Glenn Wilcox, an associate professor of architecture, recently worked with the University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation to develop a new massive open online course (MOOC) called Introduction to 3D Modeling.
During this four-week practical course, students will learn how to use the Rhino software to create 3D models and will gain basic design skills to help bring their imagination to life. This course will guide students through 3D modeling within Rhino, covering the fundamentals of the software as well as 3D modeling in general. Students will familiarize themselves with the 3D space and 3D objects before jumping straight in to create their own objects and building blocks. As part of the course, Wilcox included a video showing learners how to make their own 3D model of the Block M.
Design is a vital part of 3D modeling. The premise of Wilcox’s course is that you can be a master of the software, but if you aren't aware of fundamental design concepts, you won’t be able to truly unleash your potential. The course will help students build their basic design skills by looking at line, shape, form, and space, before creating and editing 2D line forms that they’ll transform into patterned mandalas and 3D tile wall designs. Students will learn the concept of profile modelling and will utilize 3D surface and 3D solid modelling tools to create and edit more complex designs. To round out their foundational knowledge, they’ll dive into 3D rendering and creating 3D printable models. Then, after completing each step of the course, they will bring their newfound skills together into one final 3D modelling project.
Any U-M student, faculty, staff, or alumni who logs in via Michigan Online can access the course for free. The same is true of Wilcox's other course, Design Computing: 3D Modeling in Rhinoceros with Python Rhinoscript.