3D-Printed Rubiks Cube

rubiks cubeJust in case you didn’t feel the 3D printer was cool enough, here’s a 3D-printed Rubiks Cube used to control lights on a building.

Sound complicated? It’s not really. All you need are some electronic components such as a Bluetooth modem, an Arduino,  and some sensors, plus 3D-printed colorless pieces made into a Rubiks Cube all connected to some computer software. (O.K. it’s a little complicated). With all this in place, you’re ready to solve the biggest Rubiks Cube ever!  (Oh yeah, you also need a large building with a lot ( a LOT) of LED lights.

Read about “This Puzzle Facade” by Javier Lloret located in the city of Linz, Austria here. Watch the video below:

Knowing how to make the 3D-printed pieces is a great place to start when contemplating a project this large.  Here at Studio 300 we can show you how to get started.  Check out our program calendar for our 3D Design and Print class that shows how to use Google SketchUp to design your own 3D model.

How to SketchUp

While there are many 3D and CAD modeling programs out there, none are as simple to use as Google’s SketchUp.  If you’re not familiar with 3-dimensional programs, then SketchUp may seem daunting at first.  But once you figure out the basics, it’s easy to design logos, furniture, and even houses.

If you’re familiar with most computer programs, especially drawing programs, you’ll notice some similar tools.  The select tool, pencil, paint bucket, magnifying glass, and different shapes are some of the tools in SketchUp that you will recognize right away. TCaptureo do to start designing, take the line or the shapes tool and click anywhere, move your mouse to the length or size you like and click again.

Just remember that you are working in a 3D landscape, so it is easy to get lost!  Using the scroll wheel on the mouse to zoom in and out. Stick to the x, y and z axis when drawing lines and shapes and that will make the whole 3D atmosphere a lot less intimidating. Try to imagine the screen as the viewfinder to a camera that can pan, tilt, zoom and reposition anywhere you’d like.

Check out some tutorials online at sketchup.com/learn/videos or at lynda.com.

A great book that you can check out here at Fountaindale is Google SketchUp: the Missing Manual.  Not only does it cover the first steps but goes well into detail for more advanced users. sketchup

There’s more to Google SketchUp then designing for 3D printing. You can also use it for architecture and construction, interior design, game design, woodworking, and film and stage design.