2.1. Dollhouse Project, Part 1 | Learn SelfCAD

About: Student at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology

1.1. Introduction
1.2. Interface
1.3. Navigation
1.4. Preferences
1.5. Workspace Settings
1.6. Environment Settings
2.1 Dollhouse project, part 1
2.2. Dollhouse project, part 2
2.3. Windows
2.4. Beds
2.5. Armchair & Sofa
2.6. Chairs & Table
3.1. 3D Print - Slicer interface
3.2. 3D Print - Settings

Hello! Welcome to the second part of the Learn SelfCAD series. In these tutorials we will model a house and its equipment. In the beginning, I upload 6 tutorials now, but I think I can upload more in the future. Anyway, after these six instructables you should be able to model your own models and finish your house. See also my other tutorials to learn more about SelfCAD.

The idea is to print a big house that can be used for example by children to play. I decided to print on a scale of 1:50, I think it's not too much and not too low. The house won't have a roof.

Before reading these tutorials you should know how to create a new project, select objects and navigate in the editor.

In this step, I upload the image I created and used it as a reference image. Please, save this image and use it too.

The one more information is that when I was writing these tutorials the new version of the app was uploaded. In some pictures, you can see Animation, Snap and Add Details tools. The tools we use have not changed, so don't worry, everything should work the same.


SelfCAD account

3D printer

Reference image

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Create a New Project

First of all, you need to create a new project. Set its workspace size to 2500 and segment size to 10.

And now you have to remember important information. You already know that SelfCAD's units are equal to millimeters. And this fact is very necessary to do a correct 3D print. But for the modeling process, we can assume that these are centimeters. In this tutorial, we create all models on a scale of 1:10 because we create them in centimeters.

On the other hand, we want to print everything on a scale of 1:50. It means that later we have to make our objects 5 times smaller.

Apply the project settings and click delete to remove the cube.

Step 2: Add Reference Image

Add the reference image to the scene. Click the blue "plus" button to import the image from your computer.

Step 3: Add a Cube to the Scene

The first thing you see in Toolbar is 3D Shapes. There you can find many so-called primitives (above the line), simple objects which you use to model more complicated models. The first primitive in the list is cube. There are two ways to add a primitive to the scene:

- Drag&drop - Drag the object from 3D Shapes list to the scene and drop it. This method is fast but always adds an object with its default parameters
- Click on the icon - simply click on the object you want to add. This method opens tool settings and allows us to change the object's parameters.

Use the second method to add a cube to the scene. Now you can set the parameters of the cube:
- width: 1400
- height: 1
- depth: 1100

Why? We want to resize the reference image so that it matches the units. Now, look at the second image. I found some characteristic measurements: 1400 and (580 + 520 = 1100). We are going to adjust these dimensions to the cube.

Step 4: Set Size and Position of Reference Image

Press Space to change the projection mode to orthographic, then use the rotation cube to switch to top view.

Resize the reference image so that the dimensions match the cube. You can change the image's opacity to see the grid better

Step 5: Scale the Cube

When our reference image has the right size, we can delete the cube. But in this case, we can turn it into the floor. Select the cube and from the Toolbar choose Scale (S). Change only the Y value to 41.

Step 6: Free Hand

Now we can create walls. The best tool to do it is Free Hand (F),which is one of the Drawing tools. Free Hand is a tool that generates 3D objects from your sketch.

To draw the walls we have to change some parameters first. Change width of the Brush to 24 and check if line edge style is set to square. Lower you can find drawing settings divided into 4 categories:

- Plane Settings - where you can set where the plane on which you draw should be
- Fill Settings - where you can set how the object created after applying your drawing should be filled
- Height Settings - where you can set the height of the object created after applying your drawing
- Precision Settings - where you can set snapping option

Open Height Settings and change the height parameter to 334. Then, in Precision Settings select snapping to grid vertices.

To draw a wall click on two points and the line will be created between them

Step 7: Draw Walls

Draw all wide walls like in the image above.

Step 8: Draw Partition Walls

Now change the Free Hand mode to Rectangle, and turn off snapping to grid vertices. Instead of this select minimum step size and set its value to 1 and minimum angle step with value 90. Draw the partition walls (each of them is 12 cm wide).

Draw also the chimneys

Step 9: Apply the Tool

Most of the tools require applying after use. To apply click the blue button with white checkmark.

Be careful not to apply your drawing too fast because you can't edit it in the same way later. But what can you do if you forgot about something and already applied your drawing? Don't worry you don't have to draw it again.

Look, we forgot about insulation here.

Step 10: Draw Insulation

Use Free Hand, Brush (F+B or F) again to draw remaining insulation. Set the brush width to 14 and height to 334 again. In precision settings leave the minimum step size still turned on and equal to 1. Then, uncheck the Hide All Objects checkbox. Draw the insulation.

Step 11: Union

The walls and insulation are two objects at the moment. Select them both and find Stitch&Scoop (B) in Toolbar. If you tried out other 3D programs, maybe you saw somewhere a boolean tool. Stitch&Scoop is exactly the same.

Find Union (B+U) and apply it. The walls and insulation should be one object now.

Step 12: Draw a Shape of Hole for a Window

Use Free Hand, Rectangle (F+R) to draw a shape, that should be cut off from the wall. In Plane settings, set the offset to 141. It causes that now your drawings are created at a height of 141. Change the height value to 150 and unhide the rest of objects. Look at the third image to see the measurements. First, draw a rectangle 24x180, then 14x176. Apply your drawing.

Step 13: Mirror

Select the "window" and use Mirror (U+M) tool, which is placed in Utilities list. Check the Create Copy checkbox and choose back side.

Step 14: Copy Offsets

Use Move (M) and blue arrow to move the copied object to the back wall.

So now we have two "windows". Select them both and find in Tools the Copy Offsets (T+O) tool. Copy Offsets not only copies objects but also can transform or deform the copies.

Next to the X value enter -494 (104+12+198+180 = 494, minus because of the left direction) value and number of copies = 2. Apply. As you see, there are four new objects.

Step 15: Model a Shape of Hole for a Terrace Door

Select the middle back window and isolate it. To isolate an object you can click Edit → Isolate, click the gear symbol above the list of objects and then Isolate, or simply press V+I.

Choose Polygon Selection Mode and select the bottom polygon of the object. Then, use Move and move selected polygon at a height of 42.

Click Isolate again to show all objects again.

Step 16: Move the Back Left Shape

Select the left-back window and move it so that it matches the reference image

Step 17: Model the Front Left Shape

The front-left window is narrower, it is only 80 cm wide. Isolate the front-left shape and use Face Selection Mode (or Polygon Selection Mode) to select the right faces. Move them 100 cm to the left. You can select the whole object and choose Scale to see how wide is the object.

We cannot use Scale to change objects width here, because then the jamb wouldn't be 2 cm wide.

Step 18: Right Windows

Copy the front-right window with the Copy icon. Rotate the copied object -90 degrees around the Y-axis and move it on the right wall. Now, you should be able to create the second right window.

Step 19: Left Window

Use Mirror and Move to create also the left window. Using the Scale tool, change the height of this object to 60. If you use the upper handle, the bottom surface of the window will still be at the same height.

Step 20: Cut Holes in the Walls

Select the walls and one of the windows, choose Stitch&Scoop and then Difference (B+D). Select the object that you want to subtract and apply.

Do the same with the rest of windows.

Step 21: Cut Holes for the Doors

Use Free Hand, Rectangle to draw the rectangles where doors should be. The holes should be 10 cm wider than the door leaves.

Before drawing set the offset to 41 and height to 205.

Apply the drawing and use Stitch&Scoop, Difference to subtract the drawing from the walls.

Step 22: Add Floor Under the Garage

Add a 31 cm high floor under the garage. You can do it by drawing a rectangle or adding a cube.

Step 23: Cut a Hole for the Garage Door

Yes, you have to use Free Hand again. Cut the hole for the garage door in the same way as you did it with windows.

After that, unite all meshes into one object.

Step 24: Resolution

As you can see our object consists of many weird edges. To clean it from unnecessary region select the object and use Resolution (M+L). This tool can add edges or remove them. Set the resolution value to 0 in order to reduce number of edges to minimum.

Step 25: Add First Stair to the Scene

Our house is actually ready. Now we can model the stairs, driveway and terrace.

First, create the first stair in front of the entrance. Simply add a cube that is 13cm high, 350 cm wide and 190 cm deep.

Step 26: Finish the Stairs

To create two more steps, we can use Copy Offsets. Look at the first image to see the values of transformations.

Step 27: Draw a Profile

Now we have to create a driveway to our garage and I want to seize this opportunity to show you the profiles.

Under the Free Hand you can find 3D Sketch (K).Using this tool you draw profiles - objects which have no volume but are very useful in creating models.

3D Sketch has similar settings to Free Hand, but we have no height and fill settings here. As you can see, there are Profile Settings instead. The great thing about profiles is that you can edit them later, so if you forget about something you can always select the profile, turn on 3D Sketch and draw inside the same object.

In Plane Settings change the plane to Left/Right, in Precision Settings enable the minimum step size with value 1. Draw a 200 cm long and 31 cm high triangle. Apply your sketch.

Copy your profile and move it so that the distance between both is 300 cm.

Step 28: Create a Driveway (Loft)

To connect both profiles, select them and use Loft (T+L). Loft is a powerful tool that not only can connect profiles but also for example bridge faces (See SelfCAD Tools: Simple House Modeling, step 6).

Fill First and Fill Last should be enabled, smoothness = 1. Smoothness is the number of edges between connected vertices.

Step 29: Create a Terrace

Create a terrace by adding a cube (width: 965, height: 39, depth: 200).

Step 30: Add First Step to the Scene

Add another cube and set its width to 200, height to 13, depth to 35 and depth segment to 2. Move this cube next to the terrace.

Step 31: Model the Second Step (Extrusion)

Use Face selection mode to select the face shown in the image and in the Modify list find Extrusion (M+E). Extrusion is one of the most important tools in modeling. It offsets the selection and generates new faces around that keep new geometry connected with the original model (or deletes existing faces, you will see this feature during the armchair modeling).

Here we can use Extrusion to create the second step. Set its amount to 13 and apply.

Step 32: Create a Fireplace

Add a cube again (width: 142, height: 120, depth: 30). Select its upper face and use Extrusion. Enter an amount 173 to level the face with the top surface of the walls. Open advanced settings of the Extrusion tool and click Add option button. Here you can find similar options like in Copy Offsets. It means that extruded face can be transformed, deformed and even extruded again. What's more, you can repeat the operation several times and save the parameters you set (macros).

Used settings: Z position = 15, Z size = -29

Step 33: Inset

Select the face where the hearth should be. Use Inset (M+I) and set its amount to 20. Inset has a similar function to extrusion, but the offset happens in planes of the polygons' surfaces by changing the size of the selection.

Set Inset amount = 20, then scale the selection in Y dimension to 50 units.

Now I want to extrude the selection inside the fireplace and deeper, inside the wall. To do it, I have to unite the fireplace with walls first.

Step 34: Unite All Objects

Select all objects (A) and unite them.

Step 35: Finish the Fireplace

Select the rectangle created by inset and extrude it by the amount of -40.

Step 36: Next Lesson

Our house is ready, but it's too big to be printed on a scale of 1:50, so we have to divide it into parts. Look at this quick instructable showing how you can do it.

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