How to Create a 3D Model of an Elegant Table in SelfCAD
In this tutorial, we are going to have a detailed discussion about the 3D design geometries of one-piece elegant table designs in SelfCAD.
This tutorial will help you learn the basic polygon shapes and geometry.
Before we have a look at how you can 3D design furniture, it’s important to note that if one already has in mind how the design of the furniture will look like, the material to be used will determine the technique to be used. There are several techniques available.
Woodworking is the common method used in the creation of most furniture as it’s durable, unfailing, and even economical. One plank of wood can be used in creating one or even more furniture.
Other common methods include the use of plastic, especially in the creation of the garden and office chairs. Furniture made from plastic can be stored easily as it can be compiled with other items. Metal is also another common method used in designing furniture. Metals are strong and flexible. They can be shaped and twisted in different forms without getting broken. They are long-lasting and they also require low maintenance.
Glass is also another method used in the creation of furniture. It can be used in creating beautiful furniture, but the only challenge with this method is that the furniture created is delicate. All these methods are common and have been used in creating interesting furniture. Let’s now have a look at how you can use 3D design to create furniture.
3D Designing Furniture: Steps for Creating a Table in SelfCAD
3D designing is a new technique that can be used in creating furniture. 3D designing furniture using this strategy involves the use of 3D design software. There are several 3D modeling softwares available, but in this article, we’re going to use SelfCAD as it’s easy to use and powerful. To demonstrate how to 3D design furniture, we are going to design an elegant table shown below. In addition to getting to know how to 3D design a table, you will also learn how to use the various tools of SelfCAD like the basic 3D shapes, Scale tool, selection, extrusion, and many others.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Choose a Shape
We are designing a rectangular table. The most common shape used is the cube found in the 3D shapes section. So here we are going to use a 3D cube to carve our table.
Select the cube to the workspace. You can use a shortcut (P+C). The moment you select the cube, you will get a parameter window on the left side. It includes the Width, Height, Depth, and Width segments.
We are starting the design of the table with the tabletop and will move forward with legs and design or texture. Now you need to resize the cube to your desired shape. We are setting the Width to 500, Height to 50, Depth to 300, and depth segment to 3.
The image shows the shape you get after changing the dimensions. You can visually also design the shape as you want.
Step 2: Changing Perspective
As the cube is by default centre aligned, you can change perspective. This will be helpful to see the thickness of the tabletop.
Finalize the cube by clicking on the tick option in the cube setting.
Step 3: Rendering settings
The cube shape created is mesh. So now we are going to change the rendering settings. The wireframe is useful when the structure is more detailed and helps to see and work on the topology structure.
Now select the solid wireframe button as shown on the right side of your workspace. You can also use shortcuts (V+C).
Step 4: Activate face selection
The next step is to activate face selection. Select activate face selection or use shortcut (ctrl+1). You can see the polygon shape on the right side. This is a polygon mesh made up of faces. The face depends on the type of shape.
Once you select the active face selection, the face area will get highlighted. All the center faces in the axis should be selected. SELFCAD has inbuilt advanced face loop tools. But for learning, we are selecting the faces manually.
Click on the faces of highlighted regions. Once you select the faces it looks as shown above.
Step 5: Transferring the object.
Now we are transferring the object. For that, we need to activate the Scale. You can select the scale option in the toolbar using shortcut(s). We are scaling the inner faces to change the structure of topology. These will not change the size or shape of the object.
- Set x to 410 in scale. Now we are enlarging the previous selected face loop on the Z-axis. That will leave 45 on each side.
The regions will get highlighted.
Step 6: Deselect the face
Now we are going to deselect these loops so that we can make new loop selections. You just need to click on the highlighter area to deselect it. You can use shortcut (Ctrl/Alt + right mouse button)
- Next, select the highlighted area; click the center loop of the z-axis to select it. Shortcut (right mouse button).
Now we need to scale the z to 210. These will leave us 45 on each side.
Now you can click on X to close the transformation panel. The topology looks as we need. You are done with the scaling process.
Step 7: Deselect and then select the faces
Deselect the highlighted regions manually or click on the grid to deselect all at once. Again you need to select the corners of the table top. You need to select these highlighted regions. This will create the legs.
Step 8: Activating extrusion
Next is activating extrusion. There is a modify option in the toolbar. Select the extrusion from modify or use shortcut (M+E). The extrusion means extending the selected faces. Extrusion will help us to extend the length with specific geometry.
Now set the extrusion amount at 240. I have selected the common size of the table, and setting the legs height as 240 will make the table height to be 290. You can see the legs are extracted. Now you can click on finalizing.
Now we need to deselect the faces that we have selected previously to move forward with geometry. Just click on the highlighted regions or click on the grid.
Step 9: Rotate the object.
The table is upside down. Just click on the Rotate tool or use shortcut (R). This will not change any geometry, it will just change the position. Rotation will be done around the axis. Set z to 180. You can click on X to close the panel. This will just close the panel to free up spaces.
Step 10: Activate the polygon
Now we need to activate the polygon selection as there may be many faces included in a single polygon. We need to select the region; you can select them easily as the regions are all on the same plane.
We need to edit the selected region. Again, choose extrusion from the modify category of the toolbar. This will help us to raise the height of the table giving us extra topology to extend the sides. I am making the table height 300 with setting extraction of 10.
This gives us a topology of 10 segments. Click on the finalizing extrusion. Every time you finalize you need to deselect the faces you selected previously in order to move on. Deselect the faces manually or use a grid.
Step 11: Activate face selection of edges
We are splitting the side extrusion into two parts: x-axis and z-axis. We are again going to activate the face selection. This will help us to select the sides of the table. Now select all the new faces on the x axis.
Next is to choose extrusion from the modify tool option. Set extrusion at 10. That will give us a table overhang of 10. We have extended our table rooftop. Finalize the extrusion.
Deselect all the highlighted regions. Next is extending the table sides from the z-axis. Select the faces from all the z-axis. Choose extrusion and extend it to 10. This will give us equal overhang on all sides.
Deselect all the highlighted regions. Now the entire object will become selected.
Step 12: Clean topology
The next step is to clean the topology as we are done with extrusion. Select the Resolution tool from the modify category on the toolbar using shortcut (M+L).
Set the resolution to “0”. That will turn the polygon into a single face. In resolution, you can make multiple faces but we don't want to do that now.
Finalize the resolution and this will unlock all the editing tools. The resolution tool has removed all the faces but some triangular faces have been created.
Step 13: Activate Edit Details
Next, we have to activate the editing details. For that, select the Edit Details option from Modify category or use the shortcut (M+D). We are using the Edit Tool to clean the triangular faces created after the Resolution. There are two features in the Edit Tool: Add or Remove. Now we have to only use the remove feature.
Next, select the edges that you want to remove, then Click on edge and remove one edge at a time. There is a need to remove the triangular edges that are created by the resolution. Remove all the triangular edges from all sides of the table. You can rotate the area to see all sides.
With the help of the Edge Removal tool, you can remove the unnecessary edges that will not break the geometry. This is not a lengthy process but we have to use both tools, i.e Resolution, and Edge Removal. Resolution helps to make the top surface planer by creating extra edges, but Edge removal will help to remove all the extra edges. We have used only Edge removal tools, but depending on the requirement of your design, you can use add and remove edge tools manually. For table design, we have kept the angular edges joined to the top part to make it look more elegant.
Next, we have to chamfer the edges. This will be possible after the extra edge removal. We have the perfect table geometry and also the perfect mesh for the next step.
Step 14: Activate Fillet
Next, we have to select the tabletop as a single face. Now we have got the face and polygon as a single object. Here we will activate the Fillet after selecting the object. Select Fillet from the modifying tool or use the shortcut (M+F). Almost all the SELFCAD tools work on all objects that have mesh and profile drawings. Set both intensity and Level at 4. Intensity is the distance made by the tool and Level is smoothness depending on the extra edges that get created.
Finalize the fillet and it will give the look shown in the image below.
Step 15: Activate Polygon selection
Here we have to select the polygons from the object. You can also use the advanced feature later to separately transfer a few parts. Select all the polygons from all sides of the table. After selecting the polygon, click on activate polygon selection or use the shortcut (Ctrl+4).
Step 16: Activate Inset and Extrusion
This will be like the final step of our tutorial. Next, we have to activate Inset. Inset is a similar tool as Extrusion but it creates the internal faces instead of extending the object. Select Inset from the Modify Tool or use shortcut (Ctrl+I). Set the parameter amount as 10 and Individual as true. Inset will save our time in selecting the faces. Click to finalize the structure.
- Activate Extrusion.
Next is to activate extrusion. SELFCAD keeps our previous selections, so for extrusion we need not to make a new selection. Select Extrusion from the Modify tool or use Shortcut (M+E). Set amount at -5 and finalize the extrusion.
- Next we have to activate the inset again.
Select Inset from the Modify Tool or use shortcut (Ctrl+I). Set the parameter mount as 10, and Cut Intersection to true and Finalise the Inset.
- Again Activate the Extrusion.
Select Extrusion from the Modify tool or use Shortcut (M+E). Set amount at 5 and finalize the extrusion. Here we have used positive extrusion. We have carried out the Inset and Extrusion with the same selection. Now we will disable the region selection. You can click on the highlighted cube part or use the shortcut (Ctrl+0). We are done with editing now so we no longer need the wireframe. Click on the solid button to set rendering or use a shortcut (V+S). Click on smooth to make the rendering smooth. You can use the SELFCAD Render app.
We are done! Have a look at the Elegant Table.
That’s how easy it is to 3D design a table. You can use the same strategy to design any furniture of your choice. When you have finished with the design process, you can decide to print if you own a 3D printer or you can outsource it. Your design is not printable as it is. You need to convert it to a format that can be understood by a 3D printer. To do this, you can select the 3D Print tool and it will direct you to the slicer which you can use to generate the G-Code that contains the instructions on how the design will be printed.
Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.
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