Manual Meshing




Introduction: Manual Meshing

About: My work combines conductive materials and craft techniques to develop new styles of building electronics that emphasize materiality and process. I create working prototypes to demonstrate the kinds of electr...

Mesh generation is the process of approximating geometry with polygons (shapes with strait outlines). Most meshing processes that translate point cloud geometry into polygons are done by computers. Manual meshing is a method of practicing it by hand.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Point Cloud Glove:

- dotted stretch fabric

- thread

- pen

- scissors

- sewing machine (or sewing needle)


- 3D doodler

- PLA or ABS filament

- two hands (one for modeling, one for meshing)

Step 2: Sewing a Point Cloud Glove

To create a point cloud of the object you want to mesh (in this case I show the process of manually meshing a hand) you first have to cover it in dots. Because the material coming out of the 3D doodler is hot, you want to cover your skin in a layer of material that will thermally insulate the heat of the hot filament (and not melt), as well as provide a surface that the molten filament will adhere to, but also release from once cool. I chose to use a synthetic knit stretchy fabric with a dotted pattern on it. It doesn't completely insulate from the hot tip of the extruder, but I was able to manage the pain.

Attached to this step you'll find the glove pattern I used to make the Point Cloud Glove. I modified the open tip design from a previous project to make it closed tip (see photo). Cut out two identical glove pattern pieces, layer them with right sides facing inward. Sew them together on a sewing machine with a tight straight stitch.



Step 3: The Process of Meshing by Hand

Put on the Point Cloud Glove. I wore the glove on my left hand so that I could use my right hand to hold the 3D Doodler. I'd recommend starting in a position that is comfortable, on a flat surface area like the palm of your hand. It may well take you several attempts to get a feeling for the process before you go on to meshing your entire hand. If you don't like the mesh you're generating, simply stop and remove any unwanted mesh.

I found the hardest parts of this process to be:

* getting the filament to stick to the fabric

* navigating around the fingers and in-between finger spaces

* being okay with the heat from the tip

Step 4: Sepereating the Meshed Model From the Point Cloud Glove

As soon as you're done meshing, you can remove the model from the glove right away. Stretch the fabric of the glove to separate it form the filament and wriggle the model off your hand. You now have a manually meshed model of your hand.

Step 5: Wear the Meshed Model, But What Else?

Now what? You've got a meshed model of your own hand, but what can you do with it?

Step 6: Scribbled Mesh

One thing I can think of is to explore different manual algorithms that cover the surface of your hand in filament. These photos show a scribbled version of "meshing" where I drew circular squiggly lines.

Step 7: Continous Line

Or to draw a continuous straight line that wraps around the various curves of the hand.

Step 8: More Meshed Models

And here some more photos of a transparent filament meshed model.

3D Printing Contest 2016

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

Hand Tools Only Contest 2016

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2016

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    3 years ago

    Dang, those polka dot gloves are so couture! I think I like that part of the instructable even more than the meshing. :)