David Mellis

Assignment 6

For the final presentation of the first module, prepare a 6min presentation (no more than 6 slides).

Mellis 3D Design.001Mellis 3D Design.002Mellis 3D Design.003Mellis 3D Design.004Mellis 3D Design.005Mellis 3D Design.006

Final Presentation (pdf)


Design a simple hybrid: a support structure to hold or connect with a simple organic element (leaf, branch, banana, beads). Your design can be simple, but need to respect the organic object. 3D print it using Form 1. You can design something for this simple necklace (obj file), for the reed I showed in the class, or for anything you wish.

Knife Stands



Finish the breakfast rendering project. Use professional breakfast photographs to evaluate the quality of your work and try to improve it as much as possible.


Rhino File: Breakfast2.3dm


Assignment 5

Design your breakfast scene, apply materials and render with VRay using 600x1000 frame size. Don't change the default lighting and/or camera setting (this will wait for next week!). Justify your rendering using our readings (2D composition, color, etc).


Rhino File: Breakfast2.3dm


Assignment 4

Print your two solids using the Formlab machine, bring the prints to class next week.





You have $50 budget for Shapeways Nylon12 order. Based on this link, design a moving-parts object with 3 directions of motion, using one of the techniques that we discussed in class.

Box BoxTop

Rhino File: Box.3dm
STL: Box7.stl


Assignment 3

Continue this initial wire-frame shape (R5 3dm, R4 3dm, obj, model in mm) to a watertight solid  using only solids and boolean operations. If needed, add more curves for guidance.


Rhino file: WireFrame_R5.3dm


Continue this initial wire-frame shape (R5 3dm, R4 3dm, obj, model in mm) to a watertight solid using only surface operations.

WireFrame2_R5 WireFrame2_R5_2

Rhino file: WireFrame2_R5.3dm


For both of these designs, export STL files (default setting) and upload them to Shapeways, Solid-Concepts and i.Materialize, to receive quotes for Nylon12 SLS model (“white strong and flexible” or "Polyamide”). Write the costs as part of the assignment submission.

Both models were the same price: $11.10 on Shapeways, 12.50 euro on i.materialise, and about $70 on Solid Concepts (depending on the type of Nylon 12).


Based on this drawing by Liz Peyton, create a 3D model of the house. Please complete the missing pieces, to design a full 3D Rhino model. Ignore the trees. Render it with default Rhino rendering from 3 viewpoints.




Rhino File: House.3dm


Assignment 2

Using your 3D splines object from the previous assignment, build surfaces to create a watertight solid object. Put extra attention to connectivity and edges (we don’t like open edges!). Work with layers and explore the different display modes.

Wine Glass

Rhino File: Wine Glass.3dm


Design and build a press-fit paper box (use thin paper not cardboard) using surfaces, including details such openings, drawers, handles and so on. Put attention to the physical connectivity between surfaces, with no use of a glue. Write few sentences on your design decision, integrity and style of the details with respect to the design, and cite relevant references from the previous readings. Share initial sketches if you have any, and explain the design process.



I was interested in trying to use at least one curved surface that could unrolled (developed) into a flat shape to be cut out of paper. To make it stable, I gave it two humps, which largely determined the overall shape of the box. This curved bottom piece extends out passed the sides so there's room for the slits, but, as Amit pointed out, this lip clashes somewhat with the thinness of the tabs.

From the side (the second picture), I think the figure looks fairly stable, balanced on the two humps. From the front, though, the large curved "prow" gives a somewhat unstable appearance, as if it were in danger of falling forward.



This was an initial test in which I manually cut the tabs from the printed sheet of paper before modeling them in Rhino. Otherwise, I didn't do any sketching or physical experiments because I wanted to try using Rhino as a tool for initial explorations of the box's form.


Show a default rendering of your box.


Rhino File: Box.3dm


Assignment 1

Based on these readings, choose two designs and prepare a critique on both. You can choose any example you wish, including from the list of designers in the Resources page.


This print by Victor Vasarely expresses a number of the concepts discussed in the Wong reading. Four hemispheres appear to bulge out of the picture towards the viewer, an impression created by the change of size, shape, and color of the constituent forms. Each bulge appears to be an anomaly within a regular, visible grid structure with a regular circle or square in each unit. On the boundaries between the four quadrants, the circular unit forms contrast with the squares and the blue forms and red spaces contrast with the red forms and blue spaces.



Nevada Fall, Rainbow by Ansel Adams. This image highlights many concepts from the Roberts reading. The dramatic lighting creates strongly contrasting areas of light and dark, particularly the white of the waterfall and rainbow compared to the darkness of the rocks and trees to the right and the grey of the cliffs and foliage in the middle left. The trees in the foreground are a strong vertical element, leading the eye into the picture. The triangle of the waterfall feels balanced and stable between the cliffs despite the motion of the water itself. Three of the corners (lower-left, lower-right, and upper-right) are relatively indistinct, avoiding attracting your eye to them.


Choose three objects of your preference and build their outlines (projection, extract, mesh outline or else). Present at least three compositions in Rhino for the arrangement of these objects in 2D space, and briefly articulate your design decisions with reference to Roberts reading.


For my objects, I used three of the animals from the Enzo Mari book L'Altalena (See-Saw): an elephant, an alligator (or crocodile), and a chicken.



The first composition is a clear diagonal or triangle, with the animals supporting each other and building towards the upper right corner of the square frame.



This is a fulcrum, with the large chicken on the right weighed against the small elephant and alligator on the left. The reversal of scales gives it a humorous quality. I overlapped the smaller animals to give them the appearance of sharing a physical space.



Something of an O. The similarity in size between the elephant and the chicken, and the orientation of the alligator, makes them feel more like abstract forms and less like animals.


Keep the same perspective as earlier, but replace the three outlines with three simple abstract shapes of your own design. Articulate your design decisions with reference to Wong reading.


In replacing the animals with abstract shapes, I adjusted the locations of the figures so they line up more evenly with the edges of the frame. For example, the hypotenuse of the triangle is on the main diagonal of the frame, and all three figures are the same distance from the right side of the frame.



Here, I kept four sides and more irregularity in the form replacing the chicken to try to retain some of the drama of the original.



This one is probably the most abstract and calm.



All six designs together. Animals.3dm (Rhino file)


Choose 3D product of your preference (shoe; clock; glasses; car; stereo system) and model it with splines 3D. Use the Osnap tool and add dimensions on the drawing.



Wine Glass.3dm (Rhino file)