I’d like to share a revelation I’ve had. 3D modeling is hard! Crafting objects, especially shapes with regular right angles and even spacings does not seem to be what programs like Maya and Blender are designed for.
Solidworks is a program used by engineers to design 3d objects. It has tools to make a 2D sketch such as above with precise dimensions, angles and proportions. The keys for example are all evenly spaced, and identical in size.
Add a few planes at the proper angles and you have your model.
The legs are symmetric. The faces are all parallel and the angles are all perpendicular. From this you can then extrude the regions to the desired height. This kind of precision is take as granted in the engineering applications Solidworks is used for.
The usefulness of Solidworks, sadly, end here. If you want to add textures, or lighting, we need to move this to a program like Maya or Blender. Fortunately, both Solidworks and Maya can read and write .STL files. By exporting the solidworks model as an STL, Maya can open it.
From here you have your tools to properly face the normals, set lighting, apply UVs, and eventually textures.
It seems to me that crafting this model solely in Maya would have been far more difficult. Solidworks has tools that let you sculpt objects in the exact place you want them. Maya seems to me to be less precise which makes it superior for organic curves, asymmetric geometries and objects where it isn’t necessary that two faces be parallel.
Below are some other models I’ve created using this method.
I’ve only just begun to learn 3d modeling. It’s possible I’ve resorted to this technique because I’m insecure about learning a new program, and I have fallen back on one I’m more familiar with. But I am very interested in seeing how I can use this and what kinds of models I can make.