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Buggy Project: Final touches for the Buggy CAD

The buggy CAD saga has finished. In this blog, I go into the various improvements from V1, as well as some cool features that I used to make the buggy come to life (or thereabout).

So, what is different with this buggy? Firstly, I recommend you have a look at Buggy V1 just so you have a point of comparison. Did you finish reading it? Good! Now I can show you the improvements!


More Accurate Dimensions and Reference Images

Thanks to a classmate who has their own buggy, we were able to get accurate measurements of all the parts of the buggy. They also took pictures of the parts on their own, allowing for easier detailing of the different parts. I was able to use this information to make a better 1:1 scale assembly as well as improve on certain parts, such as the wheels.

Using these new dimensions, I found that the original body was too open, leaving a lot of open spaces. In reality, the buggy's components are packed tightly, which I fixed accordingly as you can see in the picture below.


Better Understanding of Visualise's HDR Environments and Lighting Engine

I really wanted to focus on making the buggy has photoreal as possible. So, I spent a bit of time learning how to use High Dynamic Range (HDR) environments, and texture mapping. For example, in honour of NASA's most recent Mars rover, I wanted to place my buggy on Mars. However, to make it more convincing, I found a HDR online which would mimic the lighting of the Martian surface.

The result is a somewhat convincing rendering of the buggy on the Martian surface. The accurate lighting does most of the work in showcasing this.

Furthermore, I learned how to include texture mapping to the different appearances involved with the buggy. Not only did this allow for surface imperfections (which adds to the realism), but it also allowed the lights to interact with the model as they would in real life. Below are the many different textures I used when rendering the model.


Adding the Little Details

With the accurate dimensions, I was more confident in adding detail to the buggy as I didn't have to worry about any more size adjustments further down the line. These include making a detailed microcontroller board that the buggy has. Although I didn't include every single part, I was very happy with how it looks thanks to Visualise (and its camera focal point settings).

Additionally, I managed to add the battery wires using Soldiwork's "Routing" add-in which allows for easy cable management between defined plugs and components. I was very impressed with how natural it looked, considering that it took less time than create a spline with a 3D sketch.

With all of these considerations, I have created a buggy that looks much more like the actual buggy in real life!

Personally, I am very happy with how it turned out and I hope you learned something from the various tricks I used. Thank you again for reading along with my process, and I hope to see you again soon! I will be working on my ping pong ball launcher and other Rube Goldberg machine in the meantime, so look forward to that! Also, I have a special tool coming in the mail this week that I can't wait to show you all!


Anyways, that's all from me! Don't forget to check out my Instagram to stay up to date with all my shenanigans. Remember to stay safe and healthy, and see you whenever!

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