A Robot Took Your Job

Last week I returned from my trip to Memphis (thanks, Andy! Hope Meara’s potty training is going well!) and I’ve been playing catchup ever since. I’m getting back into Fusion 360 with some more challenging projects. This week we covered how to use joints in assemblies. This is pretty wild stuff. You can download models from GrabCAD.com and upload them Fusion 360. It auto-magically converts models to work natively (with mixed results) in the work space. From there, you can define joints and move parts in real time! We did this in class using an industrial robot model. Of course, this meant the robots needed to fight…

Four robots go in, four robots come out. Because they are metal, and very strong, and even knives won’t kill them!!

Four robots go in, four robots come out. Because they are metal, and very strong, and even knives won’t kill them!!

This wasn’t the actual assignment. Instead we needed to create a render scene involving an earlier model from this class being assembled by robots. I was grinding away at this all day yesterday, and finally got around to rendering it. Because of the complexity of the scene, it’s taking quite some time to bake in all of those rays at HD+ resolution. Here’s the object being assembled for reference:

This is based on an existing design from a vinyl shelf I bought to keep my Laserdisc collection in prime display condition. I fantasized about having an actual product made for Laserdisc, and what that might look like. You gotta with red trim right? Because LASERS!!

This is based on an existing design from a vinyl shelf I bought to keep my Laserdisc collection in prime display condition. I fantasized about having an actual product made for Laserdisc, and what that might look like. You gotta with red trim right? Because LASERS!!

Here’s a technical drawing, if you want to build your own. This will probably hold about 250 titles, based on my experience with my current shelf ( tweaked the dimensions to give it a bit more depth and room to breathe between stacks.

Here’s a technical drawing, if you want to build your own. This will probably hold about 250 titles, based on my experience with my current shelf ( tweaked the dimensions to give it a bit more depth and room to breathe between stacks.

i’ve been taking this class as an opportunity to not only learn the software, but also to push the limits of what the software can do. For me, this practice is like cartography. I’m mapping the borders by extending to the edge in all things. With this project, I wanted to not only torture test the rendering pipeline, but also test the limits of my beefy Hackintosh. As noted previously, my CPU appears to be the main bottleneck. But I wanted to see what it takes to exceed memory requirements. For this design and ray tracing session I’m utilizing ~25 GB of memory, and cooking my poor little quad-core Haswell® chip.

Nothing cooks like CAD! Note that the temperatures reflect a system with AIO liquid cooled CPU, and nine total fans, packed into an old PowerMac G4 case. Even when protein folding on both GPU and CPU, the system usually has a CPU core temperature ceiling of about 70˚ C.

Nothing cooks like CAD! Note that the temperatures reflect a system with AIO liquid cooled CPU, and nine total fans, packed into an old PowerMac G4 case. Even when protein folding on both GPU and CPU, the system usually has a CPU core temperature ceiling of about 70˚ C.

It’s been over four hours as of writing this, and the rendering has not yet reached “final” quality. Scene complexity is a huge factor in rendering time.

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR READING RESPONSE – ART 119

Over the weekend I had a chance to sit down and read over the first two chapters of Adobe Illustrator guide. I think I may have just confused myself. One of the key challenges is the fact that I have very little experience with Adobe’s Creative Suite. It’s like a whole new language. Furthermore, I do not have this software at home, and thus cannot easily relate to these new sets of terms. It is hard to apply knowledge when everything about it is purely theoretical. Last but not least: this was just a ton of new information.

At least there were pictures.

Clear as mud, but at least you can see it. Page 33 (Artboard printing)

Clear as mud, but at least you can see it. Page 33 (Artboard printing)

llustrator is a massive heap of skeuomorphisms, and this only makes sense for those who began their careers in print making prior to the advent of computers in Graphics Design. This can be a huge challenge for newcomers, but this challenge is hardly unique to Illustrator. True story: a seventeen-year-old in one of my freshmen courses once described the save button in MS Word as a “purple truck”.

Beep! Beep! I’m a truck!   

Beep! Beep! I’m a truck!

 

See, the thing was, she’d never even seen a floppy disk before. This graphic held no contextual meaning for her. She never experienced the joy of inserting a 3.5-inch piece of plastic into a clunky (yet essential) device to save her document. By the time she was old enough for K-12, the iMac was standard, and those computers (controversially) never shipped with a floppy drive.

“No floppy, no problem! You’ve got the World-Wide Web, son!” source: betanews.com    

“No floppy, no problem! You’ve got the World-Wide Web, son!” source:betanews.com

 

he accepted the function (saving her document was important, after all), but couldn’t make the connection between function and form. I’m not telling this story because it is funny (I still laugh when I think about her), but because I can now relate to her better after reading about Adobe Illustrator’s Tool Bar and Control Panel. Some of the symbols are easy to recognize, despite the fact that I’ve never actually used them in real life:

Page 3 – The tearoff toolbar   

Page 3 – The tearoff toolbar

 

I’ve never used a fountain pen. I’ve had a classmate spatter ink on me accidentally with one, but that’s really about it. Generically speaking I “get” pens. I’m fond of needlepoint over ballpoint, but that’s not the graphic here. What if I’d never seen a fountain pen before? How’d I ever hope to recognize the function?

I’m sure I’ll catch up, and with enough practice become proficient with this tool set. I just wonder how many “purple truck” moments I’ll have along the way.