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Are you new to 3D?
Don't worry. It's actually pretty easy to learn; our youngest 3D designer is 8 years old. We'll give you free training to make it even easier. Most people new to 3D have used either a 2D CAD package or a tried-and-true #2 pencil for most of their lives. The truly brave (and splinter-prone) just grab a saw and dive at a pile of wood. There is a better way to always make sure your project is successful, on budget, and most importantly exactly what you want. That way is 3D.
Step 1: Get an ideaThat should be easy. You're here for a reason, right? We're going to use a concept of a cool lamp we've been thinking of. It's going to be controlled by an Arduino which will, among other things, vary the intensity of the LED lights inside the lamp.
So, we've defined our basic components that all need to be designed:
The Arduino enclosure
A cool lamp shade
Step 2: Crank up Cubify Design
In Cubify Design, you can mock up exact representations of your idea down to the smallest dimension. Try out various designs and see them in 3D. Get every part exactly how it needs to be before you dive into making something with an obvious design flaw.
Step 3: Whip together a 2D drawing
Since we modeled the lamp in 3D, Cubify Design makes quick work of the 2D drawing. We won't draw each part in 2D - that happens automatically. We just add some dimensions by clicking on things we want to dimension. We'll even include an exploded view so we can see how it's assembled.
Step 4: Elbow grease
Armed with the 2D drawing, you can head to the store and start buying your components. Then get to the garage and start putting it together. Revel in the glory of everything fitting together.