Cross sections
March 17, 2008 2:24 PM   Subscribe

3D cross section software? is there such a thing?

I was thinking it would be cool to make cross section models from cardboard.

is there software that can analyze a 3D model, and spit out successive cross sections?

maybe something like this crappy illustration.

(the end goal is to find a high resolution model of a trex and painstakingly construct an 8 foot monster for the livingroom. )

if something like this doesn't exist, how much would I possibly have to pay a college student to have it made? I have no clue how difficult something like this would be or how long it would take.
posted by nihlton to Technology (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You can do this using something like Rhino 3d or other 3d editing software. Load up your model in the software of choice, create a box that represents a vertical slice (i.e. is thin in one dimension and takes up the whole plane in the other two), and use the 'boolean intersection' function. Repeat this N times.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:50 PM on March 17, 2008

0xFCAF's got the right idea. Setting the z-near & z-far values on an orthogonal view should also do the trick.
posted by devilsbrigade at 3:05 PM on March 17, 2008

This Viewer has a cross section function. After install, clicking the button that looks like solid and dash line cube would pop up a dialog. By dragging the Front-Back bar on the dialog, you'd see the cross section effects.
posted by squ1rr3l at 3:12 PM on March 17, 2008

Depending on the model, it's cake with a CAD program. I had to make a polishing fixture for an airplane wing slat (actually, a set of fixtures for every bent-double skin on the 737-700) and wound up doing exactly what you propose, only with housing insulation. (we wound up making a huge fiberglass mockup with vacuum and all kindsa cool bits.)
posted by notsnot at 3:22 PM on March 17, 2008

Best answer: Here's how to do it in POV-Ray. They're using sugar instead of cardboard but their techniques should work fine.
posted by aubilenon at 3:40 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Solidworks
posted by milinar at 3:41 PM on March 17, 2008 has some dino models. I'm not a member, so I can't vouch for quality. If you want to work with Solidworks or Rhino, they don't offer the native formats. Some of their file formats can be imported or converted, but there's no guarantee they'll be free from errors.

You don't need CAD to build your dinosaur, though. Buy or sculpt a model T-Rex, cut into cross sections, trace, scan, scale and rasterbate. Voila!
posted by hydrophonic at 7:11 PM on March 17, 2008

The Rhino "contour" command is exactly what you are looking for. Contouring is a mainstay for lasercut "stacked" models in architecture and design.
posted by serial_consign at 7:48 PM on March 17, 2008

Google Sketchup does section planes.
posted by gmarceau at 8:40 PM on March 17, 2008

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