Recently, Nathan Niemi—associate professor for Earth & Environmental Science— approached the 3D lab with a series of floor-plans he had designed in Adobe Illustrator. Nathan and his colleagues (who research neotectonics and structural geology) are working on cabins to be built at their field station in Teton County, Wyoming. The current cabins at their field station are small, and new cabins would provide the opportunity for more student researchers to work the area. Nathan’s group wanted to show alumni and possible donors the plans for the cabins so they can pledge financial support to the project. Nathan was curious about how he could translate his floor plans into a more complete model of the architecture.
Working with Nathan and his colleagues, the UM3D Lab staff was able to take his floor plans and create splines (lines used in 3D modeling) in 3D Studio Max. Using these splines, accurate 3D models of the cabins were created to scale. These models were then shown to several people in Nathan’s group, at which point Teton County noticed the slope of the cabin’s roof would not meet building codes for snow load in that region. By viewing their models in 3D, the group was able to revise and review their plans to accommodate these restrictions. These plans are currently being shown to investors and others interested in the project.