposed to the babe-in-the-woods situation I find myself in, when I wander away from the straight-and-narrow…
I’m a great admirer of your work, and I appreciate your interest and time.
Just curious, do you 3D for a living, or are you an engineer of some type?
PS Sorry about that last question, all I had to do was look up your profile, which I have now done. I thought as much, due to your obvious proficiency.
I see you’re posting the lander’s model in parts, probably owing to 3DW’s size limit on uploads. I think I might have to go that route as well. (Well, not as well, but rather also…)

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Wow. It’s a work of art. Amazing.

You are right about the black blotches. Somehow the term “laziness” didn’t spring to mind. :grin:


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In case you missed it:

I’ve yet to see if it can be done to a particular group and/or component, or if it applies to the entire model, but I suspect it’s the latter.
Thanks for the encouragements; They’ve made my day.

@franquin Why did you choose this particular typewriter as the subject? It seems a marvelously complex project! Regarding rendering, even though I really like computer-graphic rendering technology (I’ve written a moderately advanced ray-tracer from scratch) I have also decided to not focus on making a photo-realistic set of images. My goal is to create accurate geometry (as an historic record of the space program), not dazzling pictures. The work-in-progress model is available for free, which other folks can use to make images if they choose.

I’m posting my model’s sub-assemblies one-by-one mostly because it takes a long time to create them! I’ve been working on the overall model as a hobby project for five years now (not counting a prior year’s work which I decided to delete after I obtained additional reference material that made my initial efforts slightly inaccurate). For example, I’m currently working on the Viking lander’s S-Band High Gain Antenna, with a large 30 inch parabolic dish. I just completed its final components a couple of days ago. Modeling the antenna plus its deployment mechanism has consumed about ten months of “spare time” and includes about 150 to 200 unique component parts (all “solid” according to SketchUp). Now I’m creating exploded-view and cut-away view variants for fun, then I’ll post an update to the Gallery.


That’s a softball; Because I happen to own one…
It’s from the early part of the 20th century, when industrial designers and engineers still strived for reliability, serviceability and longevity. I love the aesthetics from that period , and those products can be dismantled and rebuilt, as opposed to thrown away and replaced.
Unless I can find blueprints and/or detailed manuals, I need a physical object that can be photographed and measured, if I’m to make all the elements come together nicely.
I wish I had access to a much longer telephoto lens in order to get rid of more of the unavoidable spherical distortion. A workshop would also be nice…
The screws in this machine are made of brass, haven’t been loosened in many decades, and have really narrow slits (they’re all “flat-headed”, pre-Phillips and Robertson). The only screwdrivers I have that’ll fit into those slits are jeweller’s and often bend before the screws move.
I’ve been looking around for a set of high-quality steel screwdrivers that’d be thin and hard enough to get the job done without damaging anything; Brass is rather soft…
I’ve designed one (screwdriver) that wouldn’t require high-grade steel:

Another annoyance is my set of calipers: They’re often next to impossible to get into tight spaces, and often scratch the patina when I take measurements. I’ll grind (round) them down a bit when I get a chance.

I haven’t managed to “grok” the mesh concept yet, and I can’t see what’s the problem with “Edges that form the border of a surface”. Don’t they all?
What are Internal Face Edges?
Now I’m just getting tiresome, better stop here…

The Solid Inspector2 extension can show specifics of the various problems it finds, which can be very helpful. Pressing the TAB key will cause the first issue to be highlighted; subsequent TAB keys will cycle through all remaining issues. Also, clicking on a category in the extension’s window (such as “Surface Borders”) will highlight all problems of that category, and the TAB key will be restricted to cycling between them.

Thanks for that…
I left out the latter part of my project; If ever I complete this model, I’d like to go back to studying the animation and/or MSPhysics suites of tools, in order to produce a model that’d behave like the typewriter itself would, when you press the equivalent keys on your PC keyboard. This would include line change, paragraph, tab, caps and so on.
I’m no engineer, so that this latter stage is probably all a pipe dream, but I still think the thought is worth entertaining.

Since you…

I thought you’d like to know phase 2 is now nearing completion. A taste:

I’ve posted to 3DWarehouse, even though there’s still a few details to put in, which I’ll get around to in the next few days…


Looking great!