Monday, June 13, 2011

Google Sketchup

Google Sketchup high power bicycle light.
From time to time I find myself trying random 3d design programs just to play around and see what comes of it. Not sticking to one is somewhat cumbersome because I generally forget most of the workflow and commands from one to the next, however it is fun while it lasts. Yesterday I decided to give Google's 3d modeler a try; Google Sketchup 8. The aim of this program seems to be ease of use over shiny beautiful hyperrealistic models that you see coming out of 3DS Max and Maya, but the end results are still impressive nonetheless.


Again their primary goal is to provide a 3D program which is easily accessible to new users, yet good enough for professionals. They do this, and they do it very well; after 30 minutes of flying through their basic tutorials basically anyone can move on to start creating their own basic models extremely quickly. Anyone with an idea can throw down a 3d model nearly as quickly as they can sketch it on paper (or even faster for those lacking artistic abilities.)

A note about the bicycle light I designed. Bicycle lights are extremely expensive with prices of several hundred dollars for something nearly as bright as the low beams on a car, quite expensive to ensure your safety. A light of greater efficiency and power can be built for less than $100. Major parts list below:

Housing made of aluminum or copper: Either a custom job like above, or could be done with copper tubing.
Pair of high capacity 18650 lithium-ion batteries.
An XM-L T5 LED
2 x XP-G R5 LED
Regulated 5 Mode LED driver
3 x Light defusers (lenses)
A switch and some wires to let the electricity to go from 1 place to another and you have yourself a bike light. Schematics coming later.

14 comments:

  1. I've used Google Sketchup before, its a great program

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  2. I will have to wait for those schematics, I wouldn't even know where to start... lol.

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  3. i never tried it b4 but it looks great

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  4. I haven't tried GS before but may give it a shot based on your post.

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  5. Never heard of this, sounds promising.

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  6. Pretty cool, I never heard of Sketchup before.

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  7. i might try this, thanks. :)

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  8. Nice design, and if the application is easy and such i might give it a go

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  9. Never tried GS but I might give it a try some time soon

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  10. Google seams to be on top of things in general.

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  11. Awesome. Google Sketchup. I've heard a lot of people talking about this but I've never tried it myself. I'm going to have to do that sometime.

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  12. This falls squarely into the list of things I WISH I had a need for because they look fun to use.

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  13. Looks pretty cool. I'd get all inside of that.

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