So what is ScratchyCAD?
ScratchyCAD is parametric 3d modeling software which uses an easy to learn block based programming language. ScratchyCAD is 3D design with CODE! Use short snippets of coding to start creating parametric 3D objects, or smart objects, that update their geometry automatically by changing the parameters or cv. Not only are you learning to 3D design like the professionals, but you are learning to program at the same time!
Here's how we do it:
First, start with a new scene
Then add to that scene
You can add things like a BOX or a SPHERE
You can make them interact with each other
Or position them where you need
You can even add colors, materials, and textures
Or simulations like GRAVITY!
With a little practice, you can string together code to make something awesome!
"Computer programming and coding are extremely important skills to possess in this new world, but when these skills are applied with creative thinking, art, and science, the world has no bounds" - ScratchyCAD creator, Juan Carlos Orozco
So many software choices, why is ScratchyCAD so special?
ScratchyCAD takes a different approach than traditional 3D modeling tools. Most entry level software uses methods like adding a primitive shape and "editing" its components by selecting a face, vertex or edge and dragging it to move or modify the object. In these types of software, you just click on the object to rotate, scale, or drag to a position. With ScratchyCAD we are taking a much different approach to modeling by using coding command lines to define our objects.
But why would you choose to model this way?
Two words.. SMART OBJECTS With traditional modeling tools users normally model on the go. This means that it can be very difficult to go back and make a change if a decision made early on didn't quite work out the way we planned. Let's face it, failure is part of life. Life is about learning from failures, but that doesn't mean failure has to slow us down! With the "traditional" modeling process finding a failure early on in a design process can mean just a quick change, but what if you don't find that early failure until very late in the design process? At that point, sometimes it would be easier to start from scratch than to go back and change everything according to the corrections or parameters. By using a parametric system and creating reactive variables in our model, the design can be changed by only tweaking the right parameter, taking a fraction of the time to modify the object. In some cases this can save hundreds of hours for the designer. It takes a small investment of time to learn to "program" the shape to respond to your input, and we can show you how.
Why is Parametric Modeling Important?
With digital fabrication such as 3D printing, people are creating and sharing design ideas more than ever, opening the door to mass personalization of products to fit YOUR life. Virtual Reality is becoming a part of every day life. Augmented reality, and interactive websites are becoming the norm. While the community of designers grows, collaboration and iteration will need to as well. Designers who use parametric algorithms will find the ability to quickly and efficiently modify complex designs to fit their needs. Sharing is caring, and play is great, but we need to start solving real problems and collaboration is the key. Through our cloud, users can quickly and easily share source files and build on each others code, creating a powerful network of advanced, easily modifiable, intuitive designs.
But what makes ScratchyCAD easy to learn?
Unfortunately, current software available which uses this kind of complex programming method can be very complicated to understand and challenging to learn. With ScratchyCAD we close this gap with proven techniques. By using a method of visual programming with a block based programming language, we have taken complexity out of the learning process. Inspired byMIT's Scratch, this method of drag and drop connecting blocks used to define objects and their relationship to each other has been proven to work to teach complex functions. We love Scratch, and are proud to honor MIT with this next generation of block based learning aid.
Why should I help fund the development of this project?
3D software in general is amazing. Personally, we are obsessed with all of them, and they keep getting better everyday. But for new learners, the options are limited and most have a clear ceiling to where they can go. By defining an object with an algorithm it forces the designer to understand the constrains and needs of the design to set the right parameters for the model. Sounds complicated, but it’s really not. Our workshops will inspire design thinking and outline the simplicity of the design process, breaking it down into easy to understand steps.
What workshops will we offer right away?
To start with ScratchyCAD's training academy, our workshops will focus on entry level and moderately advanced learners. These are not YouTube tutorial videos or simple online follow-alongs. These are professional development training courses, designed and curated by educators to ensure you grasp the material presented, and support is available. This method will ensure that we have a solid foundation of prerequisite courses as we move forward to our advanced coding workshops. Our initial training academy release will include a set of 5 courses covering ScratchyCAD's functionality.
1) 3D printing with Scratchycad - Even if you have never created a 3D model for printing, we will have you materializing your ideas before you know it! This workshop will start with the basics of a solid mesh, and work up to making solids interact with each other to create complex programmed shapes. This workshop will also teach you how to identify FDM printable objects, and how to design with 3D printing in mind! Not sure what we mean? Give this workshop a test drive and you will soon find out!
2) Materials textures and animation with ScratchyCAD - Learn how even the most basic models can completely change when materials and textures are aplied. Have you seen our 3D modeled earth? What if we told you it's simply a sphere with a series of textures and materials overlaid to create a realistic look! We can show you how!
3) Using Virtual Reality Headsets with ScratchyCAD - Many places will tell you VR is the future of entertainment. With companies like Google, Oculus and HTC paving the way for the VR space to continue to grow, don't you think you should learn how to take your designs into Virtual Reality?
4) Creating an interactive 3D website with ScratchyCAD - Three.js is amazingly powerful, and with it we can do so many things. We recommend starting slowly with your website designing, and we can show you how! This workshop will teach the basics of how to create an interactive 3D website, making a unique experience for your browser, and getting out of the template life!
5) Generative design and procedural art with ScratchyCAD - Computer generated art, if you have never tried, you're missing out! This workshop will not only explain what procedural art is, but it will have you designing incredibly unique, one of a kind creations before the end.
+PLUS+ Bonus Workshop!
ScratchyCAD in the classroom -- ScratchyCAD's education add on is designed for schools, after school programs, libraries, or any other educational institution that wants to not only learn to use ScratchyCAD, but also teach students of all ages how to use it. Simply select your desired area of focus and add on the education package. Doing so will allow you, or your institution, to access valuable resources such as common core (or state specific) correlated lesson plans, downloadable student handouts, teachers guides, video tutorials, and assessments. We don't simply send links to ideas, but provide ENTIRE lessons that are comprehensive and easy to use. What do we mean by comprehensive? Materials are presented step by step- from vocabulary words and pre assessment, through application and post assessment. We cater to teachers serving 1st-12th graders in all subject areas.
Teachers will be able to learn and apply the necessary skills for ScratchyCAD through focused, exciting, and engaging professional development modules. Even with absolutely no CAD experience, educators will be able to implement ScratchyCAD software in their classroom immediately. Resources and continued tech support are always available to ensure successful implementation.
You can also choose to add our "I design with code" t-shirt, just add +$25 to any pledge level
Risks and challenges
User experience is key in order to make users more comfortable with ScratchyCAD. We spent a lot of our time focusing on "function over form" to ensure ScratchyCAD users had a large range of abilities within the software. We will spend 25% of funding towards developing the user experience. To reach this it will take a lot of feedback, work, and time. User feedback will play a key role in making ScratchyCAD's user experience better.