[Monozukuri Saturday for makers] Meet Saki Hayashi & be a maker! Why you should learn Rhinoceros?

Last Saturday, we had a great success of our first Monozukuri Saturday Meetup — more than ten makers spent several hours on a make-a-thon, playing with building blocks to create inspiring work, including one that won $200 cash prize by Urbacraft. It was great fun!

This make-a-thon showed ultimate extensibility of Urbacraft’s building blocks.

We will post a summary on our first Monozukuri Saturday Meetup in this week, but I am thrilled to introduce our next Monozukuri Saturday Meetup, which will take place in a few days, on this Saturday, January 16th. Our next speaker is Saki Hayashi, a NYC-based 3D + UX Designer.

An architect who wants to make IoT products came to NYC

Saki recently graduated from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University (NYU). The ITP is well known for its diversified study areas in its two-year intensive program of new media, computational media and embedded computing under the umbrella of interactivity, ranging from the 3D modeling to the electrical engineering.

If you have a look at a syllabus of the ITP, it may surprise you how broad the program covers (its required courses include Physical Computing, Computational Media, Animation, Networked Media, Video & Sound and Visual Language. You can also browse all its courses).

Saki joined the ITP because she wanted to study diverse areas of technology for her interest in the IoT (Internet of Things). “I was very interested in making IoT products, and thought acquisition of wide areas of study would be necessary,” when she worked as an architect in London, U.K., after her completion of the program at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Her work is very inspiring and makes full use of a set of technologies such as electrical, mobile, etc, in addition to product design. Here are some photos from her famous project called Mnemonic Table, which is displayed at a gallery of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The 3D Maker is the next Software Engineer for startups

Saki stressed it is too early for the job market to understand how precious the people are who have acquired wider range of knowledge for IoT products that will be demanded soon. True, UX designers are stars for web startups today, but 10 years ago visual designers who understood coding (such as JavaScript) were rare because wider variety of skills had to be learned.

So, I foresee 3D designers who know how to make hardware products will be highly sought for from the job market when hardware startups are more popular, and it should be soon as the 3D printing revolution is going on (I addressed it in my past post “History you should know and what the “Maker Movement” really means for entrepreneurs”).

I believe that the 3D maker is the next software engineer for startups. So, we can learn much from her experience and knowledge that get ahead of the times.

She’s been teaching at mini workshops at FabFoundry’s popup shop for $50, but she agrees to offer an introductory workshop for free after the meetup on this Saturday.

Seats are limited for this special workshop, so please sign up for [Monozukuri Saturday Workshop] Rhinoceros 3D Software ASAP!

The 3D software Saki likes and, thus, she will teach at this workshop is Rhinoceros. Below is her writing why you should learn this software.

Please check out the post below. We look forward to meeting all of you on this Saturday at the Coffee Foundry, a coffee shop in the West Village of New York City!


Saki Hayashi, 3D + UX Designer

One essential thing to learn to be a maker is CAD software(s) due to utilizing today’s rapid digital prototyping tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers. Learning 3D modeling or hiring a 3D modeler is almost an unavoidable thing for makers today. Particulalry when makers create products for IoT such as wearable computers, and connected devices, the process requires product or spatial designs.

I would like to introduce a powerful CAD software called Rhinoceros for makers. It’s a great tool for 3D modeling beginners to 3Dprint as well.

the user interface of Rhinoceros

The advantages are:

  1. The most powerful NURBS modeling software
  2. It has a powerful Plug-in, Grasshopper (a graphical algorithm editor integrated with Rhinoceros)
  3. The cost is relatively lower, especially for educator and students with 90 days trial

What’s NURBS modeling?

Considering about 3D modeling with physical materials like a clay, even though 10 people create exactly the same 3D objects, their ways to make the shapes can be completely different. Some might create a solid sphere to create a tea cup, but others may make pieces of sheets and put them together. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages and every virtual 3D modeling tool has different suitabilities.

images from www.lakesidepottery.com

Very briefly, there are two kinds of modeling approaches in computer graphics, polygonal and NURBS( Non-uniform rational B-spline). In polygon modeling, there is no organic curve that it approximates the surfaces by triangles, good for real-time rendering. See this link on Wikipedia for more information. On the other hand, NURBS modeling takes an equation-based approach that it has great flexibility and precisions. Rhinoceros is very powerful NURBS CAD modeling software in the market today.

Wikipedia NURBS
this image from 3D grid

The plug-in Grasshopper

One of the plug-ins called ‘Grasshopper’ makes Rhinoceros outstanding that it allows the users to create parametric design without scripting knowledge. Learning scripting takes longer time compared to the visual interface. This is an extremely powerful tool when you design a shape that the users can generate many options of one shape very quickly by changing the parameters. We just slide the numbers of the slider as we like and it automatically generates different shapes real-time. In addition, it allows to generate a 3D model by running a math equation.

a graphic interface of Grasshopper source from this website

The cost performance

The trial version is free for 90 days and the license prices are reasonable particularly for schools, educators and sudents. *Jan 2016 on the official website

  • Rhino 5 Win (single user) for commercial use $995, Mac $495 (Free software The Zoo allows multiple users to use)
  • Rhino 5 Win (single user) for faculty and student $195, Mac $95
  • Rhino 5 Win for schools (30 labs) $975, Mac $975

Of course, there are some disadvantages to use Rhinoceros.

  1. It’s very difficult to use Rhino to model as a virtual clay.
  2. Due to its higher precision, it’s not the best software to do real-time rendering and it’s not the best tool to create an animation.
  3. The data tends to be heavier than polygon models.

Indeed, 3D models for 3D printing have to be polygon models yet with those advantages listed above, it’s one of the primal software today. You can just make any NURBS 3D models to polygon model with only one command, ‘mesh’.

Interested? Here are my Rhinoceros tutorials. Please take a look and give me feedbacks and let’s be a maker from today!

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