Welcome, Blogophiles!

Welcome, Blogophiles!

Or is that Bloginators, or Blogostines? And why am I doing this?
Heck if I know. But, I'm an artist of sorts, and LOTS of artists have their own Blogs, so why not me? I get to talk about myself and show some of my occasional (and I do mean Occasional) train art. I'm also gigging regularly with a great tribute band called Close to You, which covers the Carpenters. Thanks for visiting, fellow Blogians!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Most Excellent Software from Hell

OR HOW TO FORCE THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY BRAIN TO FIGHT THE LEFT SIDE. Three months ago my company purchased new 3-D modeling software for me. This software, called Form-Z, is a huge leap upward and onward compared to what I had been using, but all this capability comes with a price: a VERY steep learning curve. Form-Z makes Adobe Photoshop seem like a word processor in terms of its complexity. I mean, c'mon–the manual is 2,006 pages! And then there's the tutorial manual, which is hundreds of pages, too. So I'm taking a workshop course of 3 months, which helps a lot, but basically you just have to roll up your sleeves and start using it. And did I mention that sometimes, being a right-brain artist type that this software makes my head explode?

Eventually, the company I work for will produce real finished goods based on the modeling I do in this software, including products that are injection-molded or CNC machined out of metal. But it's difficult to really visualize what these new products will look like until they're actually built. Enter the new Z Printer 3-D printer!

Model printed on a Z Corp 3-D printer.
THE Z CORP 450 3-D PRINTER–This machine takes a file exported from Form-Z and actually prints a real 3-dimensional model, in color, of the object you "built" in the software's 3-D environment. It literally prints one thin layer at a time and builds your model. It's an excellent way to get touchie-feelie with what you're planning to build without having to mold or machine your product first, at great expense. This pleases the LEFT side of my brain very much. The RIGHT side of my brain has no comment.