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I'm a total newbie to blender and 3d printing and conscious I'm taking on a lot here, so I'll try to be as clear as possible.

My concept is to make (that is, get someone to 3d print) an object that casts specific (different) shadows when a light is shone through it from different angles. I want it to look like slightly random abstract art in normal lighting, then I'll embed some LEDs in the object for the shadow casting.

I considered using booleans to subtract the light paths from the outer shell of the object but I'm concerned that will just leave very precise holes in the outside making the shadow shapes very obvious at first glance - I want it to appear a fluid and abstract shape, but still cast the shadows precisely.

The best workflow idea I have hit on so far is to create the light paths as solid interlocking objects each going to a point where the light source will be, then use a fluid simulation to 'pour' around those paths/objects, then freeze (bake?) the fluid, analyse and export the 3d model (fluid only) and 3d print that. It's kind of inverse shadow casting in a way.

My question is, how do I save the results of a simulation once it's finished or in progress, as a static 3d model? Is using simulation as a modeling technique even workable?

I am of course open to any and all suggestions of better workflows etc that you recommend.

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  • $\begingroup$ By the way I am aware that for 3d printing I'm probably going to have to split the model and print in two halves, to cope with the overhangs of a (probable) internal cavity. $\endgroup$ Nov 25 '21 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ This concept is very interesting and I'd love to help out (and have access to a half dozen different 3d printers of various technologies, along with knowing Blender well) but I feel like this could kinda spill outside of the normal context of an answer on here. Can I contact you through email/social media? $\endgroup$ Nov 29 '21 at 20:18
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When you are satified with your simulation, go to your domain object, then the modifiers tab(wrench icon). Then click the arrow down and press apply. Your simulation is now permanently there. enter image description here

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