Warning! This post is filled with very me-typical rambling, and even more so than usual. If you want to avoid all that, you can skip to the meat of the question, bolded at the end of this post.
Hey guys. I was just talking to my little brother, Stephen, on the phone. I’ve gotten him into Blender, though the guy doesn’t directly have net access, so can’t participate in here as much. He’s a brilliant kid, and has an amazing creativity for technical design.
I know we’ve had the CAD conversation before, and this isn’t about blender being a CAD program, or becoming one. However, I recently showed him slikdigit’s “Chicken Chair” animation, which he was greatly impressed with. “Now that’s the kind of thing I want to do in Blender.” Being the perfectionist he is, he seems to like everything exact, which is something I discouraged him from being in Blender (of course, everything I do is organic, so the subsurf button goes on). But, it is true, he’s had a little experience with a CAD program they have at his high school, and he might have gotten stubborn. What he wants to do most is create mechanical creatures. Hence, as said previously, he was greatly fascinated with the “chicken chair” animation, and with S86’s gear script preview vids, and even @ndy’s messenger-flying-thing.
He had a lot of trouble trying to do things like creating mechanical joints and sockets in blender. I’ve given him a few suggestions, but I’m not much experienced with mechanical design.
He called me up today with a few blender-related questions, and mentioned he was working on a human now, and said that life got much easier once he went organic. And I’ve felt a bit guilty… am I pushing him unnecessarily away from the type of creative mechanical robotic creature designs he likes to bring to life, just because I don’t know the answers to his questions?
So… what are some good methods for creating mechanical objects and robotic creatures in blender? Joints, wires, cords, sockets, getting things to fit, and even material suggestions are welcome.