Vectorworks Pill Bottle

While making my final draft CAD model in VectorWorks I ran into some challenging problems, especially when creating the mouth with two NURBS curves. But before I tackled that, I wanted to get the basic bent shape of the pill bottle like the initial sketch.

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I used the proportions of an actual pill bottle, 2″ x 1.5″ After making a circle the diameter of an actual pill bottle, I extruded it to the corresponding and used the Deform tool to create the bent shape at the top and the bottom.

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Then, using two NURBS Curves I created the shape of the mouth,

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And a bend to the bottom of the bottle.

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I needed to connect both curves to create a single object because I couldn’t extrude two lines without making it a solid shape, but in the process I ran into a lot of problems trying to combine the two end points. I was able to combine one side but VectorWorks would not let me connect the other end no matter what I did.

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I tried to simply move the end points onto each other and combine into surface,

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but I kept getting the error shown above.

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Trying again with the NURBS curve I was able to connect the top end points but then once I tried connecting the bottom ones, I got the following  error.

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Having spent way too much time trying to address the numerous NURBS problems, I started remaking the mouth with angles.

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After playing around with angles, straight lines connecting them, and reshaping them I ended up with two versions of the mouth but settled on the left one.

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Then it was time to down size the mouth to the pill bottle.

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Below is the process for removing the bottom of the model by subtracting a square from the curved piece.

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I realized the curve I put on the back of the mouth was in the wrong shape.

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So I went back in and added the curve in the other direction.

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Positioned it in a place where I thought the mouth should go,

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And voila!

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I was happy with the result, however, I wanted to try and add more curves to the back of the mouth so that the angle wouldn’t look so machined.

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Using the fillet edge tool, the back, curved end of the mouth was effectively softened around the edges.

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I placed it within the new but nearly identical pill bottle and exported my file as an .stl to move it to Ultimaker Cura in order to 3D print.

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With the file saved to High quality I started to print, not noticing until half way through that the top of the mouth wasn’t going to print properly. I kept going none-the-less because I needed to get a prototype primed and painted.

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Once it was done printing I immediately noticed that the mouth was not cut all the way through on the sides.

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Not to mention all the plastic that dripped through the part that failed during the printing.

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I tried getting a picture where you can see the mouth looking funky.

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After slicing away at the stringy part inside the mouth, I placed the cap on top and thankfully, I had measured it just right so that it fit with ease.

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But I didn’t want the logo on the cap so I started to sand it off with a high number grit. It looks white in this picture.

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But it actually looks like this.

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So I tried many other grades of sandpaper.

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And eventually ended up with this. So I’m now considering putting a vinyl sticker on the top or painting it white.

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Now it was time to primer.

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And after an hour or two I spray painted it orange.

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But this is not the exact color I want.

 

I learned a lot for this weeks assignment.

  • I want to try to mill this piece on the 4 axis
  • The model I’ll try to print next will be the first mock up without the rounded edge mouth.
  • I need to fix the model so that it is sturdier when placed on the table (I think the first mock up will stand on it’s own better than this one.
  • I want to try dying delrin after milling on the 4 axis
  • Vinyl stickers need to be designed and placed properly.
  • Pills as a stand and as decor need to be modeled eventually.
  • Need to focus on what orange I want if I’m going to continue to 3d print.

Sculpting The Toy

I changed the idea for my toy since the last assignment. Initially I had an idea to have a bottle of pills and a group of four pills with different personalities, but then I thought the pills would be so small, I wanted to work on a slightly bigger scale.

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So then I changed it to a series of four different pill bottles with personalities based on what the medication creates.

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One of the mock ups, the Prozac pill bottle, made me laugh and I settled on a group of four Prozac bottles, all laughing except for one that’s crying as well. (All housed in a medicine cabinet)

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Since I have experience with VectorWorks, I quickly created two cylinders and pulled them by .5″ and 3″. For this mockup I didn’t include the spring and have since decided that I might not want to take that approach because it could look kitschy.

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Once I placed the two together I realized the body needed to be cut in half so I copy and pasted the 3″ cylinder and created a 1″ and 2″ to create the mouth.

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After creating the mouth I rotated the top half to add expression. It should look like it’s laughing.

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After adding all the shapes together and saving as a .stl I brought my file into Cura.

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This screen shot is for the low resolution print which I didn’t end up with because I wanted smooth edges.

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The whole process took 5 hours. Almost immediately I noticed that the size of the bottle was way too big. I realized that I had haphazardly created the circles in an unknown size that I eyed out.

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Once my print had finished it confirmed my thoughts about the size of the bottle. I want it to be true to size and am now considering kit-bashing with the cap or the body.

Another thing I realized was that the position of the bottle as straight up and flat on the table didn’t give a lot of emotion to the laughing that’s supposed to be going on.

I didn’t include eyes in my 3D sketch because I wasn’t sure about what I want to do with them yet.

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The back of the head didn’t work out so well in the 3D print, probably because of the angle of it.

Going back to my CAD sketch, I tried playing around with the Fillet tool and gave a rounded edge to the upper lip.

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But once I tried making the bottom lip rounded I lost the whole head!

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Unfortunately, when I tried to play around with the shape of the body by using the deform tool, I kept getting a “deform tool failed” error.

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I wanted to create an angle at the bottom of the model so I started trying to sand off the material with sand paper by hand. That didn’t work out so well so I moved on to clamping it to the table and bringing it down with a metal file.

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This proved to be laborious and I applied too much pressure at one point and it snapped a bit of the mouth.

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Despite breaking it a little, I learned that I want all 4 toys to have a different bend or angle to the bottom to differentiate them.

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Next, I wanted to try and alter an actual pill bottle.

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After heating the plastic up with a hair dryer, the mouth was cut with an sharp knife and bent back.
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In VectorWorks, I tried making some pill shaped objects but found that I wasn’t getting anywhere trying to make an oval and a round rectangle rounded on the sides but I kept getting a “Edge Filleting Fail”. Even when creating a 3D sphere, I couldn’t find the right tools to manipulate them into a pill shape.

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Finally, taking some modeling clay, I sculpted some eyes to mess around with the expression of the character.

What I got out of this exercise:

1. The scale of the toy should be true to size.
2. Kit-bashing is something I might want to explore
3. Each toy should have a slightly different stance
4. Eyes might want to be closed
5. Details like teeth, maybe a tongue, pills coming out of the mouth should be added
6. Label should be added (need to work this part out)