In the past week, I’ve been doing some early explorations of generative modeling. In my case, I’m using Rhino 5 with Grasshopper. I have to admit that I’m still a bit stymied in terms of finding a _good_ use for it beyond adding some weird detail to surfaces.
If you want to see some examples, check here.
For whatever reason, I set out to build surfaces from joined spheres. It makes an interesting surface.. kind of like lizard skin or some such. Initially I was assigning a random 3D pointfield to a cube (which is the default shape for Grasshopper’s 3D populate) and then using those as the center point of a sphere of random size. It’s pretty, but limited in usefulness.
I really couldn’t wrap my head around a way to limit the point field to a non cube object, (I suspect I need to use “inside” and then “cull”) so I decided to do it by surface, which seemed like it would limit the number of spheres. (good for processing time)
Next I started putting in whole objects. I ran into a problem where the random generator started making the same number a lot, but with the help of my prof, it now works reasonably.
It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close to what I want. The next step is using this for another project – I’m doing a bronze casting, and thought that this kind of form would be perfect for it. These kind of shapes aren’t great for a lot of manufacturing techniques, but casting should work well.. the only problem will be cleaning up my initial model. It will be a 3D print of this form, and in the nature of the prints from the 3D printer at school, it will be very grainy. I’ve really not come up with a good way to sand a sphere yet…
Anyhow, I think the object I make is going to be a drum lug – a part of a percussion drum that allows the head to be tightened down. see illustration.
I figure I can have 8 or 10 of them cast and build a drum with them as a good way to show off the casting design. We’ll see how it turns out. If you’d like to play with this yourself, here’s the setup I’m currently using.