Custom Trees

Contributed by
Mark Peeters

Duration: 50 minutes

Software: OpenSCAD

Level: Beginner

   

tree-2-web

We use this as our first introduction to the openSCAD interface usually in 2nd grade. Typically done as a whole group activity in a single 50 minute session in a computer lab. Students learn how to move (pan, rotate, zoom) the 3D view of the object and render code (optional export images and STL files).

Led by the instructor, students use the paper data sheet to record changes to one of the 3 parameters and sketch the resulting 3D model generated. Once the 3 parameter's functions are determined with the group, then students are each given the physical printed model and on their own are asked to recreate the same tree in the software. You could use this scenario: They mare in the 3D design department of a company that wants to make tree ornaments.

Once students have had their tree checked by an instructor, they are free to make trees of their own.

nb: Mention that high values can lock up the machine and how the computer slows down as the parameter values increase.

Optional: Have students export image files of their own custom trees and upload to a LMS sharing area so other students/parents can see their work.) FYI - we allow students to keep the basic tree model used in class.

Custom Tree Design for 3D Printing Worksheet

Make changes to the values and record the numbers below
Press the F5 key and draw the shape you made.

Try changing one value at a time.

Values usedDraw a sketch of your tree
number=__1___

branches=__1__

overhang=__0__

sketch1
number=__1___

branches=__2__

overhang=__0__

sketch2
number=_____

branches=____

overhang=____

number=_____

branches=____

overhang=____

number=_____

branches=____

overhang=____

number=_____

branches=____

overhang=____

OpenSCAD tips:

  1. Change the values on the left side and then press F5 on your keyboard

    to see changes on the right.

  2. Moving the Model on the right

    - ROTATE = mouse + left click + drag

    - MOVE = mouse + right click + drag

    - ZOOM = mouse wheel

    - Center model = keyboard Ctrl+P

    - set diagonal view = keyboard Ctrl+0

  3. Use the View menu at the top to “show axes” if that helps.
  4. Use the Design menu to Export as Image...

OpenSCAD tree file:

//   Pine tree
//   simple version


/* [basic parameters] */
//Number of "twigs", or radial fins
number=1; //[2:20]

//Number of branches.
//This effects curve, make 1 for no curve, make higher than 4 to see a nice cubic curve
branches=1; //[1:12]

//Tree branch over hang (notch branches)[mm]
overhang=0; //[0:10]


Resources:

Download Custom tree design data sheet

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